Falling's the part that takes your breath away. It's the part when you can't believe the person standing in front of you both exists and happened to wander into your path. It's supposed to make you feel lucky to be alive, exactly when and where you are.
Emily Henry (Beach Read)
Neal didn't take Georgie's breath away. Maybe the opposite. But that was okay--that was really good, actually, to be near someone who filled your lungs with air.
Rainbow Rowell (Landline)
Never lie, steal, cheat, or drink. But if you must lie, lie in the arms of the one you love. If you must steal, steal away from bad company. If you must cheat, cheat death. And if you must drink, drink in the moments that take your breath away
Sometimes it's the same moments that take your breath away that breathe purpose and love back into your life.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Whenever you feel a negative emotion be alone in a room and just sit down with it and feel. Don't judge it, criticize it, intellectualize it, explain it away. Allow yourself to feel the pain. It's okay. Accompany it - breathe into it - and after a while, you'll feel the anger or fear or sadness lose it's urgency and power. Allow God to tenderly embrace you in your pain. And then, at the right time, you can let go.
Bo Sánchez (You Have The Power to Create Love: Take Another Step on the Simple Path to Happiness)
Life is not measured by the breathes you take, but by the moments that take your breathe away.
Thermodynamic miracles... events with odds against so astronomical they're effectively impossible, like oxygen spontaneously becoming gold. I long to observe such a thing.
And yet, in each human coupling, a thousand million sperm vie for a single egg. Multiply those odds by countless generations, against the odds of your ancestors being alive; meeting; siring this precise son; that exact daughter... Until your mother loves a man she has every reason to hate, and of that union, of the thousand million children competing for fertilization, it was you, only you, that emerged. To distill so specific a form from that chaos of improbability, like turning air to gold... that is the crowning unlikelihood. The thermodynamic miracle.
But...if me, my birth, if that's a thermodynamic miracle... I mean, you could say that about anybody in the world!.
Yes. Anybody in the world. ..But the world is so full of people, so crowded with these miracles that they become commonplace and we forget... I forget. We gaze continually at the world and it grows dull in our perceptions. Yet seen from the another's vantage point. As if new, it may still take our breath away. Come...dry your eyes. For you are life, rarer than a quark and unpredictable beyond the dreams of Heisenberg; the clay in which the forces that shape all things leave their fingerprints most clearly. Dry your eyes... and let's go home.
Alan Moore (Watchmen)
Life isn't how many breaths you take, but it's the moments that take your breath away.
Sometimes your nearness takes my breath away; and all the things I want to say can find no voice. Then, in silence, I can only hope my eyes will speak my heart.
You’re about to be rich, Kaz. What will you do when there’s no more blood to shed or vengeance to take?”
“There’s always more.”
“More money, more mayhem, more scores to settle. Was there never another dream?”
He said nothing. What had carved all the hope from his heart? She might never know.
Inej turned to go. Kaz seized her hand, keeping it on the railing. He didn’t look at her. "Stay,” he said, his voice rough stone. “Stay in Ketterdam. Stay with me.”
She looked down at his gloved hand clutching hers. Everything in her wanted to say yes, but she would not settle for so little, not after all she’d been through. “What would be the point?”
He took a breath. “I want you to stay. I want you to … I want you.”
“You want me.” She turned the words over. Gently, she squeezed his hand. “And how will you have me, Kaz?”
He looked at her then, eyes fierce, mouth set. It was the face he wore when he was fighting.
“How will you have me?” she repeated. “Fully clothed, gloves on, your head turned away so our lips can never touch?”
He released her hand, his shoulders bunching, his gaze angry and ashamed as he turned his face to the sea.
Maybe it was because his back was to her that she could finally speak the words. “I will have you without armor, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
Everyone breathing is broken. Keep breathing light into them until the stained glass collage takes your breath away.
Ryan Lilly (Write like no one is reading)
There’s always that one guy who gets a hold on you. Not like your best friend’s brother who gets you in a headlock kind of hold. Or the little kid you’re babysitting who attaches himself to your leg kind of hold.
I’m talking epic. Life changing. The “can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t do your homework, can’t stop giggling, can’t remember anything but his smile” kind of hold. Like, Wesley and Buttercup proportions. Harry and Sally. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. The kind of hold in all your favorite ’80s songs, like the “Must Have Been Love”s, the “Take My Breath Away”s, the “Eternal Flame”s—the ones you sing into a hairbrush-microphone at the top of your lungs with your best friends on a Saturday night.
Jess Rothenberg (The Catastrophic History of You and Me)
We mistake sex for romance. Guys are taught that pushing a girl up against a wall is romance. Sex is easy; you can do it with anyone, yourself, with batteries. Romance is when someone you like walks into a room and they take your breath away. Romance is when two people are dancing and they fit together perfectly. Romance is when two people are walking next to each other and all of a sudden they find themselves holding hands, and they don’t know how that happened
John C. Moffi
What is given may be taken away, at any time. Cruelty and devastation wait for you around corners, inside coffers, behind doors: they can leap out at you at any time, like a thief or brigand. The trick is never to let down your guard. Never think you are safe. Never take for granted that your children's hearts beat, that they sup milk, that they draw breath, that they walk and speak and smile and argue and play. Never for a moment forget they may be gone, snatched from you, in the blink of an eye, borne away from you like thistledown.
Maggie O'Farrell (Hamnet)
Aware of every breath, every movement, I sat in his lap. His hands gently braced my hips as I studied his face. “And now I want you to know, Rhysand, that I love you. I want you to know … ” His lips trembled, and I brushed away the tear that escaped down his cheek. “I want you to know,” I whispered, “that I am broken and healing, but every piece of my heart belongs to you. And I am honored—honored to be your mate.”
His arms wrapped around me and he pressed his forehead to my shoulder, his body shaking. I stroked a hand through his silken hair.
“I love you,” I said again. I hadn’t dared say the words in my head. “And I’d endure every second of it over again so I could find you. And if war comes, we’ll face it. Together. I won’t let them take me from you. And I won’t let them take you from me, either.”
Rhys looked up, his face gleaming with tears. He went still as I leaned in, kissing away one tear. Then the other. As he had once kissed away mine.
When my lips were wet and salty with them, I pulled back far enough to see his eyes. “You’re mine,” I breathed.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
First, it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to feel things. Remember that. Second, be a kid for as long as you can. Play games, Travis. Be silly”—her eyes glossed over—“and you and your brothers take care of each other, and your father. Even when you grow up and move away, it’s important to come home. Okay?”
My head bobbed up and down, desperate to please her.
“One of these days you’re going to fall in love, son. Don’t settle for just anyone. Choose the girl that doesn’t come easy, the one you have to fight for, and then never stop fighting. Never”—she took a deep breath—“stop fighting for what you want. And never”—her eyebrows pulled in—“forget that Mommy loves you. Even if you can’t see me.” A tear fell down her cheek. “I will always, always love you.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
You will always miss her. There will be days - even years from now - when the missing will be so sharp it will take your breath away. But there will be good days, too, months and years of them. In one way or another you'll be searching for her all your life.
Kristin Hannah (Fly Away (Firefly Lane, #2))
Life is not the breaths you take but the moments that take your breath away.
This way,” he murmurs and abruptly is inside me once more, but he doesn’t start his usual punishing rhythm straight away. He leans over, releases my hands, and pulls me upright so I am practically sitting on him. His hands move up to my breasts, and he palms them both, tugging gently on my nipples. I groan, tossing my head back against his shoulder. He nuzzles my neck, biting down, as he flexes his hips, deliciously slowly, filling me again and again.
“Do you know how much you mean to me?” he breathes against my ear.
“No,” I gasp.
He smiles against my neck, and his fingers curl around my jaw and throat, holding me fast for a moment. “Yes, you do. I’m not going to let you go.” I groan as he picks up speed. “You are mine, Anastasia.” “Yes, yours,” I pant. “I take care of what’s mine,” he hisses and bites my ear.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2))
don't say no to me you can't say no to me because it's such a relief to have love again and to lie in bed and be held and touched and kissed and adored and your heart will leap when you hear my voice and see my smile and feel my breath on your neck and your heart will race when I want to see you and I will lie to you from day one and use you and screw you and break your heart because you broke mine first and you will love me more each day until the weight is unbearable and your life is mine and you'll die alone because I will take what I want then walk away and owe you nothing it's always there it's always been there and you cannot deny the life you feel fuck that life fuck that life fuck that life I have lost you now.
Sarah Kane (Crave)
I love you. I love the way you rub the scar on the back of your hand when you're nervous. I love the way you make a sword into a living part of your body. I love the way you burn your eyes into me, as if you're seeing me fresh every time. I love the black streak in you that wants to kill the world, and the soft streak that is sorry afterward. I love the way you laugh, as if you're surprised that you can laugh at all. I love the way you kiss my breath away. I love the way you breathe and speak and smile. I love the way you take the air out of my lungs when you hold me. I love the way you make a dance out of death. I love the confusion I see in your eyes when you realize you are happy. I love every muscle and bone in your body, every twist and bend in your soul.
Kate Quinn (Mistress of Rome (The Empress of Rome, #1))
At the end of the day faith is a funny thing. It turns up when you don't really expect it. Its like one day you realize that the fairy tale may be slightly different than you dreamed. The castle, well, it may not be a castle. And its not so important happy ever after, just that its happy right now. See once in a while, once in a blue moon, people will surprise you , and once in a while people may even take your breath away.
See them together and you will feel a force that will take your breath away.
Melina Marchetta (Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, #1))
Life is not breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away.
The world isn’t fair. And no matter how good and decent you are, no matter how much you give to others, someone is always going to hate you for no other reason than the fact that you breathe. You can’t help that. You can’t change people or their minds once they’ve allowed them to get twisted by hatred. But you can change how you deal with them. Never back down, but walk away when you can, fight when you must. Whatever you do don’t give them the power to hurt you. Don’t let them inside you. They’re not worth it. Live your life for yourself. Stay true to yourself and if they can’t see the beauty that is you, it’s their loss. Let the bitterness take them to their graves. Spend your time on what matters most. Being you and appreciating the people who see you for who and what you are. The people who love you, and the ones that you love. They are all that matter. Let the rest go to hell.” - Drux Cruel
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Born of Silence (The League, #5))
Your kiss can take my breath away, Bree, not that you haven’t before, but now we can give each other frost kisses. – Kian, Frost Kisses
Don't be upset. Don't listen to me. I only meant that I am jealous of a dark, unconscious element, something irrational, unfathomable. I am jealous of your toilet articles, of the drops of sweat on your skin, of the germs in the air you breathe which could get into your blood and poison you. And I am jealous of Komarovsky, as if he were an infectious disease. Someday he will take you away, just as certainly as death will someday separate us. I know this must seem obscure and confused, but I can't say it more clearly. I love you madly, irrationally, infinitely.
Boris Pasternak (Doctor Zhivago)
Whenever you’re close, everything is better. The closer you are, the easier I breathe … You take away the dark, the cold. And you remind me what it’s like to want to be here.
Lucy Score (Things We Hide from the Light (Knockemout, #2))
Liam cleared his throat again and turned to fully face me. “So, it’s the summer and you’re in Salem, suffering through another boring, hot July, and working part-time at an ice cream parlor. Naturally, you’re completely oblivious to the fact that all of the boys from your high school who visit daily are more interested in you than the thirty-one flavors. You’re focused on school and all your dozens of clubs, because you want to go to a good college and save the world. And just when you think you’re going to die if you have to take another practice SAT, your dad asks if you want to go visit your grandmother in Virginia Beach.”
“Yeah?” I leaned my forehead against his chest. “What about you?”
“Me?” Liam said, tucking a strand of hair behind my ear. “I’m in Wilmington, suffering through another boring, hot summer, working one last time in Harry’s repair shop before going off to some fancy university—where, I might add, my roommate will be a stuck-up-know-it-all-with-a-heart-of-gold named Charles Carrington Meriwether IV—but he’s not part of this story, not yet.” His fingers curled around my hip, and I could feel him trembling, even as his voice was steady. “To celebrate, Mom decides to take us up to Virginia Beach for a week. We’re only there for a day when I start catching glimpses of this girl with dark hair walking around town, her nose stuck in a book, earbuds in and blasting music. But no matter how hard I try, I never get to talk to her.
“Then, as our friend Fate would have it, on our very last day at the beach I spot her. You. I’m in the middle of playing a volleyball game with Harry, but it feels like everyone else disappears. You’re walking toward me, big sunglasses on, wearing this light green dress, and I somehow know that it matches your eyes. And then, because, let’s face it, I’m basically an Olympic god when it comes to sports, I manage to volley the ball right into your face.”
“Ouch,” I said with a light laugh. “Sounds painful.”
“Well, you can probably guess how I’d react to that situation. I offer to carry you to the lifeguard station, but you look like you want to murder me at just the suggestion. Eventually, thanks to my sparkling charm and wit—and because I’m so pathetic you take pity on me—you let me buy you ice cream. And then you start telling me how you work in an ice cream shop in Salem, and how frustrated you feel that you still have two years before college. And somehow, somehow, I get your e-mail or screen name or maybe, if I’m really lucky, your phone number. Then we talk. I go to college and you go back to Salem, but we talk all the time, about everything, and sometimes we do that stupid thing where we run out of things to say and just stop talking and listen to one another breathing until one of us falls asleep—”
“—and Chubs makes fun of you for it,” I added.
“Oh, ruthlessly,” he agreed. “And your dad hates me because he thinks I’m corrupting his beautiful, sweet daughter, but still lets me visit from time to time. That’s when you tell me about tutoring a girl named Suzume, who lives a few cities away—”
“—but who’s the coolest little girl on the planet,” I manage to squeeze out.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
Life is not measured by the amount of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away
Micalea Smeltzer (Finding Olivia (Trace + Olivia, #1))
Love casts out fear; but conversely fear casts out love. And not only love. Fear also casts out intelligence, casts out goodness, casts out all thought of beauty and truth. What remains in the bum or studiedly jocular desperation of one who is aware of the obscene Presence in the corner of the room and knows that the door is locked, that there aren’t any windows. And now the thing bears down on him. He feels a hand on his sleeve, smells a stinking breath, as the executioner’s assistant leans almost amorously toward him. “Your turn next, brother. Kindly step this way.” And in an instant his quiet terror is transmuted into a frenzy as violent as it is futile. There is no longer a man among his fellow men, no longer a rational being speaking articulately to other rational beings; there is only a lacerated animal, screaming and struggling in the trap. For in the end fear casts out even a man’s humanity. And fear, my good friends, fear is the very basis and foundation of modern life. Fear of the much touted technology which, while it raises out standard of living, increases the probability of our violently dying. Fear of the science which takes away the one hand even more than what it so profusely gives with the other. Fear of the demonstrably fatal institutions for while, in our suicidal loyalty, we are ready to kill and die. Fear of the Great Men whom we have raised, and by popular acclaim, to a power which they use, inevitably, to murder and enslave us. Fear of the war we don’t want yet do everything we can to bring about.
Aldous Huxley (Ape and Essence)
The thing I've found about exciting is that it's like fireworks. A big burst of color. It takes your breath away, and then nothing. But something that's always there, while it might not be as exciting, like the stars in the sky, they can still steal your breath.
Rachel Hawthorne (Suite Dreams)
Peeta and I sit on the damp sand, facing away from each other, my right shoulder and hip pressed against his.
After a while I rest my head against his shoulder. Feel his hand caress my hair.
"Katniss... If you die, and I live, there's no life for me at all back in District Twelve. You're my whole life", he says. "I would never be happy again."
I start to object but he puts a finger to my lips. "It's different for you. I'm not sayin it wouldn't be hard. But there are other people who'd make your life worth living." ... "Your family needs you, Katniss", Peeta says.
My family. My mother. My sister. And my pretend cousin Gale. But Peeta's intension is clear. That Gale really is my family, or will be one day, if I live. That I'll marry him. So Peeta's giving me his life and Gale at the same time. To let me know I shouldn't ever have doubts about it.
Everithing. That's what Peeta wants me to take from him.
"No one really needs me", he says, and there's no self-pity in his voice. It's true his family doesen't need him. They will mourn him, as will a handful of friends. But they will get on. Even Haymitch, with the help of a lot of white liquor, will get on. I realize only one person will be damaged beyond repair if Peeta dies. Me.
"I do", I say. "I need you." He looks upset, takes a deep breath as if to begin a long argument, and that's no good, no good at all, because he'll start going on about Prim and my mother and everything and I'll just get confused. So before he can talk, I stop his lips with a kiss.
I feel that thing again. The thing I only felt once before. In the cave last year, when I was trying to get Haymitch to send us food. I kissed Peeta about a thousand times during those Games and after. But there was only one kiss that made me feel something stir deep inside. Only one that made me want more. But my head wound started bleeding and he made me lie down.
This time, there is nothing but us to interrupt us. And after a few attempts, Peeta gives up on talking. The sensation inside me grows warmer and spreads out from my chest, down through my body, out along my arms and legs, to the tips of my being. Instead of satisfying me, the kisses have the opposite effect, of making my need greater. I thought I was something of an expert on hunger, but this is an entirely new kind.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
Which was worse? To feel nothing, or to grieve for something you no longer remembered? Surely when you forgot, you’d forget to be sad, or what was the point? And yet that numbness would take part of your self away, it would be like having pins-and-needles in your soul … I took a deep breath.
Bridget Collins (The Binding)
Darling, if I take your breath away, I will give you mine.
Donna Lynn Hope
You’re so fucking gloriously gorgeous that I literally cannot stand it. I’m having to remind myself to keep breathing, because you take my breath away.
Jasinda Wilder (Stripped (Stripped, #1))
I do sometimes miss living on the edge. The view from there takes your breath away.
Amy Molloy (Wife, Interrupted)
It's the small moments that take your breath away and make you truly happy, like the first time you see your newborn's face or...or when you meet someone who could be your soulmate.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy, #1))
Your silence exists as does my self gathering. But so does the almost absolute silence of the world's dawning. In such suspension, before every utterance on earth, there is a cloud, an almost immobile air. The plants already breathe, while we still ask ourselves how to speak to each other, without taking breath away from them.
Luce Irigaray (To Be Two)
Your sweet thank-you touches my heart, take my breath away, my only love. This day is only I have got.
Because at the end of the day, we’re all lost. We’re all cracked. We’re all scarred. We’re all broken. We’re all just trying to figure out this thing called life, you know? Sometimes it feels so lonely, but then you remember your core tribe. The people who sometimes hate you, but never stop loving you. The people who always show up, no matter how many times you’ve fucked up and pushed them away. That’s your tribe. These people, these struggles, this is my tribe. So yeah, we fall apart, but we’ll fall together. We’ll stand up—together. Then, at the end of all the bullshit, all of the tears, all of the hurt, we’ll take a few steps at a time. Then we’ll take a few deep breaths, and we’ll walk each other home.
Brittainy C. Cherry (The Fire Between High & Lo (Elements, #2))
Yes, he was that good looking. Take-your-breath-away good looking. Want-to-strip-your-body-naked-and-let-him-devour-you-alive good looking. Certified-eye-candy good looking.
Gail McHugh (Collide (Collide, #1))
You have fire, you have soul. Your strength and resilience amaze me. Your gentleness and kindness humble me. Your beauty takes my breath away. If I could have only one thing in this life, it would be you.
Sarah Castille (Rough Justice (Sinner's Tribe Motorcycle Club, #1))
You’ll meet people that you love who fuck up constantly. You’ll learn how to weed out the assholes from the warriors. You’ll know what groups of people to stay away from because they’re not safe spaces for your heart. You’ll learn when to forgive human error and when to eradicate the unworthy from your spirit.
Gabby Rivera (Juliet Takes a Breath)
Sometimes, life comes from behind and scares you so badly that it takes your breath away.... But don't worry. You will breathe again.
Kortney Keisel (The Promised Prince (Desolation, #2))
Hey". Meghan's fingers on my arm nearly made me jump out of my skin. She smiled up at me, though her eyes were puzzled. "You seem awfully nervous this morning. Is something wrong?"
Now or never, Ash. I took a deep breath. "No", I replied, turning to her, "Nothing's wrong, but I did want to ask you something. Come here a moment."
Taking both her hands, I backed away to the middle of the floor, to an open space in front of the curtains. She followed, still wearing a bemused expression, and I paused a moment to gather my thoughts. "I don't...know how it's done in your world", I began, as she tilted her head at me. "I've seen it before...but, I'm not sure how to ask. It never really comes up in the Winter Court."
Meghan blinked, frowning slightly. "What do you mean?"
"I know my role here," I continued. "Whatever happens, I'm still your knight, and nothing will change that. You are queen of this realm, and I have no desire to rule. That said, fighting your enemies, standing with you no matter what comes at us. But I'm no longer satisfied with just being your knight and protector. I want something more". I stopped and took a deep breath, then slowly released her hands, stepped back and sank to one knee. "What I'm trying to ask is...Meghan Chase, will you do me the honor of marrying me?
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey, #4))
But these clouds won’t leave
As I’m lying on the floor
Take my heart
As you’re leaving
I don’t need it anymore
Life's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away.
How ... how fragile situations are. But not tenuous. Delicate, but not flimsy, not indulgent. Delicate, that's why they keep breaking, they must break and you must get the pieces together and show it before it breaks again, or put them aside for a moment when something else breaks and turn to that, and all this keeps going on. That's why most writing now, if you read it they go on one two three four and tell you what happened like newspaper accounts, no adjectives, no long sentences, no tricks they pretend, and they finally believe that they really believe that the way they saw it is the way it is ... it never takes your breath away, telling you things you already know, laying everything out flat, as though the terms and the time, and the nature and the movement of everything were secrets of the same magnitude. They write for people who read with the surface of their minds, people with reading habits that make the smallest demands on them, people brought up reading for facts, who know what's going to come next and want to know what's coming next, and get angry at surprises. Clarity's essential, and detail, no fake mysticism, the facts are bad enough. But we're embarrassed for people who tell too much, and tell it without surprise. How does he know what happened? unless it's one unshaven man alone in a boat, changing I to he, and how often do you get a man alone in a boat, in all this ... all this ... Listen, there are so many delicate fixtures, moving toward you, you'll see. Like a man going into a dark room, holding his hands down guarding his parts for fear of a table corner, and ... Why, all this around us is for people who can keep their balance only in the light, where they move as though nothing were fragile, nothing tempered by possibility, and all of a sudden bang! something breaks. Then you have to stop and put the pieces together again. But you never can put them back together quite the same way. You stop when you can and expose things, and leave them within reach, and others come on by themselves, and they break, and even then you may put the pieces aside just out of reach until you can bring them back and show them, put together slightly different, maybe a little more enduring, until you've broken it and picked up the pieces enough times, and you have the whole thing in all its dimensions. But the discipline, the detail, it's just ... sometimes the accumulation is too much to bear.
William Gaddis (The Recognitions)
He knew how to handle pain. You had to lie down with pain, not draw back away from it. You let yourself sort of move around the outside edge of pain like with cold water until you finally got up your nerve to take yourself in hand. Then you took a deep breath and dove in and let yourself sink down it clear to the bottom. And after you had been down inside pain a while you found that like with cold water it was not nearly as cold as you had thought it was when your muscles were cringing themselves away from the outside edge of it as you moved around it trying to get up your nerve. He knew pain.
James Jones (From Here to Eternity)
You realize that is you allow me to court you, all your opposition to marriage is going to have to be reconsidered."
She smiled, feigning innocence."What opposition to marriage?"
"But I'm thinking we should have a long courtship."
"Why?" He looked surprised.
"Because i find I've developed a taste for adventure."
"That sounds dangerous. Not at all in character for a delicate flower."
She laughed." We know I've never been good at being a delicate flower. Besides, it shan't be too dangerous."
"How can you be so sure?"
She smiled brilliantly at him, taking his breath away.
"Because, on my next adventure, I'll have you by my side.
Sarah MacLean (The Season)
You don't notice the dead leaving when they really choose to leave you. You're not meant to. At most you feel them as a whisper or the wave of a whisper undulating down. I would compare it to a woman in the back of a lecture hall or theater whom no one notices until she slips out.Then only those near the door themselves, like Grandma Lynn, notice; to the rest it is like an unexplained breeze in a closed room.
Grandma Lynn died several years later, but I have yet to see her here. I imagine her tying it on in her heaven, drinking mint juleps with Tennessee Williams and Dean Martin. She'll be here in her own sweet time, I'm sure.
If I'm to be honest with you, I still sneak away to watch my family sometimes. I can't help it, and sometimes they still think of me. They can't help it....
It was a suprise to everyone when Lindsey found out she was pregnant...My father dreamed that one day he might teach another child to love ships in bottles. He knew there would be both sadness and joy in it; that it would always hold an echo of me.
I would like to tell you that it is beautiful here, that I am, and you will one day be, forever safe. But this heaven is not about safety just as, in its graciousness, it isn't about gritty reality. We have fun.
We do things that leave humans stumped and grateful, like Buckley's garden coming up one year, all of its crazy jumble of plants blooming all at once. I did that for my mother who, having stayed, found herself facing the yard again. Marvel was what she did at all the flowers and herbs and budding weeds. Marveling was what she mostly did after she came back- at the twists life took.
And my parents gave my leftover possessions to the Goodwill, along with Grandma Lynn's things.
They kept sharing when they felt me. Being together, thinking and talking about the dead, became a perfectly normal part of their life. And I listened to my brother, Buckley, as he beat the drums.
Ray became Dr. Singh... And he had more and more moments that he chose not to disbelieve. Even if surrounding him were the serious surgeons and scientists who ruled over a world of black and white, he maintained this possibility: that the ushering strangers that sometimes appeared to the dying were not the results of strokes, that he had called Ruth by my name, and that he had, indeed, made love to me.
If he ever doubted, he called Ruth. Ruth, who graduated from a closet to a closet-sized studio on the Lower East Side. Ruth, who was still trying to find a way to write down whom she saw and what she had experienced. Ruth, who wanted everyone to believe what she knew: that the dead truly talk to us, that in the air between the living, spirits bob and weave and laugh with us. They are the oxygen we breathe.
Now I am in the place I call this wide wide Heaven because it includes all my simplest desires but also the most humble and grand. The word my grandfather uses is comfort.
So there are cakes and pillows and colors galore, but underneath this more obvious patchwork quilt are places like a quiet room where you can go and hold someone's hand and not have to say anything. Give no story. Make no claim. Where you can live at the edge of your skin for as long as you wish. This wide wide Heaven is about flathead nails and the soft down of new leaves, wide roller coaster rides and escaped marbles that fall then hang then take you somewhere you could never have imagined in your small-heaven dreams.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
Time is a funny thing, it can give and it can take away; and a single moment in time can truly change one’s life forever!
The best kind of love is unexpected, unexplainable, undeniable, and unimaginable.
Your sweet scent will forever be with me, reminding me of the love we once shared. I will breathe in the memories until we meet again.
Before you act on what you have been told, consider your source. It may simply be assumption on their part, and that can be far from fact.
Why stand back and wait for someone to fail when you can stand up and offer your support?
Love is when the sound of your partner’s snoring lulls you to sleep, and it acts as a reminder that they are there by your side.
Building a wall around your heart is a voluntary imprisonment to which only you have the key. Open your heart to life’s possibilities!
Donna L. Jones
Too bad you didn't just take Max up on his offer, Four. Well, too bad for you, anyway," says Eric quietly as he clicks the bullet into its chamber. My lungs burn; I haven't breathed in almost a minute. I see Tobias's hand twitch in the corner of my eye, but my hand is already on my gun. I press the barrel to Eric's forehead. His eyes widen, and his face goes slack, and for a second he looks like another sleeping Dauntless soldier. My index finger hovers over the trigger. "Get your gun away from his head," I say. "You won't shoot me," Eric replies. "Interesting theory. " I say.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
But the truth, he knows, is otherwise. His pleasure in living has been snuffed out. Like a leaf on a stream, like a puffball on a breeze, he has begun to float towards his end. He sees it quite clearly, and it fills him with (the word will not go away) despair. The blood of life is leaving his body and despair is taking its place, despair that is like a gas, odourless, tasteless, without nourishment. You breathe it in, your limbs relax, you cease to care, even at the moment when the steel touches your throat.
J.M. Coetzee (Disgrace)
Every so often in life, you randomly cross paths with someone that touches you in a way that you really can't explain, but somehow you know that you will never be the same again. A person that is unknowingly, so incredibly beautiful, both inside and out, that they take your breath away. Recently, I met someone exactly like that. As a matter of fact, I'm still not convinced that she isn't an angel here to protect me from myself and the rest of you crazies... these next few songs are for my angel. I hope the rest of you find your angel someday. Just remember, don't let go when you do, even if they try to fly away.
Erin Noelle (Metamorphosis (Book Boyfriend, #1))
Mom." I couldn't believe she was doing this again. She was taking this moment, this time when I was strongest, away from me.
"I don't care what I have to do," she said, her voice low and even. "I don't care if I have to send you away or switch schools. I don't care if I have to follow you twenty-four hours a day, you will not see him, Halley. You will not destroy yourself this way."
"Why are you just assuming I'm going back to him?" I asked her, just as she was drawing in breath to make another point.
"Why don't you ask me what I said to him out there?"
She shut her mouth, caught off guard. "What?"
"Why don't you ever wait a second and see what I'm planning, or thinking, before you burst in with your opinions and ideas? You never even give me a chance."
"Yes, I do," she said indignantly.
"No," I said. "You don't. And then you wonder why I never tell you anyone or share anything with you. I can never trust you with anything or share anything with you. I can never trust you with anything, give you any piece of me without you grabbing it to keep for yourself."
"That's not true," she said slowly, but it was just now hitting her, I could see it. "Halley, you don't always know what's at stake, and I do."
"I will never learn," I said to her slowly, "until you let me."
And so we stood there in the kitchen, my mother and I, facing off over everything that had built up since June, when I was willing to hand myself over free and clear. Now I needed her to return it all to me, with the faith that I could make my own way.
Sarah Dessen (Someone Like You)
You’re unbelievable,” I snapped.
That socked me in the gut too, so hard it winded me and all I could do was stare up at him. Taking advantage, his face dipped close and his hands curled around both sides of my head.
“First fuckin’ time you smiled at me in my bed, that’s when it happened,” he murmured. “You’re under my skin. I’m under yours.”
I shook my head and his face got even closer, all I could see were his sky blue eyes, all I could feel were his lips a breath away from mine.
“I like you there, buddy, and you like me there too.
Kristen Ashley (At Peace (The 'Burg, #2))
That voice that talks badly to you is a demon voice. This very patient and determined demon shows up in your bedroom one day and refuses to leave. You are six or twelve or fifteen and you look in the mirror and you hear a voice so awful and mean that it takes your breath away. It tells you that you are fat and ugly and you don't deserve love. And the scary part is the demon is your own voice.
It wasn't you're fault," I whisper. And then out of self-protection more than anything else, I bring the glory. I don't warn him or anything. I don't damp it down. I bring it. The room fills with light.
"This is what I am," I say, my hair ablaze around my head.
He squints at me. his jaw juts out a little in pure stubbornness. He stands his ground
"I know," he says.
I take a step towards him, close the space between us, put my glowing hand against his cheek. He starts to tremble. "This is what I am," I say again and my wings are out now.
His knees wobble, but he fights it. He puts his hand at my waist, turns me, pulls me closer, which surprises me.
"I can accept that," he whispers, and holds his breath, and leans in to kiss me
His lips brush mine for an instant, and an emotion like victory tears through him, but he pulls away and glances at the front door. Groans.
Christian is standing in the doorway.
"Wow," Tucker says, trying to grin. "You really know how to cramp a guy's style."
His legs give out. He falls to his knees.
My light blinks off.
Cynthia Hand (Boundless (Unearthly, #3))
Floating there I held onto faith. Because you can't know who might cross your path or who will take your breath away. You can't know what friends might actually become sisters because they stayed by your side. You can't know when there'll be an unexpected detour that'll take you to the place where you were always meant to be.
Holly C. Corbett (The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World.)
it will not be simple, it will not be long
it will take little time, it will take all your thought
it will take all your heart, it will take all your breath
it will be short, it will not be simple
it will touch you through your ribs, it will take all your heart
it will not be long, it will occupy your thought
as a city is occupied, as a bed is occupied
it will take all your flesh, it will not be simple
you are coming into us who cannot withstand you
you are coming into us who never wanted to withstand you
you are taking parts of us into places never planned
you are going far away with pieces of our lives
it will be short, it will take all your breath
it will not be simple, it will become your will
Adrienne Rich (An Atlas of the Difficult World)
You, Book! You are the only one who won't deceive, won't attack, won't insult, won't abandon! You're quiet - but you laugh, shout, and sing: you're obedient - but you amaze, tease, and entice; you're small, but you contain countless peoples. Nothing but a handful of letters, that's all, but if you feel like it, you can turn heads, confuse, spin, cloud, make tears spring to the eyes, take away the breath, the entire soul will stir in the wind like a canvas, will rise in waves and flap its wings!
Tatyana Tolstaya (The Slynx)
You will always miss her. There will be days - even years from now - when the missing will be so sharp it will take your breath away. But there will be good days, too, months and years of them. In one way or another you'll be searching for her all your life.
Kristin Hannah (Fly Away (Firefly Lane #2))
Do you know about the spoons? Because you should. The Spoon Theory was created by a friend of mine, Christine Miserandino, to explain the limits you have when you live with chronic illness. Most healthy people have a seemingly infinite number of spoons at their disposal, each one representing the energy needed to do a task. You get up in the morning. That’s a spoon. You take a shower. That’s a spoon. You work, and play, and clean, and love, and hate, and that’s lots of damn spoons … but if you are young and healthy you still have spoons left over as you fall asleep and wait for the new supply of spoons to be delivered in the morning. But if you are sick or in pain, your exhaustion changes you and the number of spoons you have. Autoimmune disease or chronic pain like I have with my arthritis cuts down on your spoons. Depression or anxiety takes away even more. Maybe you only have six spoons to use that day. Sometimes you have even fewer. And you look at the things you need to do and realize that you don’t have enough spoons to do them all. If you clean the house you won’t have any spoons left to exercise. You can visit a friend but you won’t have enough spoons to drive yourself back home. You can accomplish everything a normal person does for hours but then you hit a wall and fall into bed thinking, “I wish I could stop breathing for an hour because it’s exhausting, all this inhaling and exhaling.” And then your husband sees you lying on the bed and raises his eyebrow seductively and you say, “No. I can’t have sex with you today because there aren’t enough spoons,” and he looks at you strangely because that sounds kinky, and not in a good way. And you know you should explain the Spoon Theory so he won’t get mad but you don’t have the energy to explain properly because you used your last spoon of the morning picking up his dry cleaning so instead you just defensively yell: “I SPENT ALL MY SPOONS ON YOUR LAUNDRY,” and he says, “What the … You can’t pay for dry cleaning with spoons. What is wrong with you?” Now you’re mad because this is his fault too but you’re too tired to fight out loud and so you have the argument in your mind, but it doesn’t go well because you’re too tired to defend yourself even in your head, and the critical internal voices take over and you’re too tired not to believe them. Then you get more depressed and the next day you wake up with even fewer spoons and so you try to make spoons out of caffeine and willpower but that never really works. The only thing that does work is realizing that your lack of spoons is not your fault, and to remind yourself of that fact over and over as you compare your fucked-up life to everyone else’s just-as-fucked-up-but-not-as-noticeably-to-outsiders lives. Really, the only people you should be comparing yourself to would be people who make you feel better by comparison. For instance, people who are in comas, because those people have no spoons at all and you don’t see anyone judging them. Personally, I always compare myself to Galileo because everyone knows he’s fantastic, but he has no spoons at all because he’s dead. So technically I’m better than Galileo because all I’ve done is take a shower and already I’ve accomplished more than him today. If we were having a competition I’d have beaten him in daily accomplishments every damn day of my life. But I’m not gloating because Galileo can’t control his current spoon supply any more than I can, and if Galileo couldn’t figure out how to keep his dwindling spoon supply I think it’s pretty unfair of me to judge myself for mine. I’ve learned to use my spoons wisely. To say no. To push myself, but not too hard. To try to enjoy the amazingness of life while teetering at the edge of terror and fatigue.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
You are not movin’ onto another guy,” he crossed his arms on his chest and finished, “Ever.” “That choice is not yours.” “Yeah it is,” he returned swiftly. “You can’t give away what’s mine.” “You aren’t getting this, Chace, but just now, I took it back.” “Can’t take back what’s mine either.
Kristen Ashley (Breathe (Colorado Mountain, #4))
Life is more than how many breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away.
Tillie Cole (Eternally North (Eternally North, #1))
Half-smile when you first wake up in the morning Hang a branch, any other sign, or even the word “smile” on the ceiling or wall so that you see it right away when you open your eyes. This sign will serve as your reminder. Use these seconds before you get out of bed to take hold of your breath. Inhale and exhale three breaths gently while maintaining the half smile. Follow your breaths.
Thich Nhat Hanh (The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation)
Whenever you’re close, everything is better. The closer you are, the easier I breathe, the less I feel like life is just a never-ending pour of lemon juice into an open wound that won’t heal. You take away the dark, the cold. And you remind me what it’s like to want to be here.
Lucy Score (Things We Hide from the Light (Knockemout, #2))
Leo, I know it’s unexplainable because I barely know you, but being with you makes me feel good inside and happy. I’ve never had that. When I see you, I feel like I’m home. Like we’re pieces of a puzzle that have finally come together. And . . . and I think being happy isn’t about the big moments, like when you graduate from college or get that job you’ve been wanting. It’s the small moments that take your breath away and make you truly happy, like the first time you see your newborn’s face or . . . or when you meet someone who could be your soulmate.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy, #1))
What I have is surface. Grooming, good genetics, whatever. Whether you've rolled out of bed an hour ago without having had a shower for three days, or you're wearing a designer suit, there is a deep, perfect beauty to you that takes my breath away.
Joey W. Hill (Rough Canvas (Nature of Desire, #6))
Nora Stephens,” he says, “I’ve racked my brain and this is the best I can come up with, so I really hope you like it.”
His gaze lifts, everything about it, about his face, about his posture, about him made up of sharp edges and jagged bits and shadows, all of it familiar, all of it perfect. Not for someone else, maybe, but for me.
“I move back to New York,” he says. “I get another editing job, or maybe take up agenting, or try writing again. You work your way up at Loggia, and we’re both busy all the time, and down in Sunshine Falls, Libby runs the local business she saved, and my parents spoil your nieces like the grandkids they so desperately want, and Brendan probably doesn’t get much better at fishing, but he gets to relax and even take paid vacations with your sister and their kids. And you and I—we go out to dinner.
“Wherever you want, whenever you want. We have a lot of fun being city people, and we’re happy. You let me love you as much as I know I can, for as long as I know I can, and you have it fucking all. That’s it. That’s the best I could come up with, and I really fucking hope you say—”
I kiss him then, like there isn’t someone reading one of the Bridgerton novels five feet away, like we’ve just found each other on a deserted island after months apart. My hands in his hair, my tongue catching on his teeth, his palms sliding around behind me and squeezing me to him in the most thoroughly public groping we’ve managed yet.
“I love you, Nora,” he says when we pull apart a few inches to breathe. “I think I love everything about you.
Emily Henry (Book Lovers)
You’re beautiful always, but you make a little dress and high heels look fuckin’ spectacular and when your face looks just… like… that, honey, you take my breath away.”
God, God, God, I loved this man.
Kristen Ashley (Heaven and Hell (Heaven and Hell, #1))
Just by breathing deeply on your anger, you will calm it. You are being mindful of your anger, not suppressing it...touching it with the energy of mindfulness. You are not denying it at all. When I speak about this to psychotherapists, I have some difficulty. When I say that anger makes us suffer, they take it to mean that anger is something negative to be removed. But I always say that anger is an organic thing, like love. Anger can become love. Our compost can become a rose. If we know how to take care of our compost...Anger is the same. It can be negative when we do not know how to handle it, but if we know how to handle our anger, it can be very positive. We do not need to throw anything away," (50).
Thich Nhat Hanh (For a Future to Be Possible)
In life, it's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away.
Heather B. Armstrong
You're stunning, Kyrie. Whether you're done up in Dior and jewels, or just woken up in a sundress and messy hair, you are, very honestly, the most lovely woman I've ever know. You don't need fancy hair and makeup to take my breath a way away, Kyire. You just have to be you.
Jasinda Wilder (Alpha (Alpha, #1))
When you love someone that much and that person is away from you, sometimes it literally feels like you can't breathe, as if your body is aching for air. And then that person walks into the room, and all that ache inside of you, all that longing, dissolves and you feel yourself breathe again. But it's as if he takes the same breath with you. You're both one.
Diane Les Becquets
Heart beats fast
Colors and promises
How do be brave
How can I love when I'm afraid
But watching you stand alone
All of my doubt
Suddenly goes away somehow
One step closer
I have died everyday
waiting for you
Darling, don't be afraid
I have loved you for a
I'll love you for a
Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything
What's standing in front of me
Every hour has come to this
One step closer
I have died everyday
Waiting for you
Darling, don't be afraid
I have loved you for a
I'll love you for a
And all along I believed
I would find you
Time has brought
Your heart to me
I have loved you for a
I'll love you for a
One step closer
One step closer
I have died everyday
Waiting for you
Darling, don't be afraid,
I have loved you for a
I'll love you for a
And all along I believed
I would find you
Time has brought
Your heart to me
I have loved you for a
I'll love you for a
There are moments in your life that stand out above all the rest - moments of pure bliss, pure anger, pure sorrow. Moments that take your breath away.
K.A. Robinson (Twisted (Torn, #2))
But now what? Why, now comes my master, takes me right away from my work, and my friends, and all I like, and grinds me down into the very dirt! And why? Because, he says, I forgot who I was; he says, to teach me that I am only a nigger! After all, and last of all, he comes between me and my wife, and says I shall give her up, and live with another woman. And all this your laws give him power to do, in spite of God or man. Mr. Wilson, look at it! There isn't one of all these things, that have broken the hearts of my mother and my sister, and my wife and myself, but your laws allow, and give every man power to do, in Kentucky, and none can say to him nay! Do you call these the laws of my country? Sir, I haven't any country, anymore than I have any father. But I'm going to have one. I don't want anything of your country, except to be let alone,--to go peaceably out of it; and when I get to Canada, where the laws will own me and protect me, that shall be my country, and its laws I will obey. But if any man tries to stop me, let him take care, for I am desperate. I'll fight for my liberty to the last breath I breathe. You say your fathers did it; if it was right for them, it is right for me!
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
Manage me, I am a mess, swept under the rug of yesterday’s home improvement, a whimsical urge tossed aside for the easy reassurance of home and comfort. I am the photograph tucked away as a book-mark, in a book left half unread, once reopened to find memories crawling back into peripheral sight, faded, creased and lonely. I long to be admired, long to be held, torn and laughed at, laughed with, like a distant relative or an old friend breathing in their last breath. I missed the moment when time collapsed and memory was erased, replaced by finicky social experiments, lost in the blur of intoxication, sucked through multi-colored bendy-straws, making way for a spinning world where hub-caps stood still, but our vision didn’t. If I could leave you with only one thing, it would be small, foldable, and made from trees, with a few careless words, scribbled in blue; Take a minute to learn me, take a moment to love me, because I need your love to live,and without it, I am nothing.
You'll be my wife," he said inexorably.
"You want to own me!" she accused, trying to crawl away from him.
"Yes." He flung her down on the bed and flattened his weight on her. As he spoke, his hot breath fanned
her mouth and chin. "Yes. I want other people to look at you and know you're mine. I want you to take
my name and my money. I want you to
live with me. I want to be inside you . . . part of your thoughts . . . your body . . . all of you. I want you to
trust me. I want to give you whatever elusive, impossible, goddamned mysterious thing it is you need in
order to be happy. Does that frighten
you? Well, it frightens the hell out of me. Don't you think I'd stop feeling this way if I could? It's not as if
you're the easiest woman in the world!!
Lisa Kleypas (Then Came You (The Gamblers of Craven's, #1))
"Breathe deeply and concentrate on me. You are safe.”
I take a shallow breath, but it chokes me.
“Look at me,” Morpheus presses. I focus on his complexion, the color of snowy shadows beneath the eclipse of his wings, and he begins to sing. Not inside my mind, since the iron dome prevents it, but aloud . . . a simple, sweet lullaby, carried on his beautiful voice.
“Little blossom so filled with dread, clear the nightmares from your head. Let me wipe away your tears, for in this place you have no fears.”
A.G. Howard (Ensnared (Splintered, #3))
Don't grab hurtful comments and pull them close to you by rereading them and ruminating on them. Don't play with them by rehearsing your badass comeback. And whatever you do, don't pull hatefulness close to your heart.
Let what's unproductive and hurtful drop at the feet of your unarmored self. And no matter how much your self-doubt wants to scoop up the criticism and snuggle with the negativity so it can confirm its worst fears, or how eager the shame gremlins are to use the hurt to fortify your armor, take a deep breath and find the strength to leave what's mean-spirited on the ground. You don't even need to stomp it or kick it away.
Cruelty is cheap, easy, and chickenshit. It doesn't deserve your energy or engagement. Just step over the comments and keep daring, always remembering that armor is too heavy a price to pay to engage with cheap-seat feedback.
Brené Brown (Dare to Lead)
Don’t let anyone else take away your joy. If they don’t want to be with you or around you, let them go. Pick up your shit and keep going. You came into the world by yourself, and the next person’s lungs don’t help you breathe.
Gabourey Sidibe (This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare)
Try to roll with the punches. Keep your chin up. Don’t take any wooden nickels. Vote Democrat in every election. Ride your bike in the park. Dream about my perfect, golden body. Take your vitamins. Drink eight glasses of water a day. Pull for the Mets. Watch a lot of movies. Don’t work too hard at your job. Take a trip to Paris with me. Come to the hospital when Rachel has her baby and hold my grandchild in your arms. Brush your teeth after every meal. Don’t cross the street on a red light. Defend the little guy. Stick up for yourself. Remember how beautiful you are. Remember how much I love you. Drink one Scotch on the rocks every day. Breathe deeply. Keep your eyes open. Stay away from fatty foods. Sleep the sleep of the just. Remember how much I love you.
Paul Auster (The Brooklyn Follies)
Life is an accumulation of aches. They fill you up and take your breath away and you think you’ll never breathe again, but before you know it, you are just words on paper, gone quiet and asleep until someone finds those words and reads them.
Jennifer Niven (Breathless)
Don’t be afraid to distance yourself from everyone + everything and recoup. sort out your thoughts. listen to your heart. breathe. read a book. write about how much your life has sucked - then write about how much you can’t wait to see the positive changes. relearn yourself. accept all the hurt you’ve been through. forgive anyone and everyone who’s hurt you. even if that means doing it within, and never physically or verbally reaching out. let go. & rejuvenate. take a step away from the chaos, and find peace. within.
You look different." His words, normally crisp,are now sluggish.
"So do you," I say.And he does-he looks more relaxed,younger. "What are you doing?"
"Flirting with death," he replies with a laugh. "Drinking near the chasm. Probably not a good idea."
"No,it isn't" I'm not sure I like Four this way.There's something unsettling about it.
"Didn't know you had a tattoo," he says, looking at my collarbone.
He sips the bottle. His breath smells thick and sharp.Like the factionless man's breath.
"Right.The crows," he says. He glances over his shoulder at his friends, who are carrying on without him, unlike mine. He adds, "I'd ask you hang out with us, but you're not supposed to see me this way."
I am tempted to ask him why he wants to hang out with him,but I suspect the answer has something to do with the bottle in his hand.
"What way?" I ask. "Drunk?
"Yeah...well,no." His voice softens. "Real,I guess."
"I'll pretend I didn't."
"Nice of you." He puts his lips next to my ear and says, "You look good, Tris."
His words surprise me,and my heart leaps. I wish it didn't,because judging by the way his eyes slide over mine, he has no idea what he's saying. I laugh. "Do me a favor and stay away from the chasm,okay?"
"Of course." He winks at me.
I can't help it.I smile.Will clears his throat,but I don't want to turn away from Four,even when he walks back to his friends.
Then Al rushes at me like a rolling boulder and throws me over his shoulder. I shriek,my face hot.
"Come on,little girl," he says, "I'm taking you to dinner."
I rest my elbows on Al's back and wave at Four as he carries me away.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Murder is the thoroughbred stable. Murder is a shine and a dazzle, a smooth ripple like honed muscle, take your breath away. Murder is a brand on your arm, like an elite army unit's, like a gladiator's, saying for all your life: One of us. The finest.
Tana French (The Secret Place (Dublin Murder Squad, #5))
No more boys taking you on trips, you hear?” His voice was gravelly. “You can take your own self from now on. Last thing you need is some boy distracting you and making this whole situation even more complicated. Promise me you'll stay away from that son of Pharzuph.”
I opened my mouth but the words stuck in my dry throat. How sweat beaded up on my forehead.
“I tried that once, John,” Patti warned him. “It didn't work out so well for me.”
“Have you seen the way he looks at her?” He focused on Patti, but pointed at me.
“Yes, and I've seen the way she looks at him. Truthfully, I think they need each other.”
“Those two need each other like a bullet needs a target. Trust me. I've seen Nephilim kids killed for falling in love and letting it get in the way of their work.”
“Well, you don't have to worry, because we're not in love,” I chimed in. “He doesn't like me like that.”
Dad puffed out a breath of air. “Well, he must feel something, 'cause he sure doesn't want that other kid near you.”
“Is there someone else you're interested in?” Patti asked.
I rolled my colors back up, tucked them inside, and yanked the barrier back into place. Then I entertained the image of Kopano's sweet dimple for a brief second before pushing it away.
“I'm not ready to think about that,” I answered.
My father tilted his head up to the ceiling and pressed his giant hands to his face, muffling his speech. “I'm way too old for this.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
I told them what I had discovered about Nabokov's sentences: Because the word string and the thoughts behind the words are so original, the reader's brain can't jump ahead. There is no opportunity to make assumptions, no mental leapfrogging to the end of the sentence. So the reader is suspended in the perfect moment of now. You can only experience now. The sentences celebrate the absolute instant of creation. "It takes your breath away.
I took a steadying breath. “Listen, I know we have a full night ahead of us, but I wanted to give you your birthday present.”
“Oh, darling, you didn’t need to get me anything. Every day with you is a gift.” He leaned in and kissed me.
“Well, I hadn’t planned on getting you a gift, but then something presented itself, so here we are.”
“All right then,” he said, placing his glass on the ground. “I’m ready. Where is it?”
“That’s the only problem,” I started. I felt my hands begin to shake. “It won’t actually arrive for another seven or eight months.”
He smiled but squinted. “Eight months? What in the world could take . . .”
As his words drifted away, so did his eyes, leaving my face and making their way to my stomach. He seemed to expect me to look different, for me to be as big as a house already. But I’d done my best to hide everything: the tiredness, the nausea, the sudden distaste for foods.
He stared on and on, and I waited for him to smile or laugh or jump up and down. But he sat there, frozen to the point that it started to frighten me.
“Maxon?” I reached out and touched his leg. “Maxon, are you all right?”
He nodded, still watching my stomach.
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
WE'VE LEFT SHORE SOMEHOW
BECOME THE FRIENDS
OF EARLY THEORY
CLOSE ENOUGH TO SPEAK
DESIRE AND PAIN OF ABSENCE
OF MISTAKES WE'D MAKE
GIVEN THE CHANCE.
EACH SMILE RETURNED
MAKES HARDER AVOIDING
DREAMS THAT SEE US
LYING IN EARLY EVENING
CURTAIN SHADOWS, SKIN
SAFE AGAINST SKIN.
BLOOM OF COMPASSION
RESPECT FOR MOMENTS
EYES LOCK TURNS
FOREVER INTO ONE MORE
VEIL THAT FALLS AWAY.
THIS AFTER SEEING YOU
LAST NIGHT, FIRST TIME
SMELLING YOU WITH
PERMISSION: SHOULDERS TO
WONDER OPENLY AT
AS CAREFULLY KISSED
AS THOSE ARMS
WAITED IMPOSSIBLY ON.
THEY'VE HELD ME NOW
AND YOUR BREATH
DOWN MY BACK
SENT AWAY NIGHT AIR
THAT HAD ME SHAKING
IN THE UNLIT ANGLICAN
ARE WE RUINED FOR
FINDING OUR FACES FIT
AND WANT TO KNOW MORE
ABOUT MORNING? IS
IF WE CAN'T CALL
EACH OTHER ANYMORE
IN AMNESIA, INVITE
OURSELVES TO LAST GLANCES
UNDER SUSPICIOUS CLOCKS
TELLING US WHEN WE'VE
YOUR STEADY HANDS
CRADLING MY GRATEFUL
SKULL: WERE YOU TAKING
IN MY FACE TO
SAVE AN IMAGE
YOU'VE RARELY ALLOWED
YOURSELF AFTER LEAVING
THAT COLD ALCOVE?
AM I A PHOTOGRAPH
YOU GAZE AT IN
MOMENTS OF WEAKNESS?
YOU ORDERED ME
OFF MY KNEES
INTO YOUR ARMS.
WASN'T TO BEG
THAT I KNELT; ONLY
TO SEE YOU ONCE
TRIED TO SAY SOMETHING
THAT FILLED MY MOUTH
AND LONGED TO REST
IN YOUR EAR.
DON'T DARE WRITE
IT DOWN FOR FEAR IT'LL
BECOME WORDS, JUST
Viggo Mortensen (Coincidence of Memory)
I'm going to be everything you never wanted,' I warn on a gruff breath, 'nothing that you need.'
I slide my other hand farther up her thigh.
'Sometimes my work will take me away, and I won't call, and I'll piss you off.'
I graze my longest finger over the silky V covering her sex.
'I'll be selfish. I'll take everything I want, whenever I want it. I'm not the man of your dreams, Melanie, I'm your worst nightmare.
Katy Evans (Rogue (Real, #4))
Something about you caught me by surprise
Though I always knew you’d be my demise.
“I didn’t want you to love me
Didn’t want you thinking of me
So I kept my distance
Tried to ignore your existence
I was blinded by my pride
With you, the Jekyll to my Hyde
But that’s where you found me
Baby, that’s where you unwound me
Loving you would be as easy as taking a breath
But to look at you, that’s a dance with death
I’d risk it all,
For you I would
You’d make me fall,
And fall I would
Loving you would be as easy as taking a breath
But to be by you, that’s a dance with death.
“I thought once was enough
You turned to me and called my bluff,
Maybe I should have walked away
but I couldn’t resist, I needed replay after replay
Loving you would be as easy as taking a breath
But to give you up, that’s a dance with death
We were over from the start
I never said I’d give my heart
So now it’s time for this to end
After all, a friend is just a friend
Loving you would be as easy as taking a breath
But to give you up, that’s a dance with death
So now it’s time for this to end
After all, a friend is just a friend.
R.S. Grey (The Duet (Heart, #1))
don’t work yourself to the point of a mental breakdown. give priority to your mental health. you are only a few steps away from completely losing your balance and breaking your mind. take one step back every time you take two steps forward. breathe. be mindful. see through life as it transpires moment by moment. learn when to rest. sleep is important. eating healthily is important. everything you do for the sake of your sanity is important. being kind to your mind is the best self-care there is. if there’s anything that’s lovely about you, it is your mind.
Juansen Dizon (I Am The Architect of My Own Destruction)
Something terrible was clawing up her throat.
“I was lucky,” Arin said. “I had you. And a hard head. And the grace of my god.”
“Damn your god.”
Arin caught her arm above the elbow. She turned to face him. All trace of humor had left his face. His eyes were wide, urgent. “Don’t say that.”
“Why not? I can say anything. Anything except what really matters.”
“Kestrel, take it back. You’ll offend him.”
“Your god risks you.”
“He protects me.”
“You’re his plaything.”
“You’re wrong. He loves me.”
Saying those words made him look so alone. He reminded her of sails curved by the wind, full and yet empty at the same time. She found that she was jealous of his god. The sudden jealousy held her so hard in its grip that she couldn’t breathe.
“It’s true,” Arin insisted.
She saw then that she had hurt him, that his god’s love was all the more precious to him because of his fear that he would find it nowhere else. Her anger rinsed away. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I ask your pardon. His, too.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3))
All right, silent dark bear with angry frown, tell me more about your land.”
He settled back down, picturing it. “I would tend to our land from the moment the sun rose to when it set and then you ...she would tend to me.”
He laughed at her expression again. The world of exile camps and the Valley felt very far away, and he wanted to lie there forever.
“Let me tell you about your bride,” she said, propping herself up on her elbows.
“Both of you would cultivate the land. You would hold the plow, and she would walk alongside you with the ox, coaxing and singing it forward. A stick in her hand, of course, for she would need to keep both the ox and you in line.”
“What would we...that is, my bride and I, grow?”
“Wheat and barley.”
Her nose crinkled questioningly.
“I would pick them when they bloomed,” he said. “And when she called me home for supper, I’d place them in her hair and the contrast would take my breath away.”
“How would she call you? From your cottage? Would she bellow, ‘Finnikin!’?”
“I’d teach her the whistle. One for day and one for night.”
“Ah, the whistle, of course. I’d forgotten the whistle.
Melina Marchetta (Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, #1))
He smiled and leaned over and asked in a soft voice, “Don’t you know you’re beautiful?” I swallowed, hoping my throat allowed the words through without making me sound all choked up. “I wouldn’t say ‘beautiful.’ I realize I have nice hair and eyes. I got those from my mother. But I don’t have a good personality. So it really takes away from the others.
Abbi Glines (Breathe (Sea Breeze, #1))
Your dream can be realized right in the present moment. You live your life in such a way that every step in the right direction and every breath along the way becomes the realization of your dream. Your dream does not take you away from the present; on the contrary, your dream becomes reality in the present moment.
Thich Nhat Hanh (The Art of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now)
What do you want from me Duncan?” My breath caught in my throat when he licked his lips and swallowed hard. “I don’t know everything and nothing. I feel like you’re this giant flame that I can’t get away from. I fight the pull; I try as hard as I can to move in the other direction but something keeps bringing me back. I left town hoping I’d never come back here, but here I am. I guess I’m sick of fighting it. I’m willing to take the chance of burning up the question is, are you?”
Duncan-The Wild Hunt
Seemingly on a whim, he put his hands on my shoulders, leaned forward, and kissed me too. The pressure of his lips on mine made my heart skid helplessly inside my chest. I shut my eyes and kissed him back...
I stepped away from him taking a deep breath to clear my mind. "Okay, just because I might at some point have your baby, it doesn't mean you can kiss me whenever you want."
He smiled, self-satisfied..."Here's another thing you need to learn about women, Stets. They might pretend to like the bad-boy Robin Hood types, but they can't resist hick-town boys.
Janette Rallison (My Unfair Godmother (My Fair Godmother, #2))
no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well
your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.
no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
and even then you carried the anthem under
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.
you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough
go home blacks
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off
or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
or the insults are easier
than your child body
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
your survival is more important
no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here
Then, as we pulled into a parking lot to break for lunch, another white student stood to speak. But instead of a different variation on “Please don’t make me responsible for this,” she took a deep breath and gave in to the emotion of it all. “I don’t know what to do with what I’ve learned,” she said. “I can’t fix your pain, and I can’t take it away, but I can see it. And I can work for the rest of my life to make sure your children don’t have to experience the pain of racism.” And then she said nine words that I’ve never forgotten: “Doing nothing is no longer an option for me.
Austin Channing Brown (I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness)
There are cities that take your breath away by their sheer size; some by the beat of their rhythmic culture, but Seattle gives you your breath back. Fills your lungs. I take it in and feel like I can breathe for the first time in my life. My God, it’s like I’ve been looking for this place all along. My
Tarryn Fisher (F*ck Love)
So I take it you and Gansey get along, then?” Maura’s expression was annoyingly knowing.
“Orla told me about his muscle car,” Maura continued. Her voice was still angry and artificially bright. The fact that Blue was well aware that she’d earned it made the sting of it even worse. “You aren’t planning on kissing him, are you?”
“Mom, that will never happen,” Blue assured her. “You did meet him, didn’t you?”
“I wasn’t sure if driving an old, loud Camaro was the male equivalent of shredding your T-shirts and gluing cardboard trees to your bedroom walls.”
“Trust me,” Blue said. “Gansey and I are nothing like each other. And they aren’t cardboard. They’re repurposed canvas.”
“The environment breathes a sigh of relief.” Maura attempted another sip of her drink; wrinkling her nose, she shot a glare at Persephone. Persephone looked martyred. After a pause, Maura noted, in a slightly softer voice, “I’m not entirely happy about you’re getting in a car without air bags.”
“Our car doesn’t have air bags,” Blue pointed out.
Maura picked a long strand of Persephone’s hair from the rim of her glass. “Yes, but you always take your bike.”
Blue stood up. She suspected that the green fuzz of the sofa was now adhered to the back of her leggings. “Can I go now? Am I in trouble?”
“You are in trouble. I told you to stay away from him and you didn’t,” Maura said. “I just haven’t decided what to do about it yet. My feelings are hurt. I’ve consulted with several people who tell me that I’m within my rights to feel hurt. Do teenagers still get grounded? Did that only happen in the eighties?”
“I’ll be very angry if you ground me,” Blue said, still wobbly from her mother’s unfamiliar displeasure. “I’ll probably rebel and climb out my window with a bedsheet rope.”
Her mother rubbed a hand over her face. Her anger had completely burned itself out. “You’re well into it, aren’t you? That didn’t take long.”
“If you don’t tell me not to see them, I don’t have to disobey you,” Blue suggested.
“This is what you get, Maura, for using your DNA to make a baby,” Calla said.
Maura sighed. “Blue, I know you’re not an idiot. It’s just, sometimes smart people do dumb things.”
Calla growled, “Don’t be one of them.”
“Persephone?” asked Maura.
In her small voice, Persephone said, “I have nothing left to add.” After a moment of consideration, she added, however, “If you are going to punch someone, don’t put your thumb inside your fist. It would be a shame to break it.”
“Okay,” Blue said hurriedly. “I’m out.”
“You could at least say sorry,” Maura said. “Pretend like I have some power over you.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
You,” he says to me, his hands gripping me tighter now, “are one of the bravest, strongest people I’ve ever met. You have the best heart, the best intentions—” He stops. Takes a tight, shaky breath. “You’re the best person I’ve ever known,” he says to me. “You’ve been through the worst possible experiences and you survived with your humanity still intact. How the hell,” he says, his voice breaking now, “am I supposed to let go of you? How can I walk away from you?
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
Then what is true love?” she asked audaciously.
Derian leaned forward, his focus powerfully fixed on her. His voice turned delicate and compelling as he spoke.
“Love is so much more than a feeling. True love, Eena, is something that develops over time. It’s not that initial infatuation nor the shivers and butterflies that take your breath away when you’re first attracted to someone. Those things are nice, but they are barely the beginning of what could become true love. The emotions you speak of are temporary and unreliable, elicited when two people come together. The power I speak of grows ever stronger over time until it is steadfast, even in separation. Then, reunited, it solidifies unshakably.”
She shook her head. “I don’t quite follow.”
The captain inched closer, fixing her with the sincerest of gazes. His hands cupped as if he were holding his very heart within them.
“True love is a developed and intense appreciation for someone. It’s that perfect awareness that you are finally whole when she’s with you, and that hollow incompleteness you suffer when she’s gone. True love takes time, Eena. It’s an earned comfort that tells you she’ll be right there beside you no matter what you do, not necessarily happy with your every action, but faithful to you just the same. Love is knowing someone so deeply, understanding her so completely, that you can finish her thoughts without hesitation, confident in reading her face, her body, even her slightest gesture means something to you. Love is years of devotion, sacrifice, commitment, loyalty, trust, faith, and friendship all wrapped up in one. True love does more than cause your heart to flutter, Eena. It upholds your heart when the infatuation no longer makes it flutter.”
Richelle E. Goodrich (Eena, The Return of a Queen (The Harrowbethian Saga #2))
I don't get it?" she asked "I don't get it? Let me tell you something about what I get. You think you're so smart? I spent three years on a full academic scholarship at the best college-prep school in the country. And when they kicked me out I had to petition-petition!-to keep them from wiping out my four-point-oh transcript."
Daniel moved away, but Luce pursued him, taking a step forward for every wide-eyed step he took back. Probably freaking him out, but so what? He'd been asking for it every time he condescended to her.
"I know Latin and French, and in middle school, I won the science fair three years in a row."
She had backed him up against the railing of the boardwalk and was trying to restrain herself from poking him in the chest with her finger. She wasn't finished.
"I also do the Sunday crossword puzzle, sometimes in under an hour. I have an unerringly good sense of direction... though not always when it comes to guys."
She swallowed and took a moment to catch her breath.
"And someday, I'm going to be a psychiatrist who actually listens to her patients and helps people. Okay? So don't keep talking to me like I'm stupid and don't tell me I don't understand just because I can't decode your erratic, flaky, hot-one-minute-cold-the-next, frankly"-she looked up at him, letting out her breath-"really hurtful behavior." She brushed a tear away, angry with herself for getting so worked up.
Lauren Kate (Fallen (Fallen, #1))
You can't try. Trying is a struggle and doing is an act. You can't witness the act of trying, but you can see the results of doing. Trying brings on stress because not only do you have the problem, but now you have all this frustration with it not going away just because you want it to. It's kind of like being told not to think of pink elephants—impossible.
What you have to do is stop. You say to yourself, this is over for now. I'm done for
now. Take your mind to another place and concentrate on that peaceful place. Deep
breaths. Go limp. Put your mind in another state. It takes practice, but it gets easier,
Robyn Carr (Forbidden Falls (Virgin River, #8))
Don’t let them win, Marian. Don’t let them make you less than you are. Don’t let them take away what means the most to you. Not the family who dismissed your strength and your skills, not the bastards who hurt you—yes, I know about them—and not Luthvian. Don’t let them win. Fight for what you want with everything that’s in you.”
“It’s not the same,” Marian cried. “I’m just a hearth witch and you’re—”
“I was a slave!” Lucivar shouted. “A half-breed bastard sold to one court after another, wearing that filthy Ring of Obedience to keep me submissive. But I wouldn’t submit, I wouldn’t break, and I fought back with every breath I took. I refused to be less than a Warlord Prince, and I made them deal with me on my terms. No matter how much pain they inflicted, I gave it back.
Anne Bishop (Dreams Made Flesh (The Black Jewels, #5))
As if I didn't have enough to worry about. My kingdom is threatened by war, extinction, or both, and the only way to solve it is to give up the only thing I've ever really wanted. Then Toraf pulls something like this. Betrays me and my sister. Galen cant imagine how things could get worse. So he's not expecting it when Emma giggles.
He turns on her. "What could be funny?"
She laughs so hard she has to lean into him for support. He stiffens against the urge to wrap his arms around her. Wiping tears from her eyes, she says, "He kissed me!" The confession makes her crack up all over again.
"And you think that's funny?"
"You don't understand, Galen," she says, the beginnings of hiccups robbing her of breath.
"Don't you see? It worked!"
"All I saw was Toraf, my sister's mate, my best friend, kissing my...my..."
"Your student. Wow." Emma shakes her head then hiccups. "Well, I know you're mad about what he did to Rayna, but he did it to make her jealous."
Galen tries to let that sink in, but it stays on the surface like a bobber. "You're saying he kissed you to make Rayna jealous?"
She nods, laugher bubbling up again. "And it worked! Did you see her face?"
"You're saying he set Rayna up." Instead of me? Galen shakes his head. "Where would he get an idea like that?"
"I told him to do it."
Galen's fists ball against his will. "You told him to kiss you?"
"No! Sort of. Not really though."
"I told him to play hard to get. You know, act uninterested. He came up with kissing me all on his own. I'm so proud of him!"
She thinks Toraf is a genius for kissing her. Great. "Did...did you like it?"
"I just told you I did, Galen."
"Not his plan. The kiss."
The delight leaves her face like a receding tide. "That's none of your business, Highness."
He runs a hand through his hair to keep from shaking her. And kissing her.
"Triton's trident, Emma. Did you like it or not?"
Taking several steps back, she throws her hands on her hips. "Do you remember Mr. Pinter, Galen? World history?"
"What does that have to do with anything?"
"Tomorrow is Monday. When I walk into Mr. Pinter's class, he won't ask me how I liked Toraf's kiss. In fact, he won't care what I did for the entire weekend. Because I'm his student. Just like I'm your student, remember?" Her hair whips to the side as she turns and walks away with that intoxicating saunter of hers. She picks up her towel and steps into her flip-flops before heading up the hill to the house.
"I'm tired of waiting, Galen. Good night.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
No,” I hear myself say. “You’re not supposed to be here.”
She’s sitting on my bed. She’s leaning back on her elbows, legs outstretched in front of her, crossed at the ankles. And while some part of me understands I must be dreaming, there’s another, overwhelmingly dominant part of me that refuses to accept this. Part of me wants to believe she’s really here, inches away from me, wearing this short, tight black dress that keeps slipping up her thighs. But everything about her looks different, oddly vibrant; the colors are all wrong. Her lips are a richer, deeper shade of pink; her eyes seem wider, darker. She’s wearing shoes I know she’d never wear. And strangest of all: she’s smiling at me.
“Hi,” she whispers.
It’s just one word, but my heart is already racing. I’m inching away from her, stumbling back and nearly slamming my skull against the headboard, when I realize my shoulder is no longer wounded. I look down at myself. My arms are both fully functional. I’m wearing nothing but a white T-shirt and my underwear.
She shifts positions in an instant, propping herself up on her knees before crawling over to me. She climbs onto my lap. She’s now straddling my waist. I’m suddenly breathing too fast.
Her lips are at my ear. Her words are so soft. “Kiss me,” she says.
“I came all the way here.” She’s still smiling at me. It’s a rare smile, the kind she’s never honored me with. But somehow, right now, she’s mine. She’s mine and she’s perfect and she wants me, and I’m not going to fight it.
I don’t want to.
Her hands are tugging at my shirt, pulling it up over my head. Tossing it to the floor. She leans forward and kisses my neck, just once, so slowly. My eyes fall closed.
There aren’t enough words in this world to describe what I’m feeling.
I feel her hands move down my chest, my stomach; her fingers run along the edge of my underwear. Her hair falls forward, grazing my skin, and I have to clench my fists to keep from pinning her to my bed.
Every nerve ending in my body is awake. I’ve never felt so alive or so desperate in my life, and I’m sure if she could hear what I’m thinking right now, she’d run out the door and never come back.
Because I want her.
I want nothing between us.
I want her clothes off and the lights on and I want to study her. I want to unzip her out of this dress and take my time with every inch of her. I can’t help my need to just stare; to know her and her features: the slope of her nose, the curve of her lips, the line of her jaw. I want to run my fingertips across the soft skin of her neck and trace it all the way down. I want to feel the weight of her pressed against me, wrapped around me.
I can’t remember a reason why this can’t be right or real. I can’t focus on anything but the fact that she’s sitting on my lap, touching my chest, staring into my eyes like she might really love me.
I wonder if I’ve actually died.
But just as I lean in, she leans back, grinning before reaching behind her, never once breaking eye contact with me. “Don’t worry,” she whispers. “It’s almost over now.”
Her words seem so strange, so familiar. “What do you mean?”
“Just a little longer and I’ll leave.”
“No.” I’m blinking fast, reaching for her. “No, don’t go—where are you going—”
“You’ll be all right,” she says. “I promise.”
But now she’s holding a gun.
And pointing it at my heart.
Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
He hit her with his best smile. Her eyes widened. She took a deep breath. 'Oh no, not that seductive face. I'm overcome with the need to take off these awful clothes. What is happening? I do not understand. Oooh. Ahhh.' She touched her wrist to her forehead. 'Somebody help me. I'm being drenched with my own fluids.'
'See now, you shouldn't have done that,' Kaldar said.
She gave him an innocent look.
'You've made yourself into a challenge. Now I'll have to seduce you out of principle.'
'You can try. Not that you'll get anywhere. If you were in love, that would be one thing, but we both know this is pride talking.' Audrey patted his forearm. 'It's all right. I won't tell anybody about your shameful failure. I'll keep it completely confidential.' She pretended to lock her lips and throw away the key.
'I'll remind you of this when you're collapsing on my sheets, all happy and out of breath.' He leaned closer. "I'm picturing it in my head. Mmm, you look lovely.'
'Whatever fantasies help you get through the day.' Audrey said.
'So kind of you.'
'I'm all about being charitable when it doesn't cost me anything.'
Charity? For me?
Before this was all over, either they would be lovers or they'd kill each other. Right now, he had no idea which it would be.
Ilona Andrews (Fate's Edge (The Edge, #3))
She is walking several feet ahead, pretending I don't exist, but that's okay, I'm used to it, and what she doesn't know is that is doesn't faze me. People either see me or they don't. I wonder what it's like to walk down the street, safe and easy in your skin, and just blend right in. No one turning away, no one starring, no one waiting and expecting, wondering what stupid, crazy thing you'll do next
Then I can't hold back anymore, and I take off running, and it feels good to break free from the slow, regular pace of everyone else. I break free from my mind, which is, for some reason, picturing myself as dead as the authors of the books she has collected, asleep for good this time, buried deep in the ground under layers and layers of dirt and cornfields. I can almost feel the earth closing in, the air going stale and damp, the dark pressing down on top of me, and I have to open my mouth to breath.
Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places)
He leans his face next to my ear, his breath smelling of chocolate making me want him more. I moan, my body defying the warnings in my mind. “You can try and act like you don’t want me, that you have control,” he breathes into my ear as he thrusts his groin harder against me. He's still pulling my hair, making me arch my back. He slowly pulls his hips away and my ass thrusts itself against his groin trying to regain contact. The action takes me by surprise. Shadow lets out a vicious laugh. 'But your body can’t lie,' he nips my earlobe making me practically come on the spot, the pain shooting to my toes making them curl with pleasure, 'you have no power.'
M.N. Forgy (What Doesn't Destroy Us (The Devil's Dust, #1))
The raft finally got here,” he said. Calypso snorted. Her eyes might have been red, but it was hard to tell in the moonlight. “You just noticed?” “But if it only shows up for guys you like—” “Don’t push your luck, Leo Valdez,” she said. “I still hate you.” “Okay.” “And you are not coming back here,” she insisted. “So don’t give me any empty promises.” “How about a full promise?” he said. “Because I’m definitely—” She grabbed his face and pulled him into a kiss, which effectively shut him up. For all his joking and flirting, Leo had never kissed a girl before. Well, sisterly pecks on the cheek from Piper, but that didn’t count. This was a real, full-contact kiss. If Leo had had gears and wires in his brain, they would’ve short-circuited. Calypso pushed him away. “That didn’t happen.” “Okay.” His voice sounded an octave higher than usual. “Get out of here.” “Okay.” She turned, wiping her eyes furiously, and stormed up the beach, the breeze tousling her hair. Leo wanted to call to her, but the sail caught the full force of the wind, and the raft cleared the beach. He struggled to align the guidance console. By the time Leo looked back, the island of Ogygia was a dark line in the distance, their campfire pulsing like a tiny orange heart. His lips still tingled from the kiss. That didn’t happen, he told himself. I can’t be in love with an immortal girl. She definitely can’t be in love with me. Not possible. As his raft skimmed over the water, taking him back to the mortal world, he understood a line from the Prophecy better—an oath to keep with a final breath. He understood how dangerous oaths could be. But Leo didn’t care. “I’m coming back for you, Calypso,” he said to the night wind. “I swear it on the River Styx.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
Her face screws up in disgust and she steps forward. "You're a fool, Miller Hart. He'll never let you walk away."
"I love her!" he roars, knocking every person back in the room. "I fucking love her!" Tears burst from my eyes and I fall into his side. He immediately grabs me and pulls me close. "I love her. I love everything she stands for and I love how much she loves me. It's more than you love me. It's more than any of you claim to love me! It's pure and light. It's made me feel. It's made me want more. If any fucker tries to take her away from me, I'll fucking kill them." Pulling up for a second, he gathers a long breath. "Slowly," he adds, shaking beside me, clinging to me tightly, like he's afraid someone will try right now. "I don't care what he says. I don't care what he thinks he can do to me. It'll be him sleeping with one eye open, Sophia, not me. So tell him. Fucking run to him and confirm what he already knows. I don't want to fuck for living anymore. Tell him I don't want to line his pockets anymore. You're not holding me to ransom. Miller Hart is out of the game. The Special One has quit!" He withdraws and takes a few moments to suck in another calming gulp of air, while everyone looks at him, shocked. Including me. "I love her. Go to him. Tell him I love her. Tell him I'm Olivia's now. And tell him if he even thinks about touching a hair on her precious head, it'll be the last thing he ever does.
Jodi Ellen Malpas (One Night Unveiled (One Night, #3))
But walking causes absorption. Walking interminably, taking in through your pores the height of the mountains when you are confronting them at length, breathing in the shape of the hills for hours at a time during a slow descent. The body becomes steeped in the earth it treads. And thus, gradually, it stops being in the landscape: it becomes the landscape. That doesn’t have to mean dissolution, as if the walker were fading away to become a mere inflection, a footnote. It’s more a flashing moment: sudden flame, time catching fire. And here, the feeling of eternity is all at once that vibration between presences. Eternity, here, in a spark.
Frédéric Gros (A Philosophy of Walking)
Except when the freedom is one you don't choose to grant," Memeki said, more loudly this time. She was shaking herself all over, struggling to stand stright again. "You hold our hope with one claw and take it away with her other! I may be weak and doomed soon to die, but I will die as an I, not just one more nameless scarp of shell to be thrown out into the sucking mud! No matter how little a time it lasts, I will be what all these are" -she looked around at Kit and Ponch and Nita and the others-"selves unto themselves and being what matters to each other! Such a life, even a breath's worth of it, is better than anything you've ever given me!" Memeki was trembling again, but with passion with determinatin, desperate and doomed. She took a stem toward the dias, and another, her claw lifted not in that old gesture of submission, but in one more like a warrior's threat. "I will be what the Voice said I was, the Hesper I will be the Aeon of Light, the Power that made a different choice from yours. I will be the Star that did not fall, no matter how little a time the light lasts!
Diane Duane (Wizards at War (Young Wizards, #8))
Wandering back into the bedroom, my gaze immediately strayed to the large bed along the wall and the lump beneath the covers. Pale light streamed through the half-open curtains, settling around the still-sleeping form of a Winter sidhe. Or a former Winter sidhe. Pausing in the doorframe, I took advantage of the serene moment just to watch him, a tiny flutter going through my stomach. Sometimes, it was still hard to believe that he was here, that this wasn’t a dream or a mirage or a figment of my imagination. That he was mine forever: my husband, my knight.
My faery with a soul.
He lay on his stomach, arms beneath the pillow, breathing peacefully, his dark hair falling over his eyes. The covers had slipped off his lean, muscular shoulders, and the early morning rays caressed his pale skin. Normally, I didn’t get to watch him sleep; he was usually up before me, in the courtyard sparring with Glitch or just prowling the halls of the castle. In the early days of our marriage, especially, I’d wake up in the middle of the night to find him gone, the hyper-awareness of his warrior days making it impossible for him to stay in one place, even to sleep. He’d grown up in the Unseelie Court, where you had to watch your back every second of every day, and centuries of fey survival could not be forgotten so easily. That paranoia would never really fade, but he was gradually starting to relax now, to the point where sometimes, though not often, I would wake with him still beside me, his arm curled around my waist.
And given how rare it was, to see him truly unguarded and at ease, I hated to disturb him. But I walked across the room to the side of the bed and gently touched his shoulder.
He was awake in an instant, silver eyes cracking open to meet mine, never failing to take my breath away. “Hey,” I greeted, smiling. “Sorry to wake you, but we have to be somewhere soon, remember?
Julie Kagawa (Iron's Prophecy (The Iron Fey, #4.5))
None of this…none of this…whatever you call this.” She waved her hand to encompass everything. Kissing. Taking her blood. Seducing her. Ordering her around. Setting perimeters. All of it.
His black gaze never left her face. His eyes as still as those of a leopard scenting prey. Avid. Burning. Intense. He took her breath away with his eyes. Hypnotized her. Cast a spell over her.
Tempest pulled her gaze from his, from the seductive, black velvet trap. “And stop that, too,” she said decisively, despite the fact that he made her hungry for him.
“Stop looking at me that way, it’s definitely out. You can’t look at me that way. It’s cheating.”
“How am I looking at you?” His deep voice dropped even lower, the cadence soft and husky. Mesmerizing. “Okay, that’s out, too. No talking in that tone of voice,” she declared staunchly. “And you know very well what you’re doing. Act normal.”
His white teeth gleamed at her, nearly stopping her heart. “I am acting normal, Tempest.”
“Well, then, that’s out, too. No acting normal.
Christine Feehan (Dark Fire (Dark, #6))
And I love you."
"Remember the night we sat here, and I fed you all the clues the future Em had given me to convince you I was legit? The bluegrass, the belly ring-"
"The designated hitter?"
"Yes." He grinned.
"What else did I tell you?"
"That you had a teddy bear named Rupert."
He rolled his eyes. "About you, and the first time I saw you."
Answering made me feel shy, but I did it anyway.
"That I said I would take your breath away the first time you saw me." I was still holding his face, and he reached up to put his hands over mine.
"You did it then. And you just did it again." His kiss was sweet, soft, and easy at first. I felt urgency stir just under the surface, but I refused to let the desire to hurry things interfere in the moment. I wanted to savor every single one.
We had all the time in the world.
My brother's voice floated down from the open window. "Emerson!"
Well, as son as my grounding was over, we had all the time in the world.
Myra McEntire (Hourglass (Hourglass, #1))
She pressed her hands against my chest and tried to push me away. "I can't think straight when you 're this close."
I backed her up against the wall. "I don't like the thoughts running through your head. I plan on staying here until you look me in the eye and tell me you 're mine."
"This isn't going to work. It never would have."
"Bullshit. We belong together." Echo sniffed and the sound tore at me. I softened my voice. "Look at me, baby. I know you love me. Three nights ago you were willing to offer everything to me. There is no way you can walk away from us."
"God Noah..." Her voice broke. "I'm a mess."
A mess? "You 're beautiful."
"I'm a mental mess. In two months you 're going to face some judge and convince him that you are the best person to raise your brothers. I'm a liability."
"Not true. My brothers will love you and you 'll love them. You are not a liability."
"But how will the judge see me? Are you really willing too take that risk? [...] What happens if the judge find out about me? What if he discovers what a mess you 're dating?"
Breathing became a painful chore. Her lips turned down while her warm fingers caressed my cheek. That touch typically brought me to knees, but now it cut me open.
"Did you know that when you stop being stubborn and accept i may be right on something, your eyes widen a little and you tilt your head to the side?" she asked.
I forced my head straight and narrowed my eyes. "I love you."
She flashed her glorious smile and then it became the saddest smile in the world. "You love your brothers more. I'm okay with that. In fact, it's one of the things i love about you. You were right the other day. I do want to be a part of a family. But i'd never forgive myself if i was the reason you didn't get yours."
To my horror, tears pricked my eyes and my throat swelled shut. "No, you 're not pulling this sacrificial bullshit on me. I love you and you love me and we 're supposed to be together."
Echo pressed her body to mine and her fingers clung to my hair. Water glistened in her eyes. "I love you enough to never make you choose."
She pushed off her toes toward me, guiding my head down, and gently kissed my lips. No. This wouldn't be goudbye. I'd fill her up and make her realize she'd always be empty without me.
I made Echo mine. My hands claimed her hair, her back. My lips claimed her mouth, her tongue. Her body shook against mine and i tasted salty wetness on her skin. She forced her lips away and i latched tighter to her. "No, baby, no," i whispered into her hair.
She pushed her palms against my chest, then became a blur as she ran past. "I'm sorry.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
The strangled word, spoken in anguish, tore at her heart, ripped through her resolve. She swiped at the tears raining over her cheeks and slowly turned, forcing the painful truth past her lips. "I can't stay. I can no longer give you what you want. I can't give you a son."
Dallas stepped off the veranda and extended a bouquet of wildflowers toward her. "Then stay and give me what I need."
Her heart lurched at the abundance of flowers wilting within his smothering grasp. She shook her head vigorously. "You don't need me. There are a dozen eligible women in Leighton who would happily give you a son and within the month there will be at least a dozen more—"
"I'll never love any of them as much as I love you. I know that as surely as I know the sun will come up in the morning."
Her breath caught, her trembling increased, words lodged in her throat. He loved her? She watched as he swallowed.
"I know I'm not an easy man. I don't expect you to ever love me, but if you'll tolerate me, I give you my word that I'll do whatever it takes to make you happy—"
Quickly stepping forward, she pressed her shaking fingers against his warm lips. "My God, don't you know that I love you? Why do you think I'm leaving? I'm leaving because I do love you—so much. Dallas, I want you to have your dream, I want you to have your son."
Closing his eyes, he laid his roughened hand over hers where it quivered against his lips and pressed a kiss against the heart of her palm.
"I can't promise that I won't have days when I'll look toward the horizon and feel the aching emptiness that comes from knowing we'll never have a child to pass our legacy on to…"Opening his eyes, he captured her gaze. "But I know the emptiness you'll leave behind will eat away at me every minute of every day."
-Dallas and Dee
Lorraine Heath (Texas Glory (Texas Trilogy, #2))
When once more alone, I reviewed the information I had got; looked into my heart, examined its thoughts and feelings, and endeavoured to bring back with a strict hand such as had been straying through imagination's boundless and trackless waste, into the safe fold of common sense.
Arraigned to my own bar, Memory having given her evidence of the hopes, wishes, sentiments I had been cherishing since last night--of the general state of mind in which I had indulged for nearly a fortnight past; Reason having come forward and told, in her quiet way a plain, unvarnished tale, showing how I had rejected the real, and rapidly devoured the ideal--I pronounced judgement to this effect--
That a greater fool than Jane Eyre had never breathed the breath of life; that a more fantastic idiot had never surfeited herself on sweet lies, and swallowed poison as if it were nectar.
"You," I said, "a favourite with Mr. Rochester? You're gifted with the power of pleasing him? You're of importance to him in any way? Go!--your folly sickens me. And you have derived pleasure from occasional tokens of preference--equivocal tokens shown by a gentleman of family and a man of the world to dependent and novice. How dared you? Poor stupid dupe! Could not even self-interest make you wiser? You repeated to yourself this morning the brief scene of last night? Cover your face and be ashamed! He said something in praise of your eyes, did he? Blind puppy! Open their bleared lids and look on your own accursed senselessness! It does no good to no woman to be flattered by her superior, who cannot possibly intend to marry her; and it is madness in all women to let a secret love kindle within them, which, if unreturned and unknown, must devour the life that feeds it; and if discovered and responded to, must lead into miry wilds whence there is no extrication.
"Listen, then, Jane Eyre, to your sentence: tomorrow, place the glass before you, and draw in chalk your own pictures, faithfully, without softening on defect; omit no harsh line, smooth away no displeasing irregularity; write under it, 'Portrait of a Governess, disconnected, poor, and plain.'
"Afterwards, take a piece of smooth ivory--you have one prepared in your drawing-box: take your palette, mix your freshest, finest, clearest tints; choose your most delicate camel-hair pencils; delineate carefully the loveliest face you can imageine; paint it in your softest shades and sweetest lines, according to the description given by Mrs. Fairfax of Blanche Ingram; remember the raven ringlets, the oriental eye--What! you revert to Mr. Rochester as a model! Order! No snivel!--no sentiment!--no regret! I will endure only sense and resolution...
"Whenever, in the future, you should chance to fancy Mr. Rochester thinks well of you, take out these two pictures and compare them--say, "Mr. Rochester might probably win that noble lady's love, if he chose to strive for it; is it likely he would waste a serious thought on this indignent and insignifican plebian?"
"I'll do it," I resolved; and having framed this determination, I grew calm, and fell asleep.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
I take a breath. Words seem suddenly trite and useless, so I step forward and grab Elias’s hands, remembering Pop. Touch heals, Laia. I hold fast to him, trying to put everything I feel into that touch. I hope your Tribe is all right. I hope they survive the Martials. I’m truly, truly sorry. It’s not enough. But it’s all I have. After a moment, Elias lets out a breath and leans his forehead against mine. “Tell me what you told me that night in my room at Blackcliff,” he murmurs. “What your Nan used to say to you.” “As long as there is life”—I can hear Nan’s warm voice as I say it—“there is hope.” Elias lifts his head and looks down at me, the coolness in his eyes replaced by that raw, unquenchable fire. I forget to breathe. “Don’t you forget it,” he says. “Ever.” I nod. The minutes pass, and neither of us pull away, instead finding solace in the coolness of the night and the quiet company of the stars.
Sabaa Tahir (A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2))
While Emma pressed the unlock button on her key fob, Aidan started walking away, but then he stopped. He turned back and shook his head. “Oh f*ck it.” Taking Emma totally off guard, he shoved her against the car. He wrapped his arms around her waist, jerking her flush against him. Electricity tingled through her at his touch, and his scent invaded her nostrils, making her feel lightheaded.
She squirmed in his arms. “What are you—”
He silenced her by leaning over and crushing his lips against hers. She protested by pushing her hands against his chest, but the warmth of his tongue sliding open her lips caused her to feel weak. Her arms fell limply at her sides.
Aidan’s hands swept from her waist and up her back. He tangled his fingers through her long hair as his tongue plunged in her mouth, caressing and teasing Emma’s. Her hands left her side to wrap around his neck, drawing him even closer to her. God, it had been so very long since someone had kissed her, and it had taken Travis a week to get up the nerve to kiss her like this. Aidan was hot and heavy right out of the gate.
Using his hips, Aidan kept her pinned against the car as he kept up his assault on her mouth. Just when she thought she couldn’t breathe and might pass out, he released her lips. Staring down at her with eyes hooded and drunk with desire, Aidan smiled. “Maybe that will help you with your decision.
Katie Ashley (The Proposition (The Proposition, #1))
He turned his face to me, and it was streaked with tears. I wanted to wipe them away, tell him that everything would be all right, but my body was locked stiff with pain.
“Promise me you’ll get better,” he whispered. “Tell me you’ll grow strong again. That you’ll gallop on horseback through summer meadows. Dance in spring rains and let snowflakes melt on your tongue in winter. That you’ll travel wherever the wind takes you. That you’ll live.” He stroked my hair. “Promise me.”
Confusion crept over me. “You’ll be with me, though. You’ll do those things too?”
He kissed my lips, silencing my questions. “Promise me.”
“No,” I said, struggling against him.. “No, you said you were coming with me. You said. You promised.” He had to be coming with me - he said he was and Tristan couldn’t lie. Wouldn’t lie.
He got to his feet and stepped into the water. I tried to struggle, but he was too strong. “Tristian, no, no, no!” I tried to scream, but I couldn’t. I tried to hold on to him, but my fingers wouldn’t work. The cold of the water bit into my skin and I sobbed, terrified. “You said you would never leave me!”
He stopped, the weight of his sorrow greater than any mountain. “And if I had the choice, I never would. I love you, Cécile. I will love you until the day I take my last breath and that is the truth. “ He kissed me hard. “Forgive me.
Danielle L. Jensen (Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, #1))
Like you?” My face twisted in abhorrence, spitting the words like they were revolting. Her eyes widened. I shook my head, a dark chuckle on my lips. “You think I fucking like you? Are you kidding me here? I don’t like you. I love you. Even that’s an under-fucking-statement. I live for you. I breathe for you. I will die for you. It. Has. Always. Been. You. Ever since I saw your sorry ass for the first time on that threshold and you fucking poked me in the chest like I was a toy. We’ve been apart for ten years, Rose LeBlanc, and not even one day has passed without me thinking of you. And not just in passing. You know, the occasional she-could-have-been-a-g reat-fuck. I mean really taking my time to think about you. Wondering what you looked like. Where youwere. What you were doing. Who you were with. I stalked you on Facebook. And Twitter—which, by the way, you need to deactivate because you never once bothered to tweet—but you aren’t exactly a social media animal. I asked about you. Every time I was in town. And once I realized you were in New York with Millie…” “Rosie, I bought a new penthouse in TriBeca a few months before you moved into our building.”
“Why are you telling me this?” She blinked away her tears, but fresh ones rolled down to replace them time. “Because I had to sell it and lost a shit-ton of money the moment I realized you were going to be my neighbor if I stayed in my current place. Real talk, Rosie, you are all I ever wanted. Even when you wanted me to be with your sister. She was a comforting candle. You were the dazzling sun. I’d lived in the dark—for your selfish ass. And if you think I’m going to settle for something , you’re dead wrong. I am taking everything . We will have kids, Rose LeBlanc. We will have a wedding. And we will have joy and vacations and days where we just fuck and days where we just fight and days where we just live. Because this is life, Baby LeBlanc, and I love the fuck out of you, so I’m going to give you the best one there is. Got it?
L.J. Shen (Ruckus (Sinners of Saint, #2))
My blood, sweat and tears
My last dance
Take it away
My blood, sweat and tears
My cold breath
Take it away
My blood, sweat and tears
Even my blood, sweat and tears
Even my body, heart and soul
I know that it’s all yours
This is a spell that’ll punish me
Peaches and cream
Sweeter than sweet
And chocolate wings
But your wings are wings of the devil
In front of your sweet is bitter bitter
Kiss me, I don’t care if it hurts,
Hurry and choke me
So I can’t hurt any more
Baby, I don’t care if I get drunk, I’ll drink you in now
Your whiskey, deep into my throat
My blood, sweat and tears
My last dance
Take it away
My blood, sweat and tears
My cold breath
Take it away
I want you a lot, a lot, a lot
I want you a lot, a lot, a lot
I want you a lot, a lot, a lot
I want you a lot, a lot, a lot
I don’t care if it hurts, tie me up
So I can’t run away
Grab me tightly and shake me
So I can’t snap out of it
Kiss me on the lips lips,
Our own little secret
I wanna be addicted to your prison
So I can’t serve anyone that’s not you
Even though I know,
I drink the poisonous Holy Grail
My blood, sweat and tears
My last dance
Take it away
My blood, sweat and tears
My cold breath
Take it away
I want you a lot, a lot, a lot
I want you a lot, a lot, a lot
I want you a lot, a lot, a lot
I want you a lot, a lot, a lot
Kill me softly
Close my eyes with your touch
I can’t even reject you anyway
I can’t run away anymore
You’re too sweet, too sweet
Because you’re too sweet
My blood, sweat and tears
My blood, sweat and tears
How do you break up with your boyfriend in a way that tells him, "I don't want to sleep with you on a regular basis anymore, but please be available for late night booty calls if I run out of other options"?
The story's so old you can't tell it anymore without everyone groaning, even your oldest friends with the last of their drinks shivering around the ice in their dirty glasses. The music playing is the same album everyone has. Those shoes, everybody has the same shoes on. It looked a little like rain so on person brought an umbrella, useless now in the starstruck clouded sky, forgotten on the way home, which is how the umbrella ended up in her place anyway. Everyone gets older on nights like this.
And still it's a fresh slap in the face of everything you had going, that precarious shelf in the shallow closet that will certainly, certainly fall someday. Photographs slipping into a crack to be found by the next tenant, that one squinter third from the left laughing at something your roommate said, the coaster from that place in the city you used to live in, gone now. A letter that seemed important for reasons you can't remember, throw it out, the entry in the address book you won't erase but won't keep when you get a new phone, let it pass and don't worry about it. You don't think about them; "I haven't thought about them in forever," you would say if anybody brought it up, and nobody does."
You think about them all the time.
Close the book but forget to turn off the light, just sit staring in bed until you blink and you're out of it, some noise on the other side of the wall reminding you you're still here. That's it, that's everything. There's no statue in the town square with an inscription with words to live by. The actor got slapped this morning by someone she loved, slapped right across the face, but there's no trace of it on any channel no matter how late you watch. How many people--really, count them up--know where you are? How many will look after you when you don't show up? The churches and train stations are creaky and the street signs, the menus, the writing on the wall, it all feels like the wrong language. Nobody, nobody knows what you're thinking of when you lean your head against the wall.
Put a sweater on when you get cold. Remind yourself, this is the night, because it is. You're free to sing what you want as you walk there, the trees rustling spookily and certainly and quietly and inimitably. Whatever shoes you want, fuck it, you're comfortable. Don't trust anyone's directions. Write what you might forget on the back of your hand, and slam down the cheap stuff and never mind the bad music from the window three floors up or what the boys shouted from the car nine years ago that keeps rattling around in your head, because you're here, you are, for the warmth of someone's wrists where the sleeve stops and the glove doesn't quite begin, and the slant of the voice on the punch line of the joke and the reflection of the moon in the water on the street as you stand still for a moment and gather your courage and take a breath before stealing away through the door. Look at it there. Take a good look. It looks like rain.
Love is kisses and touches and all the little things that make your body flood with emotions such as need, want, protectiveness, jealousy, hurt, and anger. It can take your breath away, or smother you at times, and make you feel like you can't go on. Your heart may race a thousand miles per minute, then slow down, and then race again, just with a simple look. Love is deadly and can kill you from the inside out if you let it. It makes you do stupid, ridiculous things, and say senseless sappy words, or listen to silly love songs, jazz, or dance in the streets, or laugh, or smile. Love is a weapon, or a drug, and can drive a person mad. I know what love is...
Lyra Parish (Weak for Him (Weakness, #1))
My arms broke free from my control. My left hand reached for his face, his hair, to wind my fingers in it.
My right hand was faster, was not mine.
Melanie's fist punched his jaw, knocked his face away from mine with a blunt, low sound. Flesh against flesh, hard and angry.
The force of it was not enough to move him far, but he scrambled away from me the instant our lips were no longer connected, gaping with horrorstruck eyes at my horrorstruck expression.
I stared down at the still-clenched fist, as repulsed as if I'd found a scorpion growing on the end of my arm. A gasp of revulsion choked its way out of my throat. I grabbed the right wrist with my left hand, desperate to keep Melanie from using my body for violence again.
I glanced up at Jared. He was staring at the fist I restrained, too, the horror fading, surprise taking its place. In that second, his expression was entirely defenseless. I could easily read his thoughts as they moved across his unlocked face.
This was not what he had expected. And he's had expectations; that was plain to see. This had been a test. A test he'd thought he was prepared to evaluate. But he'd been surprised.
Did that mean pass or fail?
The pain in my chest was not a surprise. I already knew that a breaking heart was more than an exaggeration.
In a flight-or-fight situation, I never had a choice; it would always be flight for me. Because Jared was between me and the darkness of the tunnel exit, I wheeled and threw myself into the box-packed hole.
I was sobbing because it had been a test, and, stupid, stupid, stupid, emotional creature that I was, I wanted it to be real.
Melanie was writhing in agony inside me, and it was hard to make sense of the double pain. I felt as thought I was dying because it wasn't real; she felt as though she was dying because, to her, it had felt real enough. In all that she'd lost since the end of the world, so long ago, she'd never before felt betrayed.
'No one's betrayed you, stupid,' I railed at her.
'How could he? How?' she ranted, ignoring me.
We sobbed beyond control.
One word snapped us back from the edge of hysteria.
From the mouth of the hole, Jared's low, rough voice - broken and strangely childlike - asked, "Mel?"
"Mel?" he asked again, the hope he didn't want to feel colouring his tone.
My breath caught in another sob, an aftershock.
"You know that was for you, Mel. You know that. Not for h- it. You know I wasn't kissing it."
"If you're in there, Mel..." He paused.
Melanie hated the "if". A sob burst up through my lungs and I gasped for air.
"I love you," Jared said. "Even if you're not there, if you can't hear me, I love you.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host (The Host, #1))
Reminiscing in the drizzle of Portland, I notice the ring that’s landed on your finger, a massive
insect of glitter, a chandelier shining at the end
of a long tunnel. Thirteen years ago, you hid the hurt
in your voice under a blanket and said there’s two kinds
of women—those you write poems about
and those you don’t. It’s true. I never brought you
a bouquet of sonnets, or served you haiku in bed.
My idea of courtship was tapping Jane’s Addiction
lyrics in Morse code on your window at three A.M.,
whiskey doing push-ups on my breath. But I worked
within the confines of my character, cast
as the bad boy in your life, the Magellan
of your dark side. We don’t have a past so much
as a bunch of electricity and liquor, power
never put to good use. What we had together
makes it sound like a virus, as if we caught
one another like colds, and desire was merely
a symptom that could be treated with soup
and lots of sex. Gliding beside you now,
I feel like the Benjamin Franklin of monogamy,
as if I invented it, but I’m still not immune
to your waterfall scent, still haven’t developed
antibodies for your smile. I don’t know how long
regret existed before humans stuck a word on it.
I don’t know how many paper towels it would take
to wipe up the Pacific Ocean, or why the light
of a candle being blown out travels faster
than the luminescence of one that’s just been lit,
but I do know that all our huffing and puffing
into each other’s ears—as if the brain was a trick
birthday candle—didn’t make the silence
any easier to navigate. I’m sorry all the kisses
I scrawled on your neck were written
in disappearing ink. Sometimes I thought of you
so hard one of your legs would pop out
of my ear hole, and when I was sleeping, you’d press
your face against the porthole of my submarine.
I’m sorry this poem has taken thirteen years
to reach you. I wish that just once, instead of skidding
off the shoulder blade’s precipice and joyriding
over flesh, we’d put our hands away like chocolate
to be saved for later, and deciphered the calligraphy
of each other’s eyelashes, translated a paragraph
from the volumes of what couldn’t be said.
One of the most frustrating words in the human language, as far as I could tell, was love. So much meaning attached to this one little word. People bandied it about freely, using it to describe their attachments to possessions, pets, vacation destinations, and favorite foods. In the same breath they then applied this word to the person they considered most important in their lives. Wasn’t that insulting? Shouldn’t there be some other term to describe deeper emotion? Humans were so preoccupied with love. They were all desperate to form an attachment to one person they could refer to as their “other half.” It seemed from my reading of literature that being in love meant becoming the beloved’s entire world. The rest of the universe paled into insignificance compared to the lovers. When they were separated, each fell into a melancholy state, and only when they were reunited did their hearts start beating again. Only when they were together could they really see the colors of the world. When they were apart, that color leached away, leaving everything a hazy gray. I lay in bed, wondering about the intensity of this emotion that was so irrational and so irrefutably human. What if a person’s face was so sacred to you it was permanently inscribed in your memory? What if their smell and touch were dearer to you than life itself? Of course, I knew nothing about human love, but the idea had always been intriguing to me. Celestial beings never pretended to understand the intensity of human relationships; but I found it amazing how humans could allow another person to take over their hearts and minds. It was ironic how love could awaken them to the wonders of the universe, while at the same time confine their attention to one another.
Dalinar took one step forward, then drove his Blade point-first into the middle of the blackened glyph on the stone. He took a step back. “For the bridgemen,” he said.
Sadeas blinked. Muttering voices fell silent, and the people on the field seemed too stunned, even, to breathe.
“The Blade,”Dalinar said, firm voice carrying in the air. “In exchange for your bridgemen. All of them. Every one you have in camp. They become mine, to do with as I please, never to be touched by you again. In exchange, you get the sword.”
Sadeas looked down at the Blade, incredulous. “This weapon is worth fortunes. Cities, palaces, kingdoms.”
“Do we have a deal?”Dalinar asked.
“Father, no!”Adolin Kholin said, his own Blade appearing in his hand. “You—”
Dalinar raised a hand, silencing the younger man. He kept his eyes on Sadeas. “Do we have a deal?” he asked, each word sharp.
Kaladin stared, unable to move, unable to think.
Sadeas looked at the Shardblade, eyes full of lust. He glanced at Kaladin, hesitated just briefly, then reached and grabbed the Blade by the hilt. “Take the storming creatures.”
Dalinar nodded curtly, turning away from Sadeas. “Let’s go,”he said to his entourage.
“They’re worthless, you know,”Sadeas said. “You’re of the ten fools, Dalinar Kholin! Don’t you see how mad you are? This will be remembered as the most ridiculous decision ever made by an Alethi highprince!”
Dalinar didn’t look back. He walked up to Kaladin and the other members of Bridge Four. “Go,” Dalinar said to them, voice kindly. “Gather your things and the men you left behind. I will send troops with you to act as guards. Leave the bridges and come swiftly to my camp. You will be safe there. You have my word of honor on it.”
He began to walk away.
Kaladin shook off his numbness. He scrambled after the highprince, grabbing his armored arm. “Wait. You—That—What just happened?”
Dalinar turned to him. Then, the highprince laid a hand on Kaladin’s shoulder, the gauntlet gleaming blue, mismatched with the rest of his slate-grey armor. “I don’t know what has been done to you. I can only guess what your life has been like. But know this. You will not be bridgemen in my camp, nor will you be slaves.”
“What is a man’s life worth?” Dalinar asked softly.
“The slavemasters say one is worth about two emerald broams,” Kaladin said, frowning.
“And what do you say?”
“A life is priceless,” he said immediately, quoting his father.
Dalinar smiled, wrinkle lines extending from the corners of his eyes. “Coincidentally, that is the exact value of a Shardblade. So today, you and your men sacrificed to buy me twenty-six hundred priceless lives. And all I had to repay you with was a single priceless sword. I call that a bargain.”
“You really think it was a good trade, don’t you?” Kaladin said, amazed.
Dalinar smiled in a way that seemed strikingly paternal.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
Words - take her with you
let her rest in your rhymes
Words - take her away
somewhere beyond time
Words - ease her breathing
lay her softly on the floor
there - let her linger
and listen like ever before
Leave her windows uncovered at night
and fill her room with the citylights
as they illuminate the sky
it reminds her of the people outside
cause she won't sleep unless she heals her loneliness
Walk with her beneath the treetops
create new paths and memories
show her how the sunlight
glances through the gaps between the leaves
Words - help her change the world
in only one verse
tell her to reach for the stars
and to always put love first
Leave her windows uncovered at night
and fill her rooms with the citylights
as they illuminate the sky
it reminds her of the people outside
it reminds her of the people
it reminds her of the people
it reminds her of the people outside.
I went back in and grabbed my running clothes, then changed in the bathroom. I opened the door to the bathroom, stopping when I saw Kaidan's toiletry bag on the sink. I was overcome with curiosity about his cologne or aftershave, because I'd never smelled it on anyone else before. Feeling sneaky, I prodded one finger into the bag and peeked. No cologne bottle. Only a razor, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant. I picked up the deodorant, pulled off the lid, and smelled it. Nope, that wasn't it.
The sound of Kaidan's deep chuckle close to the doorway made me scream and drop the deodorant into the sink with a clatter. I smacked one hand to my chest and grabbed the edge of the sink with the other. He laughed out loud now.
“Okay, that must have looked really bad.” I spoke to his reflection in the mirror, then fumbled to pick up the deodorant. I put the lid on and dropped it in his bag. “But I was just trying to figure out what cologne you wear.”
My face was on fire as Kaidan stepped into the small bathroom and leaned against the counter, crossing his arms over his chest. I stepped away. He seemed entertained by my predicament.
“I haven't been wearing any cologne.”
“Oh.” I cleared my throat. “Well, I didn't see any, so I thought it might be your deodorant, but that's not it either. Maybe it's your laundry detergent or something. Let's just forget about it.”
“What is it you smell, exactly?” His voice took on a husky quality, and it felt like he was taking up a lot of room. I couldn't bring myself to look at him. Something strange was going on here. I stepped back, hitting the tub with my heel as I tried to put the scent into words.
“I don't know. It's like citrus and the forest or something...leaves and tree sap. I can't explain it.”
His eyes bored into mine while he wore that trademark sexy smirk, arms still crossed.
“Citrus?” he asked. “Like lemons?”
“Oranges mostly. And a little lime, too.”
He nodded and flicked his head to the side to get hair out of his eyes. Then his smile disappeared and his badge throbbed.
“What you smell are my pheromones, Anna.”
A small, nervous laugh burst from my throat.
“Oh, okay, then. Well...” I eyed the small space that was available to pass through the door. I made an awkward move toward it, but he shifted his body and I stepped back again.
“People can't usually smell pheromones,” he told me. “You must be using your extra senses without realizing it. I've heard of Neph losing control of their senses with certain emotions. Fear, surprise...lust.”
I rubbed my hands up and down my upper arms, wanting nothing more than to veer this conversation out of the danger zone.
“Yeah, I do have a hard time reining in the scent sometimes,” I babbled. “It even gets away from me while I sleep now and then. I wake up thinking Patti's making cinnamon rolls and it ends up being from someone else's apartment. Then I'm just stuck with cereal. Anyway...”
“Would you like to know your own scent?” he asked me.
My heart swelled up big in my chest and squeezed small again. This whole scent thing was way too sensual to be discussed in this small space. Any second now my traitorous body would be emitting some of those pheromones and there'd be red in my aura.
“Uh, not really,” I said, keeping my eyes averted. “I think I should probably go.”
He made no attempt to move out of the doorway.
“You smell like pears with freesia undertones.”
“Wow, okay.” I cleared my throat, still refusing eye contact. I had to get out of there. “I think I'll just...” I pointed to the door and began to shuffle past him, doing my best not to brush up against him. He finally took a step back and put his hands up by his sides to show that he wouldn't touch me. I broke out of the confined bathroom and took a deep breath.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
I’ve loved you probably from the first moment that I met you and I will love you until my last breath leaves. I fell in love with you the first time you smiled at me and only
realized the truth of it the night you danced with me under the street lamp. You are the first person I think of each morning and the last person that I want to see before I close my eyes at night. You smell like donuts and coffee … And you have a smile that takes my breath away. You bowl me over with your sense of humor and your random comments and you inspire me with your bravery in the face of all that you’ve endured.
Thea Gonzales (Falling Petals: A Story About First Chances)
My first thought was, he lied in every word,
That hoary cripple, with malicious eye
Askance to watch the workings of his lie
On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford
Suppression of the glee, that pursed and scored
Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby.
What else should he be set for, with his staff?
What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare
All travellers who might find him posted there,
And ask the road? I guessed what skull-like laugh
Would break, what crutch 'gin write my epitaph
For pastime in the dusty thoroughfare.
If at his counsel I should turn aside
Into that ominous tract which, all agree,
Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly
I did turn as he pointed, neither pride
Now hope rekindling at the end descried,
So much as gladness that some end might be.
For, what with my whole world-wide wandering,
What with my search drawn out through years, my hope
Dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope
With that obstreperous joy success would bring,
I hardly tried now to rebuke the spring
My heart made, finding failure in its scope.
As when a sick man very near to death
Seems dead indeed, and feels begin and end
The tears and takes the farewell of each friend,
And hears one bit the other go, draw breath
Freelier outside, ('since all is o'er,' he saith
And the blow fallen no grieving can amend;')
When some discuss if near the other graves
be room enough for this, and when a day
Suits best for carrying the corpse away,
With care about the banners, scarves and staves
And still the man hears all, and only craves
He may not shame such tender love and stay.
Thus, I had so long suffered in this quest,
Heard failure prophesied so oft, been writ
So many times among 'The Band' to wit,
The knights who to the Dark Tower's search addressed
Their steps - that just to fail as they, seemed best,
And all the doubt was now - should I be fit?
So, quiet as despair I turned from him,
That hateful cripple, out of his highway
Into the path he pointed. All the day
Had been a dreary one at best, and dim
Was settling to its close, yet shot one grim
Red leer to see the plain catch its estray.
For mark! No sooner was I fairly found
Pledged to the plain, after a pace or two,
Than, pausing to throw backwards a last view
O'er the safe road, 'twas gone; grey plain all round;
Nothing but plain to the horizon's bound.
I might go on, naught else remained to do.
So on I went. I think I never saw
Such starved ignoble nature; nothing throve:
For flowers - as well expect a cedar grove!
But cockle, spurge, according to their law
Might propagate their kind with none to awe,
You'd think; a burr had been a treasure trove.
No! penury, inertness and grimace,
In some strange sort, were the land's portion. 'See
Or shut your eyes,' said Nature peevishly,
It nothing skills: I cannot help my case:
Tis the Last Judgement's fire must cure this place
Calcine its clods and set my prisoners free.
Are you going to hand me over to him?"
"I haven't decided yet," I teased, and he smiled again, erasing his momentary seriousness. "So, where'd you get the suit?"
"Believe it or not, that lovely friend of yours, Willa," Loki said. "She brought me a whole slew of clothes last night. When I asked her why she was being so generous, she said it was out of fear that I would run around naked."
I smiled. "That does sound like something you would do. Why are you wearing all black, though? Didn't you know you were going to a wedding?"
"On the contrary," he said, doing his best to look unhappy. "I'm in mourning over the wedding."
"Oh, because it's too late?" I asked.
"No, Wendy, it's never too late." His voice was light, but his eyes were solemn.
"May I cut in?" the best man asked.
"No, you may not," Loki said. I'd started to move away from him, but he held fast.
"Loki," I said, and my eyes widened.
"I'm still dancing with her," Loki said, turning to look at him. "You can have her when I'm done."
"Loki," I said again, but he was already twirling me away. "You can't do that."
"I just did." He grinned. "Oh, Wendy, don't look so appalled. I'm already the rebel Prince of thine enemy. I can't do much more to tarnish my image."
"You can certainly tarnish mine," I pointed out.
"Never," Loki said, and it was his turn to look appalled. "I'm merely showing them how it's done."
He began spinning me around the dance floor in grand arcs, my gown swirling around me. He was a brilliant dancer, moving with grace and speed. Everyone had stopped to watch us, but I didn't care. This was the way a Princess was supposed to dance on her wedding day.
The song ended, switching to something by Mozart, and he slowed, almost to a stop, but he kept me in his arms.
"Thank you." I smiled. My skin felt flushed from dancing, and I was a little out of breath. "That was a wonderful dance."
"You're welcome," he said, staring intently at me. "You are so beautiful."
"Stop," I said, looking away as my cheeks reddened.
"How can you blush?" Loki asked, laughing gently. "People must tell you how beautiful you are a thousand times a day."
"It's not the same," I said.
"It's not the same?" Loki echoed. "Why? Because you know they don't mean it like I do?"
We did stop dancing them, and neither of us said anything. Garrett came up to us. He smiled, but his eyes didn't appear happy.
"Can I cut in?" Garrett asked.
"Yes," Loki said, shaking off the intensity he'd had a moment ago, and grinned broadly at Garrett. "She's all yours, good sir. Take care of her."
He patted Garrett on the arm once for good measure and gave me a quick smile before heading back over to the refreshment table.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
But you sent off that Flounder fellow," Loki said, and I rolled my eyes.
"His name is Finn, and I know you know that," I said as I left the room. Loki grabbed the vacuum and followed me. "You called him by his name this morning."
"Fine, I know his name," Loki admitted. We went into the next room, and he set down the vacuum as I started peeling the dusty blankets off the bed. "But you were okay with Finn going off to Oslinna, but not Duncan?"
"Finn can handle himself," I said tersely. The bedding got stuck on a corner, and Loki came over to help me free it. Once he had, I smiled thinly at him. "Thank you."
"But I know you had a soft spot for Finn," Loki continued.
"My feelings for him have no bearing on his ability to do his job."
I tossed the dirty blankets at Loki. He caught them easily before setting them down by the door, presumably for Duncan to take to the laundry chute again.
"I've never understood exactly what your relationship with him was, anyway," Loki said. I'd started putting new sheets on the bed, and he went around to the other side to help me. "Were you two dating?"
"No." I shook my head. "We never dated. We were never anything."
I continued to pull on the sheets, but Loki stopped, watching me. "I don't know if that's a lie or not, but I do know that he was never good enough for you."
"But I suppose you think you are?" I asked with a sarcastic laugh.
"No, of course I'm not good enough for you," Loki said, and I lifted my head to look up at him, surprised by his response. "But I at least try to be good enough."
"You think Finn doesn't?" I asked, standing up straight.
"Every time I've seen him around you, he's telling you what to do, pushing you around." He shook his head and went back to making the bed. "He wants to love you, I think, but he can't. He won't let himself, or he's incapable. And he never will."
The truth of his words stung harder than I'd thought they would, and I swallowed hard.
"And obviously, you need someone that loves you," Loki continued. "You love fiercely, with all your being. And you need someone that loves you the same. More than duty or the monarchy or the kingdom. More than himself even."
He looked up at me then, his eyes meeting mine, darkly serious. My heart pounded in my chest, the fresh heartache replaced with something new, something warmer that made it hard for me to breathe.
"But you're wrong." I shook my head. "I don't deserve that much."
"On the contrary, Wendy." Loki smiled honestly, and it stirred something inside me. "You deserve all the love a man has to give."
I wanted to laugh or blush or look away, but I couldn't. I was frozen in a moment with Loki, finding myself feeling things for him I didn't think I could ever feel for anyone else.
"I don't know how much more laundry we can fit down the chute," Duncan said as he came back in the room, interrupting the moment.
I looked away from Loki quickly and grabbed the vacuum cleaner.
"Just get as much down there as you can," I told Duncan.
"I'll try." He scooped up another load of bedding to send downstairs.
Once he'd gone, I glanced back at Loki, but, based on the grin on his face, I'd say his earlier seriousness was gone.
"You know, Princess, instead of making that bed, we could close the door and have a roll around in it." Loki wagged his eyebrows. "What do you say?"
Rolling my eyes, I turned on the vacuum cleaner to drown out the conversation.
"I'll take that as a maybe later!" Loki shouted over it.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
How to Meditate 1. Sit comfortably, with your spine erect, either in a chair or cross-legged on a cushion. 2. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and feel the points of contact between your body and the chair or the floor. Notice the sensations associated with sitting—feelings of pressure, warmth, tingling, vibration, etc. 3. Gradually become aware of the process of breathing. Pay attention to wherever you feel the breath most distinctly—either at your nostrils or in the rising and falling of your abdomen. 4. Allow your attention to rest in the mere sensation of breathing. (You don’t have to control your breath. Just let it come and go naturally.) 5. Every time your mind wanders in thought, gently return it to the breath. 6. As you focus on the process of breathing, you will also perceive sounds, bodily sensations, or emotions. Simply observe these phenomena as they appear in consciousness and then return to the breath. 7. The moment you notice that you have been lost in thought, observe the present thought itself as an object of consciousness. Then return your attention to the breath—or to any sounds or sensations arising in the next moment. 8. Continue in this way until you can merely witness all objects of consciousness—sights, sounds, sensations, emotions, even thoughts themselves—as they arise, change, and pass away.
Sam Harris (Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion)
You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.
For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons,
and to step out of life's procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.
When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.
Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?
Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune.
But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth's furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,
And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,
And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life's inmost secret.
But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written.
You have been told also that life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary.
And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,
And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge,
And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,
And all work is empty save when there is love;
And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.
And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart,
even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
It is to build a house with affection,
even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy,
even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,
And to know that all the blessed dead
are standing about you and watching.
Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, "He who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is nobler than he who ploughs the soil.
And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet."
But I say, not in sleep but in the overwakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass;
And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.
Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man's hunger.
And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine.
And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man's ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
When did you know?"
I watched him take a breath, and with it all pretense fell away. All his walls, all his cleverness, all his grandstanding and pretending. He looked vulnerable, and it made my chest ache.
"When I saw you..." he whispered, leaning forward, his eyes on mine until he became blurry. He slid his nose against my nose, nipped my bottom lip. My mouth parted in response.
"I saw you..." he kissed my parted lips, "you bent over to pick up your pen, or some such item..." he kissed me again, this time on the corner of my mouth, and my eyelids fell, my heart swelling, my breath catching, "and I thought to myself..." one more press of his lips on my jaw, "I thought, I am going to tap that ass.
Penny Reid (Scenes from the City (Knitting in the City, #4.5))
There is no pain - just travel.
On her knees, she stays still as a supplicant ready for communion. It is very quiet. All of a sudden there is no hurry. There will be time for everything. For the breezes that blow and for the rainwater drying in the gutters, for Maury to find a place of safety in the world, for Malcolm to come back from the dead and ask her about birds and jets. For the big things too, things like beauty and vengeance and honor and righteousness and the grace of God and the slow spilling of the earth from day to night and back to day again.
It is spread out before her, compressed into one single moment. She will be able to see it all -- if she can keep her sleepy eyes open.
It's like a dream where she is. Like a dream where you find yourself underwater and you are panicked for a moment until you realize you no longer need to breathe, and you can stay under the surface forever.
She feels her body falling sideways to the ground. It happens slow - and she expects a crash that never comes because her mind is jumping and it doesn't know which way is up anymore, like the moon above her and the fish below her and her in between floating, like on the surface of the river, floating between sea and sky, the world all skin, all meniscus, and she a part of it too.
Moses Todd told her if you lean over the rail at Niagara Falls it takes your breath away, like turning yourself inside out -- and Lee the hunter told her that one time people used to stuff themselves in barrels and ride over the edge.
And she is there too, floating out over the edge of the falls, the roar of the water so deafening it's like hearing nothing at all, like pillows in your ears, and the water exactly the temperature of your skin, like you are falling and the water is falling, and the water is just more of you, like everything is just more of you, just different configurations of the things that make you up.
She is there, and she's sailing out and down over the falls, down and down, and it takes a long time because the falls are one of God's great mysteries and so high they are higher than any building, and so she is held there, spinning in the air, her eyes closed because she's spinning on the inside too, down and down.
She wonders if she will ever hit the bottom, wonders will the splash ever come.
Maybe not - because God is a slick god, and he knows things about infinities. Infinities are warm places that never end. And they aren't about good and evil, they're just peaceful-like and calm, and they're where all travelers go eventually, and they are round everywhere you look because you can't have any edges in infinities.
And also they make forever seem like an okay thing.
Alden Bell (The Reapers are the Angels (Reapers, #1))
It's like this, Sergeant. We've seen a lot of our friends die, right? And maybe we didn't have to give the orders, so maybe you think it's easier for us. But I don't think so. You see, to use those people were living, breathing. They were friends. When they die, it hurts. But you go around telling yourself that the only way to keep from going mad is to take all that away from them, so you don't have to think about it, so you don't have to feel anything when they die. But, damn, when you take away everybody else's humanity, you take away your own. And that'll drive you mad as sure as anything. It's that hurt we feel that makes us keep going, Sergeant. And maybe we're not getting anywhere, but at least we're not running away from anything.
Steven Erikson (Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1))
Chicks appreciate a nice cock shot. Trust me.”
Hollis presses his lips together like he’s trying not to laugh. “Uh-huh. Sure.”
I flick my ash on the grass and take another drag. “Just out of curiosity, what constitutes a ‘nice cock shot’? I mean, is it the lighting? The pose?”
I’m being sarcastic, but Dean responds in a solemn voice. “Well, the trick is, you’ve gotta keep the balls out of it.”
That gets a loud hoot out of Tucker, who chokes mid-sip on his beer.
“Seriously,” Dean insists. “Balls aren’t photogenic. Women don’t want to see them.”
Hollis’s laughter spills over, his breaths coming out in white puffs that float away in the night air. “You’ve put a lot of thought into this, man. It’s kinda sad.”
I laugh too. “Wait, is that what you do when you’re in your room with the door locked? Take photos of your cock?”
“Oh, come on, like I’m the only one who’s ever taken a dick pic.”
“You’re the only one,” Hollis and I say in unison.
“Bullshit. You guys are liars.” Dean suddenly realizes that Tucker hadn’t voiced a denial, and wastes no time pouncing on our teammate’s silence. “Ha. I knew it!
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
It looks as if you can have both. I mean, they're both right there, one on top of the other, and it looks as if they'll blend.
But they never will.
So, you take this thing.
You take this thing you want,
and you put it in a box
and you close the lid.
You can let your fingers trace the cracks, the places where the light gets in, the dark gets out, but the lid stays on. You don't look inside. You don't look at this thing you want so much, because you can. Not. Have. It.
So you there's this box, you know, with the thing inside, and you could throw it away or shoot it into space; you could set it on fire and watch it burn to ashes, but really, none of that would make a difference, because you cannot destroy what you want. It only makes you want it more.
You take this thing you want
and you put it in a box
and you close the lid.
And you hold the box close to your heart, which is where it wants to go, and you pretend it doesn't kill you every time you feel yourself breathe.
Megan Hart (Tear You Apart)
"Fuck," Matty whispered.
He'd heard her.
It was me who couldn't breathe now. I had thought it was an accident. But she'd fucking done it on purpose. To protect me. Holy hell.
"I'm gonna go . . . ," Matty trailed off. I listened to his footsteps until he was gone before pulling back and looking down at Blythe.
"You got in front of a six-foot-three one hundred and eighty pounds of muscle because he was going to hit me?"
She nodded. "It was my fault he was going to hit you. I was just going to stop him."
She was going to stop him. This girl. Never in all my life did I imagine there was anyone like her. Never.
"Sweetheart, how did you intend to stop him? I could handle him. I've kicked his ass many, many times." I cupped her chin in my hand. "I had rather had him kick my ass than to have anything happen to you. That was fucking unbearable. You can't do that to me. If you get hurt, I won't be able to handle it."
She signed, and her eyes locked back toward the stage. " I made this worse. I'm sorry. Can you go fix things with the two of you so you can get back onstage?"
The distressed look on her face meant I wasn't going to be able to leave. I wanted nothing more than to take her back home and hold her all night. But she was really upset about this. I had overreacted. She had been sitting over here staring at the floor with the saddest lost expression, and I couldn't think straight. I had to get to her.
"I'll get Green, and we'll go back onstage. But you have to promise me that you won't try and save me again. I take care of you. Not the other way around," I told her.
She reached up and touched my face.
"Then who will take care of you?"
No one had ever cared about that before. That wasn't something I was going to tell her, though. "You safe in my arms is all I need. Okay?"
She frowned and glanced away from me. "I'm not agreeing to that," she said.
God, she was adorable. I pressed a kiss to her head. "Come with me to get the guys," I told her as I stood up and brought her with me.
"You won't do anything to Green then?" she said, sounding hopeful.
"No." Until you're asleep tonight. And then I'm beating his ass.
Abbi Glines (Bad for You (Sea Breeze, #7))
Ms. Lane.”Barrons’ voice is deep, touched with that strange Old World accent and mildly pissed off. Jericho Barrons is often mildly pissed off. I think he crawled from the swamp that way, chafed either by some condition in it, out of it, or maybe just the general mass incompetence he encountered in both places. He’s the most controlled, capable man I’ve ever known.
After all we’ve been through together, he still calls me Ms. Lane, with one exception: When I’m in his bed. Or on the floor, or some other place where I’ve temporarily lost my mind and become convinced I can’t breathe without him inside me this very instant. Then the things he calls me are varied and nobody’s business but mine.
I reply: “Barrons,” without inflection. I’ve learned a few things in our time together. Distance is frequently the only intimacy he’ll tolerate. Suits me. I’ve got my own demons. Besides I don’t believe good relationships come from living inside each other’s pockets. I believe divorce comes from that.
I admire the animal grace with which he enters the room and moves toward me. He prefers dark colors, the better to slide in and out of the night, or a room, unnoticed except for whatever he’s left behind that you may or may not discover for some time, like, say a tattoo on the back of one’s skull.
“What are you doing?”
“Reading,” I say nonchalantly, rubbing the tattoo on the back of my skull. I angle the volume so he can’t see the cover. If he sees what I’m reading, he’ll know I’m looking for something. If he realizes how bad it’s gotten, and what I’m thinking about doing, he’ll try to stop me.
He circles behind me, looks over my shoulder at the thick vellum of the ancient manuscript. “In the first tongue?”
“Is that what it is?” I feign innocence.
He knows precisely which cells in my body are innocent and which are thoroughly corrupted. He’s responsible for most of the corrupted ones. One corner of his mouth ticks up and I see the glint of beast behind his eyes, a feral crimson backlight, bloodstaining the whites.
It turns me on. Barrons makes me feel violently, electrically sexual and alive. I’d march into hell beside him.
But I will not let him march into hell beside me. And there’s no doubt that’s where I’m going.
I thought I was strong, a heroine. I thought I was the victor. The enemy got inside my head and tried to seduce me with lies.
It’s easy to walk away from lies.
Power is another thing.
Temptation isn’t a sin that you triumph over once, completely and then you’re free. Temptation slips into bed with you each night and helps you say your prayers. It wakes you in the morning with a friendly cup of coffee, and knows exactly how you take it.
He skirts the Chesterfield sofa and stands over me. “Looking for something, Ms. Lane?”
I’m eye level with his belt but that’s not where my gaze gets stuck and suddenly my mouth is so dry I can hardly swallow and I know I’m going to want to. I’m Pri-ya for this man. I hate it. I love it. I can’t escape it.
I reach for his belt buckle. The manuscript slides from my lap, forgotten. Along with everything else but this moment, this man. “I just found it,” I tell him.
Karen Marie Moning (Burned (Fever, #7))
I spoke softly. “The cops will eat you alive, Benjamin Blue. You have to go.”
Ben tensed, ready to argue.
“Detective Hawfield died. This is going to get serious. It’s way too much heat for you. Please be sensible.”
Ben hesitated. Then his shoulders slumped.
“Maybe you’re right.” Deep breath. “But you’re taking away the other possibility, too.”
“I don’t understand.” I glanced over my shoulder at the approaching vehicle. “What other possibility?”
He smiled wanly. “Ben Blue, The Hero. That kinda would’ve been nice.”
I paused, at a loss for words. My heart broke for him.
“But that’s okay.” Ben dug keys from his pocket. “After all, we’re Virals, not heroes. And that’s fine. Plus, I’m not really the hero type.”
He turned to leave.
Impulsively, I grabbed Ben’s arm. Pulled him close.
Smashed my lips against his.
The kiss only lasted a second, but also an eternity.
Then I stepped back and shoved Ben toward the Explorer.
“Of course you’re the type.” I was grateful the darkness hid my blushes. “Now go.”
Ben stared, stricken, thunderstruck. Hi and Shelton watched, wide-eyed with shock.
“Weirdest birthday ever,” Hi whispered.
Kathy Reichs (Exposure (Virals, #4))
Who, if I cried out, would hear me among
I know the answer:
Tell me: from where does love come?
An angel is sitting on my face. To whom can I run?
Take me in your arms, death,
I'm so scared;
do anything to me that will make me safe
while I kick my heels and shout out in total fear,
while we hurtle through your crags
to where it's blacker:
Orpheus' head eaten by rats,
what's left of the world scatters,
in the Lethe the poet's hairs,
below where there's no ground, down
into your hole,
because you want me to eat your sperm.
Death. I know.
"Every angel is terrifying."
Because of this, because I have met death,
I must keep my death in me,
and yet go on living.
Because of this, because I have met my death,
I give myself birth.
Remember that Persephone
raped by Hades
then by him brought
into the Kingdom of Death
there gave birth
You were the terrorized child,
Now be no more.
Requiat in pacem.
Tell me: from where does love come?
"Emerging at last from violent insight
"Sing out in jubilation and in praise."
to the angels who terrified away the night.
Let not one string
of my forever-child's heart and cunt fail to sing.
Open up this body half in the realm of life, half in death
and give breathe.
For to breathe is always to pray.
You language where language goes away.
You were the terrorized child,
Be no more.
Requiat in pacem.
For it was you I loved.
What's going on between us?"
I don't know. I rubbed my hand over my face before glancing at Echo. A hint of her cleavage peeked from her shirt. Damn, she was sexy as hell. I wanted her, badly. Would one night be enough, even if she gave it to me? Echo already felt like a heavy drug. The kind I avoided on purpose—crack, heroin, meth. The ones that screwed with your mind, crept into your blood and left you powerless, helpless. If she gave her body to me, would i be able to let go or would i be sucked into that black veil, hooks embedded into my skin, sentenced to death by the emotion i reserved for my brothers-love? "I want you."
"Do you? Really? Because these scars are sexy."
How did she see her self? "I don't give a fuck about your scars."
She stalked toward me, hips swaying side to side, eyes hardened with anger. Echo pushed her body agaist mine, parts of her fitting perfectly into parts of me. I swore under my breath, fighting for control over my body.
"How are you going to react when we 're this close and you take off my shirt? Are you still going to want me when you see red and white lines? Are you going to flinch each time you accidentally touch my arms and feel the raised skin? How about when i touch you?"
She pulled away from me, leaving my body cold after experiencing her warmth. "Or will you forbid that? Will you tell me how to dress or what i'm allowed to take off?"
Her anger only fed mine. "For the last time I don't give a fuck about your scars."
"Liar. Because the only way anyone will ever be okay with me is if they love me. Really love me enough to not care that I’m damaged. You don't love people. You have sex with them. So how could you want to be with me?"
She'd summed me up perfectly. I didn't love people-only my brothers. Echo deserved more. Better than me. One shot. Take it or go home. Kiss her and risk an attachment or leave her and watch some other guy enjoy what could have been mine.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
You need to be Queen. Everyone who knows anything knows htat, but most people don't know anything, and that is a problem." He scratched at the back of his head and shifted his weight. "I would never take that away from you. No matter what happens, I'd never take the crown from you, and I'd defend you against anybody who tried."
I didn't say anything to that. I'd never heard Tove talk so much before, and I didn't know what he was getting at.
"I know that you're in love with...well, not me," he said carefully. "And I'm not in love with you either. But I do respect you and I like you."
"I respect and like you too," I said, and he gave me a small smile.
"But it's a number of things, and it's none of them." He let out a deep breath. "That didn't make sense. I mean,it's because you need somebody to help you keep the throne, and somebody on your side, and I can do that. But...it's just because I think...I want to."
"What?" I asked, and he actually looked at me, letting his mossy eyes stare into mine.
"Will you...I mean,do you want to get married?" Tove asked. "To me?"
"I,um..." I didn't know what to say.
"If you don't want to,nothing has to change between us," Tove said hurriedly. "I asked because it sounds like a good idea to me."
"Yeah," I said,and I didn't know what I would say until it was comign out of my mouth. "I mean,yes,I do.I will. I would...I'll marry you."
"Yeah?" Tove smiled.
"Yes." I swallowed hard and tried to smile back.
"Good." He exhaled and looked back down the hall. "This is good,right?"
"Yeah,I think so," I said, and I meant it.
"Yeah." He nodded. "I sorta feel like throwing up now,though."
"I think that's normal."
"Good." He nodded again and looked at me. "Well,I'll let you go...do whatever you need to do.And I'll go do what I do."
"okay," I nodded.
"All right." He randomly patted me on the shoulder, then nodded again, and walked away.
Amanda Hocking (Torn (Trylle, #2))
I don’t believe you,’ he says. He takes a step towards me, fluster-ing me with his nearness, with his smell, which shouldn’t be so damn familiar after so much time and which shouldn’t still affect me the way it does. ‘I think you still love me,’ he says, ‘even though you don’t want to.’I glare at him, fury battling my instincts. ‘Because that kind of love, Jessa,’ Kit continues, ‘doesn’t just disappear. It doesn’t just fade. I still love you. I’ll always love you. And I think you feel the same way about me. And hell, I know I don’t deserve it. I know all I deserve is your hatred. But if there’s a chance, a single chance that you might still love me, then I’m not going to throw it away. Because I’ve been through hell and you’re the only reason I’m still standing.’ He pauses. ‘So tell me the truth. Do you love him?’I don’t answer. ‘Does he know you like I do? Does he know exactly how you like your eggs in the morning – just a little bit runny?’ he asks. ‘Does he know that you’re allergic to roses? Does he know that when your nostrils flare like that it’s because you’re trying to stop from crying and that when you say “yeah, sure” it usually means “no”?’ He takes a step nearer. ‘Does he make you see stars?’ he asks in a low voice. ‘Does he call you his north star? Because that’s what you are to me. You’re the reason I made it home.’ I squeeze my eyes shut. ‘Does he know exactly where to kiss you?’ Kit mur-murs and startles me by brushing his hand just beneath my ear. ‘Just here?’ My eyes flash open as I suppress a shudder. ‘Does he know exactly how to touch you?’ he asks, his gaze falling to my mouth. ‘Does he tell you that you’re all he thinks about? Does he tell you that he lives for you? That he breathes for you? That he dreams of you every damn moment, awake and asleep? Does he tell you any of that?’ He pauses to look at me and I try to keep a blank face. ‘No, I didn’t think so,’ he says quietly
Mila Gray (Come Back to Me (Come Back to Me, #1))
Touching the copper of the ankh reminded me of another necklace, a necklace long since lost under the dust of time. That necklace had been simpler: only a string of beads etched with tiny ankhs. But my husband had brought it to me the morning of our wedding, sneaking up to our house just after dawn in a gesture uncharacteristically bold for him.
I had chastised him for the indiscretion. "What are you doing? You're going to see me this afternoon... and then every day after that!"
"I had to give you these before the wedding." He held up the string of beads. "They were my mother's. I want you to have them, to wear them today.”
He leaned forward, placing the beads around my neck. As his fingers brushed my skin, I felt something warm and tingly run through my body. At the tender age of fifteen, I hadn't exactly understood such sensations, though I was eager to explore them. My wiser self today recognized them as the early stirrings of lust, and . . . well, there had been something else there too. Something else that I still didn't quite comprehend. An electric connection, a feeling that we were bound into something bigger than ourselves. That our being together was inevitable.
"There," he'd said, once the beads were secure and my hair brushed back into place. "Perfect.” He said nothing else after that. He didn't need to. His eyes told me all I needed to know, and I shivered. Until Kyriakos, no man had ever given me a second glance. I was Marthanes' too-tall daughter after all, the one with the sharp tongue who didn't think before speaking. (Shape-shifting would eventually take care of one of those problems but not the other.) But Kyriakos had always listened to me and watched me like I was someone more, someone tempting and desirable, like the beautiful priestesses of Aphrodite who still carried on their rituals away from the Christian priests.
I wanted him to touch me then, not realizing just how much until I caught his hand suddenly and unexpectedly. Taking it, I placed it around my waist and pulled him to me. His eyes widened in surprise, but he didn't pull back. We were almost the same height, making it easy for his mouth to seek mine out in a crushing kiss. I leaned against the warm stone wall behind me so that I was pressed between it and him. I could feel every part of his body against mine, but we still weren't close enough. Not nearly enough.
Our kissing grew more ardent, as though our lips alone might close whatever aching distance lay between us. I moved his hand again, this time to push up my skirt along the side of one leg. His hand stroked the smooth flesh there and, without further urging, slid over to my inner thigh. I arched my lower body toward his, nearly writhing against him now, needing him to touch me everywhere.
"Letha? Where are you at?”
My sister's voice carried over the wind; she wasn't nearby but was close enough to be here soon.
Kyriakos and I broke apart, both gasping, pulses racing. He was looking at me like he'd never seen me before. Heat burned in his gaze.
"Have you ever been with anyone before?" he asked wonderingly.
I shook my head.
"How did you ... I never imagined you doing that...”
"I learn fast.”
He grinned and pressed my hand to his lips. "Tonight," he breathed. "Tonight we ...”
"Tonight," I agreed.
He backed away then, eyes still smoldering. "I love you. You are my life.”
"I love you too." I smiled and watched him go.
Richelle Mead (Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid, #1))
If you wish to examine me to determine the sex of the child, you may do so.” Her chin lifted. “But as you wish me to accept yourself, for your predatory nature, you must accept me as I am. My heart and soul may be Carpathian, but my mind is human. I will not be put on a shelf somewhere because you or my husband deems it necessary. Human women moved out of the dark ages a long time ago. My place is with Mikhail, and I must make my own decisions. If you feel the need to add your protection to Mikhail’s I will be most grateful.”
There was a long silence, and the red glow faded slowly from the slashing silver eyes. Gregori shook his head slowly, with infinite weariness. This woman was so different from his kind. Reckless. Compassionate. Unaware of every taboo she broke.
His hand went to her stomach, fingers splayed. He focused, aimed, sent himself out of his body.
His breath caught in his throat, and his heart seemed to melt. Deliberately he moved to surround the tiny being, merging his light and will for a heartbeat of time. He was taking no chances. This was his lifemate; he would ensure it with every means at his disposal, from the blood bonding to mental sharing. No one was as powerful as he. This female child was his and his alone. He could hang on until she came of age.
“We did it, didn’t we?” Raven said softly, bringing Gregori back to his body. “She’s a girl.”
Gregori stepped away from Raven, holding on to his composure with his great strength of will.
Christine Feehan (Dark Desire (Dark, #2))
If he scratches my baby . . .” Ben tried to scowl, but it didn’t take. He seemed relieved. And still hadn’t let go of my hand.
I heard a shoe scuff the ground. Shelton and Hi were standing across from Ben and me.
Shelton took a deep breath. “So it’s like that, huh?”
“Guys.” I felt my stomach lurch. “I know this is weird. Ben and I, we—”
Hi’s face was pained. “I don’t even get a chance? No shot to say how I feel?”
My head jerked back. “What?”
“So it’s all decided.” Shelton sullenly kicked a rock, his voice resentful. “What does Ben have that I don’t?”
I stared, openmouthed.
Hi dropped to a knee and pinned me with solemn eyes. “I can’t hide it anymore, Victoria. You need to know the truth. I love you, too. Forever and ever. I want to be your sweet babushka.”
My mind reeled. “Hi, I . . . I didn’t—”
“I’m gonna wring your stupid necks.” Ben’s face was burning.
Hi burst out laughing, rolling away from his kick. I glanced at Shelton, who was trying—and failing—to hold it together.
“I love you, Tory Brennan!” Hi bounced to his feet, ready to bolt at Ben’s slightest twitch. “Let me rub your supple feet!”
I covered my face with both hands. “Oh God.
Kathy Reichs (Terminal (Virals, #5))
Effing St. Clair.
I cross my arms and slouch into one of the plastic seats. I am so not in the mood for this.He takes the chair next to me and drapes a relaxed arm over the back of the empty seat on his other side. The man across from us is engrossed in his laptop,and I pretend to be engrossed in his laptop,too. Well,the back of it.
St. Clair hums under his breath. When I don't respond,he sings quietly. "Jingle bells,Batman smells,Robin flew away..."
"Yes,great,I get it.Ha ha. Stupid me."
"What? It's just a Christmas song." He grins and continues a bit louder. "Batmobile lost a wheel,on the M1 motorway,hey!"
"Wait." I frown. "What?"
"You're singing it wrong."
"No,I'm not." He pauses. "How do you sing it?"
I pat my coat,double-checking for my passport. Phew. Still there. "It's 'Jingle bells, Batman smells,Robin laid an egg'-"
St. Clair snorts. "Laid an egg? Robin didn't lay an egg-"
"'Batmobile lost a wheel,and the Joker got away.'"
He stares at me for a moment,and then says with perfect conviction. "No."
"Yes.I mean,seriously,what's up with the motorway thing?"
"M1 motorway. Connects London to Leeds."
I smirk. "Batman is American. He doesn't take the M1 motorway."
"When he's on holiday he does."
"Who says Batman has time to vacation?"
"Why are we arguing about Batman?" He leans forward. "You're derailing us from the real topic.The fact that you, Anna Oliphant,slept in today."
"You." He prods my leg with a finger. "Slept in."
I focus on the guy's laptop again. "Yeah.You mentioned that."
He flashes a crooked smile and shrugs, that full-bodied movement that turns him from English to French. "Hey, we made it,didn't we? No harm done."
I yank out a book from my backpack, Your Movie Sucks, a collection of Roger Ebert's favorite reviews of bad movies. A visual cue for him to leave me alone. St. Clair takes the hint. He slumps and taps his feet on the ugly blue carpeting.
I feel guilty for being so harsh. If it weren't for him,I would've missed the flight. St. Clair's fingers absentmindedly drum his stomach. His dark hair is extra messy this morning. I'm sure he didn't get up that much earlier than me,but,as usual, the bed-head is more attractive on him. With a painful twinge,I recall those other mornings together. Thanksgiving.Which we still haven't talked about.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
You are quarter ghost on your mother’s side.
Your heart is a flayed peach in a bone box.
Your hair comes away in clumps like cheap fabric wet.
A reflecting pool gathers around your altar
of plywood sub flooring and split wooden slats.
You are rag doll prone. You are contort,
angle and arc. Here you rot. Here
you are a greening abdomen, slipping skin,
flesh fly, carrion beetles.
This is where bullets take shelter,
where scythes find their function, breath loses
its place on the page. This is where the page is torn
out of every book before chapter’s close,
this is slippage, this is a shroud of neglect
pulled over the body, this
is your chance to escape.
bend light around your skin until it colors you clear,
disappear like silica in a kiln, become
glass and glass beads, become
the staggered whir of an exhaust fan:
something only noticed
when gone. Become
an origami swan. Fold yourself smaller
than ever before. Become less. More
in some ways but less
in the way a famine is less. They will
forgive you for not being satisfied
with fitting in their hands.
They will forgive you
for dying to be
a bird diminutive enough
to fit in a mouth and not be crushed.
Do you have someone in mind, Galen?" Toraf asks, popping a shrimp into his mouth. "Is it someone I know?"
"Shut up, Toraf," Galen growls. He closes his eyes, massages his temples. This could have gone a lot better in so many ways.
"Oh," Toraf says. "It must be someone I know, then."
"Toraf, I swear by Triton's trident-"
"These are the best shrimp you've ever made, Rachel," Toraf continues. "I can't wait to cook shrimp on our island. I'll get the seasoning for us, Rayna."
"She's not going to any island with you, Toraf!" Emma yells.
"Oh, but she is, Emma. Rayna wants to be my mate. Don't you, princess?" he smiles.
Rayna shakes her head. "It's no use, Emma. I really don't have a choice."
She resigns herself to the seat next to Emma, who peers down at her, incredulous. "You do have a choice. You can come live with me at my house. I'll make sure he can't get near you."
Toraf's expression indicates he didn't consider that possibility before goading Emma. Galen laughs. "It's not so funny anymore is it, tadpole?" he says, nudging him.
Toraf shakes his head. "She's not staying with you, Emma."
"We'll see about that, tadpole," she returns.
"Galen, do something," Toraf says, not taking his eyes off Emma.
Galen grins. "Such as?"
"I don't know, arrest her or something," Toraf says, crossing his arms.
Emma locks eyes with Galen, stealing his breath. "Yeah, Galen. Come arrest me if you're feeling up to it. But I'm telling you right now, the second you lay a hand on me, I'm busting this glass over your head and using it to split your lip like Toraf's." She picks up her heavy drinking glass and splashes the last drops of orange juice onto the table.
Everyone gasps except Galen-who laughs so hard he almost upturns his chair.
Emma's nostrils flare. "You don't think I'll do it? There's only one way to find out, isn't there, Highness?"
The whole airy house echoes Galen's deep-throated howls. Wiping the tears from his eyes, he elbows Toraf, who's looking at him like he drank too much saltwater. "Do you know those foolish humans at her school voted her the sweetest out of all of them?"
Toraf's expression softens as he looks up at Emma, chuckling. Galen's guffaws prove contagious-Toraf is soon pounding the table to catch his breath. Even Rachel snickers from behind her oven mitt.
The bluster leaves Emma's expression. Galen can tell she's in danger of smiling. She places the glass on the table as if it's still full and she doesn't want to spill it. "Well, that was a couple of years ago."
This time Galen's chair does turn back, and he sprawls onto the floor. When Rayna starts giggling, Emma gives in, too. "I guess...I guess I do have sort of a temper," she says, smiling sheepishly.
She walks around the table to stand over Galen. Peering down, she offers her hand. He grins up at her. "Show me your other hand."
She laughs and shows him it's empty. "No weapons."
"Pretty resourceful," he says, accepting her hand. "I'll never look at a drinking glass the same way." He does most of the work of pulling himself up but can't resist the opportunity to touch her.
She shrugs. "Survival instinct, maybe?"
He nods. "Or you're trying to cut my lips off so you won't have to kiss me." He's pleased when she looks away, pink restaining her cheeks.
"Rayna tries that all the time," Toraf chimes in. "Sometimes when her aim is good, it works, but most of the time kissing her is my reward for the pain.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
She was looking at him steadily; he however, found it difficult to look back at her; it was like gazing into a brilliant light.
Nice view, he said feebly, pointing toward with window.
She ignored this. He could not blame her.
I couldn't think what to get you, she said.
You didn't have to get me anything.
She disregarded this too.
I didn't know what would be useful. Nothing too big, because you wouldn't be able to take it with you.
He chanced a glance at her. She was not tearful; that was one of the many wonderful things about Ginny, she was rarely weepy. He had sometimes thought that having six brothers must have toughened her up.
She took a step closer to him.
So then I thought, I'd like you to have something to remember me by, you know, if you meet some Veela when you're off doing whatever you're doing.
I think dating opportunities are going to be pretty thin on the ground, to be honest.
There's the silver lining I've been looking for, she whispered, and then she was kissing him as she had never kissed him before, and Harry was kissing her back, and it was blissful oblivion better than firewhiskey; she was the only real thing in the world, Ginny, the feel of her, one hand at her back and one in her long, sweet-smelling hair-
The door banged open behind them and they jumped apart.
Oh, said Ron pointedly. Sorry.
Ron! Hermione was just behind him, slight out of breath. There was a strained silence, then Ginny had said in a flat little voice,
Well, happy birthday anyway, Harry.
Ron's ears were scarlet; Hermione looked nervous. Harry wanted to slam the door in their faces, but it felt as though a cold draft had entered the room when the door opened, and his shining moment had popped like a soap bubble. All the reasons for ending his relationship with Ginny, for staying well away from her, seemed to have slunk inside the room with Ron, and all happy forgetfulness was gone.
He looked at Ginny, wanting to say something, though he hardly knew what, but she had turned her back on him. He thought that she might have succumbed, for once, to tears. He could not do anything to comfort her in front of Ron.
I'll see you later, he said, and followed the other two out of the bedroom.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
I wanted you to kiss me, Jack," I say, bereft. It's not as if he isn't aware what I wanted back there; to be coy would be pointless. "I don't like myself for it." He strokes my hair, cups my chin, looks me in the eyes. "If I tell you something, do you promise to never tell another living soul, not even a goldfish?" I swallow, eye to eye with him as I nod, and he takes my face between both of his hands. Whatever he's about to say, I think it's something I'm going to remember forever. "I wanted to kiss you back there in the pub, Laurie, and I want to kiss you even more right now. You're one of the loveliest people I've ever met in my whole life." He looks away, down the length of the deserted street and then back at me again. "You're beautiful and kind, and you make me laugh, and when you look at me like that with your summer hedgerow eyes...only a fucking saint wouldn't kiss you." Then he leans me against the wall with the weight of his body, and because he isn't a fucking saint, he kisses me. Jack O'Mara dips his head and kisses me in the snow, his lips trembling and then hot and sure, and I'm crying and kissing him back, opening my mouth to let his tongue slide over mine as he makes this low, injured animal noise in his throat. I feel the relief of him in every follicle of my hair, and in every cell of my body, and in the blood in my veins. His breathing is as shallow as mine, and it's so much more than I've ever imagined, and trust me, I used to let my imagination run riot where Jack O'Mara was concerned. He holds my face as if I'm precious and then pushes his fingers into my hair, cupping my head in his hands when I tip it back. This is the only time we will ever kiss each other. He knows it, I know it, and it's so achingly melancholy-sexy that I feel tears threaten again.
Josie Silver (One Day in December)
Is there anything you do that isn't designed to take you a step closer to the other side?"
Do you want that for Gen and Chloe? If you're going to take yourself out, do it with flame. Burn it all away, so there's nothing left but ashes, so we can still imagine everything we valued and loved…"
He swung before she anticipated him. His fist went through her sheetrock as if it wasn't there, shattering paint and substance.(…)
"You'll promise me. And you'll never betray that promise, or I swear to God it will kill me. Do you understand that? Do you know how much you mean to me? Even if you don't want me, you have to give me this."
"I promise, I promise." She reached up, gathered him to her. He came inch by resisting inch until his face was against her neck. Suddenly he gave, dropping to his knees, his arms surrounding her so they were pressed against each other thigh to thigh, heart to heart. He pulled her in so tightly against him she couldn't breathe, but that didn't matter. Suddenly the world was about more than herself, more than about her pain and it was easier to let go of it to hold him in her arms, to give him comfort.
Joey W. Hill (Mirror of My Soul (Nature of Desire, #4))
I will always speak the truth to you, Herb Asher," the boy continued. "There is no deceit in God. I want you to live. I made you live once before, when you lay in psychological death. God does not desire any living thing's death; God takes no delight in nonexistence. Do you know what God is, Herb Asher? God is He Who causes to be. Put another way, if you seek the basis of being that underlies everything you will surely find God. You can work back to God from the phenomenal universe, or you can move from the Creator to the phenomenal universe. Each implies the other. The Creator would not be the Creator if there were no universe, and the universe would cease to be if the Creator did not sustain it. The Creator does not exist prior to the universe in time; he does not exist in time at all. God creates the universe constantly; he is with it, not above or behind it. This is impossible to understand for you because you are a created thing and exist in time. But eventually you will return to your Creator and then you will again no longer exist in time. You are the breath of your Creator, and as he breathes in and out, you live. Remember that, for that sums up everything that you need to know about your God. There is first an exhalation from God, on the part of all creation; and then, at a certain point, it starts its journey back, its inhalation. This cycle never ceases. You leave me; you are away from me; you start back; you rejoin me. You and everything else. It is a process, an event. It is an activity - my activity. It is the rhythm of my own being, and it sustains you all.
Philip K. Dick (The Divine Invasion)
I shall expect you and the Slytherins in the Great Hall in twenty minutes, also,” said Professor McGonagall. “If you wish to leave with your students, we shall not stop you. But if any of you attempt to sabotage our resistance or take up arms against us within this castle, then, Horace, we duel to kill.”
“Minerva!” he said, aghast.
“The time has come for Slytherin House to decide upon its loyalties,” interrupted Professor McGonagall. “Go and wake your students, Horace.”
Harry did not stay to watch Slughorn splutter: He and Luna ran after Professor McGonagall, who had taken up a position in the middle of the corridor and raised her wand.
“Piertotum--oh, for heaven’s sake, Filch, not now--”
The aged caretaker had just come hobbling into view, shouting, “Students out of bed! Students in the corridors!”
“They’re supposed to be, you blithering idiot!” shouted McGonagall. “Now go and do something constructive! Find Peeves!”
“P-Peeves?” stammered Filch as though he had never heard the name before.
“Yes, Peeves, you fool, Peeves! Haven’t you been complaining about him for a quarter of a century? Go and fetch him, at once!”
Filch evidently thought Professor McGonagall had taken leave of her senses, but hobbled away, hunch-shouldered, muttering under his breath.
“And now--Piertotum Locomotor!” cried Professor McGonagall.
And all along the corridor the statues and suits of armor jumped down from their plinths, and from the echoing crashes from the floors above and below, Harry knew that their fellows throughout the castle had done the same.
“Hogwarts is threatened!” shouted Professor McGonagall. “Man the boundaries, protect us, do your duty to our school!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Wanting his mind on other matters, she deliiberately challenged his statement. "You don't know so much about me. There was a man once. He was crazy about me." She tried to look wordly. "Absolutely crazy for me."
His answering laughter was warm against her neck, her throat. His lips touched the skin over her pulse and skimmed lightly up to her ear. "Are you, by any chance, referring to that foppish boy with the orange hair and spiked collar? Dragon something?"
Savannah gasped and pulled away to glare at im. "How could you possibly know about him? I dated him last year."
Gregori nuzzled her neck, inhaling her fragrance, his hand sliding over her shoulder, moving gently over her satin skin to take possession of her breast. "He wore boots and rode a Harley." His breath came out in a rush as his palm cupped the soft weight, his thumb brushing her nipple into a hard peak.
The feel of his large hand-so strong, so warm and possessive on her-sent heat curling through her body. Desire rose sharply. He was seducing her with tenderness. Savannah didn't want it to happen. Her body felt better, but the soreness was there to remind her where this could all lead. Her hand caught at his wrist. "How did you find out about Dragon?" she asked, desperate to distract him, to distract herself. How could he make her body burn for his when she was so afraid of him, of having sex with him?
"Making love," he corrected, his voice husky, caressing, betraying the ease with which his mind moved like a shadow through hers."And to answer your question, I live in you, can touch you whenever I wish.I knew about all of them. Every damn one." He growled the worrds, and her breath caught in her throat. "He was the only one you thought of kissing." His mouth touched hers. Gently. Lightly. Returned for more. Coaxing, teasing, until she opened to him. He stole her breath, her reason, whirling her into a world of feeling.Bright colors and white-hot heat, the room falling away until there was only his broad shoulders,strong arms, hard body, and perfect,perfect mouth.
When he lifted his head, Savannah nearly pulled him back to her.He watched her face,her eyes cloudy with desire, her lips so beautiful, bereft of his. "Do you have any idea how beautiful you are, Savannah? There is such beauty in your soul,I can see it shining in your eyes."
She touched his face, her palm molding his strong jaw. Why couldn't she resist his hungry eyes? "I think you're casting a spell over me. I can't remember what we were talking about."
Gregori smiled. "Kissing." His teeth nibbled gently at her chin. "Specifically,your wanting to kiss that orange-bearded imbecile."
"I wanted to kiss every one of them," she lied indignantly.
"No,you did not.You were hoping that silly fop would wipe my taste from your mouth for all eternity." His hand stroked back the fall of hair around her face.He feathered kisses along the delicate line of her jaw. "It would not have worked,you know.As I recall,he seemed to have a problem getting close to you."
Her eyes smoldered dangerously. "Did you have anything to do with his allergies?" She had wanted someone, anyone,to wipe Gregori's taste from her mouth,her soul.
He raised his voice an octave. "Oh, Savannah, I just have to taste your lips," he mimicked. Then he went into a sneezing fit. "You haven't ridden until you've ridden on a Harley,baby." He sneezed, coughed, and gagged in perfect imitation.
Savannah pushed his arm, forgetting for a moment her bruised fist. When it hurt, she yelped and glared accusingly at him. "It was you doing all that to him! That poor man-you damaged his ego for life. Each time he touched me, he had a sneezing fit."
Gregori raised an eyebrow, completely unrepentant. "Technically,he did not lay a hand on you.He sneezed before he could get that close.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
Hanging on to it a little, are you? … There’s a trick to letting it go, in case you’re interested… You can’t try. Trying is a struggle and doing is an act. You can’t witness the act of trying, but you can see the results of doing. Trying brings on stress because not only do you have the problem, but now you have all this frustration with it not going away just because you want it to. It’s kind of like being told not to think of pink elephants- impossible. What you have to do is stop. You say to yourself, this is over for now. I’m done for now. Take your mind to another place and concentrate on that peaceful place. Deep breaths. Go limp. Put your mind in another state. It takes practice, but it gets easier, over time… My gramma used to say, you can only feel one feeling at a time. For example, you can’t feel trust and fear together. If you want to trust but you’re afraid, fear is still in charge. If you trusted, there wouldn’t be fear. She also used to say you have to listen to what you feel- feeling fear could be warning, right? ...
Don’t make love to your problems- they’ll never give you back the satisfaction you give them. And, your troubles aren’t worth the paper they’re written on, but that doesn’t mean writing them down won’t help you get a fix on ‘em. And, God respects you when you work, but he loves you when you dance… she also used to say, ‘if Jesus walked the earth today, he wouldn’t be hanging out with Billy Graham. He’d be found with the drug addicts and prostitutes and the like.
Robyn Carr (Forbidden Falls (Virgin River, #8))
Gustavo Tiberius speaking."
“It’s so weird you do that, man,” Casey said, sounding amused. “Every time I call.”
“It’s polite,” Gus said. “Just because you kids these days don’t have proper phone etiquette.”
“Oh boy, there’s the Grumpy Gus I know. You miss me?”
Gus was well aware the others could hear the conversation loud and clear. He was also aware he had a reputation to maintain. “Hadn’t really thought about it.”
“I miss you.”
“I miss you too,” Gus mumbled into the phone, blushing fiercely.
“Yeah? How much?”
Gus was in hell. “A lot,” he said truthfully. “There have been allegations made against my person of pining and moping. False allegations, mind you, but allegations nonetheless.”
“I know what you mean,” Casey said. “The guys were saying the same thing about me.”
Gus smiled. “How embarrassing for you.”
“Completely. You have no idea.”
“They’re going to get you packed up this week?”
“Ah, yeah. Sure. Something like that.”
“You’re being cagey.”
“I have no idea what you mean. Hey, that’s a nice Hawaiian shirt you’ve got on. Pink? I don’t think I’ve seen you in that color before.”
Gus shrugged. “Pastor Tommy had a shitload of them. I think I could wear one every day for the rest of the year and not repeat. I think he may have had a bit of a….” Gus trailed off when his hand started shaking. Then, “How did you know what I was wearing?”
There was a knock on the window to the Emporium. Gus looked up.
Standing on the sidewalk was Casey. He was wearing bright green skinny jeans and a white and red shirt that proclaimed him to be a member of the 1987 Pasadena Bulldogs Women’s Softball team. He looked ridiculous. And like the greatest thing Gus had ever seen.
Casey wiggled his eyebrows at Gus. “Hey, man.”
“Hi,” Gus croaked.
“Come over here, but stay on the phone, okay?”
Gus didn’t even argue, unable to take his eyes off Casey. He hadn’t expected him for another week, but here he was on a pretty Saturday afternoon, standing outside the Emporium like it was no big deal.
Gus went to the window, and Casey smiled that lazy smile.
He said, “Hi.”
Gus said, “Hi.”
“So, I’ve spent the last two days driving back,” Casey said. “Tried to make it a surprise, you know?”
“I’m very surprised,” Gus managed to say, about ten seconds away from busting through the glass just so he could hug Casey close.
The smile widened. “Good. I’ve had some time to think about things, man. About a lot of things. And I came to this realization as I drove past Weed, California. Gus. It was called Weed, California. It was a sign.”
Gus didn’t even try to stop the eye roll. “Oh my god.”
“Right? Kismet. Because right when I entered Weed, California, I was thinking about you and it hit me. Gus, it hit me.”
Casey put his hand up against the glass. Gus did the same on his side. “Hey, Gus?”
“I’m going to ask you a question, okay?”
Gustavo’s throat felt very dry. “Okay.”
“What was the Oscar winner for Best Song in 1984?”
Automatically, Gus answered, “Stevie Wonder for the movie The Woman in Red. The song was ‘I Just Called to Say I Love You.’” It was fine, of course. Because he knew answers to all those things. He didn’t know why Casey wanted to—
And then he could barely breathe.
Casey’s smile wobbled a little bit. “Okay?”
Gus blinked the burn away. He nodded as best he could.
And Casey said, “Yeah, man. I love you too.”
Gus didn’t even care that he dropped his phone then. All that mattered was getting as close to Casey as humanely possible. He threw open the door to the Emporium and suddenly found himself with an armful of hipster. Casey laughed wetly into his neck and Gus just held on as hard as he could. He thought that it was possible that he might never be in a position to let go. For some reason, that didn’t bother him in the slightest.
T.J. Klune (How to Be a Normal Person (How to Be, #1))
This was not going the way I wanted it to. I felt a desperate need to escape before I said something that would screw up my plans. Ren was the dark side, the forbidden fruit, my personal Delilah-the ultimate temptation. The question was…could I resist?
I gave his knee a friendly pat and played my trump card…”I’m leaving.”
“I’m going home to Oregon. Mr. Kadam thinks it will be safer for me anyway, with Lokesh out there looking to kill us and all. Besides, you need time to figure out…stuff.”
“If you’re leaving, then I’m going with you!”
I smiled at him wryly. “That kind of defeats the purpose of me leaving. Don’t you think?”
He slicked back his hair, let out a deep breath, then took my hand and looked intently into my eyes. “Kells, when are you going to accept the fact that we belong together?”
I felt sick, like I was kicking a faithful puppy who only wanted to be loved. I looked out at the pool.
After a moment, he sat back scowling and said menacingly, “I won’t let you leave.”
Inside, I desperately wanted to take his hand and beg him to forgive me, to love me, but I steeled myself, dropped my hands in my lap, then implored, “Ren, please. You have to let me go. I need…I’m afraid…look, I just can’t be here, near you, when you change your mind.”
“It’s not going to happen.”
“it might. There’s a good chance.”
He growled angrily. “There’s no chance!”
“Well, my heart can’t take that risk, and I don’t want to put you in what can only be an awkward position. I’m sorry, Ren. I really am. I do want to be your friend, but I understand if you don’t want that. Of course, I’ll return when you need me, if you need me, to help you find the other three gifts. I wouldn’t abandon you or Kishan in that way. I just can’t stay here with you feeling obligated to pity-date me because you need me. But I’d never abandon your cause. I’ll always be there for you both, no matter what.”
He spat out, “Pity-date! You? Kelsey, you can’t be serious!”
“I am. Very, very serious. I’ll ask Mr. Kadam to make arrangements to send me back in the next few days.”
He didn’t say another word. He just sat back in his chair. I could tell he was fuming mad, but I felt that, after a week or two, when he started getting back out in the world, he would come to appreciate my gesture.
I looked away from him. “I’m very tired now. I’d like to go to bed.” I got up and headed to my room. Before I closed the sliding door, I asked, “Can I make one last request?”
He sat there tight-lipped, his arms folded over his chest, with a tense, angry face.
I sighed. Even infuriated he was beautiful.
He said nothing so I went on, “It would be a lot easier on me if I didn’t see you, I mean as a man. I’ll try to avoid most of the house. It is yours after all, so I’ll stay in my room. If you see Mr. Kadam, please tell him I’d like to speak with him.”
He didn’t respond.
“Well, good-bye, Ren. Take care of yourself.” I tore my eyes away from him, shut the door, and drew the curtains.
Take care of yourself? That was a lame goodbye. Tears welled in my eyes and blurred my vision. I was proud that I’d gotten through it without showing emotion. But, now, I felt like a steamroller had come along and flattened me.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
You’re beautiful, Evie,” came his soft comment.
Having been raised by relations who had always lamented the garish color of her hair and the proliferation of freckles, Evie gave him a skeptical smile. “Aunt Florence has always given me a bleaching lotion to make my freckles vanish. But there’s no getting rid of them.”
Sebastian smiled lazily as he came to her. Taking her shoulders in his hands, he slid an appraising glance along her half-clad body. “Don’t remove a single freckle, sweet. I found some in the most enchanting places. I already have my favorites… shall I tell you where they are?”
Disarmed and discomfited, Evie shook her head and made a movement to twist away from him. He wouldn’t let her, however. Pulling her closer, he bent his golden head and kissed the side of her neck. “Little spoilsport,” he whispered, smiling. “I’m going to tell you anyway.” His fingers closed around a handful of the chemise and eased the hem slowly upward. Her breath caught as she felt his fingers nuzzling tenderly between her bare legs. “As I discovered earlier,” he said against her sensitive throat, “there’s a trail inside your right thigh that leads to—”
A knock at the door interrupted them, and Sebastian lifted his head with a grumble of annoyance. “Breakfast,” he muttered. “And I wouldn’t care to make you choose between my lovemaking or a hot meal, as the answer would likely be unflattering.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
Neil stared at her. “Why?”
“I can’t check track marks through cotton, Neil.”
“I don’t do drugs.”
“Good on you,” Abby said. “Keep it that way. Now take it off.”
[…] “I want to make this as painless as possible, but I can’t help you if you can’t help me. Tell me why you won’t take off your shirt.”
Neil looked for a delicate way to say it. The best he managed was, “I’m not okay.”
She put a finger to his chin and turned his face back toward her. “Neil, I work for the Foxes. None of you are okay. Chances are I’ve seen a lot worse than whatever it is you’re trying to hide from me.”
Neil’s smile was humorless. “I hope not.
“Trust me,” Abby said. “I’m not going to judge you. I’m here to help, remember? I’m your nurse now. That door is closed, and it comes with a lock. What happens in here stays in here.”
[…] “You can’t ask me about them,” he said at last. “I won’t talk to you about it. Okay?”
“Okay,” Abby agreed easily. “But know that when you want to, I’m here, and so is Betsy.”
Neil wasn’t going to tell that psychiatrist a thing, but he nodded. Abby dropped her hand and Neil pulled his shirt over his head before he could lose his nerve.
Abby thought she was ready. Neil knew she wouldn’t be, and he was right. Her mouth parted on a silent breath and her expression went blank. She wasn’t fast enough to hide her flinch, and Neil saw her shoulders go rigid with tension. He stared at her face as she stared at him, watching her gaze sweep over the brutal marks of a hideous childhood.
It started at the base of his throat, a looping scar curving down over his collarbone. A pucker with jagged edges was a finger-width away, courtesy of a bullet that hit him right on the edge of his Kevlar vest. A shapeless patch of pale skin from his left shoulder to his navel marked where he’d jumped out of a moving car and torn himself raw on the asphalt. Faded scars crisscrossed here and there from his life on the run, either from stupid accidents, desperate escapes, or conflicts with local lowlifes. Along his abdomen were larger overlapping lines from confrontations with his father’s people while on the run. His father wasn’t called the butcher for nothing; his weapon of choice was a cleaver. All of his men were well-versed in knife-fighting, and more than one of them had tried to stick Neil like a pig.
And there on his right shoulder was the perfect outline of half a hot iron. Neil didn’t remember what he’s said or done to irritate his father so much.
Nora Sakavic (The Foxhole Court (All for the Game, #1))
reining yourself in because why ruin a good thing? why make it weird? and then you say goodbye, with a hug, with a snarky remark, and head home. you climb into bed and imagine them with you. you think about how their hair falls in their face, about how they breathe when they sleep. you think about them waking up and nudging you into consciousness with soft kisses down your torso. you sit in bed and think of all the ways you could make their soul dance. how you know their quirks and it all feels so right, but why? why is this happening? why can’t you just be content with what you have now? except even now you have to control the urge to kiss them, even though it is in your nature, even just on the cheek, because what if it breaks the relationship apart at the seams? you may not even mean it sexually or romantically, but what if? and there’s always the chance they have felt this way too. but it’s only a chance. and why risk it? so you lay there in bed and twist the sheets around your legs and text them back about another person they have feelings toward and coax them into something healthy. you put their happiness before your own. you watch as they stumble and help them rise mightily. you gush over them and try to snuff out the selfishness that builds whenever you see them with someone else. it wouldn’t be fair to them to impose your own wants on them and take away a good friendship. it isn’t always about you. and yet here you are, writing this. writing this and thinking of someone specific the entire time.
Taylor Rhodes (calloused: a field journal)
Taking both of my hands, he pulls me into the tide. Salt water deepens the lavender satin of my gown to almost black. The waves push into it, making it heavier and heavier. “Tell me when,” he says.
I nod. When Galen is neck deep and I’m clinging to him to keep my head above water. When my saturated prom dress feels like an anchor grasping at my limbs. When the moon is directly overhead and makes the silver flecks in his eyes shimmer like gems. That’s when I’m ready. “Now,” I breathe.
He brushes his lips against mine. Once Twice. So soft it barely feels like anything. But it also feels like everything. He pulls me under. One day, when Galen and I are mated, I’ll be a princess. But I’ll never feel more like a princess than right now, in his arms, dancing on the ocean floor.
He pulls my from my trance with his lips against me ear. “Emma.”
It’s silly how my own name can send tingles shooting everywhere. “Hmm?”
“I’ve been thinking. About us.” He pulls away from me. “I think…I think I need a distraction.”
“Um. A distraction? From me?” The words taste vinegary in my mouth. They turn sweet again when Galen throws his head back and laughs.
“Emma,” he says, brushing his thumb across my bottom lip. “You are the one thing I’m sure of. Completely. Without thinking twice. But I want to get away from here for a little while. And I want you to come with me. I know you’re set on going to college in the fall. I’m only asking for the summer. Let’s go somewhere. Do something.”
I float up until I’m eye level with him. “Let’s. Where will we go?”
He shrugs. “I don’t care, as long as it’s away from any ocean.”
He grimaces. “The mountains?”
I laugh. “Deal. We’ll go to the mountains.”
I pull him by the neck until our noses touch. “Completely. Without thinking twice.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
Still, this moment belongs to the two of them, Mom and this handsome stranger. He reaches the passenger side door and stares down at her with steely violet eyes-down at my mother who never cries, down at my mother who’s now bawling like a spanked child-his face contorted in a rainbow of so many emotions, some that I can’t even name.
Then Grom the Triton king sinks to his knees in front of her, and a single tear spills down his face. “Nalia,” he whispers.
And then my mother slaps him. It’s not the kind of slap you get for talking back. It’s not the kind of punch she dealt Galen and Toraf in our kitchen. It’s the kind of slap a woman gives a man when he’s hurt her deeply.
And Grom accepts it with grace.
“I looked for you,” she shouts, even though he’s inches from her.
Slowly, as if in a show of peace, he takes the hand that slapped him and sandwiches it between his own. He seems to revel in the feel of her touch. His face is pure tenderness, his voice like a massage to the nerves. “And I looked for you.”
“Your pulse was gone,” she insists. By now she chokes back sobs between words. She’s fighting for control. I’ve never seen my mother fight for control.
“As was yours.” I realize Grom knows what not to say, what not to do to provoke her. He is the complete opposite of her, or maybe just a completion of her.
Her eyes focus on his wrist, and tears slip down her face, leaving faint trails of mascara on her cheeks. He smiles and slowly pulls his hand away. I think he’s going to show her the bracelet he’s wearing, but instead he rips it off his wrist and holds it out for her inspection. From where I’m standing it looks like a single black ball tied to some sort of string. By my mom’s expression, this black ball has meaning. So much meaning that I think she’s forgotten to breathe. “My pearl,” she whispers. “I thought I’d lost it.”
He encloses it in her hand. “This isn’t your pearl, love. That one was lost in the explosion with you. For almost an entire season, I scoured the oyster beds, looking for another one that would do. I don’t know why, but I thought maybe if I found another perfect pearl, I would somehow find you, too. When I found this though, it didn’t bring me the peace I’d hoped for. But I couldn’t bring myself to discard it. I’ve worn it on my wrist ever since.”
This is all it takes for my mom to throw herself into his arms, bringing Rachel partially with her. Even so, it’s probably the most moving moment I’ve ever encountered in my eighteen years.
Or at least it would be, if my mom weren’t clinging to a man who is not my dad.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
The back of my neck breaks out in a sweat, and I’m getting nervous. Why is he just standing there, staring at me? “What do you want?” I press, my tone curt.
He opens his mouth but then closes it swallowing.
“The day you left,” he blurts out, and I stop.
I wait, listening as a look of fear crosses his eyes.
“The house was so empty,” he continues. “Like a quiet that was never there before. I couldn’t hear your footsteps upstairs or your hairdryer or anticipate you walking into a room. You were gone. Everything was…” he drops his eyes, “gone.”
A ball lodges in my throat, and I feel tears threaten, but I tense my jaw, refusing to let it out.
“But I could still feel you,” he whispers. “You were still everywhere. The container of cookies in the fridge, the backsplash you picked out, the way you put all my pictures back in the wrong spot after you dusted my bookshelves.” He smiles to himself. “But I couldn’t rearrange them, because you were the last to touch them, and I wanted everything the way you had it.”
My chin trembles, and I fold my arms over my chest, hiding my balled fists under my arms.
He pauses and then goes on. “Nothing would ever go back to the way it was before you came into my house. I didn’t want it to.” He shakes his head. “I went to work, and I came home, and I stayed there every night and all weekend, every weekend, because that’s where we were together. That’s where I could still feel you.” He steps closer, dropping his voice. “That’s where I could wrap myself up in you and hang on to every last thread in that house that proved you were mine for just a little while.”
His tone grows thick, and I see his eyes water.
“I really thought I was doing what was best,” he says, knitting his brow. “I thought I was taking advantage of you, because you’re young and beautiful and so happy and hopeful despite everything you’d been through. You made me feel like the world was a big place again.”
My breathing shakes, and I don’t know what to do. I hate that he’s here. I hate that I love that he’s here. I hate him.
“I couldn’t steal your life from you and keep you to myself, you know?” he explains. “But then I realized that you’re not happy or hopeful or making me feel good because you’re young. You are those things and you’re capable of those things, because you’re a good person. It’s who you are.”
A tear spills over, gliding down my cheek.
“Baby,” he whispers, his hands shaking. “I hope you love me, because I love you like crazy, and I’m going to want you the rest of my life. I tried to stay away, because I thought it was the right thing, but I fucking can’t. I need you, and I love you. This doesn’t happen twice, and I’m not going to be stupid again. I promise.”
My chin trembles, and something lodges in my throat, and I try to hold it in, but I can’t. My face cracks, and I break down, turning away from him. The tears come like a goddamn waterfall, and I hate him. I fucking hate him.
His arms are around me in a second, and he hugs me from behind, burying his face in my neck.
“I’m sorry I took so long,” he whispers in my ear.
Penelope Douglas (Birthday Girl)
Ruby?” His hair was pale silver in this light, curled and tangled in its usual way. I couldn’t hide from him. I had never been able to.
“Mike came and got me,” he said, taking a careful step toward me. His hands were out in front of him, as if trying to coax a wild animal into letting him approach. “What are you doing out here? What’s going on?”
“Please just go,” I begged. “I need to be alone.”
He kept coming straight at me.
“Please,” I shouted, “go away!”
“I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what’s going on!” Liam said. He got a better look at me and swallowed, his Adam’s apple bobbing. “Where were you this morning? Did something happen? Chubs told me you’ve been gone all day, and now you’re out here like…this…did he do something to you?”
I looked away. “Nothing I didn’t ask for.”
Liam’s only response was to move back a few paces back. Giving me space.
“I don’t believe you for a second,” he said, calmly. “Not one damn second. If you want to get rid of me, you’re going to have to try harder than that.”
“I don’t want you here.”
He shook his head. “Doesn’t mean I’m leaving you here alone. You can take all the time you want, as long as you need, but you and me? We’re having this out tonight. Right now.” Liam pulled his black sweater over his head and threw it toward me. “Put it on, or you’ll catch a cold.”
I caught it with one hand and pressed it to my chest. It was still warm.
He began to pace, his hands on his hips. “Is it me? Is it that you can’t talk to me about it? Do you want me to get Chubs?”
I couldn’t bring myself to answer.
“Ruby, you’re scaring the hell out of me.”
“Good.” I balled up his sweater and threw it into the darkness as hard as I could.
He blew out a shaky sigh, bracing a hand against the nearest tree. “Good? What’s good about it?”
I hadn’t really understood what Clancy had been trying to tell me that night, not until right then, when Liam looked up and his eyes met mine. The trickle of blood in my ears turned into a roar. I squeezed my eyes shut, digging the heels of my palms against my forehead.
“I can’t do this anymore,” I cried. “Why won’t you just leave me alone?”
“Because you would never leave me.”
His feet shuffled through the underbrush as he took a few steps closer. The air around me heated, taking on a charge I recognized. I gritted my teeth, furious with him for coming so close when he knew I couldn’t handle it. When he knew I could hurt him.
His hands came up to pull mine away from my face, but I wasn’t about to let him be gentle. I shoved him back, throwing my full weight into it. Liam stumbled.
I pushed him again and again, harder each time, because it was the only way I could tell him what I was desperate to say. I saw bursts of his glossy memories. I saw all of his brilliant dreams. It wasn’t until I knocked his back into a tree that I realized I was crying. Up this close, I saw a new cut under his left eye and the bruise forming around it.
Liam’s lips parted. His hands were no longer out in front of him, but hovering over my hips. “Ruby…”
I closed what little distance was left between us, one hand sliding through his soft hair, the other gathering the back of his shirt into my fist. When my lips finally pressed against his, I felt something coil deep inside of me. There was nothing outside of him, not even the grating of cicadas, not even the gray-bodied trees. My heart thundered in my chest. More, more, more—a steady beat. His body relaxed under my hands, shuddering at my touch. Breathing him in wasn’t enough, I wanted to inhale him. The leather, the smoke, the sweetness. I felt his fingers counting up my bare ribs. Liam shifted his legs around mine to draw me closer.
I was off-balance on my toes; the world swaying dangerously under me as his lips traveled to my cheek, to my jaw, to where my pulse throbbed in my neck. He seemed so sure of himself, like he had already plotted out this course.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
Higher purpose: I am here to serve. I am here to inspire. I am here to love. I am here to live my truth. Communion: I will appreciate someone who doesn’t know that I feel that way. I will overlook the tension and be friendly to someone who has ignored me. I will express at least one feeling that has made me feel guilty or embarrassed. Awareness: I will spend ten minutes observing instead of speaking. I will sit quietly by myself just to sense how my body feels. If someone irritates me, I will ask myself what I really feel beneath the anger—and I won’t stop paying attention until the anger is gone. Acceptance: I will spend five minutes thinking about the best qualities of someone I really dislike. I will read about a group that I consider totally intolerant and try to see the world as they do. I will look in the mirror and describe myself exactly as if I were the perfect mother or father I wish I had had (beginning with the sentence “How beautiful you are in my eyes”). Creativity: I will imagine five things I could do that my family would never expect—and then I will do at least one of them. I will outline a novel based on my life (every incident will be true, but no one would ever guess that I am the hero). I will invent something in my mind that the world desperately needs. Being: I will spend half an hour in a peaceful place doing nothing except feeling what it is like to exist. I will lie outstretched on the grass and feel the earth languidly revolving under me. I will take in three breaths and let them out as gently as possible. Efficiency: I will let at least two things out of my control and see what happens. I will gaze at a rose and reflect on whether I could make it open faster or more beautifully than it already does—then I will ask if my life has blossomed this efficiently. I will lie in a quiet place by the ocean, or with a tape of the sea, and breathe in its rhythms. Bonding: When I catch myself looking away from someone, I will remember to look into the person’s eyes. I will bestow a loving gaze on someone I have taken for granted. I will express sympathy to someone who needs it, preferably a stranger. Giving: I will buy lunch and give it to someone in need on the street (or I will go to a café and eat lunch with the person). I will compliment someone for a quality that I know the individual values in him- or herself. I will give my children as much of my undivided time today as they want. Immortality: I will read a scripture about the soul and the promise of life after death. I will write down five things I want my life to be remembered for. I will sit and silently experience the gap between breathing in and breathing out, feeling the eternal in the present moment.
Deepak Chopra (The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life)
Pulling to a stop in front of Aly’s house, I take a deep breath. With a flick of my wrist, I cut the engine and listen to the silence. I’ve sat in this exact spot more times than I can count. In many ways, Aly’s house is like my sanctuary. A place I go when my own home feels like a graveyard. I glance up at the bedroom window of the girl who knows me better than anyone, the only person I let see me cry after Dad died. I won’t let this experiment take that or her away from me.
Tonight, I’m going to prove that Aly and I can go back to our normal, easy friendship.
Throwing open my door, I trudge up her sidewalk, plant my feet outside her front door, and ring the bell.
I step back and see Aly stick her head out of her second-story window.
“No problem,” I call back up. “Take your time.”
More time to get my head on straight.
Aly disappears behind a film of yellow curtain, and I turn to look out at the quiet neighborhood. Up and down the street, the lights blink on, filling the air with a low hum that matches the thrumming of my nerves. Across the street, old Mr. Lawson sits at his usual perch under a gigantic American flag, drinking beer and mumbling to himself. Two little girls ride their bikes around the cul-de-sac, smiling and waving. Just a normal, run-of-the-mill Friday night. Except not.
I thrust my hands into my pockets, jiggling the loose change from my Taco Bell run earlier tonight, and grab my pack of Trident. I toss a stick into my mouth and chew furiously. Supposedly, the smell of peppermint can calm your nerves.
I grab a second stick and shove it in, too.
With the clacking sound of Aly’s shoes approaching the door behind me, I remind myself again about tonight’s mission. All I need is focus. I take another deep breath for good measure and rock back on my heels, ready to greet my best friend. She opens the door, wearing a black dress molded to her skin, and I let the air out in one big huff.
Rachel Harris (The Fine Art of Pretending (The Fine Art of Pretending, #1))
And so I make my way across the room steadily, carefully. Hands shaking, I pull the string, lifting my blinds. They rise slowly, drawing more moonlight into the room with every inch
And there he is, crouched low on the roof. Same leather jacket. The hair is his, the cheekbones, the perfect nose . . . the eyes: dark and mysterious . . . full of secrets. . . . My heart flutters, body light. I reach out to touch him, thinking he might disappear, my fingers disrupted by the windowpane.
On the other side, Parker lifts his hand and mouths:
I mouth “Hi” back.
He holds up a single finger, signalling me to hold on. He picks up a spiral-bound notebook and flips open the cover, turning the first page to me. I recognize his neat, block print instantly: bold, black Sharpie. I know this is unexpected . . . , I read. He flips the page.
. . . and strange . . .
I lift an eyebrow.
. . . but please hear read me out.
He flips to the next page.
I know I told you I never lied . . .
. . . but that was (obviously) the biggest lie of all. The truth is: I’m a liar.
I lied to myself . . .
. . . and to you.
Parker watches as I read. Our eyes meet, and he flips the page.
But only because I had to.
I wasn’t supposed to fall in love with you, Jaden . . .
. . . but it happened anyway.
I clear my throat, and swallow hard, but it’s squeezed shut again, tight.
And it gets worse.
Not only am I a liar . . .
Selfish enough to want it all.
And I know if I don’t have you . . .
I hold my breath, waiting.
. . . I don’t have anything.
He turns another page, and I read:
I’m not Parker . . .
. . . and I’m not going to give up . . .
. . . until I can prove to you . . .
. . . that you are the only thing that matters. He flips to the next page.
So keep sending me away . . .
. . . but I’ll just keep coming back to you. Again . . .
He flips to the next page.
. . . and again . . .
And the next:
. . . and again.
Goose bumps rise to the surface of my skin. I shiver, hugging myself tightly.
And if you can ever find it in your (heart) to forgive me . . .
There’s a big, black “heart” symbol where the word should be.
I will do everything it takes to make it up to you. He closes the notebook and tosses it beside him. It lands on the roof with a dull thwack. Then, lifting his index finger, he draws an X across his chest. Cross my heart.
I stifle the happy laugh welling inside, hiding the smile as I reach for the metal latch to unlock my window. I slowly, carefully, raise the sash. A burst of fresh honeysuckles saturates the balmy, midnight air, sickeningly sweet, filling the room. I close my eyes, breathing it in, as a thousand sleepless nights melt, slipping away. I gather the lavender satin of my dress in my hand, climb through the open window, and stand tall on the roof, feeling the height, the warmth of the shingles beneath my bare feet, facing Parker. He touches the length of the scar on my forehead with his cool finger, tucks my hair behind my ear, traces the edge of my face with the back of his hand. My eyes close.
“You know you’re beautiful? Even when you cry?”
He smiles, holding my face in his hands, smearing the tears away with his thumbs.
I breathe in, lungs shuddering.
“I’m sorry,” he whispers, black eyes sincere. I swallow. “I know why you had to.”
“Doesn’t make it right.”
“Doesn’t matter anymore,” I say, shaking my head. The moon hangs suspended in the sky, stars twinkling overhead, as he leans down and kisses me softly, lips meeting mine, familiar—lips I imagined, dreamed about, memorized a mil ion hours ago. Then he wraps his arms around me, pulling me into him, quelling every doubt and fear and uncertainty in this one, perfect moment.
Katie Klein (Cross My Heart (Cross My Heart, #1))
Lilichka! (Instead of a letter)"
Tobacco smoke eats the air away.
a chapter from Kruchenykh's Inferno.
by the window,
I caressed you ecstatically, with fervor.
Here you sit now,
with your heart in iron armor.
In a day,
you'll scold me perhaps
and tell me to leave.
Frenzied, the trembling arm in the gloomy parlor
will hardly be able to fit the sleeve.
I'll rush out
and hurl my body into the street,--
lashed by despair
There's no need for this,
Let's part tonight and end this madness.
my love is
an arduous weight,
hanging on you
wherever you flee.
Let me bellow out in the final complaint
all of my heartbroken misery.
A laboring bull, if he had enough,
and find cool water to lie in.
But for me,
there's no sea
except for your love,--
from which even tears won't earn me some quiet.
If an elephant wants to relax, he'll lie,
pompous, outside in the sun-baked dune,
Except for your love,
there's no sun
in the sky
and I don't even know where you are and with whom.
If you thus tormented another poet,
would trade in his love for money and fame.
nothing sounds as precious to me
as the ringing sound of your darling name.
I won't drink poison,
or jump to demise,
or pull the trigger to take my own life.
Except for your eyes,
no blade can control me,
no sharpened knife.
Tomorrow you'll forget
that it was I who crowned you,
who burned out the blossoming soul with love
and the days will form a whirling carnival
that will ruffle my manuscripts and lift them above...
Will the dry autumn leaves of my sentences
cause you to pause,
pave a path with the final tenderness
for your footsteps as you depart.
Vladimir Mayakovsky (Backbone Flute: Selected Poetry)
You’re lucky you’re good in
“Oh.” He grabbed at my foot. “I think you keep me around for other reasons.”
I slanted him a look out of the corner of my eye. “Right now, for the life of me I can’t think what those reasons are.”
Braden tugged harder on my foot, raising his fingers towards it. “Take it back or the foot getsit.”
Oh hell no! I yanked at my appendage.
Deaf to my warning, he started to tickle me,his grip tightening as I laughed breathlessly and
kicked out, trying to get free.
He wouldn’t stop. Ruthless!
“Braden,” I panted hysterically, attempting to shove at him with my arms but struggling as he continued his war on my feet. I laughed harder,
ribs aching, and then… horror.
I broke wind.
Braden immediately let go of my feet, his loud, rumbling laugh filling the room, laughter that only deepened when I lost balance, from kicking out
at him and then being abruptly let go, and fell off the couch with an undignified thud.
Mortified as he collapsed against the couch
belly laughing at my fart then fall, I grabbed a cushion and launched it at him from my position on the floor.
Of course this only made the idiot laugh
harder. I warred between feeling humiliation at farting in front of him, something you just didn’t do in
company, and laughing, since his was so
infectious. “Braden!” I whined. “Shut up. It’s not funny,” I huffed, my lips caught in part smile, part
“Oh babe,” he tried to catch his breath, wiping
a tear from the corner of his eye as he grinned
down at me. “That was definitely funny.” He held out a hand to help me up.
I slapped it away. “You’re such an immature a-hole.”
“Hey, I’m not the one who just let off.”
Oh God, it was so awful. I groaned, falling onto my back and covering my eyes with my hands.
“Jocelyn,” I felt his hand on my knee and heard the amusement in his voice. “Babe, why are you so embarrassed? It was just a fart.
Brilliantly timed I might add.”
I sucked in the mortification. “Oh my God, shut up.” He chuckled again and I snapped open my furious eyes. “You’re enjoying this!”
“Well yeah,” he huffed, eyes bright. “I’ve never seen you embarrassed before. Even when I walked in on you naked you gave me attitude and acted like you didn’t care. That you’re
mortified by a fart is really quite adorable.”
“I am not adorable!”
“Oh I think you are.
Tania, why don’t you take off your shoes? You’ll be more comfortable.” “I’m fine,” she said. How did he know her feet were killing her? Was it that obvious? “Go on,” he prodded gently. “It will be easier for you to walk on the grass.” He was right. Breathing a sigh of relief, she bent, unstrapped the sandals, and slipped them off. Straightening up and raising her eyes to him, she said, “That is a little better.” Alexander was silent. “Now you’re really tiny,” he said at last. “I’m not tiny,” she returned. “You’re just outsized.” Blushing, she lowered her gaze. “How old are you, Tania?” “Older than you think,” Tatiana said, wanting to sound old and mature. The warm Leningrad breeze blew her blonde hair over her face. Holding her shoes with one hand, she attempted to sort out her hair with the other. She wished she had a rubber band for her ponytail. Standing in front of her, Alexander reached out and brushed the hair away. His eyes traveled from her hair to her eyes to her mouth where they stopped. Did she have ice cream all around her lips? Yes, that must be it. How awkward. She licked her lips, trying to clean the corners. “What?” she said. “Do I have ice cream—” “How do you know how old I think you are?” he asked. “Tell me, how old are you?” “I’m going to be seventeen soon,” she said. “When?” “Tomorrow.” “You’re not even seventeen,” Alexander echoed. “Seventeen tomorrow!” she repeated indignantly. “Seventeen, right. Very grown up.” His eyes were dancing. “How old are you?” “Twenty-two,” he said. “Twenty-two, just.” “Oh,” she said, and couldn’t hide the disappointment in her voice. “What? Is that very old?” Alexander asked, failing to keep the smile off his face. “Ancient,” Tatiana replied, failing to keep the smile off her face. Slowly they walked across the Field of Mars, Tatiana barefoot and carrying the red sandals in her slightly swinging hands.
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
I hurried over to Conrad, walking so fast I kicked up sand behind me. “Hey, I’m gonna get a ride,” I said breathlessly.
The blond Red Sox girl looked me up and down. “Hello,” she said.
Conrad said, “With who?”
I pointed at Cam. “Him.”
“You’re not riding with someone you don’t even know,” he said flatly.
“I do so know him. He’s Sextus.”
He narrowed his eyes. “Sex what?”
“Never mind. His name is Cam, he’s studying whales, and you don’t get to decide who I ride home with. I was just letting you know, as a courtesy. I wasn’t asking for your permission.” I started to walk away, but he grabbed my elbow.
“I don’t care what he’s studying. It’s not gonna happen,” he said casually, but his grip was tight. “If you want to go, I’ll take you.”
I took a deep breath. I had to keep cool. I wasn’t going to let him goad me into being a baby, not in front of all these people. “No, thanks,” I said, trying to walk away again. But he didn’t let go.
“I thought you already had a boyfriend?” His tone was mocking, and I knew he’d seen through my lie the night before.
I wanted so badly to throw a handful of sand in his face. I tried to twist out of his grip. “Let go of me! That hurts!”
He let go immediately, his face red. It didn’t really hurt, but I wanted to embarrass him the way he was embarrassing me. I said loudly, “I’d rather ride with a stranger than with someone who’s been drinking!”
“I’ve had one beer,” he snapped. “I weigh a hundred and seventy-five pounds. Wait half an hour and I’ll take you. Stop being such a brat.”
I could feel tears starting to spark my eyelids. I looked over my shoulder to see if Cam was watching. He was. “You’re an asshole,” I said.
He looked me dead in the eyes and said, “And you’re a four-year-old.”
As I walked away, I heard the girl ask, “Is she your girlfriend?”
I whirled around, and we both said “No!” at the same time.
Confused, she said, “Well, is she your little sister?” like I wasn’t standing right there. Her perfume was heavy. It felt like it filled all the air around us, like we were breathing her in.
“No, I’m not his little sister.” I hated this girl for being a witness to all this. It was humiliating. And she was pretty, in the same kind of way Taylor was pretty, which somehow made things worse.
Conrad said, “Her mom is best friends with my mom.” So that was all I was to him? His mom’s friend’s daughter?
I took a deep breath, and without even thinking, I said to the girl, “I’ve known Conrad my whole life. So let me be the one to tell you you’re barking up the wrong tree. Conrad will never love anyone as much as he loves himself, if you know what I mean-“ I lifted up my hand and wiggled my fingers.
“Shut up, Belly,” Conrad warned. The tops of his ears were turning bright red. It was a low blow, but I didn’t care. He deserved it.
Red Sox girl frowned. “What is she talking about, Conrad?”
To her I blurted out, “Oh, I’m sorry, do you not know what the idiom ‘barking up the wrong tree’ means?”
Her pretty face twisted. “You little skank,” she hissed.
I could feel myself shrinking. I wished I could take it back. I’d never gotten into a fight with a girl before, or with anyone for that matter.
Thankfully, Conrad broke in then and pointed to the bonfire. “Belly, go back over there, and wait for me to come get you,” he said harshly.
That’s when Jeremiah ambled over. “Hey, hey, what’s going on?” he asked, smiling in his easy, goofy way.
“Your brother is a jerk,” I said. “That’s what’s going on.”
Jeremiah put his arm around me. He smelled like beer. “You guys play nice, you hear?”
I shrugged out of his hold and said, “I am playing nice. Tell your brother to play nice.”
“Wait, are you guys brother and sister too?” the girl asked.
Conrad said, “Don’t even think about leaving with that guy.
Jenny Han (The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1))
You heard me. Let someone else send you to your blaze of glory. You're a speck, man. You're nothing. You're not worth the bullet or the mark on my soul for taking you out."
You trying to piss me off again, Patrick?" He removed Campbell Rawson from his shoulder and held him aloft.
I tilted my wrist so the cylinder fell into my palm, shrugged. "You're a joke, Gerry. I'm just calling it like I see it."
Absolutely." I met his hard eyes with my own. "And you'll be replaced, just like everything else, in maybe a week, tops. Some other dumb, sick shit will come along and kill some people and he'll be all over the papers, and all over Hard Copy and you'll be yesterday's news. Your fifteen minutes are up, Gerry. And they've passed without impact."
They'll remember this," Gerry said. "Believe me."
Gerry clamped back on the trigger. When he met my finger, he looked at me and then clamped down so hard that my finger broke.
I depressed the trigger on the one-shot and nothing happened.
Gerry shrieked louder, and the razor came out of my flesh, then swung back immediately, and I clenched my eyes shut and depressed the trigger frantically three times.
And Gerry's hand exploded.
And so did mine.
The razor hit the ice by my knee as I dropped the one shot and fire roared up the electrical tape and gasoline on Gerry's arm and caught the wisps of Danielle's hair.
Gerry threw his head back and opened his mouth wide and bellowed in ecstasy.
I grabbed the razor, could barely feel it because the nerves in my hand seemed to have stopped working.
I slashed into the electric tape at the end of the shotgun barrel, and Danielle dropped away toward the ice and rolled her head into the frozen sand.
My broken finger came back out of the shotgun and Gerry swung the barrels toward my head.
The twin shotgun bores arced through the darkness like eyes without mercy or soul, and I raised my head to meet them, and Gerry's wail filled my ears as the fire licked at his neck.
Good-bye, I thought. Everyone. It's been nice.
Oscar's first two shots entered the back of Gerry's head and exited through the center of his forehead and a third punched into his back.
The shotgun jerked upward in Gerry's flaming arm and then the shots came from the front, several at once, and Gerry spun like a marionette and pitched toward the ground. The shotgun boomed twice and punched holes through the ice in front of him as he fell.
He landed on his knees and, for a moment, I wasn't sure if he was dead or not. His rusty hair was afire and his head lolled to the left as one eye disappeared in flames but the other shimmered at me through waves of heat, and an amused derision shone in the pupil.
Patrick, the eye said through the gathering smoke, you still know nothing.
Oscar rose up on the other side of Gerry's corpse, Campbell Rawson clutched tight to his massive chest as it rose and fell with great heaving breaths. The sight of it-something so soft and gentle in the arms of something so thick and mountaineous-made me laugh.
Oscar came out of the darkness toward me, stepped around Gerry's burning body, and I felt the waves of heat rise toward me as the circle of gasoline around Gerry caught fire.
Burn, I thought. Burn. God help me, but burn.
Just after Oscar stepped over the outer edge of the circle, it erupted in yellow flame, and I found myself laughing harder as he looked at it, not remotely impressed.
I felt cool lips smack against my ear, and by the time I looked her way, Danielle was already past me, rushing to take her child from Oscar.
His huge shadow loomed over me as he approached, and I looked up at him and he held the look for a long moment.
How you doing, Patrick?" he said and smiled broadly.
And, behind him, Gerry burned on the ice.
And everything was so goddamned funny for some reason, even though I knew it wasn't. I knew it wasn't. I did. But I was still laughing when they put me in the ambulance.
When I took it off, I glanced in the mirror behind the dresser, and I nearly screamed when I saw the reflection. Finn was sitting behind me on the bed. His eyes, dark as night, met mine in the mirror, and I could hardly breathe.
"Finn!" I gasped and whirled around to look at him. "What are you doing here?"
"I missed your birthday," he said, as if that answered my question. He lowered his eyes, looking at a small box he had in his hands. "I got you something."
"You got me something?" I leaned back on the dresser behind me, gripping it.
"Yeah." He nodded, still staring down at the box. "I picked it up outside of Portland two weeks ago. I meant to get back in time to give it to you on your birthday." He chewed the inside of his cheek. "But now that I'm here, I'm not sure I should give it to you at all."
"What are you talking about?" I asked.
"It doesn't feel right." Finn rubbed his face. "I don't even know what I'm doing here."
"Neither do I," I said. "Don't get me wrong. I'm happy to see you. I just...I don't understand."
"I know." He sighed. "It's a ring. What I got you." His gaze moved from me to the engagement ring sitting on the dresser beside me. "And you already have one."
"Why did you get me a ring?" I asked tentatively, and my heart beat erratically in my chest. I didn't know what Finn was saying or doing.
"I'm not proposing to you, if that's what you're asking." He shook his head. "I saw it and thought of you. But now it seems like poor taste. And here I am, the night before your wedding sneaking in to give you a ring."
"Why did you sneak in?" I asked.
"I don't know." He looked away and laughed darkly. "That's a lie. I know exactly what I'm doing, but I have no idea why I'm doing it."
"What are you doing?" I asked quietly.
"I..." Finn stared off for a moment, then turned back to me and stood up.
"Finn, I-" I began, but he held up his hand, stopping me.
"No, I know you're marrying Tove," he said. "You need to do this. We both know that. It's what's best for you, and it's what I want for you." He paused. "But I want you for myself too."
All I'd ever wanted from Finn was for him to admit how he felt about me, and he'd waited until the day before my wedding. It was too late to change anything, to take anything back. Not that I could have, even if I wanted to.
"Why are you telling me this?" I asked with tears swimming in my eyes.
"Because." Finn stepped toward me, stopping right in front of me.
He looked down at me, his eyes mesmerizing me the way they always did. He reached up, brushing back a tear from my cheek.
"Why?" I asked, my voice trembling.
"I needed you to know," he said, as if he didn't truly understand it himself.
He set the box on the dresser beside me, and his hand went to my waist, pulling me to him. I let go of the dresser and let him. My breath came out shallow as I stared up at him.
"Tomorrow you will belong to someone else," Finn said. "But tonight, you're with me.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
What are you two doing?” Her uncle’s teasing voice came into the room before he did. But his voice was the second warning that they were no longer alone, since Violet had tasted his presence long before he’d actually stepped into her house. Ever since saving her and Jay at Homecoming, her uncle carried an imprint of his own. The bitter taste of dandelions still smoldered on Violet’s tongue whenever he was near. A taste that Violet had grown to accept. And even, to some degree, to appreciate. “Nothing your parents wouldn’t approve of, I hope,” he added.
Violet flashed Jay a wicked grin. “We were just making out, so if you could make this quick, we’d really appreciate it.”
Jay jumped up from beside her. “She’s kidding,” he blurted out. “We weren’t doing anything.”
Her uncle Stephen stopped where he was and eyed them both carefully. Violet could’ve sworn she felt Jay squirming, even though every single muscle in his body was frozen in place. Violet smiled at her uncle, trying her best to look guilty-as-charged.
Finally he raised his eyebrows, every bit the suspicious police officer. “Your parents asked me to stop by and check on you on my way home. They won’t be back until late. Can I trust the two of you here . . . alone?”
“Of course you can—” Jay started to say.
“Probably not—“ Violet answers at the same time. And then she caught a glimpse of the horror-stricken expression on Jay’s face, and she laughed. “Relax, Uncle Stephen, we’re fine. We were just doing homework.”
Her uncle looked at the pile of discarded books on the table in front of the couch. Not one of them was open. He glanced skeptically at Violet but didn’t say a word.
“We may have gotten a little distracted,” she responded, and again she saw Jay shifting nervously.
After several warnings, and a promise from Violet that she would lock the doors behind him, Uncle Stephen finally left the two of them alone again.
Jay was glaring at Violet when she peeked at him as innocently as she could manage. “Why would you do that to me?”
“Why do you care what he thinks we’re doing?” Violet had been trying to get Jay to admit his new hero worship of her uncle for months, but he was too stubborn—or maybe he honestly didn’t realize it himself—to confess it to her.
“Because, Violet,” he said dangerously, taking a threatening step toward her. But his scolding was ruined by the playful glint in his eyes. “He’s your uncle, and he’s the police chief. Why poke the bear?”
Violet took a step back, away from him, and he matched it, moving toward her. He was stalking her around the coffee table now, and Violet couldn’t help giggling as she retreated.
But it was too late for her to escape. Jay was faster than she was, and his arms captured her before she’d ever had a chance. Not that she’d really tried.
He hauled her back down onto the couch, the two of them falling into the cushions, and this time he pinned her beneath him.
“Stop it!” she shrieked, not meaning a single word. He was the last person in the world she wanted to get away from.
“I don’t know . . .” he answered hesitantly. “I think you deserve to be punished.” His breath was balmy against her cheek, and she found herself leaning toward him rather than away. “Maybe we should do some more homework.”
Homework had been their code word for making out before they’d realized that they hadn’t been fooling anyone.
But Jay was true to his word, especially his code word, and his lips settled over hers. Violet suddenly forgot that she was pretending to break free from his grip. Her frail resolve crumbled. She reached out, wrapping her arms around his neck, and pulled him closer to her.
Jay growled from deep in his throat. “Okay, homework it is.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
Duroy, who felt light hearted that evening, said with a smile: "You are gloomy to-day, dear master."
The poet replied: "I am always so, young man, so will you be in a few years. Life is a hill. As long as one is climbing up one looks towards the summit and is happy, but when one reaches the top one suddenly perceives the descent before one, and its bottom, which is death. One climbs up slowly, but one goes down quickly. At your age a man is happy. He hopes for many things, which, by the way, never come to pass. At mine, one no longer expects anything - but death."
Duroy began to laugh: "You make me shudder all over."
Norbert de Varenne went on: "No, you do not understand me now, but later on you will remember what I am saying to you at this moment. A day comes, and it comes early for many, when there is an end to mirth, for behind everything one looks at one sees death. You do not even understand the word. At your age it means nothing; at mine it is terrible. Yes, one understands it all at once, one does not know how or why, and then everything in life changes its aspect. For fifteen years I have felt death assail me as if I bore within me some gnawing beast. I have felt myself decaying little by little, month by month, hour by hour, like a house crumbling to ruin. Death has disfigured me so completely that I do not recognize myself. I have no longer anything about me of myself - of the fresh, strong man I was at thirty. I have seen death whiten my black hairs, and with what skillful and spiteful slowness. Death has taken my firm skin, my muscles, my teeth, my whole body of old, only leaving me a despairing soul, soon to be taken too. Every step brings me nearer to death, every movemebt, every breath hastens his odious work. To breathe, sleep, drink, eat, work, dream, everything we do is to die. To live, in short, is to die. Oh, you will realize this. If you stop and think for a moment you will understand. What do you expect? Love? A few more kisses and you will be impotent. Then money? For what? Women? Much fun that will be! In order to eat a lot and grow fat and lie awake at night suffering from gout? And after that? Glory? What use is that when it does not take the form of love? And after that? Death is always the end. I now see death so near that I often want to stretch my arms to push it back. It covers the earth and fills the universe. I see it everywhere. The insects crushed on the path, the falling leaves, the white hair in a friend's head, rend my heart and cry to me, 'Behold it!' It spoils for me all I do, all I see, all that I eat and drink, all that I love; the bright moonlight, the sunrise, the broad ocean, the noble rivers, and the soft summer evening air so sweet to breath."
He walked on slowly, dreaming aloud, almost forgetting that he had a listener: "And no one ever returns - never. The model of a statue may be preserved, but my body, my face, my thoughts, my desires will never reappear again. And yet millions of beings will be born with a nose, eyes, forehead, cheeks, and mouth like me, and also a soul like me, without my ever returning, without even anything recognizable of me appearing in these countless different beings. What can we cling to? What can we believe in? All religions are stupid, with their puerile morality and their egotistical promises, monstrously absurd. Death alone is certain."
"Think of that, young man. Think of it for days, and months and years, and life will seem different to you. Try to get away from all the things that shut you in. Make a superhuman effort to emerge alive from your own body, from your own interests, from your thoughts, from humanity in general, so that your eyes may be turned in the opposite direction. Then you understand how unimportant is the quarrel between Romanticism and Realism, or the Budget debates.
Guy de Maupassant
At first Alexander could not believe it was his Tania. He blinked and tried to refocus his eyes. She was walking around the table, gesturing, showing, leaning forward, bending over. At one point she straightened out and wiped her forehead. She was wearing a short-sleeved yellow peasant dress. She was barefoot, and her slender legs were exposed above her knee. Her bare arms were lightly tanned. Her blonde hair looked bleached by the sun and was parted into two shoulder-length braids tucked behind her ears. Even from a distance he could see the summer freckles on her nose. She was achingly beautiful. And alive. Alexander closed his eyes, then opened them again. She was still there, bending over the boy’s work. She said something, everyone laughed loudly, and Alexander watched as the boy’s arm touched Tatiana’s back. Tatiana smiled. Her white teeth sparkled like the rest of her. Alexander didn’t know what to do. She was alive, that was obvious. Then why hadn’t she written him? And where was Dasha? Alexander couldn’t very well continue to stand under a lilac tree. He went back out onto the main road, took a deep breath, stubbed out his cigarette, and walked toward the square, never taking his eyes off her braids. His heart was thundering in his chest, as if he were going into battle. Tatiana looked up, saw him, and covered her face with her hands. Alexander watched everyone get up and rush to her, the old ladies showing unexpected agility and speed. She pushed them all away, pushed the table away, pushed the bench away, and ran to him. Alexander was paralyzed by his emotion. He wanted to smile, but he thought any second he was going to fall to his knees and cry. He dropped all his gear, including his rifle. God, he thought, in a second I’m going to feel her. And that’s when he smiled. Tatiana sprang into his open arms, and Alexander, lifting her off her feet with the force of his embrace, couldn’t hug her tight enough, couldn’t breathe in enough of her. She flung her arms around his neck, burying her face in his bearded cheek. Dry sobs racked her entire body. She was heavier than the last time he felt her in all her clothes as he lifted her into the Lake Ladoga truck. She, with her boots, her clothes, coats, and coverings, had not weighed what she weighed now. She smelled incredible. She smelled of soap and sunshine and caramelized sugar. She felt incredible. Holding her to him, Alexander rubbed his face into her braids, murmuring a few pointless words. “Shh, shh…come on, now, shh, Tatia. Please…” His voice broke. “Oh, Alexander,” Tatiana said softly into his neck. She was clutching the back of his head. “You’re alive. Thank God.” “Oh, Tatiana,” Alexander said, hugging her tighter, if that were possible, his arms swaddling her summer body. “You’re alive. Thank God.” His hands ran up to her neck and down to the small of her back. Her dress was made of very thin cotton. He could almost feel her skin through it. She felt very soft. Finally he let her feet touch the ground. Tatiana looked up at him. His hands remained around her little waist. He wasn’t letting go of her. Was she always this tiny, standing barefoot in front of him? “I like your beard,” Tatiana said, smiling shyly and touching his face. “I love your hair,” Alexander said, pulling on a braid and smiling back. “You’re messy…” He looked her over. “And you’re stunning.” He could not take his eyes off her glorious, eager, vivid lips. They were the color of July tomatoes— He bent to her—
She could smell the wrongness in the air and it made her wolf nervous. It felt like something was watching them, as if the wrongness had an intelligence— and it didn't help to remember that at least one of the people they were hunting could hide from their senses.
Anna fought the urge to turn around, to take Charles's hand or slide under his arm and let his presence drive away the wrongness. Once, she would have, but now she had the uneasy feeling that he might back away as he almost had when she sat on his lap in the boat, before Brother Wolf had taken over.
Maybe he was just tired of her. She had been telling everyone that there was something wrong with him...but Bran knew his son and thought the problem was her. Bran was smart and perceptive; she ought to have considered that he was right.
Charles was old. He'd seen and experienced so much—next to him she was just a child. His wolf had chosen her without consulting Charles at all. Maybe he'd have preferred someone who knew more. Someone beautiful and clever who...
"Anna?" said Charles. "What's wrong? Are you crying?" He moved in front of her and stopped, forcing her to stop walking, too.
She opened her mouth and his fingers touched her wet cheeks.
"Anna," he said, his body going still. "Call on your wolf."
"You should have someone stronger," she told him miserably. "Someone who could help you when you need it, instead of getting sent home because I can't endure what you have to do. If I weren't Omega, if I were dominant like Sage, I could have helped you."
"There is no one stronger," Charles told her. "It's the taint from the black magic. Call your wolf."
"You don't want me anymore," she whispered. And once the words were out she knew they were true. He would say the things that he thought she wanted to hear because he was a kind man. But they would be lies. The truth was in the way he closed down the bond between them so she wouldn't hear things that would hurt her. Charles was a dominant wolf and dominant wolves were driven to protect those weaker than themselves. And he saw her as so much weaker.
"I love you," he told her. "Now, call your wolf."
She ignored his order—he knew better than to give her orders. He said he loved her; it sounded like the truth. But he was old and clever and Anna knew that, when push came to shove, he could lie and make anyone believe it. Knew it because he lied to her now—and it sounded like the truth.
"I'm sorry," she told him. "I'll go away—"
And suddenly her back was against a tree and his face was a hairsbreadth from hers. His long hot body was pressed against her from her knees to her chest—he'd have to bend to do that. He was a lot taller than her, though she wasn't short.
Anna shuddered as the warmth of his body started to penetrate the cold that had swallowed hers. Charles waited like a hunter, waited for her to wiggle and see that she was truly trapped. Waited while she caught her breathe. Waited until she looked into his eyes.
Then he snarled at her. "You are not leaving me."
It was an order, and she didn't have to follow anyone's orders. That was part of being Omega instead of a regular werewolf—who might have had a snowball's chance in hell of being a proper mate.
"You need someone stronger," Anna told him again. "So you wouldn't have to hide when you're hurt. So you could trust your mate to take care of herself and help, damn it, instead of having to protect me from whatever you are hiding." She hated crying. Tears were weaknesses that could be exploited and they never solves a damn thing. Sobs gathered in her chest like a rushing tide and she needed to get away from him before she broke.
Instead of fighting his grip, she tried to slide out of it. "I need to go," she said to his chest. "I need—"
His mouth closed over hers, hot and hungry, warming her mouth as his body warmed her body.
"Me," Charles said, his voice dark and gravelly as if it had traveled up from the bottom of the earth,...
Patricia Briggs (Fair Game (Alpha & Omega, #3))
How are things going with your brothers?”
“The judge set a date to hear me out after graduation. Mrs.Collins has been prepping me.”
“That is awesome!”
“Carrie and Joe hired a lawyer and I lost visitation.”
Echo placed her delicate hand over mine.“Oh, Noah. I am so sorry."
I’d spent countless hours on the couch in the basement, staring at the ceiling wondering what she was doing. Her laughter, her smile, the feel of her body next to mine, and the regret that I let her walk away too easily haunted me. Taking the risk, I entwined my fingers with hers. Odds were I’d never get the chance to be this close again. "No, Mrs. Collins convinced me the best thing to do is to keep my distance and follow the letter of the law."
"Wow, Mrs. Collins is a freaking miracle worker. Dangerous Noah Hutchins on the straight and narrow. If you don’t watch out she’ll ruin your rep with the girls."
I lowered my voice. "Not that it matters. I only care what one girl thinks about me."
She relaxed her fingers into mine and stroked her thumb over my skin.
Minutes into being alone together, we fell into each other again, like no time had passed. I could blame her for ending us, but in the end, I agreed with her decision. “How about you, Echo? Did you find your answers?”
If I continued to disregard breakup rules, I might as well go all the way. I pushed her curls behind her shoulder and let my fingers linger longer than needed so I could enjoy the silky feel. “Don’t hide from me, baby. We’ve been through too much for that.”
Echo leaned into me, placing her head on my shoulder and letting me wrap an arm around her. “I’ve missed you, too, Noah. I’m tired of ignoring you.”
“Then don’t.” Ignoring her hurt like hell. Acknowledging her had to be better.
I swallowed, trying to shut out the bittersweet memories of our last night together. “Where’ve you been? It kills me when you’re not at school.”
“I went to an art gallery and the curator showed some interest in my work and sold my first piece two days later. Since then, I’ve been traveling around to different galleries, hawking my wares.”
“That’s awesome, Echo. Sounds like you’re fitting into your future perfectly.
Where did you decide to go to school?”
“I don’t know if I’m going to school.”
Shock jolted my system and I inched away to make sure I understood. “What the fuck do you mean you don’t know?
You’ve got colleges falling all over you and you don’t fucking know if you want to go to school?”
My damned little siren laughed at me. “I see your language has improved.”
Poof—like magic, the anger disappeared.
“If you’re not going to school, then what are your plans?”
"I’m considering putting college off for a year or two and traveling cross-country, hopping from gallery to gallery.”
“I feel like a dick. We made a deal and I left you hanging. I’m not that guy who goes back on his word. What can I do to help you get to the truth?”
Echo’s chest rose with her breath then deflated when she exhaled. Sensing our moment ending, I nuzzled her hair, savoring her scent. She patted my knee and broke away. “Nothing. There’s nothing you can do.”
"I think it’s time that I move on. As soon as I graduate, this part of my life will be over. I’m okay with not knowing what happened.” Her words sounded pretty, but I knew her better. She’d blinked three times in a row.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
Why not?” I asked, letting my tears spill over. It was easy to cry. All I had to do was look at Alex’s limp body, and the tears came effortlessly. “You were happy enough to do it to me.”
There was a beat. Then John said cautiously, “What do you mean?”
“The consequences, John?” I let out a bitter laugh. “Persephone wasn’t doomed to stay in the Underworld because she ate a pomegranate. She was doomed to stay there because she did with Hades what we did last night. That’s what the pomegranate symbolizes, right?”
John stared, speechless. But I could tell I was right by the color that slowly started to suffuse his cheeks…and the fact that he didn’t try to contradict me.
And of course the fact that the whole thing was spelled out right in front of me by the statue Hope was sitting on. I didn’t get why the Rectors were so obsessed by the myth of Persephone that they’d put a statue of it in their mausoleum, but it was clear enough they were involved in an underworld of one kind or another.
“Don’t worry,” I said, lowering my voice because I didn’t want Frank to overhear. “I don’t blame you. You asked me if I was sure, despite the consequences. I said I was. But I thought by consequences you meant a baby, and I already knew that could never happen. I guess Mr. Smith must have told you last night that he found out the pomegranate symbolized something completely different than babies or death-“
“Pierce.” John grasped my hand. His fingers were like ice, but his voice and his gaze had an urgency that was anything but cold. “That isn’t why I did it. I love you. I’ve always loved you, because you’re good…you’re so good, you make me want to be good, too. But that’s the problem, Pierce. I’m not good. And I’ve always been afraid that when you find out the truth about me, you’d run away again-“
I sucked in my breath to tell him for the millionth time that this wasn’t true, but he cut me off, not allowing me to speak until he’d had his say.
“Then you almost died yesterday,” he went on, “and it was my fault. I wanted to show you how much I loved you, and things…things went further than I expected. But you didn’t stop me”-his silver eyes blazed, as if daring me to deny what he was saying-“even though I told you we could slow down if you wanted to.”
“I know,” I said softly, dropping my gaze to look down at our joined fingers. We’d each kept a hand on Alex. “I know you did.”
“I don’t want to lose you again,” he said fiercely. “I lost you once and I couldn’t bear it. I won’t go through that again. I…I know I did the wrong thing. But it didn’t feel wrong at the time.”
I raised my gaze to his. “You’re right about that, at least,” I said.
“So am I forgiven?” he asked.
I hesitated, confused by the myriad of emotions I was feeling. John had known. He’d known the whole time we had been together the night before that he was forever sealing my destiny to his.
Of course, he’d thought I’d known, too. He’d asked if I was sure it was what I wanted, despite the consequences. I might have misunderstood what those consequences were, but I’d been very adamant in my response. I’d said yes. And I’d meant it.
“Excuse me,” called Frank’s voice from the opposite wall of vaults. “But you might want to take a look at the boy.”
John and I both glanced down. Beneath the hands we’d left on Alex, he’d come back to life.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
St. Clair tucks the tips of his fingers into his pockets and kicks the cobblestones with the toe of his boots. "Well?" he finally asks.
"Thank you." I'm stunned. "It was really sweet of you to bring me here."
"Ah,well." He straightens up and shrugs-that full-bodied French shrug he does so well-and reassumes his usual, assured state of being. "Have to start somewhere. Now make a wish."
"Huh?" I have such a way with words. I should write epic poetry or jingles for cat food commercials.
He smiles. "Place your feet on the star, and make a wish."
"Oh.Okay,sure." I slide my feet together so I'm standing in the center. "I wish-"
"Don't say it aloud!" St. Clair rushes forward, as if to stop my words with his body,and my stomach flips violently. "Don't you know anything about making wishes? You only get a limited number in life. Falling stars, eyelashes,dandelions-"
He ignores the dig. "Exactly. So you ought to take advantage of them when they arise,and superstition says if you make a wish on that star, it'll come true." He pauses before continuing. "Which is better than the other one I've heard."
"That I'll die a painful death of poisoning, shooting,beating, and drowning?"
"Hypothermia,not drowning." St. Clair laughs. He has a wonderful, boyish laugh. "But no. I've heard anyone who stands here is destined to return to Paris someday. And as I understand it,one year for you is one year to many. Am I right?"
I close my eyes. Mom and Seany appear before me. Bridge.Toph.I nod.
"All right,then.So keep your eyes closed.And make a wish."
I take a deep breath. The cool dampness of the nearby trees fills my lungs. What do I want? It's a difficult quesiton.
I want to go home,but I have to admit I've enjoyed tonight. And what if this is the only time in my entire life I visit Paris? I know I just told St. Clair that I don't want to be here, but there's a part of me-a teeny, tiny part-that's curious. If my father called tomorrow and ordered me home,I might be disappointed. I still haven't seen the Mona Lisa. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower.Walked beneath the Arc de Triomphe.
So what else do I want?
I want to feel Toph's lips again.I want him to wait.But there's another part of me,a part I really,really hate,that knows even if we do make it,I'd still move away for college next year.So I'd see him this Christmas and next summer,and then...would that be it?
And then there's the other thing.
The thing I'm trying to ignore. The thing I shouldn't want,the thing I can't have.
And he's standing in front of me right now.
So what do I wish for? Something I'm not sure I want? Someone I'm not sure I need? Or someone I know I can't have?
Screw it.Let the fates decide.
I wish for the thing that is best for me.
How's that for a generalization? I open my eyes,and the wind is blowing harder. St. Clair pushes a strand of hair from his eyes. "Must have been a good one," he says.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Can you drive it?"
"No. I can't drive a stick at all. It's why I took Andy's car and not one of yours."
"Oh people, for goodness' sake...move over." Choo Co La Tah pushed past Jess to take the driver's seat.
Curious about that, she slid over to make room for the ancient.
Jess hesitated. "Do you know what you're doing?"
Choo Co La Tah gave him a withering glare. "Not at all. But I figured smoeone needed to learn and no on else was volunteering. Step in and get situated. Time is of the essence."
Abigail's heart pounded. "I hope he's joking about that." If not, it would be a very short trip. Ren changed into his crow form before he took flight. Jess and Sasha climbed in, then moved to the compartment behind the seat. A pall hung over all of them while Choo Co La Tah adjusted the seat and mirrors.
By all means, please take your time. Not like they were all about to die or anything...
She couldn't speak as she watched their enemies rapidly closing the distance between them. This was by far the scariest thing she'd seen. Unlike the wasps and scorpions, this horde could think and adapt.
They even had opposable thumbs.
Whole different ball game.
Choo Co La Tah shifted into gear. Or at least he tried. The truck made a fierce grinding sound that caused jess to screw his face up as it lurched violently and shook like a dog coming in from the rain.
"You sure you odn't want me to try?" Jess offered.
Choo Co La Tah waved him away. "I'm a little rusty. Just give me a second to get used to it again."
Abigail swallowed hard. "How long has it been?"
Choo Co La Tah eashed off the clutch and they shuddred forward at the most impressive speed of two whole miles an hour. About the same speed as a limping turtle. "Hmm, probably sometime around nineteen hundred and..."
They all waited with bated breath while he ground his way through more gears. With every shift, the engine audibly protested his skills.
Silently, so did she.
The truck was really moving along now. They reached a staggering fifteen miles an hour. At this rate, they might be able to overtake a loaded school bus...
Or at the very least, the day after that.
"...must have been the summer of...hmm...let me think a moment. Fifty-three. Yes, that was it. 1953. The year they came out with color teles. It was a good year as I recall. Same year Bill Gates was born."
The look on Jess's and Sasha's faces would have made her laugh if she wasn't every bit as horrified.
Oh my God, who put him behind the wheel?
Sasha visibly cringed as he saw how close their pursuers were to their bumper. "Should I get out and push?"
Jess cursed under his breath as he saw them, too. "I'd get out and run at this point. I think you'd go faster."
Choo Co La Tah took their comments in stride. "Now, now, gentlemen. All is well. See, I'm getting better." He finally made a gear without the truck spazzing or the gears grinding.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Retribution (Dark-Hunter, #19))
What did you think when I first told you about the animals I found?”
He seemed confused. It obviously wasn’t what he’d expected. “Violet, I was seven years old. I thought it was badass. I think I was probably even jealous.”
She made a face at him. “Didn’t you think it was creepy? Or that I was weird?”
“Yeah,” he agreed enthusiastically. “That’s why I was so jealous. I wanted to be the one finding dead bodies. You were like an animal detective or something. You were only weird ‘cause you were a girl.” He grinned. “But I learned to overlook that since you always took me on such cool adventures.”
Violet released a breath, smiling. She knew he was telling the truth, which only made it funnier to hear him saying the words out loud. Of course, what little boy didn’t want to go scavenging through the woods and digging in the dirt?
She tried again. “Did you ever tell anyone? Does your mom know?”
He lifted her hand to his mouth and rubbed her knuckles across his lower lip, his gaze locked with hers. “No,” he promised. “I swore I wouldn’t, not even her. I think she knows something, or at least she thinks you have the worst luck ever, since you found all those dead girls.” He lowered his voice. “She was really worried about you after the shooting last year. You’re like a daughter to her.” He leaned close. “Of course, that makes it kind of creepy when I do things like this.”
He kissed her. It was intimate. Not soft or sweet this time, it was deep and passionate, stealing Violet’s breath. She laid her hand against his chest, savoring the feel of his heartbeat beneath her palm, and then traced her fingertips up to his neck, into his hair.
He pulled her over the console that separated them, dragging her onto his lap. He ran his hands up her back restlessly, drawing her as close as he could.
It was nearly impossible for her to pull herself away. “Wait,” she insisted breathlessly. “Please, wait.” She had her hands braced against his shoulders, struggling more against herself than him.
His glazed eyes teased her. “I thought I was the one who was supposed to say no. I’m the girl, right?”
She sighed heavily, leaning her head against his shoulder and trying to recapture her runaway thoughts. She still wanted to talk. She wanted the other things, too, but she needed to sort through her thoughts first.
“Sorry, it’s just…I have a lot of…” She shrugged against him. His damp T-shirt was warm and practically paper-thin, tempting her to touch him. She ran her finger down the length of his stomach. She knew it wasn’t fair to tease him, but she couldn’t help herself. He was too enticing. “…I have some stuff I need to work through.” It was the best she could do for an explanation.
He caught her hand before she’d reached his waistline, and he held it tightly in his grip. “I’m trying to be patient, Violet, I really am. If there’s something you want to tell me…Well, I just wish you’d trust me.”
“I’ll get there,” she explained. “I’ll figure it all out. I’m just a little confused right now.”
He let out a shaky breath and then he kissed the top of her head, still not releasing her hand. “So, when you do, we’ll pick up where we left off.”
She nodded against him. She thought she would keep talking; she still had so many doubts about what she should, and shouldn’t, be doing.
But instead she just stayed there, curled up on his lap, absorbing him, taking relief from his touch…and strength from his presence.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
Feeling the slight tremor of his fingers against her skin, Daisy was emboldened to remark, “I’ve never been attracted to tall men before. But you make me feel—”
“If you don’t keep quiet,” he interrupted curtly, “I’m going to strangle you.”
Daisy felt silent, listening to the rhythm of his breath as it turned deeper, less controlled. By contrast his fingers became more certain in their task, working along the row of pearls until her dress gaped open and the sleeves slipped from her shoulders.
“Where is it?” he asked.
His tone was deadly. “Yes, Daisy. The key.”
“It fell inside my corset. Which means… I’ll have to take that off too.”
There was no reaction to the statement, no sound or movement. Daisy twisted to glance at Matthew.
He seemed dazed. His eyes looked unnaturally blue against the flush on his face. She realized he was occupied with a savage inner battle to keep from touching her.
Feeling hot and prickly with embarrassment, Daisy pulled her arms completely out of her sleeves. She worked the dress over her hips, wriggling out of the filmy white layers, letting them slide to the floor in a heap.
Matthew stared at the discarded dress as if it were some kind of exotic fauna he had never seen before. Slowly his eyes returned to Daisy, and an incoherent protest came from his throat as she began to unhook her corset.
She felt shy and wicked, undressing in front of him. But she was encouraged by the way he seemed unable to tear his gaze from each newly revealed inch of pale skin. When the last metal hook came apart, she tossed the web of lace and stays to the floor. All that remained over her breasts was a crumpled chemise.
The key had dropped into her lap. Closing her fingers around the metal object, she risked a cautious glance at Matthew.
His eyes were closed, his forehead scored with furrows of pained concentration. “This isn’t going to happen,” he said, more to himself than to her.
Daisy leaned forward to tuck the key into his coat pocket. Gripping the hem of her chemise, she stripped it over her head. A tingling shock chased over her naked upper body. She was so nervous that her teeth had begun to chatter. “I just took my chemise off,” she said. “Don’t you want to look?”
But his eyes had opened, and his gaze found her small, pink-tipped breasts, and the breath hissed through his clenched teeth. He sat without moving, staring at her as she untied his cravat and unbuttoned the layers of his waistcoat and shirt. She blushed everywhere but continued doggedly, rising to her knees to tug the coat from his shoulders.
He moved like a dreamer, slowly pulling his arms from the coat sleeves and waistcoat.
Daisy pushed his shirt open with awkward determination, her gaze drinking in the sight of his chest and torso. His skin gleamed like heavy satin, stretched taut over broad expanses of muscle. She touched the powerful vault of his ribs, trailing her fingertips to the rippled tautness of his midriff.
Suddenly Matthew caught her hand, seemingly undecided whether to push it away or press it closer.
Her fingers curled over his. She stared into his dilated blue eyes. “Matthew,” she whispered. “I’m here. I’m yours. I want to do everything you’ve ever imagined doing with me.”
He stopped breathing. His will foundered and collapsed, and suddenly nothing mattered except the demands of a desire that had been denied too long. With a rough groan of surrender, he lifted her onto his lap.
Lisa Kleypas (Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4))
Now,” Samite continued, “after Essel has just spent time warning you about generalities and how they often don’t apply, I’m going to use some. Because some generalities are true often enough that we have to worry about them. So here’s one: men will physically fight for status. Women, generally, are more clever. The why of it doesn’t matter: learned, innate, cultural, who cares? You see the chest-bumping, the name-calling, performing for their fellows, what they’re really doing is getting the juices flowing. That interval isn’t always long, but it’s long enough for men to trigger the battle juice. That’s the terror or excitation that leads people to fight or run. It can be useful in small doses or debilitating in large ones. Any of you have brothers, or boys you’ve fought with?” Six of the ten raised their hands. “Have you ever had a fight with them—verbal or physical—and then they leave and come back a little later, and they’re completely done fighting and you’re just fully getting into it? They look like they’ve been ambushed, because they’ve come completely off the mountain already, and you’ve just gotten to the top?” “Think of it like lovemaking,” Essel said. She was a bawdy one. “Breathe in a man’s ear and tell him to take his trousers off, and he’s ready to go before you draw your next breath. A woman’s body takes longer.” Some of the girls giggled nervously. “Men can switch on very, very fast. They also switch off from that battle readiness very, very fast. Sure, they’ll be left trembling, sometimes puking from it, but it’s on and then it’s off. Women don’t do that. We peak slower. Now, maybe there are exceptions, maybe. But as fighters, we tend to think that everyone reacts the way we do, because our own experience is all we have. In this case, it’s not true for us. Men will be ready to fight, then finished, within heartbeats. This is good and bad. “A man, deeply surprised, will have only his first instinctive response be as controlled and crisp as it is when he trains. Then that torrent of emotion is on him. We spend thousands of hours training that first instinctive response, and further, we train to control the torrent of emotion so that it raises us to a heightened level of awareness without making us stupid.” “So the positive, for us Archers: surprise me, and my first reaction will be the same as my male counterpart’s. I can still, of course, get terrified, or locked into a loop of indecision. But if I’m not, my second, third, and tenth moves will also be controlled. My hands will not shake. I will be able to make precision movements that a man cannot. But I won’t have the heightened strength or sensations until perhaps a minute later—often too late. “Where a man needs to train to control that rush, we need to train to make it closer. If we have to climb a mountain more slowly to get to the same height to get all the positives, we need to start climbing sooner. That is, when I go into a situation that I know may be hazardous, I need to prepare myself. I need to start climbing. The men may joke to break the tension. Let them. I don’t join in. Maybe they think I’m humorless because I don’t. Fine. That’s a trade I’m willing to make.” Teia and the rest of the girls walked away from training that day somewhat dazed, definitely overwhelmed. What Teia realized was that the women were deeply appealing because they were honest and powerful. And those two things were wed inextricably together. They said, I am the best in the world at what I do, and I cannot do everything. Those two statements, held together, gave them the security to face any challenge. If her own strengths couldn’t surmount an obstacle, her team’s strengths could—and she was unembarrassed about asking for help where she needed it because she knew that what she brought to the team would be equally valuable in some other situation.
Brent Weeks (The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer, #2))