Stiff Neck Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Stiff Neck. Here they are! All 100 of them:

You think my first instinct is to protect you. Because you're small, or a girl, or a Stiff. But you're wrong." He leans his face close to mine and wraps his fingers around my chin. His hand smells like metal. When was the last time he held a gun, or a knife? My skin tingles at the point of contact, like he's transmitting electricity through his skin. "My first instinct is to push you until you break, just to see how hard I have to press." he says, his fingers squeezing at the word break. My body tenses at the edge in his voice, so I am coiled as tight as a spring, and I forget to breathe. His dark eyes lifting to mine, he adds, "But I resist it." "Why..." I swallow hard. "Why is that your first instinct?" "Fear doesn't shut you down; it wakes you up. I've seen it. It's fascinating." He releases me but doesn't pull away, his hand grazing my jaw, my neck. "Sometimes I just want to see it again. Want to see you awake.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
I cannot go to school today" Said little Peggy Ann McKay. "I have the measles and the mumps, A gash, a rash and purple bumps. My mouth is wet, my throat is dry. I'm going blind in my right eye. My tonsils are as big as rocks, I've counted sixteen chicken pox. And there's one more - that's seventeen, And don't you think my face looks green? My leg is cut, my eyes are blue, It might be the instamatic flu. I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke, I'm sure that my left leg is broke. My hip hurts when I move my chin, My belly button's caving in. My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained, My 'pendix pains each time it rains. My toes are cold, my toes are numb, I have a sliver in my thumb. My neck is stiff, my voice is weak, I hardly whisper when I speak. My tongue is filling up my mouth, I think my hair is falling out. My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight, My temperature is one-o-eight. My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear, There's a hole inside my ear. I have a hangnail, and my heart is ... What? What's that? What's that you say? You say today is .............. Saturday? G'bye, I'm going out to play!
Shel Silverstein
A gunslinger knows pride, that invisible bone that keeps the neck stiff.
Stephen King (The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1))
Some people are so stiff-necked that they cannot think any other way than their own preconceived ideas.
Suman Pokhrel
We bow to the inevitable. We’re not wheat, we’re buckwheat! When a storm comes along it flattens ripe wheat because it’s dry and can’t bend with the wind. But ripe buckwheat’s got sap in it and it bends. And when the wind has passed, it springs up almost as straight and strong as before. We aren’t a stiff-necked tribe. We’re mighty limber when a hard wind’s blowing, because we know it pays to be limber. When trouble comes we bow to the inevitable without any mouthing, and we work and we smile and we bide our time. And we play along with lesser folks and we take what we can get from them. And when we’re strong enough, we kick the folks whose necks we’ve climbed over. That, my child, is the secret of the survival.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
A Christian is not a person who believes in his head the teachings of the Bible. Satan believes in his head the teachings of the Bible! A Christian is a person who has died with Christ, whose stiff neck has been broken, whose brazen forehead has been shattered, whose stony heart has been crushed, whose pride has been slain, and whose life is now mastered by Jesus Christ.
John Piper
There are bars with women wearing shirts with stiff necks and ties and they are terribly proud to be perverts, as if that weren't something nobody can do anything about.
Irmgard Keun (The Artificial Silk Girl)
Relaxing the shoulders is vital for relaxation in general. However, owing to the effects of gravity, relaxation is problematic unless we let the shoulders remain in their natural place. Let the shoulders drop, or settle in harmony with gravity, into their most comfortable position. It isn’t too difficult to do this for a moment, but to sustain this condition unconsciously in our lives is another matter. We raise our shoulders unnaturally when we lean on a desk or hold the telephone between our shoulders and ears, when we are shocked by a loud noise, and who knows how many other times throughout the day. And the unsettling of the shoulders doesn’t have to be large to produce anxiety, stiff necks, and headaches. Just slightly raising them will create tension, and this tension throws the nervous system out of balance. When do we raise the shoulders in daily life? What are we feeling at that moment and leading up to that moment? Remembering that the body reflects the mind, and that the raising of the shoulders not only creates tension but also is a physical manifestation of psychological tension itself, what are the roots of this tension? Bringing the mind into the moment, let’s observe ourselves in a state free of preconceived ideas or beliefs. Don’t guess at these questions. Observe yourself in relationship to others and the universe
H.E. Davey (Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation)
And if you must sacrifice yourself, do that by marrying me. I’m not an easy man. You’ll earn your martyr’s crown before you’re done. Don’t condemn both of us to an eternity of unhappiness just because you’re too stiff-necked to face society’s censure.
Anna Campbell (Claiming the Courtesan (Avon Romantic Treasures))
Jen watched as Sally and Jacque's eyes got wider and wider. "Damn," Jen muttered under her breath just as strong arms came around her and she felt warm breath against her neck. "I believe this is our song," Decebel purred in her ear. Jen swore at any moment she was going to be a puddle on the floor and Jacque would have to sop her up with some Bounty paper towels. Why she thought specifically of Bounty paper towels, she had no idea. She was trying really hard to focus on anything but Decebel's warmth against her. To her complete mortification he began to move…with the beat. Sally and Jacque's jaws dropped. Jen mouthed, "Save me," to her two best friends, but evil traitors that they were, they both started dancing and completely ignored her plea. Oh, those two heifers are going down, she promised herself. After a few moments, Jen decided she could either look goofy standing stiff while Decebel danced or she could throw caution to the wind and bring it.
Quinn Loftis (Just One Drop (The Grey Wolves, #3))
The shot doesn't come. He stares at me with the same ferocity but doesn't move. Why doesn't he shoot me? His heart pounds against my palms,and my own heart lifts. He is Divergent. He can fight this simulation.Any simulation. "Tobias," I say. "It's me." I step forward and wrap my arms around him. His body is stiff. His heart beats faster. I can feel it against my cheek. A thud against my cheek. A thud as the gun hits the floor.He grabs my shoulders-too hard, his fingers digging into my skin where the bullet was. I cry out as he pulls me back. Maybe he means to kill me in some crueler way. "Tris," he says,and it's him again. His mouth collides with mine. His arm wraps around me and he lifts me up, holding me against him, his hands clutching at my back. His face and the back of his neck are slick with sweat, his body is shaking,and my shoulder blazes with pain,but I don't care,I don't care,I don't care. He sets me down and stares at me, his fingers brushing over my forehead, my eyebrows,my cheeks, my lips. Something like a sob and a sigh and a moan escapes him,and he kisses me again. His eyes are bright with tears. I never thought I would see Tobias cry. It makes me hurt. I pull myself to his chest and cry into his shirt. All the throbbing in my head comes back,and the ache in my shoulder,and I feel like my body weight doubles.I lean against him, and he supports me. "How did you do it?" I say. "I don't know," he says. "I just hear your voice.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
The Welsh were a god-cursed, stiff-necked, and utterly vexatious people, John said bitterly, but they did have an inexplicable ability to rise phoenixlike from the ashes of defeat, to soar upwards on wings too scorched for flight.
Sharon Kay Penman (Here Be Dragons (Welsh Princes, #1))
The only other person I have fallen in love with that way is Jesus, and I hope that goes more smoothly. I hope I remember, when I'm bored with Him, and antsy, and sick of brushing my teeth next to the same god every morning, I hope I remember not to leave Him. I am not so worried that He will leave me. The Bible, after all, is full of stories about God sticking with His Bride, no matter how stiff-necked and prideful and unfaithful she may be.
Lauren F. Winner (Girl Meets God)
Despair … is the ultimate development of a pride so great and so stiff-necked that it selects the absolute misery of damnation rather than accept happiness from the hands of God and thereby acknowledge that He is above us and that we are not capable of fulfilling our destiny by ourselves.
Stephen Adly Guirgis (The Last Days of Judas Iscariot: A Play)
... He didn't know how to say good-bye. His throat ached from the strain of holding back his emotions. “I don't want to leave you,” he said humbly, reaching for her cold, stiff hands. Emma lowered her head, her tears falling freely. “I'll never see you again, will I?” He shook his head. “Not in this lifetime,” he said hoarsely. She pulled her hands away and wrapped her arms around his neck. He felt her wet lashes brush his cheek. “Then I'll wait a hundred years,” she whispered. “Or a thousand, if I must. Remember that, Nikki. I'll be waiting for you to come to me.
Lisa Kleypas (Prince of Dreams (Stokehurst, #2))
In Darcy, Elizabeth would have a husband who would adore her, but who was stubborn enough to refuse to give in to her. Elizabeth would have a husband she respected and loved, if she could ever bend her stiff neck enough to confess to it. Bennet could not have wished for anything more for his daughter.
Jann Rowland (Coincidence)
As she stared at them, Waringa noted that their skins were indeed red, like that of pigs or like the skin of a black person who has been scalded with boiling water or who has burned himself with acid creams. Even the hair in their arms and necks stood out stiff and straight like the bristle of an aging hog.
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (Devil on the Cross)
Before anything," he said as he brought her around to face him, "I want to give you this." Fumbling in his suitcoat, he produced a small package wrapped in brown paper and string, and gave it to Azalea. Curious, she tugged at the strings of the light package until they unkonotted. The paper fell away. It was a silver handkerchief. Supple and soft, just as Mother's had been. In the corner were the ambroidered initials A.K.W. Azalea laughed and cried at once. She threw her arms around Mr. Bradford's neck, wanting to embrace him so deeply she could feel his soul. "Yes," she cried, "Yes! Yes, yes, yes!" "Well-I-never even said anything," he said. Even so, he pulled her closer, wrapping his arms around her. Azalea pressed her cheek into his collar, rumpling it, and breathing into his cravat. It smelled of fresh linen. She felt Mr. Bradford's cheek pressing the top of her head. His lips touched her hair. A muffled voice startled them both. "When are you going to kiss her?" They pulled away.In the ballroom windows, noses and hands pressed against te glass, were the girls. They stood among the prickly rosebushes, beaming wicked little grins. Delphinium and Eve whispered and giggled to each other;Bramble wore a magnificent grin on her face and a spark of light in her yellow-green eyes. Another figure stood among them.This one had his arms folded across his chest, stiff and firm and formal... ...Yet he did not look displeased. "Those rotten little spies!" said Azalea.
Heather Dixon Wallwork (Entwined)
To stop Maria before she ruined everything, he grabbed her about the waist, hauled her against him, and sealed his mouth to hers. At first she seemed too stunned to do anything. When after a moment, he felt her trying to draw back from him, he caught her behind the neck with an iron grip. "Oh," Gran said in a stiff voice. "Beg pardon." Dimly he heard the door close and footsteps retreating, but before he could let Maria go, a searing pain shot through his groin, making him see stars. Blast her, the woman had kneed him in the ballocks! As he doubled over, fighting to keep from passing out, she snapped, "That was for making me look like a whore, too!
Sabrina Jeffries (The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #1))
He didn't want to fall, even though there was no one to see him. It was a matter of pride. A gunslinger knows pride - that invisible bone that keeps the neck stiff.
Stephen King (The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1))
When the little mouse, which was loved as none other was in the mouse-world, got into a trap one night and with a shrill scream forfeited its life for the sight of the bacon, all the mice in the district, in their holes were overcome by trembling and shaking; with eyes blinking uncontrollably they gazed at each other one by one, while their tails scraped the ground busily and senselessly. Then they came out, hesitantly, pushing one another, all drawn towards the scene of death. There it lay, the dear little mouse, its neck caught in the deadly iron, the little pink legs drawn up, and now stiff the feeble body that would so well have deserved a scrap of bacon. The parents stood beside it and eyed their child's remains.
Franz Kafka (Blue Octavo Notebooks)
The morning came, pale and clammy. Frodo woke up first, and found that a tree-root had made a hole in his back, and that his neck was stiff. "Walking for pleasure! Why didn't I drive?" he thought, as he usually did at the beginning of an expedition. "And all my beautiful feather beds are sold to the Sackville-Bagginses! These tree-roots would do them good." He stretched. "Wake up, hobbits!" he cried. "It's a beautiful morning." "What's beautiful about it?" said Pippin, peering over the edge of his blanket with one eye. "Sam! Get breakfast ready for half-past nine! Have you got the bath-water hot?" Sam jumped up, looking rather bleary. "No, sir, I haven't, sir!" he said. Frodo stripped the blankets from Pippin and rolled him over, and then walked off to the edge of the wood.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
Well, this is the reason. We bow to the inevitable. We're not wheat, we're buckwheat! When a storm comes along it flattens ripe wheat because it's dry and can't bend with the wind. But ripe buckwheat's got sap in it and it bends. And when the wind has passed, it springs up almost as straight and strong as before. We aren't a stiff-necked tribe. We're mighty limber when a hard wind's blowing, because we know it pays to be limber. When trouble comes we bow to the inevitable without any mouthing, and we work and we smile and we bide our time. And we play along with lesser folks and we take what we can get from them. And when we're strong enough, we kick the folks whose necks we've climbed over. That, my child, is the secret of the survival.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
Firelight gleamed golden in the stiff whiskers that framed Lord Tywin’s face. A vein pulsed in his neck, but he did not speak. And did not speak. And did not speak.
George R.R. Martin (A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3))
said to the boastful, ‘Do not deal boastfully,’ And to the wicked, †‘Do not clift up the horn. 5Do not lift up your horn on high; Do not speak with da stiff neck.
Anonymous (Holy Bible, New King James Version)
craning his stiff neck very, very carefully—
Stephen King (The Stand)
No problem is ever hopeless--not even when you’re facing your enemies with a stiff neck!
Derek Hough (Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion)
turn my stiff neck to find Peeta looking down at me with such a sad expression. I get the sense that he’s been watching us awhile.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
i can still see our construction hats lying exactly where we left them pylons unsure of what to guard bulldozers gazing out for our return the planks of wood stiff in their boxes yearning to be nailed up but neither of us goes back to tell them it is over in time the bricks will grow tired of waiting and crumble the cranes will droop their necks in sorrow the shovels will rust do you think flowers will grow here when you and i are off building something new with someone else
Rupi Kaur (the sun and her flowers)
Releasing his neck, I yanked his jeans open and slid my hand down inside as he grabbed at my hand, trying to stop me, but I gripped his fucking cock, feeling it was already a little stiff. “What is she wearing?” I started, stroking him, not giving him time to think. “What is she fucking wearing for you, huh?
Penelope Douglas (Kill Switch (Devil's Night, #3))
For folks who have that casual-dude energy coursing through their bloodstream, that's great. But gays should not grow up alienated just for us to alienate each other. It's too predictable, like any other cycle of abuse. Plus, the conformist, competitive notion that by "toning down" we are "growing up" ultimately blunts the radical edge of what it is to be queer; it truncates our colorful journey of identity. Said another way, it's like living in West Hollywood and working a gay job by day and working it in the gay nightlife, wearing delicate shiny shirts picked from up the gay dry cleaners, yet coquettishly left unbuttoned to reveal the pec implants purchased from a gay surgeon and shown off by prancing around the gay-owned-and-operated theater hopped up on gay health clinic steroids and wheat grass purchased from the friendly gay boy who's new to the city, and impressed by the monstrous SUV purchased from a gay car dealership with its rainbow-striped bumper sticker that says "Celebrate Diversity." Then logging on to the local Gay.com listings and describing yourself as "straight-acting." Let me make myself clear. This is not a campaign for everyone to be like me. That'd be a total yawn. Instead, this narrative is about praise for the prancy boys. Granted, there's undecided gender-fucks, dagger dykes, faux-mos, po-mos, FTMs, fisting-top daddies, and lezzie looners who also need props for broadening the sexual spectrum, but they're telling their own stories. The Cliff's Notes of me and mine are this: the only moments I feel alive are when I'm just being myself - not some stiff-necked temp masquerading as normal in the workplace, not some insecure gay boy aspiring to be an overpumped circuit queen, not some comic book version of swank WeHo living. If that's considered a political act in the homogenized world of twenty-first century homosexuals, then so be it. — excerpt of "Praise For The Prancy Boys," by Clint Catalyst appears in first edition (ISBN # 1-932360-56-5)
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore (That's Revolting!: Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation)
O my God, my great mercy, my refuge (Ps. 58: 18, 143: 2) from the terrible dangers in which I was wandering. My stiff neck took me further and further away from you. I loved my own ways, not yours. The liberty I loved was merely that of a runaway.
Augustine of Hippo (Confessions)
James was stiff, and his arm was asleep, and he wasn't sure he'd ever get the kink out of his neck, but he had a baby boy sleeping like a rock on his chest and a gorgeous woman sleeping like a rock up against his side, her cheek on his chest, some of her hair clutched in the baby's fist, and a shaggy dog sleeping like a rock on his left foot. James wouldn't have moved for a million dollars.
Erin Nicholas (Getting Off Easy (Boys of the Big Easy, #4))
Sick" "I cannot go to school today," Said little Peggy Ann McKay. "I have the measles and the mumps, A gash, a rash and purple bumps. My mouth is wet, my throat is dry, I'm going blind in my right eye. My tonsils are as big as rocks, I've counted sixteen chicken pox And there's one more--that's seventeen, And don't you think my face looks green? My leg is cut--my eyes are blue-- It might be instamatic flu. I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke, I'm sure that my left leg is broke-- My hip hurts when I move my chin, My belly button's caving in, My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained, My 'pendix pains each time it rains. My nose is cold, my toes are numb. I have a sliver in my thumb. My neck is stiff, my voice is weak, I hardly whisper when I speak. My tongue is filling up my mouth, I think my hair is falling out. My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight, My temperature is one-o-eight. My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear, There is a hole inside my ear. I have a hangnail, and my heart is--what? What's that? What's that you say? You say today is. . .Saturday? G'bye, I'm going out to play!
Shel Silverstein
Every time I glanced at Ren, I saw that he was watching me. When we finally reached the end of the tunnel and saw the stone steps that led to the surface, Ren stopped. “Kelsey, I have one final request of you before we head up.” “And what would that be? Want to talk about tiger senses or monkey bites in strange places maybe?” “No. I want you to kiss me.” I sputtered, “What? Kiss you? What for? Don’t you think you got to kiss me enough on this trip?” “Humor me, Kells. This is the end of the line for me. We’re leaving the place where I get to be a man all the time, and I have only my tiger’s life to look forward to. So, yes, I want you to kiss me one more time.” I hesitated. “Well, if this works, you can go around kissing all the girls you want to. So why bother with me right now?” He ran a hand through his hair in frustration. “Because! I don’t want to run around kissing all the other girls! I want to kiss you!” “Fine! If it will shut you up!” I leaned over and pecked him on the cheek. “There!” “No. Not good enough. On the lips, my prema.” I leaned over and pecked him on the lips. “There. Can we go now?” I marched up the first two steps, and he slipped his hand under my elbow and spun me around, twisting me so that I fell forward into his arms. He caught me tightly around the waist. His smirk suddenly turned into a sober expression. “A kiss. A real one. One that I’ll remember.” I was about to say something brilliantly sarcastic, probably about him not having permission, when he captured my mouth with his. I was determined to remain stiff and unaffected, but he was extremely patient. He nibbled on the corners of my mouth and pressed soft, slow kisses against my unyielding lips. It was so hard not to respond to him. I made a valiant struggle, but sometimes the body betrays the mind. He slowly, methodically swept aside my resistance. And, feeling he was winning, he pressed ahead and began seducing me even more skillfully. He held me tightly against his body and ran a hand up to my neck where he began to massage it gently, teasing my flesh with his fingertips. I felt the little love plant inside me stretch, swell, and unfurl its leaves, like he was pouring Love Potion # 9 over the thing. I gave up at that point and decided what the heck. I could always use a rototiller on it. And I rationalized that when he breaks my heart, at least I will have been thoroughly kissed. If nothing else, I’ll have a really good memory to look back on in my multi-cat spinsterhood. Or multi-dog. I think I will have had my fill of cats. I groaned softly. Yep. Dogs for sure.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
A study at Cornell University found that low-level noise both lowered job motivation and increased stress levels. It appears as well that an open-office type of environment can contribute to musculoskeletal problems such as a stiff back or tense neck and even heart disease due to increased levels of epinephrine, a stress hormone.
Jeff Davidson (The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Things Done)
Before he could, he felt Laurent’s fingers on the back of his neck, a shock of touch that caught him in a tumult of confusion as it drew him forward, simply. It was, from Laurent, slightly awkward; sweet; rare; stiff with obvious inexperience. If he had been offered this as an adult, he couldn’t remember it. He couldn’t remember ever having needed it, except that maybe he had needed it since the bells had rung in Akielos, and never allowed himself to ask for it. Body leaned in to body and he closed his eyes. Time
C.S. Pacat (Kings Rising (Captive Prince, #3))
I adore my mother, but I fear for her. She seems helpless, caught in the vortex of my father's dark moods and unpredictable behavior. I try never to displease her. I love the scent of Juicy Fruit gum on her breath and the hint of Joy perfume on her neck, the crisp crinkle of her hair stiff with aerosol spray and the chipped pink polish on her nails.
Kristen Iversen (Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats)
One," said the recording secretary. "Jesus wept," answered Leon promptly. There was not a sound in the church. You could almost hear the butterflies pass. Father looked down and laid his lower lip in folds with his fingers, like he did sometimes when it wouldn't behave to suit him. "Two," said the secretary after just a breath of pause. Leon looked over the congregation easily and then fastened his eyes on Abram Saunders, the father of Absalom, and said reprovingly: "Give not sleep to thine eyes nor slumber to thine eyelids." Abram straightened up suddenly and blinked in astonishment, while father held fast to his lip. "Three," called the secretary hurriedly. Leon shifted his gaze to Betsy Alton, who hadn't spoken to her next door neighbour in five years. "Hatred stirreth up strife," he told her softly, "but love covereth all sins." Things were so quiet it seemed as if the air would snap. "Four." The mild blue eyes travelled back to the men's side and settled on Isaac Thomas, a man too lazy to plow and sow land his father had left him. They were not so mild, and the voice was touched with command: "Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise." Still that silence. "Five," said the secretary hurriedly, as if he wished it were over. Back came the eyes to the women's side and past all question looked straight at Hannah Dover. "As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman without discretion." "Six," said the secretary and looked appealingly at father, whose face was filled with dismay. Again Leon's eyes crossed the aisle and he looked directly at the man whom everybody in the community called "Stiff-necked Johnny." I think he was rather proud of it, he worked so hard to keep them doing it. "Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck," Leon commanded him. Toward the door some one tittered. "Seven," called the secretary hastily. Leon glanced around the room. "But how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity," he announced in delighted tones as if he had found it out by himself. "Eight," called the secretary with something like a breath of relief. Our angel boy never had looked so angelic, and he was beaming on the Princess. "Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee," he told her. Laddie would thrash him for that. Instantly after, "Nine," he recited straight at Laddie: "I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?" More than one giggled that time. "Ten!" came almost sharply. Leon looked scared for the first time. He actually seemed to shiver. Maybe he realized at last that it was a pretty serious thing he was doing. When he spoke he said these words in the most surprised voice you ever heard: "I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly." "Eleven." Perhaps these words are in the Bible. They are not there to read the way Leon repeated them, for he put a short pause after the first name, and he glanced toward our father: "Jesus Christ, the SAME, yesterday, and to-day, and forever!" Sure as you live my mother's shoulders shook. "Twelve." Suddenly Leon seemed to be forsaken. He surely shrank in size and appeared abused. "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up," he announced, and looked as happy over the ending as he had seemed forlorn at the beginning. "Thirteen." "The Lord is on my side; I will not fear; what can man do unto me?" inquired Leon of every one in the church. Then he soberly made a bow and walked to his seat.
Gene Stratton-Porter (Laddie: A True Blue Story (Library of Indiana Classics))
He enjoyed it. Pallas was a worthy opponent, and it was a pleasure to feel the strain and heave of a highly trained body against his own. The bout lasted almost two minutes, before Damen locked his arm around Pallas’s neck and held him down, absorbing every surge, every struggle, until Pallas was stiff with strain, then shaking with it, then spent, and the match was won. Gratified,
C.S. Pacat (Kings Rising (Captive Prince, #3))
She was unlike most other girls of her age, in this—that she had ideas of her own, and was stiff-necked enough to set the fashions themselves at defiance, if the fashions didn't suit her views.
Wilkie Collins
I used to lie in a lover's arms getting a stiff neck, or needing to scratch my nose, or losing all sensation in my arm, unwilling to move lest the man find out I wasn't comfortable in his embrace...Would Snow White have rested all eight pounds of her head on any part of the prince? I doubt it, and I never did either. Sarah says that is why elderly women have such prominent cords in their necks.
Abigail Thomas (What Comes Next and How to Like It)
Jane! you think me, I daresay, an irreligious dog: but my heart swells with gratitude to the beneficent God of this earth just now. He sees not as man sees, but far clearer: judges not as man judges, but far more wisely. I did wrong: I would have sullied my innocent flower--breathed guilt on its purity: the Omnipotent snatched it from me. I, in my stiff-necked rebellion, almost cursed the dispensation; instead of bending to the decree, I defied it. Divine justice pursued its course; disasters came thick on me: I was forced to pass through the valley of the shadow of death. His chastisements are mighty; and one smote me which has humbled me for ever. You know I was proud of my strength: but what is it now, when I must give it over to foreign guidance, as a child does it weakness? Of late, Jane--only--only of late--I began to see and acknowledge the hand of God in my doom. I began to experience remorse, repentance; the wish for reconcilement to my Maker. I began sometimes to pray: very brief prayers they were, but very sincere.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Asking forgiveness from someone is a complicated affair, a delicate balancing act between stiff-necked pride and tearful remorse, and unless you can truly open up to the other person, every apology sounds hollow and false.
Paul Auster (The Brooklyn Follies)
Upon those whom He governs as His subjects does God bestow this gift; but not upon those who think themselves capable of governing themselves, and who, in the stiff-necked confidence of their own will, disdain to have Him as their ruler.
Augustine of Hippo (The Complete Works of Saint Augustine: The Confessions, On Grace and Free Will, The City of God, On Christian Doctrine, Expositions on the Book Of Psalms, ... (50 Books With Active Table of Contents))
Bradley Headstone, in his decent black coat and waistcoat, and decent white shirt, and decent formal black tie, and decent pantaloons of pepper and salt, with his decent silver watch in his pocket and its decent hair-guard round his neck, looked a thoroughly decent young man of six-and-twenty. He was never seen in any other dress, and yet there was a certain stiffness in his manner of wearing this, as if there were a want of adaptation between him and it, recalling some mechanics in their holiday clothes. He had acquired mechanically a great store of teacher's knowledge. He could do mental arithmetic mechanically, sing at sight mechanically, blow various wind instruments mechanically, even play the great church organ mechanically. From his early childhood up, his mind had been a place of mechanical stowage. The arrangement of his wholesale warehouse, so that it might be always ready to meet the demands of retail dealers history here, geography there, astronomy to the right, political economy to the left—natural history, the physical sciences, figures, music, the lower mathematics, and what not, all in their several places—this care had imparted to his countenance a look of care; while the habit of questioning and being questioned had given him a suspicious manner, or a manner that would be better described as one of lying in wait. There was a kind of settled trouble in the face. It was the face belonging to a naturally slow or inattentive intellect that had toiled hard to get what it had won, and that had to hold it now that it was gotten. He always seemed to be uneasy lest anything should be missing from his mental warehouse, and taking stock to assure himself.
Charles Dickens (Our Mutual Friend)
It is strange—no, surreal, surreal is the word—that I’m one of them, the old people, when I am still so completely myself through and through, the same person I have always been. Whether I am fifteen, thirty-five, or fifty, I am a constant, unchanged mass. Like the person I am in a dream, like a stone, like one-thousand-year-old ice. My age is disconnected from me. Only when I move does its existence become perceptible—then it makes itself known through all its pains, the aching knees, the stiff neck, the grumbling hip.
Maja Lunde (The End of the Ocean (Climate Quartet, #2))
But stiff-necked and somber he was not, any more than were most Puritans, contrary to latter-day misconceptions. Puritans were as capable as any mortals of exuding an affable enjoyment of life, as was he. Like many a Puritan he loved good food, good wine, a good story, and good cheer.
David McCullough (The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West)
When God is leading us to challenge another, let not fear hold us back. Let us not argue or press our point. Let us just say what God has told us to and leave it there. It is God's work, not ours, to cause the other to see it. It takes time to be willing to bend "the proud stiff-necked I." When
Roy Hession (The Calvary Road (Optimized for Kindle))
There was much talk of sermons, also, and I gathered from this, as well as what Yance had told me, that sermons had much to do with shaping of thinking. There were a stiff-necked, proud folk, not easily persuaded to any course not dictated by conscience, yet conscience could be a poor guide if accompanied by lack of knowledge.
Louis L'Amour (The Warrior's Path (The Sacketts, #3))
You're a natural actor when the role doesn't go against your stiff-necked, Dalnan yeoman's pride. Relax! Flow with the moment." Seregil suddenly grabbed him by the arm and whirled him into an eccentric jig around the room. Alec hadn't even heard him approach. But he recovered swiftly and took the lead. "But Sir Alec IS a stiff-necked Dalnan yeoman," he said, laughing as he clomped through the steps of a country dance Beka and Elsbet had taught him. "Wrong!" Grinning wickedly, Seregil yanked him into a formal pavan. "Sir Alec is stiff-necked Dalnan GENTRY. Besides, he should be picking up some of Lord Seregil's airs along the way." Alec leaned back in mock horror. "Maker's Mercy, anything but that!
Lynn Flewelling (Stalking Darkness (Nightrunner, #2))
is the sound of money being made, and only two things will stop them—Christmas and tragedy. He dismounts his albino steed, the horse’s pinked nostrils flaring, dirty mane matted with ice. The single-rig saddle is snow-crusted as well, its leather and cloth components—the mochila and shabrack—frozen stiff. He rubs George’s neck, speaking in soft, low tones he knows
Blake Crouch (Abandon)
I invested them with a bogus nobility. To a suburban kid they seemed so special, enduring, wild and stiff-necked, in amongst the ancient rocks and gnarled trees, and while it was true enough they carried their secret places in their bodies and in their language, many simply wore their ordinary, dreary undigested pasts like rain-sodden greatcoats and lived like cripples.
Tim Winton (Island Home)
hand. I’m real sorry she left you, Celie. I remember how I felt when she left me. Then the old devil put his arms around me and just stood there on the porch with me real quiet. Way after while I bent my stiff neck onto his shoulder. Here us is, I thought, two old fools left over from love, keeping each other company under the stars. Other times he want to know bout my children. I told him you say they both wear long robes, sort of like dresses. That was the day he come to visit me while I was sewing and ast me what was so special bout my pants. Anybody can wear them, I said. Men and women not suppose to wear the same thing, he said. Men spose to wear the pants. So I said, You ought to tell that to the mens in Africa. Say what? he ast. First time he ever thought bout what
Alice Walker (The Color Purple)
Hallsy is only thirty-nine, and already her face is pulled tight as a pair of Lululemon yoga pants across a plus-size girl’s rear. She’s never been married, which she’ll tell you she never wants to be even though she hangs all over every remotely fuckable guy after a single drink, while they gently untangle her Marshmallow Man arms from around their stiff necks. It’s no wonder the only ring on her finger is the Cartier Trinity, what with the way she’s ruined her face and the fact that she spends more time sunning on the beach than she should running on a treadmill. But it’s not just her sunspot-speckled chest and stocky, lazy frame. Hallsy is the type of person others describe as “whacky” and “kooky,” which is just the civilized way of saying she’s a nasty cunt. Hallsy she loves me.
Jessica Knoll (Luckiest Girl Alive)
Roman Centurion's Song" LEGATE, I had the news last night - my cohort ordered home By ships to Portus Itius and thence by road to Rome. I've marched the companies aboard, the arms are stowed below: Now let another take my sword. Command me not to go! I've served in Britain forty years, from Vectis to the Wall, I have none other home than this, nor any life at all. Last night I did not understand, but, now the hour draws near That calls me to my native land, I feel that land is here. Here where men say my name was made, here where my work was done; Here where my dearest dead are laid - my wife - my wife and son; Here where time, custom, grief and toil, age, memory, service, love, Have rooted me in British soil. Ah, how can I remove? For me this land, that sea, these airs, those folk and fields suffice. What purple Southern pomp can match our changeful Northern skies, Black with December snows unshed or pearled with August haze - The clanging arch of steel-grey March, or June's long-lighted days? You'll follow widening Rhodanus till vine and olive lean Aslant before the sunny breeze that sweeps Nemausus clean To Arelate's triple gate; but let me linger on, Here where our stiff-necked British oaks confront Euroclydon! You'll take the old Aurelian Road through shore-descending pines Where, blue as any peacock's neck, the Tyrrhene Ocean shines. You'll go where laurel crowns are won, but -will you e'er forget The scent of hawthorn in the sun, or bracken in the wet? Let me work here for Britain's sake - at any task you will - A marsh to drain, a road to make or native troops to drill. Some Western camp (I know the Pict) or granite Border keep, Mid seas of heather derelict, where our old messmates sleep. Legate, I come to you in tears - My cohort ordered home! I've served in Britain forty years. What should I do in Rome? Here is my heart, my soul, my mind - the only life I know. I cannot leave it all behind. Command me not to go!
Rudyard Kipling
LEADING LESSONS There’s always an answer. No problem is ever hopeless--not even when you’re facing your enemies with a stiff neck! With every disappointment on the dance floor, I grew to believe this more. Now, instead of feeling overwhelmed, frazzled, or that life is conspiring against me, I hold on and tell myself the answer is just an inch away. Great leaders are great simplifiers. They can cut through the doubt and despair so the solution becomes clear. It may not be instantaneous, but it will be there. Every challenge can be faced in dozens of ways. Sometimes the situation changes, or sometimes you change the way you see the situation. Part of our human condition is that we feel that we have to suffer in order to solve a problem. It doesn’t have to be this way. Sometimes surrender is freedom.
Derek Hough (Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion)
XII. If there pushed any ragged thistle-stalk Above its mates, the head was chopped, the bents Were jealous else. What made those holes and rents In the dock's harsh swarth leaves, bruised as to baulk All hope of greenness? Tis a brute must walk Pashing their life out, with a brute's intents. XIII. As for the grass, it grew as scant as hair In leprosy; thin dry blades pricked the mud Which underneath looked kneaded up with blood. One stiff blind horse, his every bone a-stare, Stood stupified, however he came there: Thrust out past service from the devil's stud! XIV. Alive? he might be dead for aught I knew, With that red gaunt and colloped neck a-strain. And shut eyes underneath the rusty mane; Seldom went such grotesqueness with such woe; I never saw a brute I hated so; He must be wicked to deserve such pain. XV. I shut my eyes and turned them on my heart, As a man calls for wine before he fights, I asked one draught of earlier, happier sights, Ere fitly I could hope to play my part. Think first, fight afterwards, the soldier's art: One taste of the old time sets all to rights. XVI. Not it! I fancied Cuthbert's reddening face Beneath its garniture of curly gold, Dear fellow, till I almost felt him fold An arm to mine to fix me to the place, The way he used. Alas, one night's disgrace! Out went my heart's new fire and left it cold. XVII. Giles then, the soul of honour - there he stands Frank as ten years ago when knighted first, What honest man should dare (he said) he durst. Good - but the scene shifts - faugh! what hangman hands Pin to his breast a parchment? His own bands Read it. Poor traitor, spit upon and curst! XVIII. Better this present than a past like that: Back therefore to my darkening path again! No sound, no sight as far as eye could strain. Will the night send a howlet or a bat? I asked: when something on the dismal flat Came to arrest my thoughts and change their train. XIX. A sudden little river crossed my path As unexpected as a serpent comes. No sluggish tide congenial to the glooms; This, as it frothed by, might have been a bath For the fiend's glowing hoof - to see the wrath Of its black eddy bespate with flakes and spumes. XX. So petty yet so spiteful! All along, Low scrubby alders kneeled down over it; Drenched willows flung them headlong in a fit Of mute despair, a suicidal throng: The river which had done them all the wrong, Whate'er that was, rolled by, deterred no whit. XXI. Which, while I forded - good saints, how I feared To set my foot upon a dead man's cheek, Each step, of feel the spear I thrust to seek For hollows, tangled in his hair or beard! - It may have been a water-rat I speared, But, ugh! it sounded like a baby's shriek. XXII. Glad was I when I reached the other bank. Now for a better country. Vain presage! Who were the strugglers, what war did they wage, Whose savage trample thus could pad the dank soil to a plash? Toads in a poisoned tank Or wild cats in a red-hot iron cage - XXIII. The fight must so have seemed in that fell cirque, What penned them there, with all the plain to choose? No footprint leading to that horrid mews, None out of it. Mad brewage set to work Their brains, no doubt, like galley-slaves the Turk Pits for his pastime, Christians against Jews.
Robert Browning
When she wasn’t being stiff-necked, she was the friend he most wanted to talk to, who he couldn’t wait to see each day. She came into his mind with the first ray of consciousness at daybreak. He nodded off, smiling over her with his last, heavy-eyed blink before sleep. Sweet Win. Funny Win. Clever Win. Frightened, brave, careful, meticulous Winnie, trying to avoid the bite of the world by pretending it didn’t have teeth.
Judith Ivory (The Proposition)
I’m heading out.” Her gaze searched his and, a little breathless, she asked, “Leaving?” “Yeah.” He stepped closer. Any second how Trace would intrude. “Thing is, Alani, I can’t be around you without wanting you. Bad. Really bad.” “Oh.” “If that’s crude, well, then screw it, I’m crude. I know we’d have a great time in bed, but since you aren’t ready for that yet, well . . . I promised Trace I wouldn’t pressure you.” Her neck went stiff. “Dear God. You discussed this with my brother?” “No!” He cut a hand through the air and his voice lowered. “When . . . if . . . I get you out of your panties, believe me, it’ll be a private thing between us. No way in hell would I discuss that with anyone else.” Her face went as red as Priss’s had. “Trace and I talked about you maybe decorating my house, that’s all.” “Oh.” Face still hot, she said, “I—” “Yeah, forget it. That’s off. Like I said, I’d just hanker for you, and you aren’t exactly reciprocating. So that’s that.” She blinked fast. “But if you ever change your mind, all you have to do is let me know.” He reached out and touched her cheek. Her skin was soft and warm and he wanted to feel her all over. All over him. Naked. Hungry. Wet . . . Damn, he had it bad. “I can promise you, if you do come to me, you won’t regret it.” She swallowed, licked her lips and damned if her eyes didn’t heat. She wanted him, too. He had to believe that. But Trace was starting up the hill, and the others were looking on, and the last thing he wanted was to make Alani uncomfortable. “Tell everyone I said goodbye. You make up any excuse you want.” And with that, he left Alani standing there, watching after him as he walked away. God willing, she’d contact him soon. He wasn’t sure he could stand it if she didn’t.
Lori Foster (Trace of Fever (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor, #2))
Turn around." "I beg your pardon." Brian merely stepped around her, laid his hands on the nape of her neck. Her already stiff shoulders jerked in protest. "Relax.I'm not after grabbing you in a fit of passion when any member of your family might come along.I'd like to put in at least one day on the job before I get the boot." As he spoke he was kneading, pressing, running those strong fingers over the knots. He hated seeing anything in pain. "Blow out a breath," he ordered when she stood rigis as stone. "Come on, maverneen, don't be so hardheaded. Blow out a nice long breath for me." Out of curiosity she obeyed and tried not to think how marvelous his hands felt on her skin. "Now another." His voice had gone to croon, lulling her.As he worked, murmured, her eyes fluttered close. Her muscles loosened, the knots untied. The threatening throbbing in her head faded away. She all but slid into a trance. She arched against his hands, just a little. Moaned in pleasure.Just a little. He kept his hands firm, professional, even as he imaged skiming them down over her, slipping them under that soft white blouse. He wanted to touch his lips to her nape, just where his thumb was pressing.To taste her there. And that,he knew, would end things before they'd begun.Wanting a woman was natural. Taking one, where the taking held such risks,was suicide.
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
For the more you know about how dead bodies decay—the biological and chemical phases they go through, how long each phase lasts, how the environment affects these phases—the better equipped you are to figure out when any given body died: in other words, the day and even the approximate time of day it was murdered. The police are pretty good at pinpointing approximate time of death in recently dispatched bodies. The potassium level of the gel inside the eyes is helpful during the first twenty-four hours, as is algor mortis—the cooling of a dead body; barring temperature extremes, corpses lose about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit per hour until they reach the temperature of the air around them. (Rigor mortis is more variable: It starts a few hours after death, usually in the head and neck, and continues, moving on down the body, finishing up and disappearing anywhere from ten to forty-eight hours after death.)
Mary Roach (Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers)
He beheld in swift succession the incidents in the brief tale of his experience. His wretched home, his still more wretched school-days, the years of vicious life he had led since then, one act of selfish dishonour leading to another; it was all clear and pitiless now, all its squalid folly, in the cold light of the dawn. He came to the hut, to the fight with the Porroh man, to the retreat down the river to Sulyma, to the Mendi assassin and his red parcel, to his frantic endeavours to destroy the head, to the growth of his hallucination. It was a hallucination! He knew it was. A hallucination merely. For a moment he snatched at hope. He looked away from the glass, and on the bracket, the inverted head grinned and grimaced at him... With the stiff fingers of his bandaged hand he felt at his neck for the throb of his arteries. The morning was very cold, the steel blade felt like ice. ("Pollock And The Porrah Man")
H.G. Wells (Great Tales of Horror and the Supernatural)
As I followed the chief waiter with my eyes, I could not help thinking that the garden in which he had gradually blown to be the flower he was, was an arduous place to rise in. It had such a prescriptive, stiff-necked, long-established, solemn, elderly air. I glanced about the room, which had had its sanded floor sanded, no doubt, in exactly the same manner when the chief waiter was a boy - if he ever was a boy, which appeared improbable; and at the shining tables, where I saw myself reflected, in unruffled depths of old mahogany; and at the lamps, without a flaw in their trimming or cleaning; and at the comfortable green curtains, with their pure brass rods, snugly enclosing the boxes; and at the two large coal fires, brightly burning; and at the rows of decanters, burly as if with the consciousness of pipes of expensive old port wine below; and both England and the law appeared to me to be very difficult indeed to be taken by storm.
Charles Dickens (David Copperfield)
I take a faltering step towards him, my blood pounding, my veins charged with pent-up energy begging me to run. I lace my hands around his neck and place my ear over his chest, listening to his heart. I trust him, he just needs to calm down. He's stiff at first. He sighs and his whole body deflates, melting against mine. The steady thuds in my ears slow down and he hugs me back, his mouth leaving a trail of sweet kisses on my head as his fingers softly scratch my scalp.
Tammy Faith (Broken Heart)
Her pretty name of Adina seemed to me to have somehow a mystic fitness to her personality. Behind a cold shyness, there seemed to lurk a tremulous promise to be franker when she knew you better. Adina is a strange child; she is fanciful without being capricious. She was stout and fresh-coloured, she laughed and talked rather loud, and generally, in galleries and temples, caused a good many stiff British necks to turn round. She had a mania for excursions, and at Frascati and Tivoli she inflicted her good-humoured ponderosity on diminutive donkeys with a relish which seemed to prove that a passion for scenery, like all our passions, is capable of making the best of us pitiless. Adina may not have the shoulders of the Venus of Milo...but I hope it will take more than a bauble like this to make her stoop. Adina espied the first violet of the year glimmering at the root of a cypress. She made haste to rise and gather it, and then wandered further, in the hope of giving it a few companions. Scrope sat and watched her as she moved slowly away, trailing her long shadow on the grass and drooping her head from side to side in her charming quest. It was not, I know, that he felt no impulse to join her; but that he was in love, for the moment, with looking at her from where he sat. Her search carried her some distance and at last she passed out of sight behind a bend in the villa wall. I don't pretend to be sure that I was particularly struck, from this time forward, with something strange in our quiet Adina. She had always seemed to me vaguely, innocently strange; it was part of her charm that in the daily noiseless movement of her life a mystic undertone seemed to murmur "You don't half know me! Perhaps we three prosaic mortals were not quite worthy to know her: yet I believe that if a practised man of the world had whispered to me, one day, over his wine, after Miss Waddington had rustled away from the table, that there was a young lady who, sooner or later, would treat her friends to a first class surprise, I should have laid my finger on his sleeve and told him with a smile that he phrased my own thought. .."That beautiful girl," I said, "seems to me agitated and preoccupied." "That beautiful girl is a puzzle. I don't know what's the matter with her; it's all very painful; she's a very strange creature. I never dreamed there was an obstacle to our happiness--to our union. She has never protested and promised; it's not her way, nor her nature; she is always humble, passive, gentle; but always extremely grateful for every sign of tenderness. Till within three or four days ago, she seemed to me more so than ever; her habitual gentleness took the form of a sort of shrinking, almost suffering, deprecation of my attentions, my petits soins, my lovers nonsense. It was as if they oppressed and mortified her--and she would have liked me to bear more lightly. I did not see directly that it was not the excess of my devotion, but my devotion itself--the very fact of my love and her engagement that pained her. When I did it was a blow in the face. I don't know what under heaven I've done! Women are fathomless creatures. And yet Adina is not capricious, in the common sense... .So these are peines d'amour?" he went on, after brooding a moment. "I didn't know how fiercely I was in love!" Scrope stood staring at her as she thrust out the crumpled note: that she meant that Adina--that Adina had left us in the night--was too large a horror for his unprepared sense...."Good-bye to everything! Think me crazy if you will. I could never explain. Only forget me and believe that I am happy, happy, happy! Adina Beati."... Love is said to be par excellence the egotistical passion; if so Adina was far gone. "I can't promise to forget you," I said; "you and my friend here deserve to be remembered!
Henry James (Adina)
Hey,” whispered Jon, pushing back against the bigger man so that they fit together like spoons. Tom pressed his face against the back of Jon’s neck and let out a small, pleased noise from deep in his chest. Despite how tired he was, his cock had begun to get stiff at Jon’s movements, and now it was a growing, hardening ridge between them. Fuck it. “I want ye again,” he said simply, and pushed his hips forward, testing. When Jon shifted back again and nodded quickly, Tom felt nearly breathless with the lust that shook him.
Bey Deckard (Sacrificed: Heart Beyond the Spires (Baal's Heart, #2))
{On the death of Hale's esteemed friend and fellow scientist, Luther Burbank. Burbank was much beloved by the population unil in an interview he revealed that he was an atheist. After this, the public turned on him and sent him thousands of letters with death threats. This upset the kind-hearted Burbank, who tried to amiably reply to each letter, so much that it ultimately led to his death} . . . he was misled into believing that logic, kindliness, and reason could convince and help the bigoted. He fell sick. The sickness was fated to be his last. What killed Luther Burbank, at just that time and in just that abrupt and tragic fashion, was his baffled, yearning, desperate effort to make people understand. His desire to help them, to clarify their minds, and to induce them to substitute fact for hysteria drove him beyond his strength. He grew suddenly old attempting to make reasonable a people which had been unreasonable through twenty stiff-necked generations. . . He died, not a martyr to truth, but a victim of the fatuity of blasting dogged falsehood.
Wilbur Hale
Kestrel was stiff, her delicate shoes planted in the walkway’s gravel. She had lifted the hem of her storm-green skirts, the gesture of a lady, but he saw how she made fists of the fabric. "I’m sorry,” he said, guessing what troubled her: the memory of the Firstwinter Rebellion. Her dead friends, Arin’s deception, the halls of the governor’s palace choked with corpses. She gave him a narrow look. “Part of you isn’t sorry.” He couldn’t deny it. But she softened and said, “I’m not innocent either. I, too, feel sorry and not sorry about things I’ve done.” She let her dress’s hem fall to the stones and touched three fingers to the back of his hand. Arin forgot, for a moment, where he was and what they were discussing. A marvel: that such a light touch could feel like a whole caress, that his body could ignite so easily. Now she looked amused. “Let’s leave.” He slid a hand beneath her loose hair and thumbed the slope of her neck, feeling the fluttery pulse there. Her expression changed, amusement melting into slow pleasure. He said, “Let’s not go in.” “Arin.” She sighed. “We must go in.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3))
Stop tormenting Derian.” “Me?” Edgar gaped at her with a clearly fake look of innocence. “Yes, you.” “And what about you? When will you stop tormenting him?” Edgar moved past the young queen to approach the unmoving captain. He circled the man as though he were checking out a statue on display “I’m not tormenting him; why would you say that?” “You have the poor guy believing you actually intend to marry him.” Edgar stopped to fix the captain’s collar, raising it up high and stiff around his neck. “I do intend to marry him.” Eena followed her immortal watchdog and folded down the captain’s collar, repositioning it as it had been. “Oh please,” Edgar groaned. “You’ve had two opportunities to do so, and on both occasions you turned him down.” Edgar elevated the captain’s elbow—adjusting him like a mannequin—leaving it in an awkward position. “The council expressed a desire for you to marry, and you nearly hyperventilated over the mere suggestion. And just recently, due to his own paranoia, Derian all but begged you to marry him. Your refusal couldn’t have been more swift or more adamant.” Eena returned the captain’s elbow to his side as she retorted, “I’m only seventeen, Edgar! I have no desire to marry anyone right now. But when I am ready, Derian will be my husband.” Edgar took hold of the captain’s outreaching arm and shoved it forcefully down. “He will not.” “He will so!” Eena raised the arm back to where it had been and warned her rival, “Don’t touch him again, Edgarmetheus!” “Fine, fine,” the immortal ceded. Then with a smug grin he added, “If this had been Ian, you would never have let me touch him in the first place.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Eena, The Two Sisters (The Harrowbethian Saga #4))
two things will stop them—Christmas and tragedy. He dismounts his albino steed, the horse’s pinked nostrils flaring, dirty mane matted with ice. The single-rig saddle is snow-crusted as well, its leather and cloth components—the mochila and shabrack—frozen stiff. He rubs George’s neck, speaking in soft, low tones he knows will calm the animal, telling him he did a good day’s work and that a warm stable awaits with feed and fresh water. The mule skinner opens his wallet, collects the pint of bust-head he bought at a bodega in Silverton, and swallows the remaining mouthful, whiskey
Blake Crouch (Abandon)
I got back from the University late in the afternoon, had a quick swim, ate my dinner, and bolted off to the Stanton house to see Adam. I saw him sitting out on the galley reading a book (Gibbon, I remember) in the long twilight. And I saw Anne. I was sitting in the swing with Adam, when she came out the door. I looked at her and knew that it had been a thousand years since I had last seen her back at Christmas when she had been back at the Landing on vacation from Miss Pound's School. She certainly was not now a little girl wearing round-toed, black patent-leather, flat-heeled slippers held on by a one-button strap and white socks held up by a dab of soap. She was wearing a white linen dress, cut very straight, and the straightness of the cut and the stiffness of the linen did nothing in the world but suggest by a kind of teasing paradox the curves and softnesses sheathed by the cloth. She had her hair in a knot on the nape of her neck, and a little white ribbon around her head, and she was smiling at me with a smile which I had known all my life but which was entirely new, and saying, 'Hello, Jack,' while I held her strong narrow hand in mine and knew that summer had come.
Robert Penn Warren
She opened the door of the room and went into the corridor, and then she began her wanderings. It was a long corridor and it branched into other corridors and it led her up short flights of steps which mounted to others again. There were doors and doors, and there were pictures on the walls. Sometimes they were pictures of dark, curious landscapes, but oftenest they were portraits of men and women in queer, grand costumes made of satin and velvet. She found herself in one long gallery whose walls were covered with these portraits. She had never thought there could be so many in any house. She walked slowly down this place and stared at the faces which also seemed to stare at her. She felt as if they were wondering what a little girl from India was doing in their house. Some were pictures of children—little girls in thick satin frocks which reached to their feet and stood out about them, and boys with puffed sleeves and lace collars and long hair, or with big ruffs around their necks. She always stopped to look at the children, and wonder what their names were, and where they had gone, and why they wore such odd clothes. There was a stiff, plain little girl rather like herself. She wore a green brocade dress and held a green parrot on her finger. Her eyes had a sharp, curious look. "Where do you live now?" said Mary aloud to her. "I wish you were here." Surely no other little girl ever spent such a queer morning. It seemed as if there was no one in all the huge rambling house but her own small self, wandering about up-stairs and down, through narrow passages and wide ones, where it seemed to her that no one but herself had ever walked. Since so many rooms had been built, people must have lived in them, but it all seemed so empty that she could not quite believe it true.
Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden)
He is tangled in Isabelle's arms, he is curtained by Isabelle's hair, he is touching Isabelle's body, he is lost in Isabelle, in her smell and her taste and the silk of her skin. He is onstage, the music pounding, the floor shaking, the audience cheering, his heart beating beating beating in time with the drumbeat. He is laughing with Clary, dancing with Clary, eating with Clary, running through the streets of Brooklyn with Clary, they are children together, they are one half of a whole, they hold hands and squeeze tight and pledge never to let go. He is going cold, stiff, the life draining out of him, he is below, in the dark, clawing his way to the light, fingernails scraping dirt, mouth filled with dirt, eyes clogged with dirt, he is straining, reaching, dragging himself up toward the sky, and when he reaches it, he opens his mouth wide but does not breathe, for he no longer needs to breathe, only to feed. And he is so very hungry. He is sinking his teeth into the neck of an angel's child, he is drinking the light. He is bearing a Mark, and it burns. He is raising his face to meet the gaze of an angel, he is flayed by the fury of angel fire, and yet still, impudent and bloodless, he lives. He is in a cage. He is in hell. He is bent over the broken body of a beautiful girl, he is praying to whatever god that will listen, please let her live, anything to let her live. He is giving away that which is most precious to him, and he is doing so willingly, so that his friends will survive. He is, again, with Isabelle, always with Isabelle, the holy flame of their love encompassing them both, and there is pain, and there is exquisite joy, and his veins burn with angel fire and he is the Simon he once was and the Simon he now will be, he endures and he is reborn, he is blood and flesh and a spark of the divine. He is Nephilim.
Cassandra Clare (Angels Twice Descending (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #10))
Samsa looked down in dismay at his naked body. How ill-formed it was! Worse than ill-formed. It possessed no means of self-defense. Smooth white skin (covered by only a perfunctory amount of hair) with fragile blue blood vessels visible through it; a soft, unprotected belly; ludicrous, impossibly shaped genitals; gangly arms and legs (just two of each!); a scrawny, breakable neck; an enormous, misshapen head with a tangle of stiff hair on its crown; two absurd ears, jutting out like a pair of seashells. Was this thing really him? Could a body so preposterous, so easy to destroy (no shell for protection, no weapons for attack), survive in the world?
Haruki Murakami (سامسای عاشق)
Mrs. Harris’s coach should be here any minute. I trek toward the curb, but just as I reach it, the latch on my bag drops open again, and the contents spill into the snow. Cursing, I bend to retrieve my things, but a violent gale whips me backward into the slush, snatching petticoats, chemises, and knickers into the air. “No!” I cry, scrambling after my clothes and stuffing them one by one back into my bag, glancing over my shoulder to make sure no one has caught a glimpse of my underthings dancing across the street. A man snores on a stoop nearby, but no one else is out. Relieved, I scuttle through the snow, jamming skirts and books and socks into the bag and gritting my teeth as the wind burns my ears. A clatter of hooves breaks through the howling tempest, and I catch sight of a cab headed my way. My stomach clenches as I snap my bag closed once more. That must be Mrs. Harris’s coach. I’m really going to do this. But as I make my way toward it, a white ghost of fabric darts in front of me. My eyes widen. I missed a pair of knickers. Panic jolting through my every limb, I sprint after it, but the wind is too quick. My underclothes gust right into the carriage door, twisting against its handle as the cab eases to a stop. I’m almost to it, fingers reaching, when the door snaps open and a boy about my age steps out. “Miss Whitlock?” he asks, his voice so quiet I almost don’t hear it over the wind. Trying not to draw attention to the undergarments knotted on the door just inches from his hand, I give him a stiff nod. “Yes, sir, that’s me.” “Let me get your things,” he says, stepping into the snow and reaching for my handbag. “Uh—it’s broken, so I’d—I’d better keep it,” I mumble, praying he can’t feel the heat of my blush from where he is. “Very well, then.” He turns back toward the coach and stops. Artist, no. My heart drops to my shoes. “Oh…” He reaches toward the fabric knotted tightly in the latch. “Is…this yours?” Death would be a mercy right about now. I swallow hard. “Um, yes.” He glances at me, and blood floods my neck. “I mean, no! I’ve never seen those before in my life!” He stares at me a long moment. “I…” I lurch past him and yank at the knickers. The fabric tears, and the sound of it is so loud I’m certain everyone in the world must have heard it. “Here, why don’t I—” He reaches out to help detangle the fabric from the door. “No, no, no, I’ve got it just fine,” I say, leaping in front of him and tugging on the knot with shaking hands. Why. Why, why, why, why, why? Finally succeeding at freeing the knickers, I make to shove them back into my bag, but another gust of wind rips them from my grasp. The boy and I both stare after them as they dart into the sky, spreading out like a kite so that every damn stitch is visible. He clears his throat. “Should we—ah—go after them?” “No,” I say faintly. “I—I think I’ll manage without…
Jessica S. Olson (A Forgery of Roses)
Elspeth reached up a tentative hand to comfort him, palming the cheek that wasn’t covered with woad. He wrapped an arm around her waist and tugged her closer. Her lips parted. His tongue swept in. Her belly clenched, and a warm glow settled between her legs. He left her lips and began kissing her chin, her cheeks, her neck. “Ach! Ye’re sweet, lass.” Pity dissipated like morning mist. Instead, little wisps of pleasure followed his mouth’s path. The stubble of his beard grazed the tops of her breasts, and her nipples tightened almost painfully. She sucked her breath over her teeth to keep from crying out in pleasure and surprise when his palm covered her breast, the pressure sweet even through the stiff boning of her pink silk bodice.
Connie Mason (Sins of the Highlander)
Being held by him, kissed and mastered, taken under and swept away, enthralled her in a way she—an independent woman if nothing else in this life—could not have understood until forced to understand. From the tips of her toes to the ends of her hair, finally, a man's strength dominated her. Suddenly, she understood why women wanted so deeply. Why they wanted him. If they sensed even one-tenth of his passion, his power, his vitality, they would break his door down to get to him. And this, she learned as quickly as any pupil could, was what had been missing before: Zachariah Garrett's full participation. In all fairness to the dare, she locked her arms around his neck and consented to a draw. He murmured something low and unintelligible, his wine glass dropping to the grass with a soft thump. The arm around her waist tightened, the other climbing, his fingers delving into her loose chignon and tilting her head as he deepened the kiss, drawing down on her bottom lip and sucking. Instinct had her following his lead, shifting to better accommodate, parrying each thrust of his tongue with her own, rising on the tips of her toes to better sink into him, to gorge herself in vast, voracious gulps. The frantic nature of their joining melted her stiff posture and her cocksure bearing, rolling through her in a languid, glorious wave of sensation and recognition. It was a peculiar time to realize she had built her sense of self around an erroneous ideal. She was no different than other women.
Tracy Sumner (Tides of Passion)
Rio lowered his head and licked Nella from her shoulder to her neck. “You feel it,” he whispered. “You feel her wanting him. I can feel you feeling it.” He chuckled. “You can feel me feeling you feel it.” His leggings stretched over his cock, huge and stiff, the length of it pressing her backside. “You want me there,” he said. “Yes.” “You don’t know why, and you are not ready to take me. I’d hurt you if I took you now.” Nella dragged in a breath. His tongue moved to her ear, tracing the shell of it, breath burning. “It would hurt,” he said. “And you’d love it. I’m Shareem. I could   make you love it.” “Yes,” she gasped. “But I won’t.” He teased the tips of her breasts with slow touches. “I’ll never hurt you. I’ll give you only the good kind of hurt.
Allyson James (Rio (Tales of the Shareem, #2))
Never again will I allow pride (Leviathan) to control my life (Job 41). Never again will I allow my heart to become hardened (Job 41:24). Never again will I allow the Holy Spirit’s power to not flow in my life. The scales of Leviathan have been ripped from my life (Job 41:15). Never again will I allow stubbornness to control my life, for stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry, and I am not stiff-necked (1 Sam. 15:23). Never again will I walk in vanity and vain glory (Gal. 5:26, KJV). Never again will I walk in selfish ambition (James 3:14). Never again will I speak in a boastful way (James 4:16). Never again will I cause another person to stumble (Mal. 2:8). Never again will I walk in offense (Ps. 119:165, KJV). Never again will I give myself to drunkenness (Eph. 5:18).
John Eckhardt (Prayers that Activate Blessings: Experience the Protection, Power & Favor of God for You & Your Loved Ones)
. I thought that was why, as I stood before a painting of a young girl in half-light, there was something that was both guarded and vulnerable in her gaze. It was not the contradiction of a single instant, but rather it was as if the painter had caught her in two separate states of emotion, two different moods, and managed to contain them within the single image. There would have been a multitude of such instants captured in the canvas, between the time she first sat down before the painter and the time she rose, neck and upper body stiff, from the final sitting. That layering—in effect a kind of temporal blurring, or simultaneity—was perhaps ultimately what distinguished painting from photography. I wondered if that was the reason why contemporary painting seemed to me so much flatter, to lack the mysterious depth of these works, because so many painters now worked from photographs.
Katie Kitamura (Intimacies)
Officers approached the 43-year-old Garner on July 17 in a high-crime area near the Staten Island Ferry Terminal and accused him of illegally selling untaxed cigarettes—the kind of misdemeanor that Broken Windows policing aims to curb. Garner had already been arrested more than 30 times, mostly for selling loose cigarettes but also for marijuana possession and other offenses. As captured in a cell-phone video, the 350-pound man loudly objected to the charge and broke free when an officer tried to handcuff him. The officer then put his arm around Garner’s neck and pulled him to the ground. Garner repeatedly stated that he couldn’t breathe, and then went eerily stiff and quiet. After a seemingly interminable time on the ground without assistance, Garner was finally put on a stretcher to be taken to an emergency room. He died of cardiac arrest before arriving at the hospital. Garner suffered from severe asthma and diabetes, among other ailments, which contributed to his heart attack.
Heather Mac Donald (The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe)
She doesn't look half as good in her leather pants as I do, and she's only got half the ass." Liam slid one hand down and squeezed her bottom. "Damn right. You're the sexiest woman here." "You just like me in leather." "I like you out of leather more." His smile faded when she lurched to the side. "Why didn't you tell me you were so stiff? You can barely walk." "I walked over here just fine." "Because you were jealous." A slow smile spread across his face. "Of Tanya." "Don't be ridiculous." His eyes softened and he turned, pulling her against him. Leaning down to brush his lips over her mouth, he said, "You care." "Maybe I fake care because we're fake engaged." Her pulse kicked up a notch as he nuzzled her neck. "Maybe you really care even though we're fake engaged." Feeling bold and brave in her biker leather, she said, "What if I did care? What would you do about it?" "I'd take a shortcut home," Liam murmured. "And then I'd take advantage of the fact that you can't close your legs.
Sara Desai (The Dating Plan (Marriage Game, #2))
When I woke up in the morning I was in bad shape. My neck was stiff and I couldn’t turn it. We weren’t pros, so there was no such thing as a physical therapist or masseuse to fix it. The best I could do was just rub in some Bengay and hope for the best. When we got to the Czech Republic a couple of days later, my neck still had zero mobility. In order to look to the side, I had to move my entire body. As if that weren’t enough to worry about, we were competing against Rachael, who was now teamed up with the Russian guy who had beaten me as a junior. His name was Evgeni Smagin, and he wore his dark hair greased back. The guy just looked slick from head to toe. I turned to Aneta. “This is so not good,” I told her. “They are like the ultimate, ultimate couple. They’re going to beat us.” Aneta looked very upset, so I guess something inside me said, “Derek, man up!” My neck was messed up and I was about to get my ass kicked by my archnemesis and my ex. It couldn’t get much worse than that.
Derek Hough (Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion)
Hey," she whispered to Malachi. "When are Irin considered adults?" He was following what looked to be a quiet argument between Sari and Mala. "Full adults? Around sixty to seventy-five years. When we're finished with our training. Why?" She flushed. Wow. "So, you're quite the cradle robber, aren't you?" Malachi turned to her abruptly. "What? No, I'm not." "I'm not even thirty. That's like... a teenager to you guys." She could see the flush crawl up his neck, even behind the beard. "You're human. You mature differently." "But I'm not really human." His shoulders were stiff and his posture screamed his discomfort. It was really a shame Ava found teasing him to be so amusing. "I mean, what would your mom say if she found out you were mated-and I mean well and thoroughly mated- to what she would basically consider a kid?" He wiped a hand over his forehead. "Heaven above, please stop talking." "So are we going to stop fooling around now?" He groaned. "Ava." "I'm just yanking your chain." "You're going to have to speak up, because the mental lecture my mother's memory is giving me right now is rather loud.
Elizabeth Hunter
There was a boy at our school. He was the most extraordinary lad I ever came across. I believe he really liked study. He used to get into awful rows for sitting up in bed and reading Greek; and as for French irregular verbs, there was simply no keeping him away from them. He was full of weird and unnatural notions about being a credit to his parents and an honour to the school; and he yearned to win prizes, and grow up and be a clever man, and had all those sort of weak-minded ideas. I never knew such a strange creature, yet harmless, mind you, as the babe unborn. Well, that boy used to get ill about twice a week, so that he couldn’t go to school. There never was such a boy to get ill. If there was any known disease going within ten miles of him, he had it, and had it badly. He would “take bronchitis in the dog-days, and have hayfever at Christmas. After a six weeks’ period of drought, he would be stricken down with rheumatic fever; and he would go out in a November fog and come home with a sunstroke. They put him under laughing-gas one year, poor lad, and drew all his teeth, and gave him a false set, because he suffered so terribly with toothache; and then it turned to neuralgia and ear-ache. He was never without a cold, except once for nine weeks while he had scarlet fever; and he always had chilblains. He had to stop in bed when he was ill, and eat chicken and custards and hot-house grapes; and he would lie there and sob, because they wouldn’t let him do Latin exercises, and took his German grammar away from him. And we other boys, who would have sacrificed ten terms of our school life for the sake of being ill for a day, and had no desire whatever to give our parents any excuse for being stuck-up about us, couldn’t catch so much as a stiff neck. We fooled about in draughts, and it did us good, and freshened us up; and we took things to make us sick, and they made us fat, and gave us an appetite. Nothing we could think of seemed to make us ill until the holidays began. Then, on the breaking-up day, we caught colds, and whooping cough, and all kinds of disorders, which lasted till the term recommenced; when, in spite of everything we could manoeuvre to the contrary, we would get suddenly well again, and be better than ever.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat)
I stare at my Erudite clothes while the others strip off their outer layers of clothing. “No time for modesty, Stiff!” Christina says, giving me a pointed look. I know she’s right, so I pull off the red shirt I was wearing and put on the blue one instead. I glance at Fernando and Marcus to make sure they aren’t watching, and change out of my pants too. I have to roll up the jeans four times, and when I belt them, they bunch at the top like the neck of a crushed paper bag. “Did she just call you “Stiff’?” Fernando says. “Yeah,” I say. “I transferred into Dauntless from Abnegation.” “Huh.” He frowns. “That’s quite a shift. That kind of leap in personality between generations is almost genetically impossible these days.” “Sometimes personality has nothing to do with a person’s choice of faction,” I say, thinking of my mother. She left Dauntless not because she was ill-suited for it but because it was safer to be Divergent in Abnegation. And then there’s Tobias, who switched to Dauntless to escape his father. “There are many factor to consider.” To escape the man I have made my ally. I feel a twinge of guilt. “Keep talking like that and they’ll never discover you’re not really Erudite,” Fernando says.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
Brian spared her a glance. "I'm just angry altogether." "Oh,that's right." Since violence seemed to be the mood of the day, she gave in to it and stabbed a finger into his shoulder. "You're just angry period. He's got some twisted idea that I don't think he's good enough to defend me against a drunk bully. Well, I have news for you,you hardheaded Irish horse's ass." Now that her own temper was fired, she curled her hand into a fist and used it to thump his chest. "I was defending myself just fine." "You half Irish, stiff-necked birdbrain, he's twice your size and then some." "I was handling it, but I appreciate your help." "The hell you do.It's just like with everything else.You've got to do it all yourself.No one's as smart as you, or as clever, or as capable.Oh it's fine to give me a whistle if you need a diversion." "Is that what you think?" She was so livid her voice was barely a croak. "That I make love with you for a diversion? You vile, insulting, disgusting son of a bitch." She raised her own fists, and might have used them, but Travis stepped in and gripped Brian by the shirt.His voice was quiet, almost matter-of-fact. "I ought to take you apart." "Oh,Travis." Adelia merely pressed her fingers to her eyes. "Dad,don't you dare." At wit's end, Keeley threw up her hands. "I've got an idea.Why don't we all just beat each other senseless today and be done with it?
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
To her astonishment, he did not bear her to the floor, but lifted her in his arms instead, so that her legs wrapped around his waist. He held her weight easily, bracing her against the wall for balance, one arm protecting her from the roughness of the plaster. Her eyes widened as she felt the hard, blunt shape of his sex nudging, probing, sliding easily inside her. She was filled, impaled, her body open and helpless against the heavy intrusion. Gasping in pleasure, she clutched at the backs of his shoulders, her fingers clinging into the soft wool of his coat. It felt strangely erotic to be clasped against his fully clothed body, her bare skin tingling from the abrasion of fabric. Hungering for a taste of his skin, she tugged at his black stock and buried her mouth against the damp side of his neck. "Do you love me?" he smattered, deliberately allowing her weight to press downward, forcing her even harder onto his stiff erection. "Yes... oh, Grant..." She arched and cried out as pleasure crested inside her, spreading through her in deep, rolling waves. "Tell me," he said harshly, moving in deeper, slower thrusts that drove straight into the core of her body. She writhed, her legs flexing as she felt the ebbing sensation build again. "I love you," she gasped. "Love you... love you..." The words sent him over the dizzying edge of rapture, and he drove inside her with a groan, all his senses dissolving in blissful release.
Lisa Kleypas (Someone to Watch Over Me (Bow Street Runners, #1))
At first it seemed to be no more than a chance ray of light beamed into the vestibule by the shifting of a tree-bough between house and street lamp, but as we kept our eyes glued to it we saw that it was a form - a tall, attenuated, skeletally-thin form moving stealthily in the shadow. Slowly the thing emerged from the gloom of the doorway, and despite the warning I had had, I felt a prickling sensation at the back of my neck just above my collar, and a feeling as of sudden chill ran through my forearms. It was tall, as we had been told, fully six feet from its bare-boned feet to hairless, parchment-covered skull; and the articulation of its skeleton could be seen plainly through the leathery skin that clung to the gaunt, staring bones. The nose was large, high-bridged and haughty, like the beak of a falcon or eagle, and the chin was prominent beneath the brownish sheath of skin that stretched drum-tight across it. The eyes were closed and showed only as twin depressions in the skull-like countenance, but the mummified lips had retracted to show a double line of teeth in a mirthless grin. Its movements were irregular and stiff, like the movements of some monstrous mechanical doll or, as Edina Laurace had expressed it, like a marionette worked by unseen wires. But once it had emerged from the doorway it moved with shocking quickness. Jerkily, and with exaggeratedly high knee-action, it crossed the lawn, came to the sidewalk, turned on its parchment-soled feet as if on a pivot, and started after de Grandin. ("The Man In Crescent Terrace")
Seabury Quinn (The Mummy Walks Among Us)
Hear that? Living skulls! What are we doing here? What war at Troy? Does anyone care? Gods of love and hate! Aren't they the same god? All of us, all our lives, searching for the one perfect enemy- you, me, Helen, Paris, Menelaos, all those crazy Greeks! all those hapless Trojans! my dear beloved Jack! Jack and I fought all the time. I remember almost nothing but the fights - every fight a war to end all wars, you know how it goes, a righteous war, a final war, the worst fight you've ever had, you can't do this again, this time you'll get things straight one way or the other or it's over, he'll see what you mean, see you're right, fights aren't about anything except being right, are they? once and for all. You feel old. Wrong. Clumsy. You sit in two chairs on the porch. Or the kitchen. Or the front hall. Hell arrives. It's as if the war was already there, waiting, the two of you poured into it like wet concrete. The chairs you sit in are the wrong chairs, they're the chairs you never sit in because they're so uncomfortable, you keep thinking you should move but you don't, your neck hurts, you hate your neck, evening closes in. Birds move about the yard. Hell yawns. War pours out of both of you, steaming and stinking. You rush backward from it and become children, every still sentence slamming you back into the child you still are, every sentence not what you meant to say at all but the meaning keeps flaring and contracting, as sparks drop on gasoline, Fuckshit this! Fuckshit that! no reason to live. You're getting vertigo. He's being despicable. Your mother was like this. Stop whimpering. No use asking, What is this about? Don't leave the room. I have to leave the room. Breathless, blaming, I'm not blaming! How is this not blaming! Hours pass or do they. You say the same things or are they different things? Hell smells stale. Fights aren't about anything, fights are about themselves. You're stiff. You hate these chairs. Nothing is resolved. It is too dark to see. You both go to bed and doze slightly, touching slightly. In the night a nightmare. Some giant bird, or insect, some flapping thing, trying to settle on the back of your neck, you can't see what it is or get it off. Pure fear. Scream unearthly. He jerks you awake. Oh sweetie, he says. He is using his inside voice, his most inside voice. The distance between that voice and the fight voice measures your whole world. How can a voice change so. You are saved. He has saved you. He sees you saved. An easement occurs, as night dew on leaves. And yet (you think suddenly) you yourself do not possess sort of inside voice - no wonder he's lonely. You this cannot offer this refuge, cannot save him, not ever, and, although physiological in origin, or genetic, or who knows, you understand the lack is felt by him as a turning away. No one can heal this. You both decide without words to just - skip it. You grip one another. In the night, in the silence, the grip slowly loosens and silence washes you out somewhere onto a shore of sleep. Morning arrives. Troy is still there. You hear from below the clatter of everyone putting on their armour. You go to the window.
Anne Carson (Norma Jeane Baker of Troy)
Kestrel…do you really want to marry the prince?” “I thought you didn’t want to talk about him.” “Want and need aren’t the same.” His mouth hovered near hers. “Tell me. Is this engagement really your choice? Because I don’t believe it. Not unless I hear you say so.” The glass against her back was a blaze of cold. She shivered. He was so close. All she had to do was uncurl her fingers from the balustrade and lean forward into him. It felt inevitable, like an overfull cup ready to spill. The rasp of his unshaved cheek brushed hers. “Do you?” he said. “Do you want him?” “Yes.” “Prove it,” Arin murmured into her ear. The heat of him settled against her. His palm squeaked against the glass by her head. “Arin.” She could barely speak. “Let me pass.” His lips caught at the base of her neck, slid upward. “Prove that you want him,” he said into her hair. His kiss traveled across her cheek. It brushed her forehead, then rested right on the golden line that marked her engagement. “I do,” she said, but her voice sounded like she was drowning. His kiss was there, waiting near her lips. “Liar,” he breathed. Her hand came between them, and pushed. She was shaken, startled by the way she had shoved him. She felt suddenly, cruelly starved--and angry at herself for this hunger of her own making. “I said, let me go. Or will you hold me here against my will?” He recoiled. His boots scraped back. She couldn’t see his expression, only the way he snatched his arms to his sides and stood stiff. He covered his face as if it weren’t already hidden by the dark. He muttered something into his palms, then they fell away. “I’m sorry,” he said. He tore open the curtain, and was gone.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2))
Moses Come. When? Now. This way. I will guide you. Wait! Not so fast. Hurry. You. I said you. Who am I? Certainly I will be with thee. Is nothing, then, what it is? I had rather the rod had stayed a rod and not become a serpent. Come. Quickly. While the blast of my breath opens the sea. Stop. I'm thirsty. Drink water from this rock. But the rock moves on before us. Go with it and drink. I'm tired. Can't you stop for a while? You have already tarried too long. But if I am to follow you I must know your name. I will be that I will be. You have set the mountain on fire. Come. Climb. I will be lost in the terror of your cloud. You are stiff-necked and of a stiff-necked people. YOUR poeple, Lord, Indubitably. Your wrath waxes hot. I burn. Thus to become great. Show me, then, they glory. No man may see my face and live. But I will cover you with my hand while I pass by. My people turn away and cry because the skin of my face shines Did you not expect this? I cannot enter the tent of the congregation while your cloud covers it and your glory fills the tabernacle. Look. It moves before us again. Can you not stay still? Come. Follow. But this river is death. The waters are dark and deep. Swim. Now will I see your face? Where are you taking me now? Up the mountain with me before I die. But death bursts into light. The death is what it will be. These men: they want to keep us here in three tabernacles. But the cloud moves. The water springs from a rock that journeys on. You are contained in me. But how can we contain you in ark or tabernacle or You cannot. Where, then? In your heart. Come. Still? I will be with thee. Who am I? You are that I will be. Come.
Madeleine L'Engle (The Weather of the Heart: Selected Poems)
Then something moved on the hall floor, just outside the bars. Her eyes swung there. Sunday Justice sat on his haunches staring at her dark eyes with his green ones. Her heart raced. Locked up alone all these weeks, and now this creature could step wizardlike between the bars. Be with her. Sunday Justice broke the stare and looked down the hall, toward the inmates' talk. Kya was terrified that he would leave her and walk to them. But he looked back at her, blinked in obligatory boredom, and squeezed easily between the bars. Inside. Kya breathed out. Whispered, "Please stay." Taking his time, he sniffed his way around the cell, researching the damp cement walls, the exposed pipes, and the sink, all the while compelled to ignore her. A small crack in the wall was the most interesting to him. She knew because he flicked his thoughts on his tail. He ended his tour next to the small bed. Then, just like that, he jumped onto her lap and circled, his large white paws finding soft purchase on her thighs. Kya sat frozen, her arms slightly raised, so as not to interfere with his maneuvering. Finally, he settled as though he had nested here every night of his life. He looked at her. Gently she touched his head, then scratched his neck. A loud purr erupted like a current. She closed her eyes at such easy acceptance. A deep pause in a lifetime of longing. Afraid to move, she sat stiff until her leg cramped, then shifted slightly to stretch her muscles. Sunday Justice, without opening his eyes, slid off her lap and curled up next to her side. She lay down fully clothed, and they both nestled in. She watched him sleep, then followed. Not falling toward a jolt, but a drifting, finally, into an empty calm. Once during the night, she opened her eyes and watched him sleeping on his back, forepaws stretched one way, hind paws the other.
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
And whatever you do, do not break the mirror.” Without looking away from Mari, Bowe asked, “Why no’?” This seemed an ideal solution to him. Jillian murmured, “The shock could . . . it could kill her.” No’ ideal. “I want to be alone with her,” Bowe said. She nodded. “We’re going to the binding ceremony. Good luck, Bowen.” After they closed the door, Bowe could still hear Mari’s father say, “Jill, why are you so confident in MacRieve?” “Because he won’t ever rest until he has her back with him,” she replied before they descended the stairs. Alone with Mari, Bowe said, “Lass, we’re about to take a break from the mirror for a bit. How am I to marry you in front of all those witches in an eerie, embarrassing ceremony if you will no’ look away?” No reaction. He put his arms around her waist and leaned down to kiss her neck, closing his eyes with pleasure just to be close to her once more. “Doona wish to turn from your glass? Verra well. Then ask it some questions while you’re here. Ask it how much your Lykae’s missed you.” Had she blinked? At her other ear, he murmured, “Ask it who Bowe loves.” Her lips parted. Her body seemed to begin thrumming, as if she was struggling with everything she had in her to be free. “Aye, that’s right. Ask it who’s the only one Bowe’s ever been in love with.” He brushed the back of his fingers down her cheek, willing her to meet his gaze in the mirror. “And the last question we’re goin’ tae have before you come away with me . . . ask it how damned good our lives are goin’ tae be together, just as soon as you turn tae kiss me.” Her brows drew together, and her stiff posture tightened, then relaxed. Her eyelids slid closed. “There now, that’s it, beautiful girl,” he asked, easing her face toward him. Behind her, he pressed the mirror until it flipped over, revealing the back of the frame. “Now, kiss me, witch.
Kresley Cole (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night (Immortals After Dark, #3))
At the sound of the heavy knob turning, he cursed under his breath. She was coming in, damn it! To stop Maria before she ruined everything, he grabbed her about the waist, hauled her against him, and sealed his mouth to hers. At first she seemed too stunned to do anything. When after a moment, he felt her trying to draw back from him, he caught her behind the neck in an iron grip. “Oh,” Gran said in a stiff voice. “Beg pardon.” Dimly he heard the door close and footsteps retreating, but before he could let Maria go, a searing pain shot through his groin, making him see stars. Blast her, the woman had kneed him in the ballocks! As he doubled over, fighting to keep from passing out, she snapped, “That was for making me look like a whore, too!” When she turned for the door, he choked out, “Wait!” “Why should I?” she said, heading inexorably forward. “You’ve done nothing but insult and humiliate me before your family.” Still reeling, he presented his only ace in the hole, “If you return to town,” he called after her, “what will you do about your Nathan?” That halted her, thank God. He forced himself to straighten, though the room spun a little. “You still need my help, you know.” Slowly, she faced him. “So far you haven’t demonstrated any genuine intent to offer help,” she said icily. “But I will.” He gulped down air, struggling for mastery over his pain. “Tomorrow we’ll return to town and hire a runner. I know one who’s very adept. You can tell him everything you’ve learned so far about your fiancés disappearance, and I’ll make sure he pursues it.” “And in exchange, all I have to do is pretend to be a whore?” He grimaced. Christ, she felt strongly about this. He should have known that any woman who would thrust a sword at him wouldn’t be easily bullied. “No.” “No, what?” she demanded. “You needn’t pretend to be a whore. Just don’t leave. This can still work.” “I don’t see how,” she shot back. “You’ve already said we met in a brothel. Telling them we’re thieves is no better. I won’t have them thinking that we’re about to steal you blind.” “I’ll come up with some story, don’t worry,” he clipped out. “Something else to make me sound like a low, grasping schemer?” “No” She had him cornered, and she knew it. “Trust me, your background alone is enough to alarm Gran. She pretends not to mind it right now, but she won’t let it go on. Just stay. I’ll make it right, I swear.
Sabrina Jeffries
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))
Without thinking, she delivered a stinging slap, all her hurt and disappointment behind the impact. The imprint of her hand on his cheek shocked her. And though she immediately regretted her childish action, pride forbade her to own up to it. "Mind your manners, next time, Sinclair!" Across the yard, Luter Hicks halted and burst into guffaws. "Guess she told you, lapdog! Hey, honey," he called to Willow, "if he ain't satisfying you, how 'bout lettin' me warm your bed tonight?" An angry growl rolled out of Rider's throat. He pulled Willow up on her tiptoes, mashing her breasts against his hard chest. His fingers plowed through her thick tresses, knocking her bonnet off and scattering her hair pins. Then clasping her chin between his thumb and fingers, he tipped her head back and took fierce possession of her mouth. When he finally released her lips, he set her down a little harder than necessary. "I'll kill the first man who even blinks at you," he ground out loud enough for Hicks to hear. Then in a low, no-nonsense voice,meant for her ears alone, he ordered, "Kiss me and make it look good!" Willow glanced over at Hick's eager face and cringed. Her pride be damned! Sinclair was by far the lesser evil. She swept her arms around his neck. "Whatever you say...lover," she hissed in his ear. Standing on tiptoe again, she slowly brought his head down and pasted her lips to his. But he would have none of her stiff-lipped kiss and increased the pressure on her mouth until she opened to his brazen tongue. As the kiss deepened, he spread one big hand at the base of her spine and molded her stomach against his hard, hot need. Willow's blood sang, her anger instantly gone in the heat of the moment. "Mr. Sinclair!" Miriam interrupted in a berating tone. "You degrade this young lady with your public display. Unhand her at once!" Without his supporting arms, Willow's weak knees barely held her upright. She stumbled backwards, thoroughly stunned by her backfiring emotions. A loud crash snapped her to her senses when Luther threw his plate against the house and stomped off to the bunkouse. Rider collected himself and stooped to pick up Willow's discarded bonnet. Carefully brushing the dust off, he handed it to her without a word. Willow took her hat, gave him a perfunctory nod, and ground her heel into his toe as she pivoted to enter the house. Unaware of the young man's pained expression, Miriam followed on the girl's heels. "Talk about circuses!" she exclaimed, closing the door behind them. "It was just an act for Hick's benefit," Willow defended. Feeling the need to escape Miriam's all-too-knowing glance,she headed down the hall to her room. A heavy boot kicked at the door. Miriam opened it and Rider limped in. "Where do you want these?" he growled testily from behind a tower of packages. "Put them on the settee for now, thank you," Miriam said. "I'd have you carry them back to Willow's room but it isn't a healthy place for you right now." Rider only grunted,dumped the bundles, and returned to the wagon for another armload.
Charlotte McPherren (Song of the Willow)
Archer arrived early the next morning. Grey was still asleep on the sofa in his study when he heard tapping on the window. He opened his eyes and immediately regretted it as the sharp light of day pierced his brain. Squinting, he tried to focus on his brother, since he already knew who his visitor was. Only one person ever announced himself so annoyingly. “Open the bloody window, Grey!” Grumbling, Grey slowly rose into a full sitting position. His back and neck were stiff and his head felt as though someone had kicked it repeatedly from all sides. And his mouth! Christ, he didn’t want to even think about what might have died inside it. He staggered to the window, unlatched it and swung it open. “What the hell do you want?” Wide-eyed, Archer made a tsking noise. “Is that any way to greet your favorite brother?” “You’re not my favorite,” Grey scowled. Unaffected, Archer easily adapted. “Is that any way to greet your second-favorite brother?” Grey grinned, he couldn’t help it. Archer had always had a knack for making him smile, just as he had a knack for pissing him off as well. “I’m hung over and feel like shite. What do you want?” “You look like shite. What’s this I hear about you making an appearance at Saint’s Row last night?” “Rose tell you that?” “She did. I’m surprised you took such a risk just to see her.” Grey thought of her in that teal gown, the lights illuminating the luster of her skin. “It was worth it.” “Worth it, eh? So worth it you immediately came home and got sloshed.” “Something like that. And then Rose came home and I got even more sloshed.” Archer’s expression turned to concern as he leaned against the window frame. “What happened?” Grey shrugged. He’d already revealed more than he’d wanted. “Suffice it to say she now knows what kind of man I am.” His brother snorted. “That girl has always known exactly what kind of man you are.” The words were plain enough, but there was a cryptic edge to them that had Grey puzzled. “What the hell does that mean?” Arch shook his head. “Come to the stables with me. I want to show you something.” He looked down at himself. He was wearing the same clothes he’d worn last night and he was wrinkled beyond hope. Not to mention that he smelled like a distillery-an unwashed one at that. And his mask was up in his room. What if someone happened by and saw him… He wasn’t a coward. He just didn’t wish to be seen looking less than his best. An oath punctuated the early morning air. Grey was grabbed by the front of the shirt and yanked-hard. His only course of action was to brace one booted foot on the bottom sill to keep from falling. Of course, that action only succeeded in making it easier for Archer to haul him completely out onto the lawn. He landed hard on both feet, the impact going straight to his ready-to-implode skull. “What the hell?” Fist cocked, Grey punched his brother in the shoulder. “Jesus, man! What are you about?” Archer punched him back. It hurt, and oddly enough it seemed to wake him up-clear the fog and some of the pressure surrounding his brain. “I’m trying to help you, you bugger.” “To do what?” Grey demanded. “Die?
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
Sherry would have been attractive, but hard living was not only worn on her yellow face. It was in the wrinkled frailty of her neck, like new-born skin. It was the crooked movement of her mouth when she talked, as if she spoke to someone to the left of her. And her ashy, knobby hands that smelled of cigarette smoke, especially the right one. It was the stiff way she walked with her shoulders so high, as if she had gotten used to being rejected and run off the property. The hard living was in her movements, even in her spirit.
Holliday Vann (When Sexy Came Black to Cleveland)