I sit here
a series of
and large defeats
and I am as
as any other
I have gotten
from there to
without committing murder
having ended up in the
as I drink alone
my soul despite all the past
thanks all the gods
who were not
Charles Bukowski (The People Look Like Flowers at Last)
You know, the most amazing thing happened to me tonight... I saw a car with the license plate ARW 357. Can you imagine? Of all the millions of license plates in the state, what was the chance that I would see that particular one tonight? Amazing!
Richard P. Feynman (Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics By Its Most Brilliant Teacher)
Ah! dearest love, sweet home of all my fears,
and hopes, and joys, and panting miseries,
Tonight if I may guess, thy beauty wears a smile of such delight,
As brilliant and as bright
As when with ravished, aching, nassal eyes,
Lost in a soft amaze
I gaze, I gaze
John Keats (Letters of John Keats)
Let's not let this be your life tonight," he says. "Let's get back in the car and pretend we're driving away because we want to... not because we need to. We can pretend I'm taking you somewhere amazing... somewhere you've always wanted to go. You can snuggle up to me and we can talk about how excited we are and we'll talk about everything we'll do when we get there. We can talk about the important stuff later. But tonight... let's not let this be your life.
Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
Host: For those of you just tuning in, our guests tonight are the amazing Murder Magician, and his lovely minion, The Assistant...
Assistant: Charmed, I'm sure
Host: Who recently killed The Rumor. And you were awarded the Oppenheimer prize for villainy at last week's annual summit for dastardly deeds-- what are you going to do with all that money?
Murder Magician: Well, I'm so glad you asked that-- because I spent all the money on this giant MURDERBOT, and I've been dying to show it off!
Assistant: It's true... every penny.
Host: Wow! That's impressive! So what does it do?
Murder Magician: Well, Mr. Clark... it murders people.
Murder Magician: I'm serious.
Assistant: He is.
Gerard Way (The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite)
SPIDER-MAN (thinking): I can bench press a car. I can climb up the
side of a wall. Fight twenty guys to a standstill. Swing across chasms thirty stories deep. Feel a bullet coming my way and move fast enough to get clear. But something in her makes me gentle. Makes me shy. Makes me strong. Makes me happy to be alive. And maybe that's it. Maybe that's what it really comes down to. She makes me. Makes me whole . . . She completes me . . .
So here's the thing, God . . . I know I complain a lot, and I know that you and me, we've got issues, but right now, just for tonight . . . Thank you for her. Thank you. Amazing Spider-Man #53 (Volume 2)
J. Michael Straczynski
Camilla, you…my God,” he whispered against my skin, his voice sounding oddly strained. “Sweetheart, do you even know? You’re so perfect and you don’t even realize.”
The endearment seeped into me like a touch, warming me as much as his body did. “Did I say a good thing, Professor?”
“Oh, you said an amazing thing. Tonight I’m going to make very, very sure you know how much it means to me.
Delphine Dryden (The Theory of Attraction (Science of Temptation, #1))
No matter what happens tonight, don’t ever change, okay? You are fun and sweet and amazing just the way you are. You make the world a better place because you always find the bright side. You are the bright side. And if I’m ever going to make it through this, I need to know you’re out there, still glowing and making the world bright.
Linda Kage (Worth It (Forbidden Men, #6))
It's amazing, how I want to kill her and save her all at the same time. I'm not sure which I'll end up doing tonight.
K.V. Rose (Ecstasy (Ecstasy, #1))
She gripped his hand. “Stay with me.”
He kissed her softly, amazed that such a simple contact could soothe him. “You couldn’t get rid of me even if you wanted to.”
They both knew that he was talking about more than tonight.
Suzanne Wright (Wicked Cravings (The Phoenix Pack, #2))
I must tell you that what you see tonight is completely real. It might not be amazing, it might not be shocking, it might not be scandalizing, but I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt: it is real. For that – I am deeply sorry.
Maggie Stiefvater (Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie (Books of Faerie, #2))
Peg came over with dinner tonight and told me about this dumb schmaltzy poem she heard someone read at an AA meeting. It got me thinking. It was about how while we are on earth, our limitations are such that we can only see the underside of the tapestry that God is weaving. God sees the topside, the whole evolving portrait and its amazing beauty, and uses us as the pieces of thread to weave the picture. We see the glorious colors and shadings, but we also see the knots and the threads hanging down, the think lumpy patches, the tangles. But God and the people in heaven with him see how beautiful the portraits in the tapestry are. The poem says in this flowery way that faith is about the willingness to be used by God wherever and however he most needs you, most needs the piece of thread that is your life. You give him your life to put through his needle, to use as he sees fit.
Anne Lamott (Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year)
You are never going to forget all of the things I’m going to do to you tonight. Every inch of your amazing little body is going to feel me.
Kristen Proby (Falling for Jillian (Love Under the Big Sky, #3))
Hi there, cutie."
Ash turned his head to find an extremely attractive college student by his side. With black curly hair, she was dressed in jeans and a tight green top that displayed her curves to perfection. "Hi."
"You want to go inside for a drink? It's on me."
Ash paused as he saw her past, present, and future simultaneously in his mind. Her name was Tracy Phillips. A political science major, she was going to end up at Harvard Med School and then be one of the leading researchers to help isolate a mutated genome that the human race didn't even know existed yet.
The discovery of that genome would save the life of her youngest daughter and cause her daughter to go on to medical school herself. That daughter, with the help and guidance of her mother, would one day lobby for medical reforms that would change the way the medical world and governments treated health care. The two of them would shape generations of doctors and save thousands of lives by allowing people to have groundbreaking medical treatments that they wouldn't have otherwise been able to afford.
And right now, all Tracy could think about was how cute his ass was in leather pants, and how much she'd like to peel them off him.
In a few seconds, she'd head into the coffee shop and meet a waitress named Gina Torres. Gina's dream was to go to college herself to be a doctor and save the lives of the working poor who couldn't afford health care, but because of family problems she wasn't able to take classes this year. Still Gina would tell Tracy how she planned to go next year on a scholarship.
Late tonight, after most of the college students were headed off, the two of them would be chatting about Gina's plans and dreams.
And a month from now, Gina would be dead from a freak car accident that Tracy would see on the news. That one tragic event combined with the happenstance meeting tonight would lead Tracy to her destiny. In one instant, she'd realize how shallow her life had been, and she'd seek to change that and be more aware of the people around her and of their needs. Her youngest daughter would be named Gina Tory in honor of the Gina who was currently busy wiping down tables while she imagined a better life for everyone.
So in effect, Gina would achieve her dream. By dying she'd save thousands of lives and she'd bring health care to those who couldn't afford it...
The human race was an amazing thing. So few people ever realized just how many lives they inadvertently touched. How the right or wrong word spoken casually could empower or destroy another's life.
If Ash were to accept Tracy's invitation for coffee, her destiny would be changed and she would end up working as a well-paid bank officer. She'd decide that marriage wasn't for her and go on to live her life with a partner and never have children.
Everything would change. All the lives that would have been saved would be lost.
And knowing the nuance of every word spoken and every gesture made was the heaviest of all the burdens Ash carried.
Smiling gently, he shook his head. "Thanks for asking, but I have to head off. You have a good night."
She gave him a hot once-over. "Okay, but if you change your mind, I'll be in here studying for the next few hours."
Ash watched as she left him and entered the shop. She set her backpack down at a table and started unpacking her books. Sighing from exhaustion, Gina grabbed a glass of water and made her way over to her...
And as he observed them through the painted glass, the two women struck up a conversation and set their destined futures into motion.
His heart heavy, he glanced in the direction Cael had vanished and hated the future that awaited his friend. But it was Cael's destiny.
"Imora thea mi savur," Ash whispered under his breath in Atlantean. God save me from love.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark Side of the Moon (Dark-Hunter, #9; Were-Hunter, #3))
This is incredible. This is quite amazing because who you're honoring tonight is not only myself but the ghost of a lot of your favorite writers. And I wouldn't be here except that they spoke to me in the library. The library's been the center of my life. I never made it to college. I started going to the library when I graduated from high school. I went to the library every day for three or four days a week for 10 years and I graduated from the library when I was 28.
What is it that drew us to the hollow tonight? What crazy kind of species is it that leaves a warm home on a rainy night to ferry salamanders across a road? It's tempting to call it altruism, but it's not. There is nothing selfless about it. This night heaps rewards on the givers as well as the recipients. We get to be there, to witness this amazing rite, and, for an evening, to enter into relationship with other beings, as different from ourselves as we can imagine.
It has been said that people of the modern world suffer a great sadness, a "species loneliness" - estrangement from the rest of Creation. We have built this isolation with our fear, with our arrogance, and with our homes brightly lit against the night. For a moment as we walked this road, those barriers dissolved and we began to relieve the loneliness and know each other once again.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass)
He brought down Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and Jay Cantor’s Krazy Kat, then grabbed an omnibus volume of Dick. “And this is the book that inspired the film we saw tonight.” Tess stifled a laugh, but not the surge of affection behind it. Where some might have seen an almost woeful ignorance
Laura Lippman (No Good Deeds (Tess Monaghan #9))
Aahhhhhh, fuuuuuck!” I groaned, my eyes fluttering closed as I let my head rest on the back of the sofa. He worked his lips and tongue in unison, sucking my shaft and fucking my urethra, and it was one of the most amazing blowjobs I’ve ever had. His skill was the reason I’d chosen him for tonight. “Ooooh god! That’s right… work your sexy fucking mouth.
Nicholas Bella (House of Theoden: Season Two Complete Boxset (The New Haven Series))
I gave you my heart tonight in front of everyone. It felt fucking amazing.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Not My Romeo (The Game Changers, #1))
He had been an indifferent father, better than his own, perhaps, but that was saying very little. When Tommy was still an unknown fishboy inside Rosa, Sammy had resolved never to let him feel abandoned, never to walk out on him, and until now, until tonight, he had managed to keep the promise, though there were times—the night he had decided to take that job at Gold Star Comics, for example—when it had been difficult. But the truth was that, for all his noble intentions, if you didn’t count the hours when the boy was sleeping, then Sammy had missed out on most of his childhood. Like many boys, Sammy supposed, Tommy had done most of his growing up when the man he called his father was not around, in the spaces between their infrequent hours together. Sammy wondered if the indifference that he had attributed to his own father was, after all, not the peculiar trait of one man but a universal characteristic of fathers. Maybe the “youthful wards” that he routinely assigned to his heroes—a propensity that would, from that day forward, enter into comics lore and haunt him for the rest of his life—represented the expression not of a flaw in his nature but of a deeper and more universal wish.
Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay)
The physicist Richard Feynman used to make a joke36 about a posteriori conclusions – reasoning from known facts back to possible causes. ‘You know, the most amazing thing happened to me tonight,’ he would say. ‘I saw a car with the licence plate ARW 357. Can you imagine? Of all the millions of licence plates in the state, what was the chance that I would see that particular one tonight? Amazing!’ His point, of course, is that it is easy to make any banal situation seem extraordinary if you treat it as fateful.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
You know, the most amazing thing happened to me tonight," he would say. “I
saw a car with the license plate ARW 357. Can you imagine? Of all the millions of license
plates in the state, what was the chance that I would see that particular one tonight?
Amazing!”His point, of course, was that it is easy to make any banal situation seem extraordinary if you treat it as fateful.
So it is possible that the events and conditions that led to the rise of life on Earth are not
quite as extraordinary as we like to think. Still, they were extraordinary enough, and one thing
is certain: they will have to do until we find some better.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
Lola: You know that thing you said about someone being perfect for someone else?
Lola: I think you're perfect, too. Perfect for me. And ... you look amazing tonight. You always do.
Cricket: Did I black out? Because I've daydreamed those words a thousand times, but I never thought you'd actually say them.
Stephanie Perkins (Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2))
You know, the most amazing thing happened to me tonight. I was coming here, on the way to the lecture, and I came in through the parking lot. And you won't believe what happened. I saw a car with the license plate ARW 357. Can you imagine? Of all the millions of license plates in the state, what was the chance that I would see that particular one tonight? Amazing!
Richard P. Feynman
Taylor intervened, gently extracting Val’s hand from Jason’s. “I tried to get us reservations at Koi, but they were booked this whole weekend. We’ll come up with something else.”
At this, Jason rolled his eyes. He whipped out his cell phone, unable to suppress his smile. “You never cease to amaze me, Taylor.”
Despite herself, she felt her cheeks blushing.
Jason held Taylor’s gaze as he spoke into his phone. “Yeah, Marty, it’s me. Get me a table at Koi tonight. Party of . . .” He looked at her questioningly. “Is this a girls-only night, or are guys invited, too?”
“Oh my god, guys are so invited!” Valerie cried out, practically barreling Jason over in her excitement.
Over Val’s head, he looked at Taylor teasingly. “I guess that means you’re stuck with me again, Ms. Donovan.” He grinned at Valerie, to explain. “She thinks she hates me.
Julie James (Just the Sexiest Man Alive)
Forever Drifting outside in a pall of smoke, I follow a snail’s streaked path down the garden to the garden’s stone wall. Alone at last I squat on my heels, see what needs to be done, and suddenly affix myself to the damp stone. I begin to look around me slowly and listen, employing my entire body as the snail employs its body, relaxed, but alert. Amazing! Tonight is a milestone in my life. After tonight how can I ever go back to that other life? I keep my eyes on the stars, wave to them with my feelers. I hold on for hours, just resting. Still later, grief begins to settle around my heart in tiny drops. I remember my father is dead, and I am going away from this town soon. Forever. Goodbye, son, my father says. Toward morning, I climb down and wander back into the house. They are still waiting, fright splashed on their faces, as they meet my new eyes for the first time.
Raymond Carver (All of Us: The Collected Poems)
One of my favorite album covers is On the Beach. Of course that was the name of a movie and I stole it for my record, but that doesn't matter. The idea for that cover came like a bolt from the blue. Gary and I traveled around getting all the pieces to put it together. We went to a junkyard in Santa Ana to get the tail fin and fender from a 1959 Cadillac, complete with taillights, and watched them cut it off a Cadillac for us, then we went to a patio supply place to get the umbrella and table. We picke up the bad polyester yellow jacket and white pants at a sleazy men's shop, where we watched a shoplifter getting caught red-handed and busted. Gary and I were stoned on some dynamite weed and stood there dumbfounded watching the bust unfold. This girl was screaming and kicking! Finally we grabbed a local LA paper to use as a prop. It had this amazing headline: Sen. Buckley Calls For Nixon to Resign. Next we took the palm tree I had taken around the world on the Tonight's the Night tour. We then placed all of these pieces carefully in the sand at Santa Monica beach. Then we shot it. Bob Seidemann was the photographer, the same one who took the famous Blind Faith cover shot of the naked young girl holding the airplane. We used the crazy pattern from the umbrella insides for the inside of the sleeve that held the vinyl recording. That was the creative process at work. We lived for that, Gary and I, and we still do.
Neil Young (Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream)
Seth, we can't...not again...it's..."
"I know," he said. At last, he crossed the threshold. "And I told myself...told myself I'd let it go...but I haven't stopped thinking about you since yesterday. And after tonight." Hesitantly, as though afraid someone might be lurking, he shut the door behind him. "Just the way you looked out there. It was...amazing. Believe me, I didn't screw up dancing because I'm bad at it-which I am. It's because I wasn't thinking about it at all. I was thinking about you. God, I couldn't stop. And it's not just how sexy you are tonight. It was more. It was the way you lit up the room, the way you charmed everyone and made them happy. You don't need any special powers to do that, Georgina. It's just in you, part of who you are. How funny you are, how smart. It's what made me fall in love you back then, and it's what..." He didn't finish, and I was glad. If he had said "...makes me love you now," I wouldn't have been able to handle it.
Richelle Mead (Succubus Heat (Georgina Kincaid, #4))
The mood is on me to-night only becuase I have listened to several hours of intelligent conversation and I am not a very brilliant person. Sometimes here on Pequod Island and back again on Beacon Street, I have the most curious delusion that our world may be a little narrow. I cannot avoid the impression that something has gone out of it (what, I do not know), and that our little world moves in an orbit of its own, a gain one of those confounded circles, or possibly an ellipse. Do you suppose that it moves without any relation to anything else? That it is broken off from some greater planet like the moon? We talk of life, we talk of art, but do we actually know anything about either? Have any of us really lived? Sometimes I am not entirely sure; sometimes I am afraid that we are all amazing people, placed in an ancestral mould. There is no spring, there is no force. Of course you know better than this, you who plunge every day in the operating room of the Massachusetts General, into life itself. Come up here and tell me I am wrong.
John P. Marquand (The Late George Apley)
The explosion was deafening; a huge cloud of fire rolled out the window after us, its immense heat brushing my face as we tumbled into the snow.
We hit the ground and rolled. Flaming debris from the house came down around us; Griffin shoved me flat on my back, covering us both with his heavy coat.
The echoes of the explosion reflected back across the river, then slowly dwindled away, like dying thunder. The leaping flames threw warm light onto the falling snow, turning it into a storm of sparks pouring down from the heavens.
Griffin started to push himself off of me, then stoped. His hands were braced on either side of my shoulders, his legs twined with mine. Mt heart pounded, my palms sweated, and I was suddenly, acutely aware of how close his face was to mine.
"You're a madman," he whispered. "An utter madman."
"Perhaps," I allowed. "But it worked."
The leaping light from the burning house painted his features in gold, highlighting his patrician nose and finding threads of brown and blue in his green eyes. His pupils widened, the irises contracting to silver. "Whatever am I going to do with you?" he murmured.
The warmth of his breath feathered over my skin. Heat collected in my groin, my lips. My mouth was dry, my voice hoarse, and perhaps he was right and it was madness when I whispered, "Whatever you want."
A shiver went through his body, perhaps because we were lying on the cold ground. But instead of getting up, he leaned closer, his overlong hair tumbling over his forehead. He paused, his mouth almost touching mine, his eyes seeming to ask a question.
It was madness; it was folly; it was sheer selfishness. I was delusional, misguided, wrong, out of control. I needed to pull back, to say something sane, to re-establish mastery over myself. I could not do this. I could not take the risk.
Later tonight, I'd relive this moment in my lonely bed and wonder if I'd done the right thing. But at least that would be familiar, would be something I knew how to cope with.
And yet the very thought felt like dying.
I surged forward, crossing the final, tiny gap and pressing my lips to his. It was awkward and desperate and frantic, but the feel of his mouth against mine sent a bolt of electricity straight down my spine. Just a moment, just this one kiss, surely that would be enough...
Then he kissed me back, and it would never be enough, a thousand years of this would not be enough. His mouth was hungry and insistent, his tongue probing my lips, asking for greater intimacy. I granted it, tongues swirling together, mine followed his when it retreated and tasting him in return.
There came the clanging of bells in the distance, the fire company alerted to the explosion. Griffin drew back a fraction. His breath was as raged as mine, which left me dazed with wonder.
"My dear," he whispered against my lips. Then he swallowed convulsively. "We should leave, before the fire companies come."
"Y-Yes." It was amazing I managed that much coherence.
He closed his eyes and leaned his forehead against mine, our breaths mingling. "Will you come home with me?"
Was he asking...? "Yes." Oh, God, yes.
His lips curved into a smile.
Jordan L. Hawk (Widdershins (Whyborne & Griffin, #1))
When they stopped to pick up Mike, Violet started to get out so she could climb in back with Chelsea, giving Mike’s longer legs the front seat, but Jay reached out and caught her wrist.
“What are you doing? I want you to sit with me.” His fingers moved to lace through hers as he drew her back inside. “Mike can sit in back.”
Violet felt herself blush with satisfaction.
Mike came out of his house and jumped down the porch without ever touching the steps. Behind the darkened curtains, the television flickered.
“Here he comes!” Chelsea squealed, sounding like a little girl as she bounced up and down in the backseat, shaking the entire car. She clapped her hands with excitement.
Violet pulled her seat as far forward as she could to give Mike some extra room. He’d need it if he was going to be confined back there with Chelsea.
“Heeyyy, Mike.” Chelsea managed to drawl the two words into several long syllables as Mike slid into the car. The syrupiness of it sounded so foreign oozing from Chelsea’s mouth.
“Hey,” Mike said back to her. One word, one syllable.
“So I guess it’s just the four of us tonight,” she purred.
“Really? I thought we were meeting a buncha people.”
“Nope. Just us. Everyone else bailed.”
Violet smiled to herself as she listened to Chelsea’s account, amazed that her words came out sounding so…sincere.
But Violet knew better. And she realized from the look Jay flashed her that he knew too.
Mike, on the other hand, was too new to understand the disturbing way that Chelsea’s mind worked. There was a brief pause, and then Violet swore she could hear a smile in his voice when he answered, “That’s cool.”
He might rethink that later, Violet thought, when Chelsea stops holding back and decides to assault him right in the middle of a crowded movie theater. Unless he’s into that kind of thing. She grinned wickedly to herself.
And then she wondered if Jay would attack her.
She hoped so.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
You were always amazing. And I’m sorry if I ever fed into your insecurities or anxieties or made you feel like you needed to change. You never needed reinventing. You know that now, I hope. The person you were tonight, the person you’ve been all summer - he’s perfect.”
“The only time I felt confident was when I was in your arms.” he says. “I loved what you brought out in me. Not just the sex stuff, though that was fun. I liked myself more when I was with you. And I think I needed to be away from you to figure out how to like myself all those other times.”
“But that was you. That wasn’t me. I need you to remember that. And maybe we won’t fall back into this so easily next time.
Phil Stamper (Golden Boys (Golden Boys, #1))
Speaking of… I gotta go. I need to be at the field.” His voice rumbled through his chest and against my ear as he spoke.
I sighed and stepped out of his arms. I was sad that our couple days together were over and I would be here tonight without him. Classes started tomorrow, and I knew we were going to see a lot less of each other now that the semester was starting.
“I’ll walk you out,” I said and followed him to the door.
Ivy was still digging through my clothes and called out a good-bye.
“Just stay inside,” he said, palming the handle. “It’s cold and slippery out there. You’ll be safer in here.”
I grimaced. “You’re probably right.”
He grinned. “I’ll call you later, ‘kay?”
He released the door handle and closed the distance between us with one step. The toes of his shoes bumped against my boots and the front of his jacket brushed against me.
My stomach fluttered and my heart rate doubled. The effect he had on me was nothing short of amazing. I tipped my head back so I could look up into his eyes, and the corner of his mouth lifted. He looked at me with so much affection in his gaze that emotion caught in my throat. He didn’t have to say anything because I heard everything just by looking in his eyes.
My fingers curled around the hem of his shirt and tangled in the cotton fabric, and at the same time I stretched up, he bent down.
The feel of his lips against me was my favorite sensation. Nothing compared to the way his mouth owned mine. His tongue stretched out, sweeping through my mouth with gentle pressure, and I sighed into him and sagged forward.
A low laugh vibrated his chest and he pulled back.
“Be careful walking to class tomorrow, huh? Don’t fall and hurt yourself.”
I nodded, barely comprehending his words.
He slipped out the door before reality came flooding back. I rushed forward, caught the closing door, and called out his name.
He stopped and turned. The lopsided, knowing smile on his face was smug. “Good luck at practice,” I called, ignoring the few girls who stopped to watch us.
I swear every girl within earshot sighed.
I couldn’t even blame them.
I shut the door and leaned against it.
Ivy put her hands on her hips and looked at me. “I’m gonna need a mega supply of barf bags to put up with you two this semester.”
Cambria Hebert (#Hater (Hashtag, #2))
Tonight, when the walls started closing in on me, I figured a drive in the country might be nice because I couldn’t think of anything else to do. Then I got here, you opened the door, and I thought: Oh crap, he’s going to think I’m a total stalker.”
“Not at all.” Seth raised their clasped hands and grinned. “I merely assumed you wanted to see my big hands again.”
Laughing, she gave his shoulder a shove. “You’re such a tease!”
His heart lightened. “Admitted without shame.”
“Well, I’ll forgive you,” she quipped, “because you’re letting me hold your hand.” Drawing their clasped hands closer to her face, she cupped her free hand over them and smoothed circles over his as she assumed a comical expression of amazement. “Oooooooh. So big,” she breathed.
Dianne Duvall (Death of Darkness (Immortal Guardians, #9))
I was silent a moment. He still had not dropped my hands, and it amazed me how desperately I did not want him to let me go even now. “I cannot be cheered tonight,” I said finally. “I can only be distracted.”
“Comforted?” he suggested and slowly, as if waiting for a protest that did not come, he drew me into his arms. I leaned against his chest and his arms wrapped around me. I felt safe and warm and hopeful as I had not felt in weeks. I turned my face into the cloth of his shirt and felt the tears rise. I knew that I would not be able to stop them, and knew that he would feel their wetness through the cotton to his skin, and knew he would know why I was crying and that he would not care. We stood embraced that way for minutes, hours, I could not guess how long. I cried and he held me and neither of us spoke a word.
Sharon Shinn (Summers at Castle Auburn)
What are you doing here?” he asked Bailey, surprised that Bailey was roaming the streets in his wheelchair at eleven o'clock.
“Yep. Haven't done it in a while, and we've been getting complaints from the produce section. Seems the carrots have formed a Bailey Sheen fan club. Tonight is for the fans. Fern's got quite a following in the frozen foods.”
“Karaoke . . . here?” Ambrose didn't even crack a smile . . . but he wanted to.
“Yep. Closing time means we have free rein of the place. We take over the store’s sound system, use the intercom for a microphone, plug in our CDs, and rock Jolley's Supermarket. It's awesome. You should join us. I should warn you, though, I'm amazing, and I'm also a mic hog.”
Fern giggled, but looked at Ambrose hopefully. Oh, hell, no. He wasn't singing Karaoke. Not even to please Fern Taylor, which he actually wanted to do, surprisingly enough.
Amy Harmon (Making Faces)
Some of the boys from the Times wanted me to come to a memorial dinner tonight, but a quiet evening with Kreizler seemed much the more appropriate thing. It wasn’t out of nostalgia for any shared boyhood in New York that we raised our glasses, because Laszlo and Theodore didn’t actually meet until Harvard. No, Kreizler and I were fixing our hearts on the spring of 1896—nearly a quarter-century ago!—and on a series of events that still seems too bizarre to have occurred even in this city. By the end of our dessert and Madeira (and how poignant to have a memorial meal in Delmonico’s, good old Del’s, now on its way out like the rest of us, but in those days the bustling scene of some of our most important encounters), the two of us were laughing and shaking our heads, amazed to this day that we were able to get through the ordeal with our skins; and still saddened, as I could see in Kreizler’s face and feel in my own chest, by the thought of those who didn’t
Caleb Carr (The Alienist (Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, #1))
Clay’s heart was beating fast. Peril tilted her head at Starflight. “He is smart,” she said. “Just like you said. I guess I could do that.” She sounded like she wasn’t entirely convinced. “If you’re really sure you want to escape tonight.” “Of course we are,” Tsunami said, springing to her feet. “Let’s get out of here.” “But Sunny —” Starflight said. “We hide somewhere and wait until Peril can free her tomorrow,” Tsunami said. “And Glory,” Clay said. “We have to save Glory, too.” “Glory?” Peril’s brow creased in a frown. “The RainWing. Queen Scarlet’s new artwork,” Clay said. “Oh,” Peril said. “Her. She’s very beautiful.” She narrowed her eyes at Clay, which confused him. “Let’s run away now and worry about that later,” Tsunami said. “Is there somewhere we can hide?” Peril snapped her wings open. “Below the waterfall. There’s a cave only I know about.” She turned, nearly smacking Clay with her tail, and hopped over the pool into the fire. Clay watched in amazement as she wrapped her claws around two of the black rocks and picked them up. She stepped into the tunnel, and the fire from the rocks went with her, blazing around her talons. Carefully she piled the fire on the rock floor outside until there was a gap big enough for the dragonets to jump through. Tsunami went first, and then Clay, and then Starflight. When they were all out in the tunnel, Peril rebuilt the wall of fire across the cave entrance. “There,” she said with satisfaction. “Now she’ll have no idea how you got out.” “Can you get these off our wings?” Starflight whispered, pointing to the bindings. Peril gave him a hard look. “Maybe,” she said. “But maybe I’ll wait until I know you won’t leave without saying good-bye.” “We wouldn’t leave without our friends,” Clay promised. She scowled. “Which way to the waterfall?” Tsunami asked. Peril nodded up the tunnel and slithered off, leading the way. “Stop making her mad,” Tsunami hissed in Clay’s ear as they followed. “Me?” he said, genuinely surprised. “What did I do?” “Well, you’re a handsome idiot,” she said affectionately. “And I’ll tell you later.” Which didn’t clear things up at all. Shortly
Tui T. Sutherland (The Dragonet Prophecy (Wings of Fire, #1))
Marilee lay perfectly still,waiting for her world to settle.She had to fight the unreasonable urge to weep.
Wyatt's face was pressed to the hollow of her throat,his breathing rough, his damp body plastered to hers.
He nuzzled her neck. "Am I too heavy?"
"Umm." It was all she could manage.
"You all right?"
"Did anybody ever tell you that you talk too much?"
He brushed his mouth over hers. "If you hum a bit more,I might be able to name that tune."
That broke the spell of tears that had been threatening and caused her to laugh.
She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back. "Have I told you how much I like your silly sense of humor?"
"No,you haven't." He rolled to his side and gathered her into his arms,nuzzling her cheek,while his big hands moved over her hip,her back,her waist, as though measuring every inch of her. "What else do you like about me?"
"You fishing for compliments?"
"Of course I am."
"Glutton. Your sense of humor isn't enough?"
"Not nearly enough.How about my looks?"
"They're okay,for a footloose rebel."
"Stop.All these mushy remarks will inflate my ego." He gave a mock frown. "How about the way I kiss?"
"You're not bad."
"Not bad?" His hands stopped their movement. He drew a little away. "That's all you can say?"
"If you recall,tonight was the first time we've kissed.I haven't had nearly enough practice to be a really good judge of your talent."
"Then we'd better take care of that right now." He framed her face. With his eyes steady on hers, he lowered his mouth to claim her lips.
Marilee's eyelids fluttered and she felt an explosion of color behind them. As though the moon and stars had collided while she rocketed through space. It was the most amazing sensation, and, as his lips continued moving over hers,she found herself wishing it could go on forever.
When at last they came up for air, she took in a long,deep breath before opening her eyes. "Oh,yes,rebel.I have to say,I do like the way you kiss."
"That's good,because I intend to do a whole lot more of it." He lay back in the grass,one hand beneath his head. "Now it's my turn.Want to know all the things I like about you?"
"I'm afraid to hear it." Marilee lay on her side,her hand splayed across his chest.
"Besides your freckles,which I've already mentioned,the thing about you I like best is your take-charge attitude."
She chuckled. "A lot of guys feel intimidated by that."
"They're idiots.Don't they know there's something sexy about a woman who knows what to do and how to do it? I've watched you as a medic and as a pilot, and I haven't decided which one turns me on more."
"Really?" She sat up. "Want me to fetch my first-aid kit from the plane? I could always splint your arm or leg and really turn you on."
He dragged her down into his arms and growled against her mouth, "You don't need to do a single thing to turn me on. All I need to do is look at you and I want you."
"You mean now? Again? So soon?"
"Liar.I don't believe it's possible."
"You ought to know by now that I never say anything I can't back up with action."
There was a wicked smile on his lips as he rolled over her and began to kiss her breathless,all the while taking her on a slow,delicious ride to paradise.
R.C. Ryan (Montana Destiny)
Alex Honnold, free solo climbing phenom: The Last of the Mohicans soundtrack Rolf Potts, author of Vagabonding and others: ambitones like The Zen Effect in the key of C for 30 minutes, made by Rolfe Kent, the composer of music for movies like Sideways, Wedding Crashers, and Legally Blonde Matt Mullenweg, lead developer of WordPress, CEO of Automattic: “Everyday” by A$AP Rocky and “One Dance” by Drake Amelia Boone, the world’s most successful female obstacle course racer: “Tonight Tonight” by the Smashing Pumpkins and “Keep Your Eyes Open” by NEEDTOBREATHE Chris Young, mathematician and experimental chef: Paul Oakenfold’s “Live at the Rojan in Shanghai,” Pete Tong’s Essential Mix Jason Silva, TV and YouTube philosopher: “Time” from the Inception soundtrack by Hans Zimmer Chris Sacca: “Harlem Shake” by Baauer and “Lift Off” by Jay Z and Kanye West, featuring Beyoncé. “I can bang through an amazing amount of email with the Harlem Shake going on in the background.” Tim Ferriss: Currently I’m listening to “Circulation” by Beats Antique and “Black Out the Sun” by Sevendust, depending on whether I need flow or a jumpstart.
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
As the pair of them kept talking, Rhage sucked the white stick clean and found himself sizing up the Shadow.
Cutting into the convo, he demanded, “Why don’t you come to Last Meal anymore.”
V’s diamond-hard glare swung around. “My brother, focus.”
“No, I’m serious.” He propped his hip on the black wall. “What’s up, Trez. I mean, our food not good enough for you?”
Cue the throat clearing on the Shadow’s side. “Oh, no, yeah, I’m just … busy, you know. Opening this…”
“And when was the last time you fed? You look like shit.”
Vishous threw up his hands. “Hollywood, will you get in the game—”
“You know, I used Selena tonight and her blood is amazing—”
It all happened so fast. One minute V was jawing at him while he was bringing up the very salient point that the Shadow needed to take a vein.
The next, Trez’s racket-size palm was locked on his neck, cutting off all his air supply.
While the guy bared his teeth and snarled like Rhage was the enemy.
In the blink of an eye, and in spite of that nasty shoulder wound, Vishous counter-attacked the Shadow, tackling him in a total body slam as Rhage grabbed at that thick wrist to pull the grip free. Incredibly, it got them nowhere.
Along the shores of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean I went through fishing ports where the elegant poverty of the fishermen wounded my own. Without their seeing me, I would brush against men and women standing in a patch of shade, against boys plying on a square. The love that human beings seem to feel for one another tortured me at the time. If two men exchanged a greeting or a smile in passing, I would retreat to the farthest edges of the world. The glances exchanged by the two friends—and sometimes their words—were the subtlest emanation of a ray of love from the heart of each. A ray of very soft light, delicately coiled: a spun ray of love. I was amazed that such delicacy, so fine a thread and of so precious, and so chaste, a substance as love could be fashioned in so dark a smithy as the muscular bodies of those males, though they themselves always emitted that gentle ray in which there sometimes sparkled the droplets of a mysterious dew. I would fancy hearing the elder say to the other, who was no longer I, speaking of that part of the body which he must have loved dearly: "I'm going to dent your halo for you again tonight!" I could not take lightly the idea that people made love without me.
Jean Genet (The Thief's Journal)
So you were bored and decided to come looking for me?”
He trailed a finger over the exposed part of her upper chest. “Something like that.”
Blushing prettily, she brushed his hand away, but not before giving his fingers a squeeze. “Well, I’m busy, so unless you want to help Heather and me in our endeavors, you will have to find some way to amuse yourself.”
Grey sighed. “All right, I’ll go, but only because I’m likely to ruin whatever beautification potions you two lovely witches are brewing.”
Behind Rose, the maid Heather giggled. Grey grinned at Rose’s wide-eyed disbelief as she looked at first her maid and then him. “Have you always charmed women so easily?”
Grey’s humor faded. “I’m afraid so.” And then softly, “It if offends you…”
She shoved her palm into his shoulder. “Don’t be an idiot. Flirt with my maid all you want. But I don’t want to hear anything from you when I smile at the footmen.”
God she was amazing. He slipped his arms around her, no caring that the maid could see, even though she made a great pretense of not looking. “Are you going out tonight?”
Rose pushed against his chest. “Grey, I’m all sweat and grime.”
“I don’t care. Answer me, are you going out?”
She arched a brow. “Are you trying to get rid of me?”
“No.” He held her gaze as he lowered his head, but he didn’t kiss her. He simply let the words drift across her sweet lips. “I’d keep you here every night if I could.”
She shivered delicately. Christ, he could kiss her. He could make love to her right there. “All you have to do is ask.”
“I won’t have you give up your society for me.”
Something flickered in her dark eyes. “It wouldn’t be much of a sacrifice.”
Because of the gossip? How long before she began to resent him for it? He could just push her away and be done with it-tell her to go out and find herself a lover, but he would rather carve up the rest of his face than do that.
Instead, he took the coward’s route. He didn’t ask for an explanation. He didn’t want to know what she’d heart about him or what they’d said about her. He simply smiled and decided to take advantage of what time he had left. Because he loved having her with him, and spending what had always been lonely hours in company better than any he might have deserved or ever wished for.
“You are sweaty and grimy,” he murmured in his most seductive tones. “And now I find I am as well. Shall we meet in the bath in, say, twenty minutes? I’ll scrub your back if you’ll scrub mine.”
Of course, when she joined him later, and their naked bodies came together in the hot, soapy water, all thoughts of scrubbing disappeared. And so did-for a brief while-all of Grey’s misgivings.
But he knew they’d be back.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
Maria managed to avoid Oliver for most of St. Valentine’s Day. It wasn’t difficult-apparently he spent half of it sleeping off his wild night. Not that she cared one bit. She’d learned her lesson with him. Truly she had. Not even the beautiful bouquet of irises he’d sent up to her room midafternoon changed that.
Now that she was dressing for tonight’s ball, she was rather proud of herself for having only thought of him half a dozen times. Per hour, her conscience added.
“There, that’s the last one,” Betty said as she tucked another ostrich feather into Maria’s elaborate coiffure.
According to Celia, the new fashion this year involved a multitude of feathers drooping from one’s head in languid repose. Maria hoped hers didn’t decide to find their repose on the floor. Betty seemed to have used a magical incantation to keep them in place, and Maria wasn’t at all sure they would stay put.
“You look lovely, miss,” Betty added.
“If I do,” Maria said, “it’s only because of your efforts, Betty.”
Betty ducked her head to hide her blush. “Thank you, miss.”
It was amazing how different the servant had been ever since Maria had taken Oliver’s advice to heart, letting the girl fuss over her and tidy her room and do myriad things that Maria would have been perfectly happy to do for herself. But he’d proved to be right-Betty practically glowed with pride. Maria wished she’d known sooner how to treat them all, but honestly, how could she have guessed that these mad English would enjoy being in service? It boggled her democratic American mind.
Casting an admiring glance down Maria’s gown of ivory satin, Betty said, “I daresay his lordship will swallow his tongue when he sees you tonight.”
“If he does, I hope he chokes on it,” Maria muttered.
With a sly glance, Betty fluffed out the bouffant drapery of white tulle that crossed Maria’s bust and was fastened in the center with an ornament of gold mosaic. “John says the master didn’t touch a one of those tarts at the brothel last night. He says that his lordship refused every female that the owner of the place brought before him.”
“I somehow doubt that.”
Paying her no heed, Betty continued her campaign to salvage her master’s dubious honor. “Then Lord Stoneville went to the opera house and left without a single dancer on his arm. John says he never done that before.”
Maria rolled her eyes, though a part of her desperately wanted to believe it was true-a tiny, silly part of her that she would have to slap senseless.
Betty polished the ornament with the edge of her sleeve. “John says he drank himself into a stupor, then came home without so much as kissing a single lady. John says-“
“John is inventing stories to excuse his master’s actions.”
“Oh no, miss! John would never lie. And I can promise you that the master has never come home so early before, and certainly not without…that is, at the house in Acton he was wont to bring a tart or two home to…well, you know.”
“Help him choke on his tongue?” Maria snapped as she picked up her fan.
Betty laughed. “Now that would be a sight, wouldn’t it? Two ladies trying to shove his tongue down his throat.”
“I’d pay them well to do it.
Sabrina Jeffries (The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #1))
If he had any sense of honor at all, the man would have stayed dead."
"Unfortunately, it appears he was merely unconscious," Daniel murmured. He was becoming quite certain George was dead. This might greaty simplify matters, or at least it would if Richard was willing to uphold the marriage to Christiana...and really, Daniel was beginning to think that would be the most honorable thing to do here. While he didn't think much of their looking to marry a man with money to solve their problems, it did seem a shame to cast the scandal of George's actions on these three women when none of it was their fault at all.
Unconscious," Suzette spat the word with disdain. "He must have been, and he had obviously been drinking." She tsked with exasperation and stomped her foot, muttering, "Why could the beast not have been dead? I should have smothered him in his bed to be sure he was and stayed that way."
Daniel stared at her with amazement. His first thought was that, really, aside froom her fortune hunting and homicidal tendencies, the woman was quite fascinating in her complete and utter lack of artifice. His next thought was that the ton would eat her alive. Artifice and subterfuge were necessary tools to survive society and she was obviously completely lacking in both.
Suzette suddenly heaved a put upon breath and muttered, "I suppose I had best be sure I find a husband tonight. Otherwise, surely Dicky will find some way to throw a spanner in my plans."
Daniel's eyebrows flew up at her words and then she peered at him with interest.
"You're a handsome enough fellow," she commented thoughtfully.
Daniel blinked, and then muttered, "Oh...er...thank you. I think."
"You don't seem a dullard either," she added, tilting her head to inspect him consideringly.
"Erm," he said weakly.
"And you aren't old. That's another plus." Daniel was puzzling over that when she asked abruptly, "Are you rich?
Lynsay Sands (The Heiress (Madison Sisters, #2))
Hey, Ben,” she says, ignoring the rest of us. “You want to dance?”
Ben’s cheeks turn the same scarlet as Rosie’s dress. He and Ryder exchange a pointed look while Lucy and I just stand there gawking.
“Go on, man,” Ryder says, nudging him. “You look great, Rosie,” he adds. “Nice dress.”
She smiles up at him, her blue eyes seeming to glitter beneath the disco-ball lighting. “Thanks. You don’t look so bad yourself.” She glances from Ryder to me and back to Ryder again. “The two of you…You looked good together up there.”
“I know, right?” Lucy nods, and I shoot her a “what are you doing?” glare. She ignores it. “Maybe these two should stop the hating and listen to their parents.”
An awkward silence follows. Finally, Ben seems to remember why Rosie came over in the first place. “Um, you want to go dance?”
“Yeah. I love this song.”
Ben nods. “Okay. Catch you guys later.”
Rosie’s smile seems genuine as she follows Ben to the dance floor. I hope that means she’s finally figured out what a sweetheart he is.
As soon as they’re gone, Lucy lets out a low whistle. “Whoa, did that just happen?”
“I think it did,” I say, watching as Rosie wraps her arms around Ben’s neck. She must have said something funny, because he throws his head back and laughs.
Lucy shakes her head in amazement. “I swear, it’s like we’re in some kind of alternate universe tonight.”
“Well, in that case, how about you and me, Luce?” Mason says with a cocky grin. “Think you can handle me on the dance floor?”
“Oh, what the hell?” Lucy says with a shrug. “Why not!” She reaches for Mason’s hand and drags him toward the dance floor but stops a few feet away and turns back to face Ryder and me. “Hey, you two--behave!” In seconds, she and Mason are swallowed by the crowd.
“And then there were two,” Ryder says, reaching for my hand. He leans down, his lips near my ear. “Do you have any idea how badly I want to kiss you right now?” he whispers.
“Later,” I say with a shiver. It’s not an empty word. It’s a promise.
He gives my hand a squeeze. “So…until then, I guess we dance.”
“We dance,” I say as a slow song begins to play.
Talk about good timing.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
You can talk to me, Clay,” I said with a little hope. I really began to wonder if he could speak. When he didn’t respond, I spoke again. “Okay, do you want to go out or stay in?” He moved to the couch and sat in the middle, his choice clear. Stay in tonight. I hesitated. The chair, set at an odd angle to the TV, gave you a sore neck if you tried to watch a movie from there. That meant I’d need to sit next to him to watch a movie. But I felt so exposed in a skirt and sleeveless shirt. I wasn’t sure if I could sit next to him for a full movie. While I debated my options, he watched me closely. “I’m going to go change,” I stammered. “I’ll be right back.” I turned and made it one step before the back of my shirt snagged on something. Surprised, I looked over my shoulder and found Clay standing right behind me. He held a fold of my shirt between his thumb and forefinger. I could see the glint of his brown eyes behind the still damp strands of his hair. He tilted his head back toward the couch and gave a slight tug on my shirt. My stomach dropped, and I couldn’t tell if it was in a good way or a bad one. When I hesitated, he gave another tug. I surrendered, turned back, and sat on the couch. He padded over to the movies, made a selection I couldn’t see, and crouched to start it. It amazed me that he knew how to do that. Then again, he watched everything Rachel and I did. I wondered if anything escaped his notice. He pressed play, stood, and walked toward me with fluid strides. I felt graceless in comparison. He settled next to me and watched the previews. I tried to focus on them, too, but couldn’t. Instead, I noticed our bare feet, the scratch on the wall next to the TV, his leg lightly pressed against mine, the sound of the water as it slowly dripped from the showerhead in the bathroom, his hands loosely resting on his lap. The long list of unimportant details would not let my mind settle. It was midway through the movie when my mind calmed enough to notice we watched an action-comedy I’d wanted to see. I’d just mentioned it to Rachel this past week. She must have gotten it after that. Slowly, I began to relax and enjoy the movie. I even laughed aloud at one point. Clay’s echoing chuckle startled me, but in a good way. So, he could do more than growl as a dog. His deep laugh sounded pleasant. When
Melissa Haag (Hope(less) (Judgement of the Six #1))
What I want to know is whether or not I can expect a repetition of it, if I were to agree with what Alexandra wants.”
Drowning in angry mortification, Elizabeth nevertheless managed not to flinch or drop her gaze, and although her voice shook slightly, she managed to say calmly and clearly, “I have no control over wagging tongues, your grace. If I had, I would not have been the topic of scandal two years ago. However, I have no desire whatever to reenter your society. I still have scars enough from my last sortie among the Quality.” Having deliberately injected a liberal amount of derision into the word “Quality,” Elizabeth closed her mouth and braced herself to be verbally filleted by the old woman whose white brows had snapped together over the bridge of her thin nose. An instant later, however, the pale hazel eyes registered something that might have been approval, then they shifted to Alexandra. With a curt nod the dowager said, “I quite agree, Alexandra. She has spirit enough to endure what they will put her through. Amazing, is it not,” continued the dowager to Elizabeth with a gruff smile, “that on the one hand we of the ton pride ourselves on our civilized manners, and yet many of us will dine on one another’s reputations in preference to the most sumptuous meal.” Leaving Elizabeth to sink slowly and dazedly into a chair she’d shot out of but moments before, the dowager then walked over to the sofa and seated herself, her eyes narrowed in thought. “The Willington’s ball tonight will be a complete crush,” she said after a moment. “That may be to our advantage-everyone of importance and otherwise will be there. Afterward there’ll be less reason to gossip about Elizabeth’s appearance, for everyone will have seen her for themselves.”
“Your grace,” Elizabeth said, flustered and feeling some expression of gratitude was surely in order for the trouble the dowager was about to be put to, “it-it’s beyond kind of you to do this-“
“Nonsense,” the woman interrupted, looking appalled. “I am rarely kind. Pleasant, at times,” she continued while Alexandra tried to hide her amusement. “Even gracious when the occasion demands, but I wouldn’t say ‘kind.’ ‘Kind’ is so very bland. Like lukewarm tea. Now, if you will take my advice, my girl,” she added, looking at Elizabeth’s strained features and pale skin, “you will immediately take yourself upstairs and have a long and restorative nap. You’re alarmingly peaked. While you rest”-she turned to Alexandra-“Alexandra and I will make our plans.”
Elizabeth reacted to this peremptory order to go to bed exactly as everyone reacted to the dowager duchess’s orders: After a moment of shocked affront she did exactly as she was bidden.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
I never dreamed it would be as amazing as that,” she whispered.
“Really?” Her soft voice was a caress. Everything about her was as smooth and silky and sweet as whipped cream.
Well, except for her tart opinions. And her fierce determination to make him tell everything in his soul. Though he had to admit that after confessing his secret fears to her earlier, he felt freer, as if the boulder he’d been carrying for years had dropped from his back.
“I knew it would be perfect.” He gave her a lingering kiss, then drew back to cup her pinkening cheek. “With you it could be nothing less.”
Shyly avoiding his gaze, she finger-combed his short hair. “Nancy always said that sharing a man’s bed was something to ‘endure.’ That marriage was more pleasant without it, but it was required for having children so she’d had to put up with it.”
He skimmed a hand down her lightly freckled arm. “And what do you think, now that you’ve experienced it for yourself?”
“I think I could ‘endure’ it with great enthusiasm.” Jane flashed him a mischievous smile. “But I’m not really sure. Should we try it again so I can make certain?”
Stifling a laugh, he tried to look stern. “We’re lucky none of the grooms have stumbled over us already.” He managed to sound even-toned, though the prospect of taking her again--here, now--was already making him hard. “Speaking of that, we’d better get dressed, before someone finds us here naked.”
A sigh escaped her. “You do have a point. Though I don’t know how you can be so sensible and industrious when all I feel is lazy and content.”
“I’m not being sensible and industrious at all.” Reluctantly he slipped from her arms to go hunt up his drawers. “I’m simply being selfish. The longer you stay naked, the more chance that I will attempt to ravish you again.”
“That sounds perfectly…awful,” she said as she struck a seductive pose.
God save him.
He swept his gaze over her thrusting breasts, her slender belly with its delicate navel, and her auburn thatch of curls. The taste of her was still on his lips, the smell of her still in his nostrils. He wanted her again. And again and again…
Muttering a curse under his breath, he tossed her shift at her. “Put some clothes on before I combust.”
She laughed, a delicate tinkling sound that tightened his cock. Fortunately for his self-restraint, she did as he bade and donned her shift. Only then was he able to breathe, to concentrate on putting on his trousers rather than on the erotic sight of her drawing her stockings up those luscious legs.
He turned and nearly stumbled over the carriage lamps. “These are a lost cause, now that I recklessly dashed them to the floor in my…er…enthusiasm, sweeting.”
“Good,” she said cheerily. “Now you can’t run off to London without me tonight.
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))
Elizabeth’s breakfast had cured Ian’s hunger, in fact, the idea of ever eating again made his stomach churn as he started for the barn to check on Mayhem’s injury.
He was partway there when he saw her off to the left, sitting on the hillside amid the bluebells, her arms wrapped around her knees, her forehead resting atop them. Even with her hair shining like newly minted gold in the sun, she looked like a picture of heartbreaking dejection. He started to turn away and leave her to moody privacy; then, with a sigh of irritation, he changed his mind and started down the hill toward her.
A few yards away he realized her shoulders were shaking with sobs, and he frowned in surprise. Obviously there was no point in pretending the meal had been good, so he injected a note of amusement into his voice and said, “I applaud your ingenuity-shooting me yesterday would have been too quick.”
Elizabeth started violently at the sound of his voice. Snapping her head up, she stared off to the left, keeping her tear-streaked face averted from him. “Did you want something?”
“Dessert?” Ian suggested wryly, leaning slightly forward, trying to see her face. He thought he saw a morose smile touch her lips, and he added, “I thought we could whip up a batch of cream and put it on the biscuit. Afterward we can take whatever is left, mix it with the leftover eggs, and use it to patch the roof.”
A teary chuckle escaped her, and she drew a shaky breath but still refused to look at him as she said, “I’m surprised you’re being so pleasant about it.”
“There’s no sense crying over burnt bacon.”
“I wasn’t crying over that,” she said, feeling sheepish and bewildered. A snowy handkerchief appeared before her face, and Elizabeth accepted it, dabbing at her wet cheeks.
“Then why were you crying?”
She gazed straight ahead, her eyes focused on the surrounding hills splashed with bluebells and hawthorn, the handkerchief clenched in her hand. “I was crying for my own ineptitude, and for my inability to control my life,” she admitted.
The word “ineptitude” startled Ian, and it occurred to him that for the shallow little flirt he supposed her to be she had an exceptionally fine vocabulary. She glanced up at him then, and Ian found himself gazing into a pair of green eyes the amazing color of wet leaves. With tears still sparkling on her long russet lashes, her long hair tied back in a girlish bow, her full breasts thrusting against the bodice of her gown, she was a picture of alluring innocence and intoxicating sensuality. Ian jerked his gaze from her breasts and said abruptly, “I’m going to cut some wood so we’ll have it for a fire tonight. Afterward I’m going to do some fishing for our supper. I trust you’ll find a way to amuse yourself in the meantime.”
Startled by his sudden brusqueness, Elizabeth nodded and stood up, dimly aware that he did not offer his hand to assist her.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
I have come, my lovely,” Roddy said with his usual sardonic grin as he swept her a deep bow, “in answer to your urgent summons-and, I might add,-“ he continued, “before I presented myself at the Willingtons’, exactly as your message instructed.” At 5’10”, Roddy Carstairs was a slender man of athletic build with thinning brown hair and light blue eyes. In fact, his only distinguishing characteristics were his fastidiously tailored clothes, a much-envied ability to tie a neckcloth into magnificently intricate folds that never drooped, and an acid wit that accepted no boundaries when he chose a human target. “Did you hear about Kensington?”
“Who?” Alex said absently, trying to think of the best means to persuade him to do what she needed done.
“The new Marquess of Kensington, once known as Mr. Ian Thornton, persona non grata. Amazing, is it not, what wealth and title will do?” he continued, studying Alex’s tense face as he continued, “Two years ago we wouldn’t have let him past the front door. Six months ago word got out that he’s worth a fortune, and we started inviting him to our parties. Tonight he’s the heir to a dukedom, and we’ll be coveting invitations to his parties. We are”-Roddy grinned-“when you consider matters from this point of view, a rather sickening and fickle lot.”
In spite of herself, Alexandra laughed. “Oh, Roddy,” she said, pressing a kiss on his cheek. “You always make me laugh, even when I’m in the most dreadful coil, which I am now. You could make things so very much better-if you would.”
Roddy helped himself to a pinch of snuff, lifted his arrogant brows, and waited, his look both suspicious and intrigued. “I am, of course, your most obedient servant,” he drawled with a little mocking bow.
Despite that claim, Alexandra knew better. While other men might be feared for their tempers or their skill with rapier and pistol, Roddy Carstairs was feared for his cutting barbs and razor tongue. And, while one could not carry a rapier or a pistol into a ball, Roddy could do his damage there unimpeded. Even sophisticated matrons lived in fear of being on the wrong side of him. Alex knew exactly how deadly he could be-and how helpful, for he had made her life a living hell when she came to London the first time. Later he had done a complete turnabout, and it had been Roddy who had forced the ton to accept her. He had done it not out of friendship or guilt; he had done it because he’d decided it would be amusing to test his power by building a reputation for a change, instead of shredding it.
“There is a young woman whose name I’ll reveal in a moment,” Alex began cautiously, “to whom you could be of great service. You could, in fact, rescue her as you did me long ago, Roddy, if only you would.”
“Once was enough,” he mocked. “I could hardly hold my head up for shame when I thought of my unprecedented gallantry.”
“She’s incredibly beautiful,” Alex said.
A mild spark of interest showed in Roddy’s eyes, but nothing stronger. While other men might be affected by feminine beauty, Roddy generally took pleasure in pointing out one’s faults for the glee of it. He enjoyed flustering women and never hesitated to do it. But when he decided to be kind he was the most loyal of friends.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
You do that a great deal, don’t you?”
He swallowed the rest of his wine. “What?”
“Close up into yourself whenever someone tries to peer into your soul. Make a joke of it.”
“If you came out here to lecture me,” he snapped, “don’t bother. Gran has perfected that talent. You can’t possibly compete.”
“I only want to understand.”
“I want to be consumed by a star, but we don’t all get what we want.”
“Never mind.” Turning for the nearest door into the house, he started to stalk off, but she caught his arm.
“Why are you so angry at your grandmother?” Maria asked.
“I told you-she’s trying to ruin the lives of me and my siblings.”
“By requiring you to marry so you can have children? I thought all lords and ladies were expected to do that. And the five of you are certainly old enough.” Her tone turned teasing. “Some of you are beyond being old enough.”
“Watch it, minx,” he clipped out. “I’m not in the mood for having my nose tweaked tonight.”
“Because of your grandmother, you mean. It’s not just her demand that has you angry, is it? It goes back longer than that.”
Oliver glared at her. “Why do you care? Has she got you fighting her battles for her now?”
“Hardly. She just informed me that I was, and I quote, ‘exactly the sort of woman who would not meet my requirements of a wife.’”
A smile touched his lips at her accurate mimicking of Gran at her most haughty. “I told you she would think that.”
“Yes,” she said dryly. “You both excel at insulting people.”
“One of my many talents.”
“There you go again. Making a joke to avoid talking about what makes you uncomfortable.”
“And what is that?”
“What did your grandmother do, besides giving you an ultimatum about marriage, that has you at daggers drawn?”
Blast it all, would she not leave off? “How do you know she did anything? Perhaps I’m just contrary.”
“You are. But that’s not what has you so angry at her.”
“If you plan to spend the next two weeks asking ridiculous questions that have no answers, then I will pay you to return to London.”
She smiled. “No, you won’t. You need me.”
“True. But since I’m paying for the service you’re providing, I get some say in how it’s rendered. Bedeviling me with questions isn’t part of our bargain.”
“You haven’t paid me anything yet,” she said lightly, “so I should think there’s some leeway in the terms. Especially since I’ve been working hard all evening furthering your cause. I just finished telling your grandmother that I have ‘feelings’ for you, and that I know you have ‘feelings’ for me.”
“You didn’t choke on that lie?” he quipped.
“I do have feelings for you-probably not the sort she meant, though apparently she believed me. But she was suspicious. She’s more astute than you give her credit for. First she accused us of acting a farce, and then, when I denied that, she accused me of thinking to marry you so I could gain a fortune from her down the line.”
“And what did you say to that?”
“I told her she could keep her precious fortune.”
“Did you, indeed? I would have given my right arm to see that.” Maria was proving to be an endless source of amazement. No one ever stood up to Gran-except this American chit, with her naïve beliefs in justice and right and morality.
It amazed him that she’d done it, considering how he’d treated her. No one, not even his siblings, had ever defended him with so little reason. It stirred something that had long lain dead inside him.
His conscience? No, that wasn’t dead; it was nonexistent.
Sabrina Jeffries (The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #1))
What would the ton do without us to feed them scandal broth?”
Grey returned her grin. “The lot of them would starve.”
They chuckled and as the humor faded, Grey tilted his head to look at her. “You look beautiful tonight.”
She flushed, pleasure lighting the dark depths of her eyes. “You don’t have to say such things.”
“I know I don’t, but you are my fiancée and it’s perfectly acceptable for me to voice my thoughts aloud. It’s rather refreshing after keeping them to myself for so long.”
That got her attention. One of her fine, high brows twitched. “How long?”
He grinned. “Since you were old enough for me to think such thoughts without being lecherous.”
They stood no more than six inches apart. Close enough that he could see how amazingly flawless her skin was-not a freckle in sight. Close enough that she could see every twist and knot in his scar-and yet she barely glanced at it. Her gaze was riveted on his. She didn’t care that he was disfigured-at least not on the outside. Not on the inside either, so it seemed.
“I’ve never been a good man,” he confessed-a little more hoarse than he liked-“but I promise to be a faithful husband.” It was the best he could offer, because as much as he would like to be the man she wanted, it wasn’t going to happen.
Her smooth brow puckered. “I haven’t actually consented, you know.”
“Rose, we have to marry.”
“No.” She raised sparkling eyes to his. “I want you to ask me to marry you-not demand it. I don’t care if it has to be done. I want to feel like I have a choice.”
“If you did have a choice, what would it be?” He was on dangerous ground with her, inching into territory better left unexplored for both their sakes.
Rose smiled, and everything was right with the world. “Ask me and find out.”
His hands came up, seemingly of their own volition, to cup her face. She was so delicate, yet so strong. Her entire world had been turned upside down, and yet she faced him with a teasing glint in her eyes and a soft flush of color in her cheeks.
“Rose Danvers, will you do me the extreme honor of becoming my wife?”
Were those tears dampening her eyes? And was it joy or sorrow that put them there?
He knew that they had to marry regardless, but hearing her say those two little words was like someone kicking his heart through his ribs. It hurt, but there was such unfathomable joy that came with it-such terrible happiness that Grey had no idea what to do with it. He’d never felt anything like it before.
Holding her face, he lowered his head and hungrily claimed her mouth with his own. Her lips parted for his tongue as her fingers bit into his arms. A trickle of warm wetness brushed against his thumb. She was crying.
A sharp gasp came from the open door. “What the devil is going on here?”
The kiss and its magic were broken. Rose stepped back, and Grey dropped his hands, but he wasn’t willing to let her go just yet. He placed one arm behind her back, holding her close so that they faced her mother together.
Camilla did not look happy. In fact, she looked like any mother would to walk into a room and find her daughter being molested.
“Mama,” Rose begun. “It’s not what you think.”
“It is exactly what you think,” Grey countered, drawing his friend’s stormy and narrow gaze. “I have asked Rose for her hand in marriage and she has accepted. I regret that you had to find out this way, but I was too overcome with joy to contain my feelings.”
He could feel Rose gaping at him. He didn’t look at her, not because the words were a lie, but because they were all too damnably true.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
I turned to the plates and scooped out the shepherd's pie. As I broke through the thin crust on the mashed potatoes, the most amazing aroma enveloped me. A similar version was one of Mom's favorites; it was one dish she never burned, never oversalted, and always made into a celebration. Jane and I used to fight over seconds.
But tonight it was mine---and it was better than Mom's. I always added a bunch of oregano and cinnamon to the tomato base to give it extra richness. And for this pie I'd used more vegetables, mincing them super fine, and used a bit of grass-fed ground beef rather than relying exclusively on the lamb---the first naturally thickened the base, and the second softened the taste.
Katherine Reay (Lizzy and Jane)
Well, since you’re so in the loop and seem to hear—or find out—everything, what am I supposed to wear tonight?” “Well, my personal belief is the shorter, the better,” he says with a smirk but then refocuses. “But so far, I’ve heard a few things. I’m not the best with descriptions, but I’ll do my best. Uh, one girl is wearing a short dress with a sweetheart neckline—not sure what that is. Another is doing a cocktail dress that’s black with shiny beads. Another is wearing something red and lacy. The girls behind me were debating jersey dresses. They say that they either make you look amazing or like a stuffed sausage. Though I’m not really sure why they would wear a sports jersey to the club.
Jillian Dodd (The Exchange (London Prep, #1))
I previously spoke to Mrs. Newton of such… She's trading your shifts. She spoke to inform you she wishes you a: 'Happy Birthday.''
‘I- yet can't come over,’ I resolved, clambering for an excuse. ‘I, well, I mustn't watch Romeo and Juliet yet for English.’
Olivia squealed, ‘You have Romeo and Juliet memorized.’
‘Although Mr. Smith proclaimed, we obliged to notice it performed to thoroughly acknowledge it that's how Shakespeare intended it to be presented.’
Marcel rolled his eyes.
‘You've already seen the movie,’ Olivia accused.
‘Although not the nineteen-sixties version. Mr. Smith said it was the best.’
Subsequently, Olivia lost the self-satisfied smile and glared at me.
‘This can be obvious, or this can be troublesome, Bell, but one way or the others’
Marcel interrupted her threat. ‘Relax, Olivia. If Karly wants to watch a movie, then she can. It's her birthday.’
‘So there,’ I added.
‘I'll bring her over around seven,’ he continued. ‘That will give you more time to set up.’
Olivia's howling sounded again. ‘Sounds immeasurable good. See you tonight, Bell! It'll be fun, you'll see.’ She grinned- the wide smile revealed all her perfect, glistening teeth-then pecked me on the cheek and danced off moving her first class before I could respond.
‘Marcel, please-’ I started to beg, but he clasped one crisp finger to my lips.
‘Let's review it later. We're going to be late for school.’
No one bothered to stare at us as we took our representative seats in the back of the classroom (we should almost every class together now-it was amazing the favors Marcel could get the female administrators to do for him.)
Marcel Ray Duriez (Nevaeh Hard to Let Go)
squatted at the corner of the hutch one more time. They’d been trying for an hour to get it loaded, but no matter how many different angles they attempted, it was too heavy for him and Violet to move on their own, especially with Violet’s arm still in a cast. “Let me give it a try.” Barney stepped forward, and Nate scrutinized him. He didn’t appear frail by any stretch, but the man was nearly ninety years old. Nate didn’t want to be responsible for breaking him. “Barnabas Riley, step away from that hutch right this minute.” Gladys bustled into the room, pointing a spatula at her husband. Barney stepped back. “Busted.” But he nudged Nate and whispered, “I wasn’t really going to do it. Just had to show her I’m still willing.” Nate laughed with him, but Violet gave the hutch a regretful pat. “Looks like it wasn’t meant to be.” “Hold on a minute, dear. You’re the one we want to have this.” Gladys disappeared again. Nate and Violet both looked at Barney, but he threw his hands into the air. “Even after sixty-five years of marriage, I don’t understand everything about that woman.” He winked at them again. “Keeps me on my toes.” Three minutes later, Gladys reappeared. “I called Sylvia, and she said her grandson can come over to help us.” “That’s great.” Violet pulled out a chair to sit down and stifled a yawn. She looked exhausted. “In the morning,” Gladys finished. Violet dropped the hand that had been covering her yawn. “I’m sorry. I don’t think we can come back tomorrow.” “Of course not.” Gladys waved her objection away. “You can stay with us. It’s getting late anyway. You don’t want to drive back yet tonight.” Nate stole a subtle peek at the time. It was already eight o’clock. And Violet looked ready to drop. She gave him a questioning look, and he shrugged, hoping she would understand that meant it was up to her. “I guess that would work. The store is always closed on Mondays anyway.” Her eyes traveled to Nate. “Unless you need to be in the office.” He should be. He really should be. If Dad called and he didn’t answer, he would never hear the end of it. But right now, he cared more about what Violet needed. And she needed this hutch to save her store. “I don’t need to be in the office.” “Oh, but Tony―” Violet clasped his arm. She had a point there. He couldn’t leave his dog uncared for. “Unless.” Violet pulled out her phone. “Just a second.” She wandered toward the kitchen with the phone pressed to her ear. “Looks like I’m not the only one with a mysterious woman.” Barney chuckled so hard he broke into a coughing fit. “Oh, we’re―” “Neighbors.” Gladys rested a hand on her husband’s back. “We know.” Barney stopped coughing and straightened, shooting Nate a wink. Nate was about to argue more, but Violet stepped back into the room. Her smile was enough to steal his protest. “Sophie’s going to stop by to take care of Tony tonight and tomorrow morning. I hope you don’t mind, but I told her about your super-secret hiding spot for the spare key.” Nate pretended to be shocked. “How do you know about that?” “I saw you putting it under the mat the other day when you forgot your keys, remember?” He did remember. He had been especially enchanted by her laugh that day. It was amazing how many of his recent memories involved her. Including
Valerie M. Bodden (Not Until You (Hope Springs #3))
I'd love to cook," she says, "but who has the time? I can't afford to spend two days baking a cake."
The implication, of course, is that only unimportant people have that kind of time. Unimportant people like me. I wait for Adam to jump in and save me, but instead he shoves a forkful of lamb into his mouth and feigns deep interest in the contents of his dinner plate. For someone with Adam's political ambitions and penchant for friendly debate, I'm always amazed at the lengths he goes to avoid confrontation with his parents.
"I have a full-time job," I say, offering Sandy a labored smile, "and somehow I manage."
Sandy delicately places her fork on the table and interlaces her fingers. "I beg your pardon?"
My cheeks flush, and all the champagne and wine rush to my head at once. "All I'm saying is... we make time for the things we actually want to do. That's all."
Sandy purses her lips and sweeps her hair away from her face with the back of her hand. "Hannah, dear, I am very busy. I am on the board of three charities and am hosting two galas this year. It's not a matter of wanting to cook. I simply have more important things to do."
For a woman so different from my own mother- the frosted, well-groomed socialite to my mother's mousy, rumpled academic- she and my mother share a remarkably similar view of the role of cooking in a modern woman's life. For them, cooking is an irrelevant hobby, an amusement for women who lack the brains for more high-powered pursuits or the money to pay someone to perform such a humdrum chore. Sandy Prescott and my mother would agree on very little, but as women who have been liberated from the perfunctory task of cooking a nightly dinner, they would see eye to eye on my intense interest in the culinary arts.
Were I a stronger person, someone more in control of her faculties who has not drunk multiple glasses of champagne, I would probably let Sandy's remark go without commenting any further. But I cannot be that person. At least not tonight. Not when Sandy is suggesting, as it seems everyone does, that cooking isn't a priority worthy of a serious person's time.
"You would make the time if you wanted to," I say. "But obviously you don't.
Dana Bate (The Girls' Guide to Love and Supper Clubs)
my true love and Queen,
let us end this night in each others arms
and every night after as well.
Feeling solace and peace being held and comforted
by the wonderful person you love.
This is what I need and want is to spend
everynight through the rest of time
by my only lady in bed knowing and feeling
I'm loved, accepted, and safe.
I'm with you sweet dear holding you tight
to keep you warm in all the love that I feel and send,
feel comfort and strength within your heart as
I whisper to you that all will be okay for us
because our love is deep and true,
everything will be fine because we love
and fight for each other giving everything.
I'll see you in the land of dreams my sweet darling
under the stars on a blanket we'll lay down
wrapped under another blanket and in each others needing arms
just lying by a lake enjoying the enchanting night sky
as we talk and laugh spending the night at
each others sides in bliss snuggling.
In the land of dreams sweet love I'll hold you
tonight so very tight.
Goodnight sweet so beautiful and kind
you are so loved and missed.
I hope soon to be in your kind loving arms,
sleep well sweet one rembering I'm
right there with you so take strength.
you're an amazing woman and I love you so much
come take this mans hand and go to bed.
Alex stepped inside and clicked the B button. The basement was his favorite place in the entire apartment building. It was spooky and weird and packed ceiling-high with towers of knickknacks left behind by former tenants, like a graveyard for unwanted items. The most amazing part, however, was the boiler, an iron monster built nearly sixty years ago. Alex called it Old Smokey. It was his destination tonight. The elevator doors closed, and the car began
J.A. White (Nightbooks)
Chocolate is a girl's best friend.'
'Consequently, I am going to polish off this entire chocolate pie, as well as sit here and cry, yes just sitting in my white tank top, and light pink comfy old short shorts, with the black drawstring in the fronts, tied, into a big floppy bow.'
'I sit looking at the TV, hugging my teddy bear. Tonight's movie lineup is 'Shawshank,' 'Misery,' 'The Notebook,' and 'A Walk to Remember.' While my black mascara from the day runs down my cheeks.'
'Life is not a fairytale, so maybe I can go next year. I know the prom is not going to happen either, yet I want to go at least once in my life. Yet, some get to go to prom, and dance for five years running. They go all four high school years.'
'Plus, they get asked for their date, which is still in school after they're out, even though they have gone many times before.'
'Then someone like me never gets the chance; that is not fair! I am not jealous; I just want to have the same opportunities, the photos, and the involvements.'
'I could envision in my mind the couples swaying to the music.'
'I could picture the bodies pressed against one another. With their hands laced with desire, all the girls having their poofy dresses pushed down by their partner's closeness, as they look so in love.'
'I know is just dumb dances, but I want to go. Why am I such a hopeless romantic? I could visualize the passionate kissing.'
'I can see the room and how it would be decorated, but all I have is the vision of it. That is all I have! Yeah, I think I know how Carrie White feels too, well maybe not like that, but close. I might get through that one tonight too because I am not going to sleep anywise.'
'So why not be scared shitless! Ha, that reminds me of another one, he- he.'
'I am sure that this night, which they had, would never be forgotten about! I will not forget it either. It must have- been an amazing night which is shared, with that one special person.'
'That singular someone, who only wants to be with you! I think about all the photographs I will never have. All the memories that can never be completed and all the time lost that can never be regained.'
'The next morning, I have to go through the same repetition over again. Something's changed slightly but not much; I must ride on the yellow wagon of pain and misery. Yet do I want to today?'
'I do not want to go after the night that I put in. I was feeling vulnerable, moody, and a little twitchy.'
'I do not feel like listening to the ramblings of my educators. Yet knowing if I do not show up at the hellhole doors, I would be asked a million questions, like why I did not show up, the next day I arrived there.
Marcel Ray Duriez
Being the muse of two such extraordinarily creative musicians and having beautiful, powerful love songs written about me was enormously flattering but it put the most tremendous pressure on me to be the amazing person they must have thought I was—and secretly I knew I wasn’t. I felt I had to be flawless, serene, someone who understood every situation, who made no demands but was there to fulfill every fantasy; and that’s someone with not much of a voice. It’s not realistic: no one can live up to that kind of perfection. Now I feel I can be myself—but it took me quite a while to discover that and even longer to work out who I was exactly because the “me” in me had been hidden for so long. For most of my life I’d been what others expected me to be—the eight-year-old who could cope with boarding school, the protective, all-knowing older sister whom all her siblings looked up to, the sixties icon, the glamorous model. Do you have any idea what having your face on the front cover of Vogue does for the ego?
Pattie Boyd (Wonderful Tonight)
There was more than getting justice for a wronged woman,” Michael added. “I also met you. One of the most extraordinary experiences in my life.” Nothing had been the same for him since.
“Not much remarkable about that,” she demurred.
“You sought out Nemesis not for yourself, but for your friend. It was bloody amazing what you did during that job. When Nemesis needed your help again, you answered the call. Just tonight, you’d been afraid but willing to make the climb down the side of Covington Hall. Damned extraordinary.” Thank God he’d been too distracted by climbing to think about the fact that she’d had her arms and legs wrapped around him, her body tight against his.
A corner of her mouth turned up. “Oh, when you put it like that, maybe I am rather special.”
“Sodding right.” A silence fell. But he wasn’t willing to let it linger
Zoe Archer (Winter's Heat (Nemesis, Unlimited, #1.5))
I called my father, but he pretended to be sleeping at first, then claimed not to know me, and then claimed I had the wrong number. And sure enough, when I looked at the number I dialed after he hung up, he did have a different number. The amazing part is that without him even telling me his new number, I was still able to call him. I think I’ll try again in the middle of the night tonight.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
Come here,” I say softly when I park in the auto body’s back lot.
She leans over the middle console, closing the distance between us. “I had an amazing time,” she whispers. “Well, besides when I hid in the bathroom…and you threatened that guy.”
“Forget about that and kiss me,” I say.
I weave my hands in her hair. She wraps her arms around my neck as I trace the valley between her lips with my tongue. Parting her lips, I deepen the kiss. It’s like a tango, first moving slow and rhythmic and then, when we’re both panting and our tongues collide, the kiss turns into a hot, fast dance I never want to end. Carmen’s kisses may have been hot, but Brittany’s are more sensual, sexy, and extremely addictive.
We’re still in the car, but it’s cramped and the front seats don’t give us enough room. Before I know it, we’ve moved to the backseat. Still not ideal, but I hardly notice.
I’m so getting into her moans and kisses and hands in my hair. And the smell of vanilla cookies. I’m not going to push her too far tonight. But without thinking, my hand slowly moves up her bare thigh.
“It feels so good,” she says breathlessly.
I lean her back while my hands explore on their own. My lips caress the hollow of her neck as I ease down the strap to her dress and bra. In response, she unbuttons my shirt. When it’s open, her fingers roam over my chest and shoulders, searing my skin.
“You’re…perfect,” she pants.
Right now I’m not gonna argue with her. Moving lower, my tongue follows a path down to her silky skin exposed to the night air. She grabs the back of my hair, urging me on. She tastes so damn good. Too good. ¡Carameloǃ
I pull away a few inches and capture her gaze with mine, those shining sapphires glowing with desire. Talk about perfect.
“I want you, chula,” I say, my voice hoarse.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
Patrick Kelly was nearby and he was what she wanted, for however long it might last. Kate had never loved lightly, she had always loved one hundred per cent, and now Dan knew, looking into her eyes, that her allegiance to him had gone for good. He wasn’t really surprised when she pulled her arm free and, straightening her dressing gown, walked to the front door. With those few steps she finally severed any remaining ties between them. Patrick stood on the doorstep perplexed. He had seen the light from the front room and wondered what was keeping Kate. He was sorry now that he had come round so late, but he had felt an overwhelming urge to see her. He had been sitting in his house alone, and Mandy had invaded his thoughts as she always did when he had nothing else to occupy him, and suddenly the urge to see Kate was so strong it was almost tangible. Taking his BMW he had driven himself to her house. Now it did not seem like a very good idea. He saw her slim form walking down the hall and felt a surge of pleasure. As she opened the door he smiled at her crookedly. ‘I know it’s late but I saw your lights on . . .’ His voice trailed off. Kate had never been so glad to see anyone in her life. ‘Come in, it’s freezing.’ He followed her down the hall and into the lounge. Kate was not surprised to find it was empty. She had heard the back door close as she opened the door to Patrick. Dan was a lot of things but brave was not one of them. ‘How about a drink? Tea, coffee, a brandy?’ She saw Dan’s glass where he had left it on the coffee table. It was still half full. ‘Coffee will be fine, I’m driving myself tonight. Where’s your mother?’ ‘She’s in bed. I gave her a sleeping pill. All this with Lizzy has really hit her hard.’ Kate was amazed at how normal she sounded. ‘How’s Lizzy?’ ‘Better. She seems to be thriving on being somewhere different. I know that sounds crazy but from
Martina Cole (The DI Kate Burrows Trilogy: The Ladykiller / Broken / Hard Girls)
Woman, I swear sometimes I have to spell shit out to you. For a smart girl, sometimes you amaze me,” he chuckled. “I want you to be my girlfriend. Mine and only mine; I planned to ask you tonight before you blew me off.
Chelle Bliss (Throttle Me (Men of Inked, #1))
Open your eyes Harper.” The first thing I saw was his anxious expression in the mirror. He was worrying his lip waiting for my reaction. I inhaled quickly and his body locked up when I looked down to my left side. It was beautiful. There were four large orange lilies wrapped around my hip, and I couldn’t believe how amazing they looked. I stepped closer and took in the perfect shading and detail to each flower. From the sketches I’d looked at and his drawing of me, I had known Chase was amazing, but I’d never thought he could make something like this look so real. His forced swallow was audible, and I realized I still hadn’t said anything. But there were absolutely no words. First my ring, and now this? Did anything get past him? I turned to face him and ran a hand through his messy hair. “Please tell me what you’re thinking.” Unfortunately, I wasn’t. I crushed my mouth to his and he quickly deepened the kiss. Right away the other tattoo artists started hooting and yelling for us to get a room. I pulled back and knew there was nothing I could do about the deep blush on my face. Chase led me back to his table and put ointment and a wrap over my tattoo before fixing my shirt, he was all smiles. “What made you choose those?” He beamed his white smile at me, “I heard you talking to Bree and Mom about them being your favorite. And ever since that day all I’ve wanted to do was get you orange lilies, but I knew I’d probably get punched again. This was my way around it.” “It looks amazing Chase, thank you.” He shrugged, but he still couldn’t contain that smile. “I’m serious.” I grabbed his face with both hands and brought him close, “I love it, thank you.” Chase kissed me once and skimmed his nose across my cheek. “God, you’re beautiful Harper.” My phone rang then, Brandon’s name flashed on the screen. “Hey babe.” “Hey, how’s the tattoo look?” “Um, it’s not done yet, can I call you after?” “I’m going out with some buddies from high school, I’ll just talk to you tomorrow, kay? But send me a picture when it’s done. I love you.” My stomach clenched, “I love you too. Have fun tonight.” I pressed the end button and looked up at Chase’s closed off expression. “Chase –” “So you’ll need to go buy some anti-bacterial soap to clean it.” “Please talk to me.” “I’m trying. Look, here are some aftercare instructions. Don’t take the wrap off for at least an hour. If anything looks wrong give me a call.” He dropped the paper on my stomach and stepped back. “Chase!” “I have another appointment, and he’s waiting. I’ll see you later.” I looked into his guarded eyes and exhaled deeply, “What do I owe you?” “Nothing. It was a gift. But I’m busy, please go.
Molly McAdams (Taking Chances (Taking Chances, #1))
He tips his glass and drinks. So does Matt. And everyone in the crowd. Except me. “What’s wrong?” Matt asks. “Nothing,” I say. I motion my mother forward, and she puts a box in my hands. It’s small, but it’s weighty at the same time. “I have a present for you.” “I thought our honeymoon was our present to each other,” he reminds me with a scowl. We’re leaving for the Carolina coast for a week with the kids tonight. I can’t wait. I motion for him to take my package. “The vacation is our gift. This is just extra.” I blink back the tears that are already forming in my eyes. He makes a face and opens up the box. He looks inside and then gets confused. He pulls the tiny little item out of the box. It’s a onesie that has tattoo designs all over it, and on the back, it has the name Reed. “What’s this?” he asks, confused. Then his eyes grow wide. Friday gasps when she realizes what’s going on, and the rest of the crowd rumbles and fidgets. “Is this…?” he asks. He stops, because he’s choked with emotion. “Yes,” I say. Tears roll down my face, and I don’t care. I lean close to him. “You knocked me up.” He takes me in his arms and pulls me close, and a sob rolls through him. “Are you serious?” “Completely serious, Matt,” I say. “But wait.” I look down and shake the onesie out. A second one falls out, and Matt catches it in the air. “Two?” he asks. I nod, so broken by his reaction that I can’t speak. “Two tiny little heartbeats,” I say as soon as I can. “Holy fuck,” he breathes into my ear. He squeezes me so tightly that I chirp. “I love you so fucking much,” he says to me. He takes a second to breathe me in and compose himself, then he drops to his knees and lays his forehead on my belly. He says something quietly to his unborn children, and I’m not even sure what it was, but I do know it was between him and them. Or him and God. I’m not sure which. Then he stands and looks up at the crowd. Half of them are as teary-eyed as we are. “Do you know what this means?” he asks our friends and family. They rumble, but he can’t hear one voice over another. He points to Logan. “This means my sperm are better swimmers than yours, little brother!” he says. He signs while he talks, and Logan flips him off. But he’s laughing. He wraps his arms around Emily and lays his hands on the small swell of her belly. I slap his shoulder. “What if it’s my eggs that are amazing and not your sperm?” “What if it’s just us?” he asks quietly, and he kisses me. “Us together.” “I told you I believe in miracles, Matt,” I say when I can finally lift my head. “You’re my miracle,” he says. “You. Just you.
Tammy Falkner (Maybe Matt's Miracle (The Reed Brothers, #4))
If you want something to be amazing, if you really want it, do you think you can somehow make it become that way? Like you somehow imbue it with amazingness, even if it doesn't have anything special inherent to it?
Leila Sales (Tonight the Streets Are Ours)
Rachel— Is it twisted that I want to thank you for the time I’ve had with you? You’ve been nothing short of amazing throughout all of this, and I’m thankful for every moment. I know I’ve avoided answering you before, but I want to tell you why I stole you away in the first place. It had nothing to do with you, but everything to do with the men you’re associated with. They’re good men, never doubt that; but by doing their job, and putting assholes like the leaders of my crew in prison, they put their lives on the line. And when you came into the picture, it put you in my hands. We were going to use you as bait to get the leaders out, and it was my job to watch you . . . and eventually take you. Watching over you once you were here in this house had never been part of the plan, but after the four months of watching you day in and day out, I couldn’t leave you to fend for yourself here. As you’ve come to find out, I would do anything to keep you safe, and I won’t stop until I get you out of here. What will happen after tonight, I’m already prepared for and know I deserve. But I want . . . no, need you to know, I never wanted this life. I would have done anything to stay away from it, and even more to get out of it. Sometimes we just don’t have a choice. Because of who I am, and what I’ve done, I never thought I was meant to find love. Thank you for unintentionally showing me how wrong I was. Even though your heart belongs to him, loving you—even in secret—has changed my life. And if I die tomorrow, I’ll consider myself lucky to be able to die loving you. Trent Cruz I
Molly McAdams (Deceiving Lies (Forgiving Lies, #2))
I was clearing some plates off a table when I heard the familiar strum of guitar chords. My heart clenched painfully as I slowly made my way to the kitchen. Tonight was another open-mic night, and while I enjoyed having live music playing throughout the bar and dining room, I didn’t usually pay that much attention to it. But there was no way to miss this song. The deep, husky voice began crooning through the speakers as I came back out of the kitchen empty-handed. And I couldn’t shake the feeling that I knew that voice as I made my way to a spot where I could see the stage. I rubbed a hand over my aching chest and stopped suddenly when I saw Kash sitting on the stool in front of the mic with a guitar in his hands. What was he doing? Since when did he play guitar and sing? And why this song? His eyes searched the dining area and landed on me just as he began the first chorus of “I’ll Be.” Tears pricked the back of my eyes and my entire body warmed under his intense stare as he continued through words that meant more to me than he could have known. Not once did he take his eyes from me, and my mind and heart fought over my conflicting feelings. Part of me wanted to yell that he was the guy I’d been waiting for. That I was in love with him and was done being only his friend. The other part wanted to know why he was torturing me with this song. With everything else that had happened tonight and the fourth anniversary of my parents’ death less than two months away, I wanted to run away from there, to curl in a ball and mourn what I had lost and would never have. I couldn’t call my mom and tell her I’d met a guy whose presence alone made me dizzy. Who sang to me the same song Dad had always sung to her. I couldn’t tell my parents that no matter how hard I fought my feelings and pushed Kash away, I knew I’d met the man I wanted to marry. The haunting words drifted to an end, and soon the chords did too. When Kash was finished, he put the guitar on the stand and began walking in my direction. Throughout all of this, his eyes still hadn’t left mine. Before he could reach me, the bitter side of me won out and I turned on my heel and rushed back to my customers. I kept myself busy for the rest of the hour and whenever I had to go over to the bar, I made sure to go to Bryce’s side so I wouldn’t have to face Kash again. I knew I was being ridiculous, but if it had been any song other than that one, if it had been on a night that wasn’t wearing me completely down, I may have been brave enough to finally fight for what I wanted. But right now all I could think of was finishing out this shift at work and staying far from Logan Hendricks. Somehow, he knew how to get to me. And somehow, I knew that our being together was right. But especially after that morning, everything about him—and us together—scared me. And I wasn’t sure I could handle that right now. People say that being in love is amazing. They lie. It’s freaking terrifying.
Molly McAdams (Forgiving Lies (Forgiving Lies, #1))
But that kiss tonight had been amazing, an essentially perfect kiss, and a perfect kiss can make you feel like the rest of life is about to fall effortlessly into place.
Molly Ringle (All the Better Part of Me)
The evening procedure was that John would walk the three steps from the kitchen door to the cupboard where the work clothes were kept and there deposit his coat, and on the journey he would answer his wife with the syllable ‘Aye’, and from the inflection that he gave to his reply she was able to judge the quality of his day. But tonight he didn’t answer her with the brief ‘Aye’ and her head came round sharply to him when he repeated her words with heavy stress. ‘Another one over,’ he said. And now he brought her mouth agape with the addition of ‘Aye, and completely over for some folks.’ Florrie, spoon held in mid-air, continued to gape and Frankie, too, gaped. If his father had rolled into the kitchen paralytic drunk, he could not have looked more amazed.
Catherine Cookson (Saint Christopher and the Gravedigger)
I met a great woman tonight whose mom just died. I was saying to her that after my dad died, I cried so much. I cried pretty much every day for six months, and I mean really crying. What I was mourning was the loss of a very specific feeling. Our relationship was so simple. Totally pure. Effortless. There was no tension, nothing unsaid, nothing I would have wanted more or less of. And I know my brothers felt exactly the same way. He wasn’t just my person, he was theirs too. So, maybe three months after he died, I was driving and I started crying again and I thought, This is incredible. An eighty-five-year-old man died, and here I am, fifty years old, with a full life, and I am crying so hard I have to pull over and blow my nose. I wasn’t ashamed, I was astonished that people could ever love each other that much. It’s fucking amazing. If my kid is crying that hard when she’s fifty years old because we meant that much to each other? I would say that level of connection is pretty much the complete realization of our potential as human beings.
Kelly Corrigan (Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say)
Did I tell you how beautiful you look tonight?” “Only about a dozen times.” He turned her in his arms and took her face in his hands, his thumbs brushing her cheeks. Their breath mingled together. “It’s true. You’re beautiful and amazing, and I love you so much. I’m the luckiest man in the world.” She turned a kiss into his palm. “I love you too. I’m going to make you the happiest husband ever.” “I already am.” The
Denise Hunter (Dancing with Fireflies (Chapel Springs, #2))
Your love is conditional. Your love is not real. Whatever illusion you have about you and me ends tonight. You were given an amazing gift by the Almighty and you squandered it over illusions of love.
J.R. Rain (Christmas Moon (Vampire for Hire, #4.5))
Prayer Tonight my heart goes to all the survivors on Earth; my thoughts and tears are for the hurt, the ill, the stabbed, the abused, the hopeless and the helpless... I bow to the rescued and to those that didn't make it, to the resilience of human race, to the struggle, the hope and the amazing will of such frail creatures to hang on to their lives and fight for one more hour, one more day, one more month or one more year on Earth...God Bless You and Hang In There...It's ALL Worth It!
Daniela Proca (Motherhood – The perils and perks of growing gifted children)
I'm Lady Codell-Fitch, and like so many of us, I wish to offer congratulations on your betrothal."
"Yes, congratulations." "Congratulations!" "Amazing betrothal!"
The felicitations were insincere and accompanied by many an ogling stare, but Eleanor pretended, as Madeline would, to be pleased. Taking Mr. Knight's arm, she pressed it. "He is quite handsome." She found herself daring to defy them all with an up-tilted chin. "I wish you all could be so lucky."
The lushly garbed and overly perfumed people were obviously taken aback. They must have expected her to align herself with them, the English nobility, and with a wink and a sigh show how very much she hated this match. But she didn't even have to wonder how Madeline would react to this situation, for in this instance the two cousins thought as one. Neither of them would allow Mr. Knight to suffer the slights of society. They might not wish for this marriage, but the de Lacy pride wouldn't allow them to let anyone else know.
Close by her ear, Mr. Knight said quietly, "A pretty pretense, yet lest you imagine I'm impressed, let me assure you I remember this morning when you tried to escape. Tonight you defied me in the matter of your hair and your clothing, and lied to me to get your way. I take your words with a grain of salt." He chuckled deeply.
Christina Dodd (One Kiss From You (Switching Places, #2))
That’s my friend, Jasmine,” he said, leaning closer to me. His breath tickled my cheek. “Your friend?” I asked curiously. “Yeah,” he said. “She plays here all the time. Looks like she’s doing well tonight. She has a heap of money in her guitar case.” I wondered how well he knew her? Did he bring me here knowing this is where she’d be? She was such a pretty girl and he probably knew her a lot better than he knew me. “She has a great voice,” I said, trying to stifle my envy. “Yeah, she does,” Zye replied, his eyes still locked on hers. “She’s amazing.” As I stood beside him, I found myself just as taken by her voice as Zye was. Her fingers flicked over the guitar strings as if she were playing a harp. The movements were smooth and gentle, creating a steady rhythm that put me at ease. I didn’t recognize the music or the lyrics. But it didn’t matter that it wasn’t familiar and I began to understand Zye’s fascination with her. As her song continued, I wondered about her.
Katrina Kahler (TWINS : Part One - Books 1, 2 & 3: Books for Girls 9 - 12 (Twins Series))
December 31, 2019
MY PREDICTIONS FOR THIS NEW DECADE
20 years ago tonight I was in Brazil waiting to see if the world would end at midnight. #y2k I’m glad the computers figured out how to write the year 2000.
Would’ve been hard to imagine 20 years ago all that has happened in my personal life, family life and the world at large.
1. For example, people could still walk onto airplanes — TSA didn’t even exist, Facebook wasn’t even a thought on Zucky’s mind. No Twitter. No youtube. No ig. No li.
2. 20 years ago was a different time. I predict the next 10 years will bring as much change or more than the last 10 years brought.
3. I mean - TikTok taking over the world...a straight up Chinese company dominating American socials? Amazing. We will see more of this. It will happen in pockets where kids want to buck the boomers, the x men and the millennials. Then it will spread.
4. Universities will try to become relevant again by not focusing on the diploma as much because companies don’t require them anymore (unless doctor or lawyer type). You’ll see people focusing back on skills, results and a mega double down on personal brand.
5. Digital entrepreneurs will start making more money with physical products because people want “real.” YouTubers in large will leave because monetizing will become complicated with more adpocalypse.
6. Basics will come into play with direct selling, conglomerates will break themselves down intentionally into micro-enterprises to stay nimble.
7. Managers will be forced to become entrepreneurs and directly responsible for above the line branding and below the line profits... or they will be fired.
8. Solopreneurs will rise because freelancers will become commodities to utilize.
9. AI will take over every job that could be done by a robot. Making work more human.
10. Humans will stop acting like robots (cashiers) vs self-checkout and work will be strategic and anything arhat doesn’t require repetition. Ironically, humans will become less robotic (industrial revolution turned us into robots) and we will become more artful, thoughtful and creative...because we have to...bots will do all else.
11. To stay ahead, you must constantly learn and apply. It’s the dream. My new community and podcast will help you thrive! Comment if you would like access. Love you!
Happy new year!
I felt like I had no more stories, no more speeches, and no more “rah-rah” in me. I decided to level with the team and see what happened. I called an all engineering meeting and gave the following speech: “I have some bad news. We are getting our asses kicked by BladeLogic and it’s a product problem. If this continues, I am going to have to sell the company for cheap. There is no way for us to survive if we don’t have the winning product. So, I am going to need every one of you to do something. I need you to go home tonight and have a serious conversation with your wife, husband, significant other, or whoever cares most about you and tell them, ‘Ben needs me for the next six months.’ I need you to come in early and stay late. I will buy you dinner, and I will stay here with you. Make no mistake, we have one bullet left in the gun and we must hit the target.” At the time, I felt horrible asking the team to make yet another big sacrifice. Amazingly, I found out while writing this book that I probably should have felt good about it. Here’s what Ted Crossman, one of my best engineers, said about that time and the launch of the aptly named Darwin Project many years later: Of all the times I think of at Loudcloud and Opsware, the Darwin Project was the most fun and the most hard. I worked seven days a week 8 a.m.–10 p.m. for six months straight. It was full on. Once a week I had a date night with my wife where I gave her my undivided attention from 6 p.m. until midnight. And the next day, even if it was Saturday, I’d be back in the office at 8 a.m. and stay through dinner. I would come home between 10–11 p.m. Every night. And it wasn’t just me. It was everybody in the office. The technical things asked of us were great. We had to brainstorm how to do things and translate those things into an actual product. It was hard, but fun. I don’t remember losing anyone during that time. It was like, “Hey, we gotta get this done, or we will not be here, we’ll have to get another job.” It was a tight-knit group of people. A lot of the really junior people really stepped up. It was a great growing experience for them to be thrown into the middle of the ocean and told, “Okay, swim.” Six months later we suddenly started winning proofs of concepts we hadn’t before. Ben did a great job, he’d give us feedback, and pat people on the back when we were done.
Ben Horowitz (The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers)
He listened carefully and said, “Liz, I have a challenge for you. Tonight when you go home, I want you to only speak to your children in the form of questions. No orders. No statements. Just questions.” I was naturally intrigued. He said, “I think you might find that your children know exactly what they need to do.” I agreed to take the challenge. He cautioned, “Only asking questions will feel awkward, but go all the way—nothing but questions for at least an hour or two.” That night when it was time for bed, I asked my children, “What time is it?” They responded with “bedtime.” I then asked, “What do we do at bedtime?” They responded with, “We get on our pajamas and we brush our teeth.” I continued the question routine with, “Well then, who is ready for bed?” They scampered to get on their pajamas and brush their teeth. I stood in the hallway in shock. The rest of the evening proceeded in a similar fashion, with me asking them leading questions and them responding with remarkable understanding and eagerness to act. I reported this amazing experience to Brian the next day at work. He encouraged me to keep it up, not necessarily asking questions 100 percent of the time, but beginning to settle into a comfortable level. I did this and found that it transformed the way I operated as a parent. And it most certainly spilled over to how I managed at work.
Liz Wiseman (Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter)
I’m glad you needed a ride tonight,” he said, his gaze on the TV. “I’m glad I was around when you needed that ride. It worked out, but you look tired.”
Cooper ran his index finger along my face and under my chin. “I’m messing with you, but that’s all it is. I’m just teasing. I know you’re tired and nothing’s going to happen tonight. You can rest your eyes until the pizza comes and I won’t take advantage of that. I want you to want it too. Not to be an unwilling victim like with those assholes at the party. I don’t take shit from girls. They offer it enthusiastically and I know you will too eventually, but you need to make me work for it first. I appreciate you keeping my seduction skills sharp.”
Grinning, I rolled my eyes. “Life must be great with your giant brain and even bigger ego.”
“Yeah, it’s pretty amazing.
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Beast (Damaged, #1))
If the time comes you need to talk about it, you can share anything you need to with me. I won’t judge you--not for anything.”
Loretta stiffened. “What could you judge me for?” She pulled away.
Rachel averted her face.
“Oh, Aunt Rachel, not you, too? Is it a crime to live through something like this and emerge unharmed? I did starve myself. I chose death, just like any self-respecting woman would. But then he promised to bring me home, and I started eating again. He hadn’t harmed me, and I figured--” Loretta broke off. It was clear as rain Aunt Rachel didn’t believe her. “Merciful heaven, would you rather I was dead?”
Amy groaned and tossed her head.
Lowering her voice, Rachel replied, “No, I wouldn’t rather you were dead!” She lifted trembling hands to her face. “Lord, no. I--oh, Loretta Jane, no. I love you. I just can’t understand. You come home looking fit as a fiddle, claiming they didn’t touch you? I saw you kiss him with my own eyes. And Tom said you shared the Comanche’s bed, that it appeared you were receiving good treatment. I can only wonder what you had to do to survive so you could be here tonight. It’s amazing what we women can live through--the things we’re willing to put up with just to get by. Look at me. Stuck here in this unforgiving land with a man I despise. Do you think having him touch me is pleasant? But I let him and pretend I like it. Without him, where would the three of us be?”
Loretta couldn’t answer. For an instant it was like being mute again, her throat felt so tight. She could understand Uncle Henry’s not believing her. He was one tier short of a full cord, anyway, and a body expected him to be an imbecile. But Aunt Rachel? That hurt--a bone-deep hurt that would be a long time in easing. Even if eloquence had been hers, Loretta would have offered no defense. She knew the truth, and that would have to be enough.
Aunt Rachel stood up and wiped her palms on her shift. “I’m here if you need an ear. You can count on me.”
With that, she left the loft. Loretta wrapped her arms around her knees and gazed out the window at the moonlit yard, remembering another night, a lifetime ago, when Hunter had sat astride his black stallion there, his arm lifted to her in a salute, his fisted hand holding her stolen bloomers. How could it be that a Comanche understood the song her heart sang and her own aunt did not?
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
Tonight as you close your eyes, consider the amazing fact that you have God’s seal of approval.
Anonymous (Quiet Reflections of Peace: 120 Devotions to End Your Day)
Tell her what you want to tell her then, Cass.”
Cass gave Siena a quick summary of what she and Falco had discovered at the graveyard. The maid’s eyes got bigger and bigger as Cass relayed finding the open crypt door and the body, and then receiving the note. “But Signorina Cass, you might be in danger!”
“That’s why we’re going to figure out who’s responsible,” Cass said, with more confidence than she felt.
“Speaking of which…” Falco nodded at the costume bag, which Cass had completely forgotten. A silky garment, trimmed with lace and beaded elaborately, had fallen out during the scuffle.
Siena looked down, and even in the flickering light, Cass could see that her pale skin went bright pink. The lady’s maid knelt to retrieve the outfit, a low-cut satin chemise. She pressed the clothing into Cass’s hands without meeting her eyes.
Cass felt her own face get red. “It’s--it’s just a costume. We’re going to try to locate some of the dead girl’s patrons.”
“You mean you’re going to masquerade as a…” The shy maid couldn’t choke out the rest.
“Hired woman,” Cass confirmed, wondering if it would have been easier just to let Siena believe that she and Falco had met up for a tryst. She wasn’t sure which would have been more scandalizing. “I know it’s dangerous, but it’s more dangerous to do nothing while a madman plots against me. And Falco will be by my side the whole time. Please don’t tell my aunt.”
Siena didn’t say anything for a minute. She looked back and forth from Cass to Falco. Finally, she nodded. And then, to Cass’s amazement, her red face lit up with a huge smile. “You’ll need me to do your hair, Signorina.”
“Hair?” Cass wasn’t sure she had heard correctly. “What are you talking about?”
“Your hair and your makeup.” Siena reached out to stroke Cass’s thick hair. “Otherwise, no one will believe you are anything other than a noblewoman. I’ll put the sides in braids, and twist the back into a knot.”
Falco nodded approvingly at Siena. “Excellent idea. We want to make sure everyone can see that beautiful face tonight.”
Cass thought her skin might turn permanently red if she continued blushing.
Fiona Paul (Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1))
As you go to sleep tonight, practice the many techniques referred to here. Repeat the word wealth quietly, easily, and feelingly. Do this over and over again as a lullaby. Lull yourself to sleep with the one word: wealth. You will be amazed by the results. Wealth should flow to you in avalanches of abundance; this is another example of the miracles of the subconscious mind.
Joseph Murphy (Miracles of Your Mind)
Cooking for Life shuns all things caloric and fatty, so this version of boeuf bourguignon will not include bacon or pancetta as it should, nor will I use even half as much olive oil as I'd like to. I will increase the wine, and it'll be pretty good beef stew without the potatoes, essentially, which will delight Uncle Benny when I take him his casserole dish tonight. It certainly won't hurt me to eat gourmet lite for dinner, I think, then shake my head to clear it. It's amazing how one five-minute conversation with my mother can undo every affirmation I've ever taped to my bathroom mirror.
After giving the beef another poke or two, I scrub the cutting board in the dish-crowded sink, then chop and stir in carrots, celery, and onions. I mince fresh thyme and Italian parsley for flavor and color, pour in defatted beef stock, then leave it to simmer for a while, the individual aromas already commingling and filling the apartment.
Jennie Shortridge (Eating Heaven)
Seven months ago, I had the best night of my life with the most amazing woman. I let you get away that time. I’m sure as hell not letting it happen again tonight. So, when this night is over, and I take you to bed – because I will be taking you to bed – I’ll be sure to remind you that we go to your room this time and not mine. Got it?
K. Woods (Beautiful Desire (Beautiful Men Series Book 2))
At midnight tonight, you’ll get a most amazing gift: a fresh set of 24 hours.
Robin S. Sharma (The Greatness Guide Book 2: 101 More Insights to Get You to World Class)
Father, the glory you show us in creation is just a dim reflection of your true glory… when we think of the true vastness of who you are, we can’t help but be amazed at your love for us. We’re so small that if you showed us all your glory, we would be crushed underneath it. You need to stoop down to view these spectacular skies above us and bend to see what angels do, yet you turn your eye even lower and look on us with so much love that our faintest pain moves your heart. Your ear is always open to our cries. “We remember that You endured the cross because of the joy that was set before you. We can’t help but think of how Kelly was so freely willing to accept your will because of the joy set before her. We know that she is rejoicing tonight in your presence, and we rejoice with her. “Still, we miss her, Lord. We pray that you would be all the comfort we need – remind us of the joy that is set before us also and of the day when we will all be together again, forever in the Lord.
D.I. Hennessey (Within and Without Time (Within & Without Time #1))
Amazingly, as of tonight, there aren’t many platforms left that allow free speech. The last big one remaining in the world, the only one, is Twitter, where we are now. Twitter has long served as the place where our national conversation incubates and develops. Twitter is not a partisan site — everybody’s allowed here, and we think that’s a good thing. And yet, for the most part the news you see analyzed on Twitter comes from media organizations that are themselves thinly disguised propaganda outlets. You see it on cable news, you talk about it on Twitter. The result may feel like a debate but actually the gatekeepers are still in charge. We think that’s a bad system. Starting soon, we’ll be bringing a new version of the show we’ve been doing for the last six-and-a-half years to Twitter.