What Do You Want To Be Known For Quotes

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It happens to everyone as they grow up. You find out who you are and what you want, and then you realize that people you've known forever don't see things the way you do. So you keep the wonderful memories, but find yourself moving on.
Nicholas Sparks
I think it happens to everyone as they grow up. You find out who you are and what you want, and then you realize that people you've known forever don't see things the way you do. And so you keep the wonderful memories, but find yourself moving on.
Nicholas Sparks (True Believer (Jeremy Marsh & Lexie Darnell, #1))
how far have you walked for men who’ve never held your feet in their laps? how often have you bartered with bone, only to sell yourself short? why do you find the unavailable so alluring? where did it begin? what went wrong? and who made you feel so worthless? if they wanted you, wouldn’t they have chosen you? all this time, you were begging for love silently, thinking they couldn’t hear you, but they smelt it on you, you must have known that they could taste the desperate on your skin? and what about the others that would do anything for you, why did you make them love you until you could not stand it? how are you both of these women, both flighty and needful? where did you learn this, to want what does not want you? where did you learn this, to leave those that want to stay?
Warsan Shire
When I die Give what’s left of me away To children And old men that wait to die. And if you need to cry, Cry for your brother Walking the street beside you And when you need me, Put your arms Around anyone And give to them What you need to give to me. I want to leave you something, Something better Than words Or sounds. Look for me In the people I’ve known Or loved, And if you cannot give me away, At least let me live in your eyes And not on your mind. You can love me most By letting Hands touch hands By letting Bodies touch bodies And by letting go Of children That need to be free. Love doesn’t die, People do. So, when all that’s left of me Is love, Give me away
Merrit Malloy
So don't be frightened, dear friend, if a sadness confronts you larger than any you have ever known, casting its shadow over all you do. You must think that something is happening within you, and remember that life has not forgotten you; it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall. Why would you want to exclude from your life any uneasiness, any pain, any depression, since you don't know what work they are accomplishing within you?
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
Alec isn’t happy,” said Magnus, as if she hadn’t spoken. “Of course he isn’t,” Isabelle snapped. “Jace—” “Jace,” said Magnus, and his hands made fists at his sides. Isabelle stared at him. She had always thought that he didn’t mind Jace; liked him, even, once the question of Alec’s affections had been settled. Out loud, she said: “I thought you were friends.” “It’s not that,” said Magnus. “There are some people — people the universe seems to have singled out for special destinies. Special favors and special torments. God knows we’re all drawn toward what’s beautiful and broken; I have been, but some people cannot be fixed. Or if they can be, it’s only by love and sacrifice so great it destroys the giver.” Isabelle shook her head slowly. “You’ve lost me. Jace is our brother, but for Alec — he’s Jace’s parabatai too —” “I know about parabatai,” said Magnus, his voice rising in pitch. “I’ve known parabatai so close they were almost the same person; do you know what happens, when one of them dies, to the one that’s left—” “Stop it!” Isabelle clapped her hands over her ears, then lowered them slowly. “How dare you, Magnus Bane,” she said. “How dare you make this worse than it is —” “Isabelle.” Magnus’ hands loosened; he looked a little wide-eyed, as if his outburst had startled even him. “I am sorry. I forget, sometimes . . . that with all your self-control and strength, you possess the same vulnerability that Alec does.” “There is nothing weak about Alec,” said Isabelle. “No,” said Magnus. “To love as you choose, that takes strength. The thing is, I wanted you here for him. There are things I can’t do for him, can’t give him . . .” For a moment Magnus looked oddly vulnerable. “You have known Jace as long as he has. You can give him understanding I can’t. And he loves you.” “Of course he loves me. I’m his sister.” “Blood isn’t love,” said Magnus, and his voice was bitter. “Just ask Clary.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
I want to make you faint. I will make you faint. You've had this coming to you for years. None of the fools you've known have kissed you like this - have they? Your precious Charles or Frank or your stupid Ashley... I said your stupid Ashley. Gentlemen all - what do they know about women? What do they know about you? I know you.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
Can you think what the Mirror of Erised shows us all?" Harry shook his head. "Let me explain. The happiest man on earth would be able to use the Mirror of Erised like a normal mirror, that is, he would look into it and see himself exactly as he is. Does that help." Harry thought. Then he said slowly, "It shows us what we want... whatever we want..." "Yes and no," said Dumbledore quietly. "It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. You, who have never known your family, see them standing around you. Ronald Weasley, who has always been overshadowed by his brothers, sees himself standing alone, the best of all of them. However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible. "The Mirror will be moved to a new home tomorrow, Harry, and I ask you not to go looking for it again. If you ever do run across it, you will now be prepared. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that. Now, why don't you put that admirable cloak back on and get off to bed.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
And I want to play hide-and-seek and give you my clothes and tell you I like your shoes and sit on the steps while you take a bath and massage your neck and kiss your feet and hold your hand and go for a meal and not mind when you eat my food and meet you at Rudy's and talk about the day and type up your letters and carry your boxes and laugh at your paranoia and give you tapes you don't listen to and watch great films and watch terrible films and complain about the radio and take pictures of you when you're sleeping and get up to fetch you coffee and bagels and Danish and go to Florent and drink coffee at midnight and have you steal my cigarettes and never be able to find a match and tell you about the tv programme I saw the night before and take you to the eye hospital and not laugh at your jokes and want you in the morning but let you sleep for a while and kiss your back and stroke your skin and tell you how much I love your hair your eyes your lips your neck your breasts your arse your and sit on the steps smoking till your neighbour comes home and sit on the steps smoking till you come home and worry when you're late and be amazed when you're early and give you sunflowers and go to your party and dance till I'm black and be sorry when I'm wrong and happy when you forgive me and look at your photos and wish I'd known you forever and hear your voice in my ear and feel your skin on my skin and get scared when you're angry and your eye has gone red and the other eye blue and your hair to the left and your face oriental and tell you you're gorgeous and hug you when you're anxious and hold you when you hurt and want you when I smell you and offend you when I touch you and whimper when I'm next to you and whimper when I'm not and dribble on your breast and smother you in the night and get cold when you take the blanket and hot when you don't and melt when you smile and dissolve when you laugh and not understand why you think I'm rejecting you when I'm not rejecting you and wonder how you could think I'd ever reject you and wonder who you are but accept you anyway and tell you about the tree angel enchanted forest boy who flew across the ocean because he loved you and write poems for you and wonder why you don't believe me and have a feeling so deep I can't find words for it and want to buy you a kitten I'd get jealous of because it would get more attention than me and keep you in bed when you have to go and cry like a baby when you finally do and get rid of the roaches and buy you presents you don't want and take them away again and ask you to marry me and you say no again but keep on asking because though you think I don't mean it I do always have from the first time I asked you and wander the city thinking it's empty without you and want what you want and think I'm losing myself but know I'm safe with you and tell you the worst of me and try to give you the best of me because you don't deserve any less and answer your questions when I'd rather not and tell you the truth when I really don't want to and try to be honest because I know you prefer it and think it's all over but hang on in for just ten more minutes before you throw me out of your life and forget who I am and try to get closer to you because it's beautiful learning to know you and well worth the effort and speak German to you badly and Hebrew to you worse and make love with you at three in the morning and somehow somehow somehow communicate some of the overwhelming undying overpowering unconditional all-encompassing heart-enriching mind-expanding on-going never-ending love I have for you.
Sarah Kane (Crave)
I made up my mind I was going to find someone who would love me unconditionally three hundred and sixty five days a year, I was still in elementary school at the time - fifth or sixth grade - but I made up my mind once and for all.” “Wow,” I said. “Did the search pay off?” “That’s the hard part,” said Midori. She watched the rising smoke for a while, thinking. “I guess I’ve been waiting so long I’m looking for perfection. That makes it tough.” “Waiting for the perfect love?” “No, even I know better than that. I’m looking for selfishness. Perfect selfishness. Like, say I tell you I want to eat strawberry shortcake. And you stop everything you’re doing and run out and buy it for me. And you come back out of breath and get down on your knees and hold this strawberry shortcake out to me. And I say I don’t want it anymore and throw it out the window. That’s what I’m looking for.” “I’m not sure that has anything to do with love,” I said with some amazement. “It does,” she said. “You just don’t know it. There are time in a girl’s life when things like that are incredibly important.” “Things like throwing strawberry shortcake out the window?” “Exactly. And when I do it, I want the man to apologize to me. “Now I see, Midori. What a fool I have been! I should have known that you would lose your desire for strawberry shortcake. I have all the intelligence and sensitivity of a piece of donkey shit. To make it up to you, I’ll go out and buy you something else. What would you like? Chocolate Mousse? Cheesecake?” “So then what?” “So then I’d give him all the love he deserves for what he’s done.” “Sounds crazy to me.” “Well, to me, that’s what love is…
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
What's important is that I know how much you worry about shit. And what's also important is that I know a big part of your worry is that, no matter what group of friends you're in, no matter how long you've known them, you always assume you're the least-wanted person there. The one everyone else could do without.
Patrick Ness (The Rest of Us Just Live Here)
Haven't I? - he thought. Haven't I thought of it since the first time I saw you? Haven't I thought of nothing else for two years? ...He sat motionless, looking at her. He heard the words he had never allowed himself to form, the words he had felt, known, yet had not faced, had hoped to destroy by never letting them be said within his own mind. Now it was as sudden and shocking as if he were saying it to her ...Since the first time I saw you ...Nothing but your body, that mouth of yours, and the way your eyes would look at me, if ...Through every sentence I ever said to you, through every conference you thought so safe, through the importance of all the issues we discussed ...You trusted me, didn't you? To recognize your greatness? To think of you as you deserved - as if you were a man? ...Don't you suppose I know how much I've betrayed? The only bright encounter of my life - the only person I respected - the best business man I know - my ally - my partner in a desperate battle ...The lowest of all desires - as my answer to the highest I've met ...Do you know what I am? I thought of it, because it should have been unthinkable. For that degrading need, which would never touch you, I have never wanted anyone but you ...I hadn't known what it was like, to want it, until I saw you for the first time. I had thought : Not I, I couldn't be broken by it ...Since then ...For two years ...With not a moments respite ...Do you know what it's like, to want it? Would you wish to hear what I thought when I looked at you ...When I lay awake at night ...When I hear your voice over a telephone wire ...When I worked, but could not drive it away? ...To bring you down to things you cant conceive - and to know that it's I who have done it. To reduce you to a body, to teach you an animal's pleasure, to see you need it, to see you asking me for it, to see your wonderful spirit dependent on the upon the obscenity of your need. To watch you as you are, as you face the world with your clean, proud strength - then to see you, in my bed, submitting to any infamous whim I may devise, to any act which I'll preform for the sole purpose of watching your dishonor and to which you'll submit for the sake of an unspeakable sensation ...I want you - and may I be damned for it!
Ayn Rand
Please don't go." He let out an uneven breath. "You'll be fine without me. You always have been." Maybe once, but not now. "How can I convince you to stay?" "You can't." She threw down the torch. "Do you want me to beg, is that it?" "No-never." "Then tell me-" "What more can I say?" he exploded, his whisper rough and harsh "I’ve already told you everything—I’ve already told you that if I stay here, if I have to live with Arobynn, I'll snap his damned neck.” “But why? Why can’t you let it go?” He grabbed her shoulders and shook her. “Because I love you!” Her mouth fell open. “I love you,” he repeated, shaking her again. “I have for years. And he hurt you and made me watch because he’s always known how I felt, too. But if I asked you to pick, you’d choose Arobynn, and I. Can’t. Take. It.” The only sounds were their breathing, an uneven beat against the rushing of the sewer river. “You’re a damned idiot,” she breathed, grabbing the front of his tunic. “You’re a moron and an ass and a damned idiot.” He looked like she had hit him. But she went on, and grasped both sides of his face, "Because I'd pick you." And then she kissed him.
Sarah J. Maas (The Assassin and the Underworld (Throne of Glass, #0.4))
This is where you belong, Calla.” He pulled me closer, tilting my chin up. “Be with me. Tell me it’s what you want.” I couldn’t tear my eyes from his. “What I want?” “Yes. Anything, everything you need, I’ll give you. Always. I promise. Just tell me one thing.” “What?” “That you want this, us.” His voice dropped so low I could barely hear him. “That someday you’ll love me.” My hands began to tremble where they rested around his neck. “Ren, you know we’re going to be together. We’ve both known that for a long time.” He gave me a hard look. “That’s not what I’m talking about.” “Why are you asking me this?” I tried to pull back, but he held me against him. The glimmer of a smile appeared on his lips. “Why not?” My temper flared. “Are you trying to say that you love me?” I meant it as a challenge rather than a serious question, but his eyes seemed to catch fire. “What do you think?” He touched his lips to mine, softly at first, gradually building pressure, parting them.
Andrea Cremer (Nightshade (Nightshade, #1; Nightshade World, #4))
Do you love me, Westley? Is that it?’ He couldn’t believe it. ‘Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches. If your love were—‘ ‘I don’t understand the first one yet,’ Buttercup interrupted. She was starting to get very excited now. ‘Let me get this straight. Are you saying my love is the size of a grain of sand and yours is this other thing? Images just confuse me so—is this universal business of yours bigger than my sand? Help me, Westley. I have the feeling we’re on the verge of something just terribly important.’ ‘I have stayed these years in my hovel because of you. I have taught myself languages because of you. I have made my body strong because I thought you might be pleased by a strong body. I have lived my life with only the prayer that some sudden dawn you might glance in my direction. I have not known a moment in years when the sight of you did not send my heart careening against my rib cage. I have not known a night when your visage did not accompany me to sleep. There has not been a morning when you did not flutter behind my waking eyelids….Is any of this getting through to you, Buttercup, or do you want me to go on for a while?’ ‘Never stop.’ ‘There has not been—‘ ‘If you’re teasing me, Westley, I’m just going to kill you.’ ‘How can you even dream I might be teasing?’ ‘Well, you haven’t once said you loved me.’ ‘That’s all you need? Easy. I love you. Okay? Want it louder? I love you. Spell it out, should I? I ell-oh-vee-ee why-oh-you. Want it backward? You love I.’ ‘You are teasing now; aren’t you?’ ‘A little maybe; I’ve been saying it so long to you, you just wouldn’t listen. Every time you said ‘Farm boy do this’ you thought I was answering ‘As you wish’ but that’s only because you were hearing wrong. ‘I love you’ was what it was, but you never heard, and you never heard.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
I understand that if you have never suffered a broken heart, then you have never really known what it is to truly be alive. And I understand that at that precise moment, when your heart breaks open, that all you want to do is lay down and die! Because you know that is the only way the pain is ever going to stop.
Patti Roberts (Progeny of Innocence (Paradox, #2))
Hello? This is Clary Fairchild.” “Clary? It’s me, Emma.” “Oh, Emma, hi! I haven’t heard from you in ages. My mom says thanks for the wedding flowers, by the way. She wanted to send a note but Luke whisked her away on a honeymoon to Tahiti.” “Tahiti sounds nice.” “It probably is — Jace, what are you doing with that thing? There is no way it’ll fit.” “Is this a bad time?” “What? No! Jace is trying to drag a trebuchet into the training room. Alec, stop helping him.” “What’s a trebuchet?” “It’s a huge catapult.” “What are they going to use it for?” “I have no idea. Alec, you’re enabling! You’re an enabler!” “Maybe it is a bad time.” “I doubt there’ll be a better one. Is something wrong? Is there anything I can do?” “I think we have your cat.” “What?” “Your cat. Big fuzzy Blue Persian? Always looks angry? Julian says it’s your cat. He says he saw it at the New York Institute. Well, saw him. It’s a boy cat.” “Church? You have Church? But I thought — well, we knew he was gone. We thought Brother Zachariah took him. Isabelle was annoyed, but they seemed to know each other. I’ve never seen Church actually likeanyone like that.” “I don’t know if he likes anyone here. He bit Julian twice. Oh, wait. Julian says he likes Ty. He’s asleep on Ty’s bed.” “How did you wind up with him?” “Someone rang our front doorbell. Diana, she’s our tutor, went down to see what it was. Church was in a cage on the front step with a note tied to it. It said For Emma. This is Church, a longtime friend of the Carstairs. Take care of this cat and he will take care of you. —J.” “Brother Zachariah left you a cat.” “But I don’t even really know him. And he’s not a Silent Brother any more.” “You may not know him, but he clearly knows you.” “What do you think the J stands for?” “His real name. Look, Emma, if he wants you to have Church, and you want Church, you should keep him.” “Are you sure? The Lightwoods —“ ‘They’re both standing here nodding. Well, Alec is partially trapped under a trebuchet, but he seems to be nodding.” “Jules says we’d like to keep him. We used to have a cat named Oscar, but he died, and, well, Church seems to be good for Ty’s nightmares.” “Oh, honey. I think, really, he’s Brother Zachariah’s cat. And if he wants you to have him, then you should.” “Why does Brother Zachariah want to protect me? It’s like he knows me, but I don’t know why he knows me.” “I don’t exactly know … But I know Tessa. She’s his — well, girlfriend seems not the right word for it. They’ve known each other a long, long time. I have a feeling they’re both watching over you.” “That’s good. I have a feeling we’re going to need it.” “Emma — oh my God. The trebuchet just crashed through the floor. I have to go. Call me later.” “But we can keep the cat?” “You can keep the cat.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
[The Old Astronomer to His Pupil] Reach me down my Tycho Brahe, I would know him when we meet, When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet; He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how We are working to completion, working on from then to now. Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete, Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet, And remember men will scorn it, 'tis original and true, And the obloquy of newness may fall bitterly on you. But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn, You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn, What for us are all distractions of men's fellowship and smiles; What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles. You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late, But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant's fate. Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night. What, my boy, you are not weeping? You should save your eyes for sight; You will need them, mine observer, yet for many another night. I leave none but you, my pupil, unto whom my plans are known. You 'have none but me,' you murmur, and I 'leave you quite alone'? Well then, kiss me, -- since my mother left her blessing on my brow, There has been a something wanting in my nature until now; I can dimly comprehend it, -- that I might have been more kind, Might have cherished you more wisely, as the one I leave behind. I 'have never failed in kindness'? No, we lived too high for strife,-- Calmest coldness was the error which has crept into our life; But your spirit is untainted, I can dedicate you still To the service of our science: you will further it? you will! There are certain calculations I should like to make with you, To be sure that your deductions will be logical and true; And remember, 'Patience, Patience,' is the watchword of a sage, Not to-day nor yet to-morrow can complete a perfect age. I have sown, like Tycho Brahe, that a greater man may reap; But if none should do my reaping, 'twill disturb me in my sleep So be careful and be faithful, though, like me, you leave no name; See, my boy, that nothing turn you to the mere pursuit of fame. I must say Good-bye, my pupil, for I cannot longer speak; Draw the curtain back for Venus, ere my vision grows too weak: It is strange the pearly planet should look red as fiery Mars,-- God will mercifully guide me on my way amongst the stars.
Sarah Williams (Twilight Hours: A Legacy of Verse)
I know there's no way I can convince you this is not one of their tricks, but I don't care, I am me. My name is Valerie, I don't think I'll live much longer and I wanted to tell someone about my life. This is the only autobiography ill ever write, and god, I'm writing it on toilet paper. I was born in Nottingham in 1985, I don't remember much of those early years, but I do remember the rain. My grandmother owned a farm in Tuttlebrook, and she use to tell me that god was in the rain. I passed my 11th lesson into girl's grammar; it was at school that I met my first girlfriend, her name was Sara. It was her wrists. They were beautiful. I thought we would love each other forever. I remember our teacher telling us that is was an adolescent phase people outgrew. Sara did, I didn't. In 2002 I fell in love with a girl named Christina. That year I came out to my parents. I couldn't have done it without Chris holding my hand. My father wouldn't look at me, he told me to go and never come back. My mother said nothing. But I had only told them the truth, was that so selfish? Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have. It is the very last inch of us, but within that inch, we are free. I'd always known what I wanted to do with my life, and in 2015 I starred in my first film, "The Salt Flats". It was the most important role of my life, not because of my career, but because that was how I met Ruth. The first time we kissed, I knew I never wanted to kiss any other lips but hers again. We moved to a small flat in London together. She grew Scarlet Carsons for me in our window box, and our place always smelled of roses. Those were there best years of my life. But America's war grew worse, and worse. And eventually came to London. After that there were no roses anymore. Not for anyone. I remember how the meaning of words began to change. How unfamiliar words like collateral and rendition became frightening. While things like Norse Fire and The Articles of Allegiance became powerful, I remember how different became dangerous. I still don't understand it, why they hate us so much. They took Ruth while she was out buying food. I've never cried so hard in my life. It wasn't long till they came for me.It seems strange that my life should end in such a terrible place, but for three years, I had roses, and apologized to no one. I shall die here. Every inch of me shall perish. Every inch, but one. An Inch, it is small and it is fragile, but it is the only thing the world worth having. We must never lose it or give it away. We must never let them take it from us. I hope that whoever you are, you escape this place. I hope that the world turns and that things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you. I love you. With all my heart, I love you. -Valerie
Alan Moore (V for Vendetta)
If your only nice to the people that are nice to you, big deal; what do you want, a gist certificate? Everyone does that. And if you only say "hi" in the hall to the people that say hi to you, what are doing more than anyone else? Maybe you know people who are different when they're alone than when they're with their friends. they might say "hi" to you if your alone, but with a group they act like they've never seen you.
John Bytheway (What I Wish I'd Known in High School: A Crash Course in Teenage Survival)
A proper kiss, Miss Eversea, should turn you inside out. It should . . . touch places in you that you didn’t know existed, set them ablaze, until your entire being is hungry and wild...It should slice right down through you like a cutlass with a pleasure so devastating it’s very nearly pain … It should make you want to do things you’d never dreamed you’d want to do, and in that moment all of those things will make perfect sense. And it should herald, or at least promise, the most intense physical pleasure you’ve ever known, regardless of whether that promise is ever, ever fulfilled. It should, in fact . . . ” he paused for effect “ . . . haunt you for the rest of your life.
Julie Anne Long (What I Did for a Duke (Pennyroyal Green, #5))
The six rules of maybe 1. respect the power of hope and possibilites. Begin with beleif. Hold onto it. 2. If you known where you want to go, you're already half way there. Know what you desire but, more imporantly, why you desire it. Then go. 3. hopes and dreams and heart's desires require a clear path-get out of your own way 4. Place hope carefully in your own hands and in the hands of others 5. Persist, if necessary 6. That said, most importantly-know when you've reached an end, Quit, give up, do it with courage. Giving up is not failing-it's the chance to begin again.
Deb Caletti (The Six Rules of Maybe)
She was calm and quiet now with knowing what she had always known, what neither her parents nor Aunt Claire nor Frank nor anyone else had ever had to teach her: that if you wanted something to do something absolutely honest, something true, it always turned out to be a thing that had to be done alone.
Richard Yates (Revolutionary Road)
Every morning the maple leaves. Every morning another chapter where the hero shifts from one foot to the other. Every morning the same big and little words all spelling out desire, all spelling out You will be alone always and then you will die. So maybe I wanted to give you something more than a catalog of non-definitive acts, something other than the desperation. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I couldn’t come to your party. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I came to your party and seduced you and left you bruised and ruined, you poor sad thing. You want a better story. Who wouldn’t? A forest, then. Beautiful trees. And a lady singing. Love on the water, love underwater, love, love and so on. What a sweet lady. Sing lady, sing! Of course, she wakes the dragon. Love always wakes the dragon and suddenly flames everywhere. I can tell already you think I’m the dragon, that would be so like me, but I’m not. I’m not the dragon. I’m not the princess either. Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down. I walk through your dreams and invent the future. Sure, I sink the boat of love, but that comes later. And yes, I swallow glass, but that comes later. Let me do it right for once, for the record, let me make a thing of cream and stars that becomes, you know the story, simply heaven. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing and when you open your eyes only a clearing with deer in it. Hello deer. Inside your head the sound of glass, a car crash sound as the trucks roll over and explode in slow motion. Hello darling, sorry about that. Sorry about the bony elbows, sorry we lived here, sorry about the scene at the bottom of the stairwell and how I ruined everything by saying it out loud. Especially that, but I should have known. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing, and when you open your eyes you’re washing up in a stranger’s bathroom, standing by the window in a yellow towel, only twenty minutes away from the dirtiest thing you know. All the rooms of the castle except this one, says someone, and suddenly darkness, suddenly only darkness. In the living room, in the broken yard, in the back of the car as the lights go by. In the airport bathroom’s gurgle and flush, bathed in a pharmacy of unnatural light, my hands looking weird, my face weird, my feet too far away. I arrived in the city and you met me at the station, smiling in a way that made me frightened. Down the alley, around the arcade, up the stairs of the building to the little room with the broken faucets, your drawings, all your things, I looked out the window and said This doesn’t look that much different from home, because it didn’t, but then I noticed the black sky and all those lights. We were inside the train car when I started to cry. You were crying too, smiling and crying in a way that made me even more hysterical. You said I could have anything I wanted, but I just couldn’t say it out loud. Actually, you said Love, for you, is larger than the usual romantic love. It’s like a religion. It’s terrifying. No one will ever want to sleep with you. Okay, if you’re so great, you do it— here’s the pencil, make it work … If the window is on your right, you are in your own bed. If the window is over your heart, and it is painted shut, then we are breathing river water. Dear Forgiveness, you know that recently we have had our difficulties and there are many things I want to ask you. I tried that one time, high school, second lunch, and then again, years later, in the chlorinated pool. I am still talking to you about help. I still do not have these luxuries. I have told you where I’m coming from, so put it together. I want more applesauce. I want more seats reserved for heroes. Dear Forgiveness, I saved a plate for you. Quit milling around the yard and come inside.
Richard Siken
Imagine that you were on the threshold of this fairytale, sometime billions of years ago when everything was created. And you were able to choose whether you wanted to be born to a life on this planet at some point. You wouldn’t know when you were going to be born, nor how long you’d live for, but at any event it wouldn’t be more than a few years. All you’d know was that, if you chose to come into the world at some point, you’d also have to leave it again one day and go away from everything. This might cause you a good deal of grief, as lots of people think that life in the great fairytale is so wonderful that the mere thought of it ending can bring tears to their eyes. Things can be so nice here that it’s terribly painful to think that at some point the days will run out. What would you have chosen, if there had been some higher power that had gave you the choice? Perhaps we can imagine some sort of cosmic fairy in this great, strange fairytale. What you have chosen to live a life on earth at some point, whether short or long, in a hundred thousand or a hundred million years? Or would you have refused to join in the game because you didn’t like the rules? (...) I asked myself the same question maybe times during the past few weeks. Would I have elected to live a life on earth in the firm knowledge that I’d suddenly be torn away from it, and perhaps in the middle of intoxicating happiness? (...) Well, I wasn’t sure what I would have chosen. (...) If I’d chosen never to the foot inside the great fairytale, I’d never have known what I’ve lost. Do you see what I’m getting at? Sometimes it’s worse for us human beings to lose something dear to us than never to have had it at all.
Jostein Gaarder (The Orange Girl)
Dispassionately, reasonably, he contemplated the failure that his life must appear to be. He had wanted friendship and the closeness of friendship that might hold him in the race of mankind; he had had two friends, one of whom had died senselessly before he was known, the other of whom had now withdrawn so distantly into the ranks of the living that... He had wanted the singleness and the still connective passion of marriage; he had had that, too, and he had not known what to do with it, and it had died. He had wanted love; and he had had love, and had relinquished it, had let it go into the chaos of potentiality. Katherine, he thought. "Katherine." And he had wanted to be a teacher, and he had become one; yet he knew, he had always known, that for most of his life he had been an indifferent one. He had dreamed of a kind of integrity, of a kind of purity that was entire; he had found compromise and the assaulting diversion of triviality. He had conceived wisdom, and at the end of the long years he had found ignorance. And what else? he thought. What else? What did you expect? he asked himself.
John Williams (Stoner)
You found out who you are and what you want and then you realized that people you've known forever don't see things the way you do. And so you keep the wonderful memories, but find yourself moving on.
Nicholas Sparks (True Believer (Jeremy Marsh & Lexie Darnell, #1))
Hello Ra," he said in a kindly voice. "It's been a long time." A feeble voice from behind the chair said,"Can't play. Go away." "would you like a treat?" Apophis asked. "we used to play so nicely together. Every night, trying to kill each other. Don't you remember?" Ra poked his head above the throne. "Treat?" "How about a stuffed date?" Apophis pulled one out of the air. "You used to love stuffed dates, didn't you? All you have to do is come out and let me devour— I mean entertain you." " Want a cookie," Ra said. "What kind?" "Weasel cookie." I'm here to tell you, that comment about weasel cookies probably saved the known universe.
Rick Riordan (The Throne of Fire (The Kane Chronicles, #2))
So say I’m your mom.' 'What?' I said. 'I’m your mom,' he repeated. 'Now tell me you want to quit modeling.' I could feel myself blushing. 'I can’t do that,' I said. 'Why not?' he asked. 'Is it so hard to believe? You think I’m not a good role-player?' 'No,' I said. 'It’s just–' 'Because I am. Everyone wanted me to be their mother in group.' I just looked at him. 'I just… It’s weird.' 'No, it’s hard. But not impossible. Just try it.' A week earlier, I hadn’t even known what color his eyes were. Now, we were family. At least temporarily.
Sarah Dessen (Just Listen)
The truth is, we want to be known; we truly do. But we’re afraid. If you see the real me, will you run away? Am I even worth being known? Will the real me bore you? Scare you? Repulse you? And so we hide.
Gary L. Thomas (The Sacred Search: What If It's Not about Who You Marry, But Why?)
We gather here today,” said Robert, reaching out his arms expansively, “to honor my son, Alexander Gideon Lightwood, who has single-handedly destroyed the forces of the Endarkened and who defeated in battle the son of Valentine Morgenstern. Alec saved the life of our third son, Max. Along with his parabatai, Jace Herondale, I am proud to say that my son is one of the greatest warriors I have ever known.” He turned and smiled at Alec and Magnus. “It takes more than a strong arm to make a great warrior,” he went on. “It takes a great mind and a great heart. My son has both. He is strong in courage, and strong in love. Which is why I also wanted to share our other good news with you. As of yesterday, my son became engaged to be married to his partner, Magnus Bane—” A chorus of cheers broke out. Magnus accepted them with a modest wave of his fork. Alec slid down in his chair, his cheeks burning. Jace looked at him meditatively. “Congratulations,” he said. “I kind of feel like I missed an opportunity.” “W-what?” Alec stammered. Jace shrugged. “I always knew you had a crush on me, and I kind of had a crush on you, too. I thought you should know.” “What?” Alec said again. Clary sat up straight. “You know,” she said, “do you think there’s any chance that you two could ...” She gestured between Jace and Alec. “It would be kind of hot.” “No,” Magnus said. “I am a very jealous warlock.” “We’re parabatai,” Alec said, regaining his voice. “The Clave would—I mean—it’s illegal.” “Oh, come on,” said Jace. “The Clave would let you do anything you wanted. Look, everyone loves you.” He gestured out at the room full of Shadowhunters. They were all cheering as Robert spoke, some of them wiping away tears. A girl at one of the smaller tables held up a sign that said, ALEC LIGHTWOOD, WE LOVE YOU.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
It was then that I saw the business of writing for what it truly was and is to me. It is your penance for not being lucky. It is an attempt to reach others and to make them love you. It is your instinctive protest, when you find you have no voice at the world's tribunals, and that no one will speak for you. I would give my entire output of words, past, present and to come, in exchange for easier access to the world, for permission to state "I hurt" or " I hate" or " I want". Or indeed, "Look at me". And I do not go back on this. For once a thing is known it can never be unknown. It can only be forgotten. And writing is the enemy of forgetfulness, or thoughtlessness. For the writer there is no oblivion. Only endless memory.
Anita Brookner (Look at Me)
I would ask what it is you think you're doing, but... you are a teenager. I should have known better than to leave you in the car unattended. Next time, I'll seal you in there...probably with bricks. Maybe even mortar." Nick ignored his dry tone. "Just so long as you make sure nothing can get inside to kill me, I'm good with that." Ash frowned. "What are you talking about?" "The kid dead on the ground. Fourteen, Ash. Fourteen. I'm fourteen." "Yeah..." "Ash, I'm fourteen" "Got it. You're fourteen. I'm so proud you can count that high. It's a testament to the modern American educational system. But I should probably point out that you're no the only one. I'm told you go to a school with a whole class of -get this- kids who are fourteen." Nick rolled his eyes at the sarcasm. No wonder his mom wanted to hurt him for it. He finally understood. "Yeah, but they're not dead. Someone's killing fourteen-year-old boys, which I happen to be one. The cops said so. This is the second one in a day who's been murdered." "Yeah well given the lippiness of the average teenager, I can understand the urge" "You're not funny." "And you need to calm down. The only person you need to fear killing you when I'm around is me.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Invincible (Chronicles of Nick, #2))
When you got captured, I didn't know..." He trailed off, had to chug whiskey before he could continue. "If it'd be like..." "What?" "Like it was with Clotile." "Oh, Jackson, no. I was okay. I'm unharmed." "Didn't know if I'd get there too late," he said with a shudder. Then he crossed over to me, until we stood toe-to-toe. "Evie, if you ever get taken from me again, you better know that I'll be coming for you." He cupped my face with a bloodstained hand. "So you stay the hell alive! You don't do like Clotile, you doan take that way out. You and me can get through anything, just give me a chance."--his voice broke lower "just give me a chance to get to you." He buried his face in my hair, inhaling deeply. "There is nothing that can happen to you that we can't get past." ... "When you say we...?" He pulled back, gazing down at me, his eyes blazing. "I'm goan to lay it all out there for you. Laugh in my face--I don't care. But I'm goan to get this off my chest." "I won't laugh. I'm listening." "Evie, I've wanted you from the first time I saw you. Even when I hated you, I wanted you." He raked his fingers through his hair. "I got it bad, me." My heart felt like it'd stopped--so that I could hear him better. "For as long as you've been looking down your nose at me, I've been craving you, an envie like I've never known." "I don't look down at you! I'm too busy looking up to you." ... "The corners of his lips curled for an instant before he grew serious again. "You asked me if I had that phone with your pictures, if I'd looked at it. Damn right, I did! I saw you playing with a dog at the beach, and doing a crazy-ass flip off a high dive, and making faces for the camera. I learned about you"- his voice grew hoarse -"and I wanted more of you. To see you every day." With a humourless laugh, he admitted, "After the Flash, I was constantly sourcing ways to charge a goddamned phone--that would never make a call." I murmured, "I didn't know...I couldn't be sure." "It's you for me, peekon.
Kresley Cole (Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1))
One of the cheapest commodities in the world is unfulfilled genius. All of us want to be known as a unique individual, the one who broke out of the pack. So, you offer yourself up as a sacrifice and what you’re afraid of is losing and being thrown back into the pack. One question taunts you. Do you want to have, or do you want to be?
Leon Uris (Mitla Pass)
Making assumptions in our relationships is really asking for problems. Often we make the assumption that our partners know what we think and that we don’t have to say what we want. We assume they are going to do what we want, because they know us so well. If they don’t do what we assume they should do, we feel so hurt and say, “You should have known.
Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
It is a strange thing to find yourself doing something you have apparently always wanted to do, when in fact up until that moment you had never known that you had always wanted to do it, or even what it was,
Terry Pratchett (Snuff (Discworld, #39))
Tyson,” he breathes. My name on his lips is like a revelation, and I want to break. I want to shatter. I want to tell him things I can’t even admit to myself. “What?” I croak. “You know I love you, right?” His gaze searches mine. “Yeah.” Because I do. I’ve known since the beginning. It’s inevitable—our word of the day, the word of our friendship.
T.J. Klune (The Art of Breathing (Bear, Otter, and the Kid, #3))
I only wanted to . . . I mean, just now, when Mr. George interrupted us, there was something very important I wanted to say to you.” “It is about what I told you in the church yesterday? I mean, I can understand that you may think me crazy because I see these beings, but a psychiatrist wouldn’t make any difference.” Gideon frowned. “Just keep quiet for a moment, would you? I have to pluck up all my courage to make you a declaration of love . . . I’ve had absolutely no practice in this kind of thing.” “What?” “Gwyneth,” he said, perfectly seriously, “I’ve fallen in love with you.” My stomach muscles contracted as if I’d had a shock. But it was joy. “Really?” “Yes, really!” In the light of the torch I saw Gideon smile. “I do realize we’ve known each other for less than a week, and at first I thought you were rather . . . childish, and I probably behaved badly to you. But you’re terribly complicated, I never know what you’ll do next, and in some ways you really are terrifyingly . . . er. . . naïve. Sometimes I just want to shake you.” “Okay, I can see you were right about having no practice in making declarations of love,” I agreed. “But then you’re so amusing, and clever, and amazingly sweet,” Gideon went on, as if he hadn’t heard me. “And the worst of it is, you only have to be in the same room and I need to touch you and kiss you . . .” “Yes, that’s really too bad,” I whispered, and my heart turned over as Gideon took the hatpin out of my hair, tossed the feathered monstrosity into the air to fall on the floor, draw me close, and kissed me. About three minutes later, I was leaning against the wall, totally breathless, making an effort to stay upright. “Hey, Gwyneth, try breathing in and out in the normal way,” said Gideon, amused. I gave him a little push. “Stop that! I can’t believe how conceited you are!” “Sorry. It’s just such a . . . a heady feeling to think you’d forget to breathe on my account.
Kerstin Gier (Saphirblau (Edelstein-Trilogie, #2))
I looked up at Lee when we stopped in front of Hector and informed him helpfully, “You might want to take your arm away. Blanca tells me Hector doesn’t like men touching me.” “Blanca told you that?” Lee asked, his smile (and arm) still firmly in place. “Yes. She’s known Hector, like, his whole life so I think she’s in the position to know.” Lee nodded, his smile somehow bigger like he was trying not to laugh then his eyes moved to Hector and he said, “I tried to stop it.” Hector looked at Lee then looked at me then he muttered, “Oh fuck.” “It was Ally’s idea,” Lee told Hector. “What was Ally’s idea?” Hector asked Lee. “It was not Ally’s idea!” I cried. “It wasn’t!” super-power-eared Ally yelled from the open back window of Lee’s Explorer. “It was Sadie’s idea. I just was offering moral support.” “Shut up, Ally!” Indy shouted out the open passenger side window. “I will not shut up! I’m not taking the fall for this one!” Ally shouted back. I turned to the car, dislodging Lee’s arm and lifted both my hands and pressed down. “No one’s going to take a fall. Everyone calm down. It’s all okay. It’s rock ‘n’ roll!” I screamed. “Righteous!” Ally screamed back. “Rock on, sister!” Indy screamed too. “It’s rock ‘n’ roll?” Lee asked, sounding as amused as he looked. “You all wanna quit screamin’ at three o’clock in the mornin’ in my fuckin’ neighborhood?” Hector suggested. Mm, well maybe we were being an eensy bit loud. “Time for beddie by,” I announced (sounding like Ralphie), got up on tiptoe, kissed Lee’s cheek (like Ralphie and Buddy would do to me), turned and gave Indy and Ally a double devil’s horns (like Ava taught me) and shouted, “Rock on!” They shouted back in unison, “Rock on!” “Christ,” Hector muttered.
Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick Regret (Rock Chick, #7))
You didn’t answer my question. I asked you about being in love. You said what it was like when your wife went away.” Martin sat down again. How young she is. When we were that young we invented the world, no one could tell us a thing. Julia stood with her hands clenched, as though she wanted to pound an answer out of him. “Being in love is…anxious,” he said. “Wanting to please, worrying that she will see me as I really am. But wanting to be known. That is…you’re naked, moaning in the dark, no dignity at all…I wanted her to see me and to love me even though she knew everything I am, and I knew her. Now she’s gone, and my knowledge is incomplete. So all day I imagine what she is doing, what she says and who she talks to, how she looks. I try to supply the missing hours, and it gets harder as they pile up, all the time she’s been gone. I have to imagine. I don’t know, really. I don’t know any more.
Audrey Niffenegger (Her Fearful Symmetry)
Were these boys in their right minds? Here were two boys with good intellect, one eighteen and one nineteen. They had all the prospects that life could hold out for any of the young; one a graduate of Chicago and another of Ann Arbor; one who had passed his examination for the Harvard Law School and was about to take a trip in Europe,--another who had passed at Ann Arbor, the youngest in his class, with three thousand dollars in the bank. Boys who never knew what it was to want a dollar; boys who could reach any position that was to boys of that kind to reach; boys of distinguished and honorable families, families of wealth and position, with all the world before them. And they gave it all up for nothing, for nothing! They took a little companion of one of them, on a crowded street, and killed him, for nothing, and sacrificed everything that could be of value in human life upon the crazy scheme of a couple of immature lads. Now, your Honor, you have been a boy; I have been a boy. And we have known other boys. The best way to understand somebody else is to put yourself in his place. Is it within the realm of your imagination that a boy who was right, with all the prospects of life before him, who could choose what he wanted, without the slightest reason in the world would lure a young companion to his death, and take his place in the shadow of the gallows? ...No one who has the process of reasoning could doubt that a boy who would do that is not right. How insane they are I care not, whether medically or legally. They did not reason; they could not reason; they committed the most foolish, most unprovoked, most purposeless, most causeless act that any two boys ever committed, and they put themselves where the rope is dangling above their heads.... Why did they kill little Bobby Franks? Not for money, not for spite; not for hate. They killed him as they might kill a spider or a fly, for the experience. They killed him because they were made that way. Because somewhere in the infinite processes that go to the making up of the boy or the man something slipped, and those unfortunate lads sit here hated, despised, outcasts, with the community shouting for their blood. . . . I know, Your Honor, that every atom of life in all this universe is bound up together. I know that a pebble cannot be thrown into the ocean without disturbing every drop of water in the sea. I know that every life is inextricably mixed and woven with every other life. I know that every influence, conscious and unconscious, acts and reacts on every living organism, and that no one can fix the blame. I know that all life is a series of infinite chances, which sometimes result one way and sometimes another. I have not the infinite wisdom that can fathom it, neither has any other human brain
Clarence Darrow (Attorney for the Damned: Clarence Darrow in the Courtroom)
So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you'd probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You're a tough kid. And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, 'cause it only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you... I don't see an intelligent, confident man... I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you're a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my fucking life apart. You're an orphan right? [Will nods] Sean: You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally... I don't give a shit about all that, because you know what, I can't learn anything from you, I can't read in some fuckin' book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I'm fascinated. I'm in. But you don't want to do that do you sport? You're terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.
Robin Williams
Live or die, but don't poison everything... Well, death's been here for a long time -- it has a hell of a lot to do with hell and suspicion of the eye and the religious objects and how I mourned them when they were made obscene by my dwarf-heart's doodle. The chief ingredient is mutilation. And mud, day after day, mud like a ritual, and the baby on the platter, cooked but still human, cooked also with little maggots, sewn onto it maybe by somebody's mother, the damn bitch! Even so, I kept right on going on, a sort of human statement, lugging myself as if I were a sawed-off body in the trunk, the steamer trunk. This became perjury of the soul. It became an outright lie and even though I dressed the body it was still naked, still killed. It was caught in the first place at birth, like a fish. But I play it, dressed it up, dressed it up like somebody's doll. Is life something you play? And all the time wanting to get rid of it? And further, everyone yelling at you to shut up. And no wonder! People don't like to be told that you're sick and then be forced to watch you come down with the hammer. Today life opened inside me like an egg and there inside after considerable digging I found the answer. What a bargain! There was the sun, her yolk moving feverishly, tumbling her prize -- and you realize she does this daily! I'd known she was a purifier but I hadn't thought she was solid, hadn't known she was an answer. God! It's a dream, lovers sprouting in the yard like celery stalks and better, a husband straight as a redwood, two daughters, two sea urchings, picking roses off my hackles. If I'm on fire they dance around it and cook marshmallows. And if I'm ice they simply skate on me in little ballet costumes. Here, all along, thinking I was a killer, anointing myself daily with my little poisons. But no. I'm an empress. I wear an apron. My typewriter writes. It didn't break the way it warned. Even crazy, I'm as nice as a chocolate bar. Even with the witches' gymnastics they trust my incalculable city, my corruptible bed. O dearest three, I make a soft reply. The witch comes on and you paint her pink. I come with kisses in my hood and the sun, the smart one, rolling in my arms. So I say Live and turn my shadow three times round to feed our puppies as they come, the eight Dalmatians we didn't drown, despite the warnings: The abort! The destroy! Despite the pails of water that waited, to drown them, to pull them down like stones, they came, each one headfirst, blowing bubbles the color of cataract-blue and fumbling for the tiny tits. Just last week, eight Dalmatians, 3/4 of a lb., lined up like cord wood each like a birch tree. I promise to love more if they come, because in spite of cruelty and the stuffed railroad cars for the ovens, I am not what I expected. Not an Eichmann. The poison just didn't take. So I won't hang around in my hospital shift, repeating The Black Mass and all of it. I say Live, Live because of the sun, the dream, the excitable gift.
Anne Sexton (The Complete Poems)
[A] couple I had known - who were old friends - asked me what I was going to work on next. I told them I wanted to write a near future book about AIDS concentration camps. They were vehement in their response: they thought it was a terrible idea. Their words both shocked and saddened me. "Do you really want to write a book about homosexuals?" they asked me. "Won't people who read your work be influenced toward sin?" I notice that I don't hear from them much lately.
Tracy Hickman (The Immortals)
Oscar Wilde said: 'Each man kills the thing he loves.' And it's true. The mere possibility of getting what we want fills the soul of the ordinary person with guilt. We look around at all those who have failed to get what they want and feel that we do not deserve to get what we want either. We forget about all the obstacles we overcame, all the suffering we endured, all the things we had to give up in order to get this far. I have known a lot of people who, when their personal calling was within their grasp, went on to commit a series of stupid mistakes and never reached their goal - when it was only a step away. This is the most dangerous of the obstacles because it has a kind of saintly aura about it. Renouncing joy and conquest. But if you believe yourself worthy of the thing you fought so hard to get, then you become an instrument of God, you help the Soul of the World, and you understand why you are here.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
The thing is, you make choices. You do some things and you don't do others and in the end there's not much point in asking what different choices might have gained you, and lost you, unless you have a time machine. You become those choices, you embody them... I'd known I couldn't stay, just as I'd known years before I couldn't be with him, even as I'd gone on pretending I had a choice. I was who I was, and I wanted what I already had.
Leah Stewart (Husband and Wife)
Not long since, a strolling Indian went to sell baskets at the house of a well-known lawyer in my neighborhood. “Do you wish to buy any baskets?” he asked. “No, we do not want any,” was the reply. “What!” exclaimed the Indian as he went out the gate, “do you mean to starve us?” Having seen his industrious white neighbors so well off—that the lawyer had only to weave arguments, and, by some magic, wealth and standing followed—he had said to himself: I will go into business; I will weave baskets; it is a thing which I can do. Thinking that when he had made the baskets he would have done his part, and then it would be the white man’s to buy them. He had not discovered that it was necessary for him to make it worth the other’s while to buy them, or at least make him think that it was so, or to make something else which it would be worth his while to buy. I too had woven a kind of basket of a delicate texture, but I had not made it worth any one’s while to buy them. Yet not the less, in my case, did I think it worth my while to weave them, and instead of studying how to make it worth men’s while to buy my baskets, I studied rather how to avoid the necessity of selling them. The life which men praise and regard as successful is but one kind. Why should we exaggerate any one kind at the expense of the others?
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
Have you ever been to Florence?” asked Dr. Igor. “No.” “You should go there; it’s not far, for that is where you will find my second example. In the cathedral in Florence, there’s a beautiful clock designed by Paolo Uccello in 1443. Now, the curious thing about this clock is that, although it keeps time like all other clocks, its hands go in the opposite direction to that of normal clocks.” “What’s that got to do with my illness?” “I’m just coming to that. When he made this clock, Paolo Uccello was not trying to be original: The fact is that, at the time, there were clocks like his as well as others with hands that went in the direction we’re familiar with now. For some unknown reason, perhaps because the duke had a clock with hands that went in the direction we now think of as the “right” direction, that became the only direction, and Uccello’s clock then seemed an aberration, a madness.” Dr. Igor paused, but he knew that Mari was following his reasoning. “So, let’s turn to your illness: Each human being is unique, each with their own qualities, instincts, forms of pleasure, and desire for adventure. However, society always imposes on us a collective way of behaving, and people never stop to wonder why they should behave like that. They just accept it, the way typists accepted the fact that the QWERTY keyboard was the best possible one. Have you ever met anyone in your entire life who asked why the hands of a clock should go in one particular direction and not in the other?” “No.” “If someone were to ask, the response they’d get would probably be: ‘You’re crazy.’ If they persisted, people would try to come up with a reason, but they’d soon change the subject, because there isn’t a reason apart from the one I’ve just given you. So to go back to your question. What was it again?” “Am I cured?” “No. You’re someone who is different, but who wants to be the same as everyone else. And that, in my view, is a serious illness.” “Is wanting to be different a serious illness?” “It is if you force yourself to be the same as everyone else. It causes neuroses, psychoses, and paranoia. It’s a distortion of nature, it goes against God’s laws, for in all the world’s woods and forests, he did not create a single leaf the same as another. But you think it’s insane to be different, and that’s why you chose to live in Villete, because everyone is different here, and so you appear to be the same as everyone else. Do you understand?” Mari nodded. “People go against nature because they lack the courage to be different, and then the organism starts to produce Vitriol, or bitterness, as this poison is more commonly known.
Paulo Coelho (Veronika Decides to Die)
Master, I'm afraid. I am, truly. This place scares me. At home, I know who I am, what to do. I'm the Warden's daughter, I know where I stand. But this is a dangerous place, full of pitfalls. All my life, I've known it was waiting for me, but now I'm not sure I can face it. They'll want to absorb me, make me one of them, and I won't change. I won't! I want to stay me." Jared sighed and she saw his dark gaze was fixed on the veiled window. "Claudia, you're the bravest person I know. And no one will change you. You will rule here, though it won't be easy...
Catherine Fisher (Incarceron (Incarceron, #1))
You are not among the good that has happened to me. You are the best of all that I have known. You are what I searched for when I left that house and wandered this earth, boy and man. You are the part of myself I never thought to find because I did not even dare to dream you existed. You are all that I want and more than I deserve, and I will go to my grave thanking a god in whom I do not believe for bringing me you.
Deanna Raybourn (An Unexpected Peril (Veronica Speedwell, #6))
All the important parts, yes," I said firmly. "Maybe not all the eccentric details. Ask, and I will answer. What do you want to know?" "Everything." He had been leaning on his elbows, but he pushed back now and gripped the balustrade with both hands. "It's always this way with me: if it can be known, I want to know it.
Rachel Hartman (Seraphina (Seraphina, #1))
You do me proud, Captain. But, dear, I want to say one thing and then I'm done; for you don't need much advice of mine after my good man has spoken. I read somewhere that every inch of rope in the British Navy has a strand of red in it, so wherever a bit of it is found it is known. That is the text of my little sermon to you. Virtue, which means honour, honesty, courage, and all that makes character, is the red thread that marks a good man wherever he is. Keep that always and everywhere, so that even if wrecked by misfortune, that sign shall still be found and recognized. Yours is a rough life, and your mates not all we could wish, but you can be a gentleman in the true sense of the word; and no matter what happens to your body, keep your soul clean, your heart true to those who love you, and do your duty to the end.
Louisa May Alcott (Jo's Boys)
To listen well is to figure out what’s on someone’s mind and demonstrate that you care enough to want to know. It’s what we all crave; to be understood as a person with thoughts, emotions, and intentions that are unique and valuable and deserving of attention. Listening is not about teaching, shaping, critiquing, appraising, or showing how it should be done (“Here, let me show you.” “Don’t be shy.” “That’s awesome!” “Smile for Daddy.”). Listening is about the experience of being experienced. It’s when someone takes an interest in who you are and what you are doing. The lack of being known and accepted in this way leads to feelings of inadequacy and emptiness. What makes us feel most lonely and isolated in life is less often the result of a devastating traumatic event than the accumulation of occasions when nothing happened but something profitably could have. It’s the missed opportunity to connect when you weren’t listening or someone wasn’t really listening to you.
Kate Murphy (You're Not Listening: What You're Missing and Why It Matters)
Who can count how many lives we have tasted? Look at the stars. How old are they? And a star is not even sentient. You are sentient. How can you be less in age than a star? You don’t know at all. What you do know is that right now you exist and are here. All take this for granted. However, what should be known is what you are here as. And if what you are here as is clear, who knows this? You want to learn about so many things, but about yourself, you are not sure.
Mooji (White Fire: Spiritual insights and teachings of advaita zen master Mooji)
The life that I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place and time my touch will be felt. Our lives are linked together. No man is an island. But there is another truth, the sister of this one, and it is that every man is an island. It is a truth that often the tolling of a silence reveals even more vividly than the tolling of a bell. We sit in silence with one another, each of us more or less reluctant to speak, for fear that if he does, he may sound life a fool. And beneath that there is of course the deeper fear, which is really a fear of the self rather than of the other, that maybe truth of it is that indeed he is a fool. The fear that the self that he reveals by speaking may be a self that the others will reject just as in a way he has himself rejected it. So either we do not speak, or we speak not to reveal who we are but to conceal who we are, because words can be used either way of course. Instead of showing ourselves as we truly are, we show ourselves as we believe others want us to be. We wear masks, and with practice we do it better and better, and they serve us well –except that it gets very lonely inside the mask, because inside the mask that each of us wears there is a person who both longs to be known and fears to be known. In this sense every man is an island separated from every other man by fathoms of distrust and duplicity. Part of what it means to be is to be you and not me, between us the sea that we can never entirely cross even when we would. “My brethren are wholly estranged from me,” Job cries out. “I have become an alien in their eyes.” The paradox is that part of what binds us closest together as human beings and makes it true that no man is an island is the knowledge that in another way every man is an island. Because to know this is to know that not only deep in you is there a self that longs about all to be known and accepted, but that there is also such a self in me, in everyone else the world over. So when we meet as strangers, when even friends look like strangers, it is good to remember that we need each other greatly you and I, more than much of the time we dare to imagine, more than more of the time we dare to admit. Island calls to island across the silence, and once, in trust, the real words come, a bridge is built and love is done –not sentimental, emotional love, but love that is pontifex, bridge-builder. Love that speak the holy and healing word which is: God be with you, stranger who are no stranger. I wish you well. The islands become an archipelago, a continent, become a kingdom whose name is the Kingdom of God.
Frederick Buechner (The Hungering Dark)
The ocean was back in the pond, and the only knowledge I was left with, as if I had woken from a dream on a summer's day, was that it had not been long ago since I had known everything. I looked at Lettie in the moonlight. "Is that how it is for you? I asked. "Is what how it is for me?" "Do you still know everything, all the time?" ...She wrinkled her nose. "Everybody did. I told you. It's nothing special, knowing how things work. And you really do have to give it all up if you want to play." "To play what?" "This," she said. She waved at the house and the sky and the impossible full moon and the skeins and the shawls and clusters of bright stars.
Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
A good question is not concerned with a correct answer. A good question cannot be answered immediately. A good question challenges existing answers. A good question is one you badly want answered once you hear it, but had no inkling you cared before it was asked. A good question creates new territory of thinking. A good question reframes its own answers. A good question is the seed of innovation in science, technology, art, politics, and business. A good question is a probe, a what-if scenario. A good question skirts on the edge of what is known and not known, neither silly nor obvious. A good question cannot be predicted. A good question will be the sign of an educated mind. A good question is one that generates many other good questions. A good question may be the last job a machine will learn to do. A good question is what humans are for.  •
Kevin Kelly (The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future)
He stared back at me so blatantly I wanted to smack him. “I know. Like I said, that… was never my intention. It was an accident.” My mouth dropped open. “Did you slip and fall on my bed? Because I don’t understand how you’ve accidentally ended up there.” Red stained the tips of his cheeks. “I check the outside, and then I check the inside just to be sure. Hybrids can get into your house, Katy, as you already know. So could Daedalus if they wanted.” What would he have done if Daemon had been there? Then it struck me and I felt sick all over again. “How long do you watch at night?” He shrugged. “A couple of hours.” So he’d have known if Daemon had come over most of the time, and the rest was just sheer dumb luck. Part of me wished he’d tried it just once when Daemon was there. He wouldn’t be walking right for months. There was a good chance he may leave this stairwell with a limp. Blake seemed to sense where my mind went. “After I checked inside your house, I… I don’t know what happened. You have bad dreams.” I wondered why. I had perverts sleeping in the bed with me.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opal (Lux, #3))
The historical problems with Luke are even more pronounced. For one thing, we have relatively good records for the reign of Caesar Augustus, and there is no mention anywhere in any of them of an empire-wide census for which everyone had to register by returning to their ancestral home. And how could such a thing even be imagined? Joesph returns to Bethlehem because his ancestor David was born there. But David lived a thousand years before Joseph. Are we to imagine that everyone in the Roman Empire was required to return to the homes of their ancestors from a thousand years earlier? If we had a new worldwide census today and each of us had to return to the towns of our ancestors a thousand years back—where would you go? Can you imagine the total disruption of human life that this kind of universal exodus would require? And can you imagine that such a project would never be mentioned in any of the newspapers? There is not a single reference to any such census in any ancient source, apart from Luke. Why then does Luke say there was such a census? The answer may seem obvious to you. He wanted Jesus to be born in Bethlehem, even though he knew he came from Nazareth ... there is a prophecy in the Old Testament book of Micah that a savior would come from Bethlehem. What were these Gospel writer to do with the fact that it was widely known that Jesus came from Nazareth? They had to come up with a narrative that explained how he came from Nazareth, in Galilee, a little one-horse town that no one had ever heard of, but was born in Bethlehem, the home of King David, royal ancestor of the Messiah.
Bart D. Ehrman (Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible & Why We Don't Know About Them)
Nykyrian left The League. He could stop killing any time he wanted to. (Kiara) And had he done that, princess, you’d be dead right now and so would I. Believe me, baby, no one ran harder or faster from their past than I did. And in one moment, one fucking whore brought it all home and laid it back at my feet. Even though I’d crawled my way out of the gutter, turned my back on everyone and everything I’d ever known and become respectable. Even though I’d buried my past so deep that I thought I was untouchable. It didn’t matter. I was still shit to the world and the moment the woman I’d sold my soul to saw me for what I was, she ruined me and left me with nothing except the drunken bitterness you see now. You want to know why I drink? It’s because I can’t escape my past and I hate what I am. What I was forced to endure just to survive. I hate this fucking life and, most of all, I hate people like you who can’t see past the surface. You judge us on one deed alone without seeing all the other things we are. Damn you for that, Kiara Zamir. Had I known you were just like everyone else, I would have left you chained in Chenz’s ship. Do whatever you want. But stay away from me. (Syn)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Born of the Night (The League, #1))
You did say," Rusty pointed out with a virtuous air, "that you wanted me to teach everyone how to defend themselves." "Is that what you were doing?" Jared asked, swiping at his bloody mouth. "Teaching?" "You have to use a firm hand," Rusty said earnestly. "That's how you learn. I'm very dedicated to my craft. And I was not planning on the lesson getting so out of hand. That was your fault. You have absolutely no concept of any sort of fighting technique. You kept trying to bash me with stuff. This is why I never go for blonds. They are all vicious creatures." "I do have a fighting technique," Jared informed him. "It is a little-known discipline known as 'winning'.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Untold (The Lynburn Legacy, #2))
You know," he said with unusual somberness, "I asked my father once why kenders were little, why we weren't big like humans and elves. I really wanted to be big," he said softly and for a moment he was quiet. "What did your father say?" asked Fizban gently. "He said kenders were small because we were meant to do small things. 'If you look at all the big things in the world closely,' he said, 'you'll see that they're really made up of small things all joined together.' That big dragon down there comes to nothing but tiny drops of blood, maybe. It's the small things that make the difference." "Very wise, your father." "Yes." Tas brushed his hand across his eyes. "I haven't seen him in a long time." The kender's pointed chin jutted forward, his lips tightened. His father, if he had seen him, would not have known this small, resolute person for his son. "We'll leave the big things to others," Tas announced finally. "They've got Tanis and Sturm and Goldmoon. They'll manage. We'll do the small thing, even if it doesn't seem very important. We're going to rescue Sestun.
Margaret Weis
Sophie, I have to tell your mother about what happened." I suppressed a groan. I'd known this was coming, but I was hoping we could put it off until after Dad got back. I had a lot going on, and the last thing I wanted was a worried mom on top of all of that. "Dad,she's just going to freak. And probably come here and get me, and then you guys will start yelling at each other, and I'll have to act out by wearing lots of eyeliner and doing drugs. Do you really want to deal with that?
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
Allow me to presume upon this new friendship of ours by telling you that denying your fiance your company in order to gain whatever it is you want, is not only foolish but risky. It was obvious to me that his grace has a great affection for you, and I truly think he would give you anything you want if you simply gave him that lovely smile of yours and asked him for it. Deceit and deviousness do you no credit, my child, and what's more, they will get you absolutely nowhere with the duke. He has known females far more skilled in deception and trickery than you, and all those ladies ever got from him was the opportunity to amuse him for a very brief time. While you, by being direct and forthright as I sense that you are, have gained the very thing those other females most desired. You have gained the offer of his grace's hand in marriage." -Dr. Whitticomb
Judith McNaught (Whitney, My Love (Westmoreland, #2))
I have found that there are three key steps to identifying your own core personal projects. First, think back to what you loved to do when you were a child. How did you answer the question of what you wanted to be when you grew up? The specific answer you gave may have been off the mark, but the underlying impulse was not. If you wanted to be a fireman, what did a fireman mean to you? A good man who rescued people in distress? A daredevil? Or the simple pleasure of operating a truck? If you wanted to be a dancer, was it because you got to wear a costume, or because you craved applause, or was it the pure joy of twirling around at lightning speed? You may have known more about who you were then than you do now. Second, pay attention to the work you gravitate to. At my law firm I never once volunteered to take on an extra corporate legal assignment, but I did spend a lot of time doing pro bono work for a nonprofit women’s leadership organization. I also sat on several law firm committees dedicated to mentoring, training, and personal development for young lawyers in the firm. Now, as you can probably tell from this book, I am not the committee type. But the goals of those committees lit me up, so that’s what I did. Finally, pay attention to what you envy. Jealousy is an ugly emotion, but it tells the truth. You mostly envy those who have what you desire.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
I don't know why, but I didn't want her to call me Dick anymore. It was feeling kind of fake. 'Maybe we should use our real names outside of class. Yours is Rosetta, right?' 'Yes. Rosetta Vaughn.' 'All right,' I said. 'Well, mine is - ' 'Seth McCoy. I know.' She kind of wrapped her arms around herself like she was getting cold. 'I've known since February fourteenth, actually.' She's memorized the date she found out my name? What the hell? She laughed. 'Don't freak out! I only remember because it was Valentine's Day.' As if that explained it. 'And why do you remember learning my name on Valentine's Day?' 'Kendall Eckman was running after you in the hall screaming, "Seth McCoy, if you don't buy a rose from me, I'll kill you!" She was doing that Valentine's drama club fundraiser. Remember?' 'Actually, yes.' What I remembered was getting stoned with Isaac before school, and Kendall harshing my mellow the minute we walked in the door. Rosetta was looking like there was more to this story. 'And after she kept asking, you bought a red one?' 'Right. And I passed it off to -' I'd been about to say 'some chick,' but with how intently she was watching me, I was getting a different idea. '-you, right?' She extended her arm to pass me an imaginary rose in the same way I must have handed her a real one. Then she imitated the corny voice I must have used. 'Here, beautiful. Have a wonderful Valentine's Day.' Oh, Christ. The stupid shit I said sometimes.
Mindi Scott (Freefall)
I haven’t even known for a week! I found out who I was the day after the ball, when I was sitting in a jail cell preparing to be handed over to Levana like a trophy. So between breaking out of prison and running from the entire Commonwealth military and trying to save your life, I haven’t had much time to overthrow an entire regime. I’m sorry if I’ve disappointed you, but what do you want me to do?
Marissa Meyer (Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2))
Being afraid's not always bad." he said gently. "It can keep you moving forward. It can help you get things done." The silence between us was different than any silence I'd known before, full and warm and waiting. "What are you afraid of?" I dared to ask. There was a flicker of surprise in his eyes, as if it were something he'd never been asked before. For a moment I thought he wouldn't answer. But he let out a slow breath, and his gaze left mine to sweep across the trailer park. "Staying here." he finally said. "Staying until I'm not fit to belong anywhere else." "Where do you want to belong?" I half whispered. His expression changed with quicksilver speed, amusement dancing in his eyes. "Anywhere they don't want me.
Lisa Kleypas (Sugar Daddy (Travises, #1))
Should I, too, prefer the title of 'non-Jewish Jew'? For some time, I would have identified myself strongly with the attitude expressed by Rosa Luxemburg, writing from prison in 1917 to her anguished friend Mathilde Wurm: What do you want with these special Jewish pains? I feel as close to the wretched victims of the rubber plantations in Putamayo and the blacks of Africa with whose bodies the Europeans play ball… I have no special corner in my heart for the ghetto: I am at home in the entire world, where there are clouds and birds and human tears. An inordinate proportion of the Marxists I have known would probably have formulated their own views in much the same way. It was almost a point of honor not to engage in 'thinking with the blood,' to borrow a notable phrase from D.H. Lawrence, and to immerse Jewishness in other and wider struggles. Indeed, the old canard about 'rootless cosmopolitanism' finds a perverse sort of endorsement in Jewish internationalism: the more emphatically somebody stresses that sort of rhetoric about the suffering of others, the more likely I would be to assume that the speaker was a Jew. Does this mean that I think there are Jewish 'characteristics'? Yes, I think it must mean that.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
A psychotic world we live in. The madmen are in power. How long have we known this? Faced this?-And-how many of us do know it? Not Lotze. Perhaps if you know you are insane then you are not insane. Or you are becoming sane, finally. Waking up. I suppose only a few are aware of all this. Isolated persons here and there. But the broad masses...what do they think? All these hundreds of thousands in this city, here. Do they imagine that they live in a sane world? Or do they guess, glimpse the truth...? But, he thought, what does it mean, insane? A legal definition. What do I mean? I feel it, see it, but what is it? He thought, it is something they do, something they are. It is their unconsciousness. Their lack of knowledge about others. Their not being aware of what they do to others, the destruction they have caused and are causing. No, he thought. That isn't it. I don't know; I sense it, inuit it. But-they are purposely cruel...is that it? No. God, he thought, I can't find it, make it clear. Do they ignore parts of reality? Yes. But it is more. It is their plans. Yes, their plans. The conquering of the planets. Something frenzied and demented, as was their conquering of Africa, and before that, Europe and Asia. Their view; it is cosmic. Not of man here, a child there, but an abstraction: race, land. Volk. Land. Blut. Ehre. Not of honorable men but of Ehre itself, honor; the abstract is real, the actual is invisible to them. Die Gute, but not good men, this good man. It is their sense of space and time. They see through the here, the now, into the vast black deep beyond, the unchanging. And that is fatal to life. Because eventually there will be no life; there was once only the dust particles in space, the hot hydrogen gases, nothing more, and it will come again. This is an interval, ein Augenblick. The cosmic process is hurrying on, crushing life back into the granite and methane; the wheel turns for all life. It is all temporary. And they-these madmen-respond to the granite, the dust, the longing of the inanimate; they want to aid Natur. And, he thought, I know why. They want to be the agents, not the victims, of history. They identify with God's power and believe they are godlike. That is their basic madness. They are overcome by some archetype; their egos have expanded psychotically so that they cannot tell where they begin and the godhead leaves off. it is not hubris, not pride; it is inflation of the ego to its ultimate-confusion between him who worships and that which is worshiped. Man has not eaten God; God has eaten man. What they do not comprehend is man's helplessness. I am weak, small, of no consequence to the universe. It does not notice me; I live on unseen. But why is that bad? Isn't it better that way? Whom the gods notice they destroy. Be small...and you will escape the jealousy of the great.
Philip K. Dick (The Man in the High Castle)
So I made up my mind I was going to find someone who would love me unconditionally three hundred and sixty five days a year, I was still in elementary school at the time - fifth or sixth grade - but I made up my mind once and for all.” -“Wow,” I said. “Did the search pay off?” “That’s the hard part,” said Midori. She watched the rising smoke for a while, thinking. “I guess I’ve been waiting so long I’m looking for perfection. That makes it tough.” -“Waiting for the perfect love?” “No, even I know better than that. I’m looking for selfishness. Perfect selfishness. Like, say I tell you I want to eat strawberry shortcake. And you stop everything you’re doing and run out and buy it for me. And you come back out of breath and get down on your knees and hold this strawberry shortcake out to me. And I say I don’t want it anymore and throw it out the window. That’s what I’m looking for.” -“I’m not sure that has anything to do with love,” I said with some amazement. “It does,” she said. “You just don’t know it. There are time in a girl’s life when things like that are incredibly important.” -“Things like throwing strawberry shortcake out the window?” “Exactly. And when I do it, I want the man to apologize to me. “Now I see, Midori. What a fool I have been! I should have known that you would lose your desire for strawberry shortcake. I have all the intelligence and sensitivity of a piece of donkey shit. To make it up to you, I’ll go out and buy you something else. What would you like? Chocolate Mousse? Cheesecake?” -“So then what?” “So then I’d give him all the love he deserves for what he’s done.” -“Sounds crazy to me.” “Well, to me, that’s what love is…
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
I’ve lived for centuries. Fought. Bled. Sought pleasure when I wanted t. Watched the eradication of my people and lay helpless, entombed, unable to do a gods-damned thing about it. I’ve suffered. But never have I loved. Not until now, not until this moment, have I known what it is to truly love something. I love this child. I love you.
Kate Baxter (The Last True Vampire (Last True Vampire, #1))
What great gravity is this that drew my soul towards yours? What great force, that though I went falsely, went kicking, went disguising myself to earn your love, also disguised, to earn your keeping, your resting, your staying, your will fleshed into mine, rasped by a slowly revealed truth, the barter of my soul, the soul that I fear, the soul that I loathe, the soul that: if you will love, I will love. I will redeem you, if you will redeem me? Is this our purpose, you and I together to pacify each other, to lead each other toward the lie that we are good, that we are noble, that we need not redemption, save the one that you and I invented of our own clay? I am not scared of you, my love, I am scared of me. I went looking, I wrote out a list, I drew an image, I bled a poem of you. You were pretty and my friends believed I was worthy of you. You were clever, but I was smarter, perhaps the only one smarter, the only one able to lead you. You see, love, I did not love you, I loved me. And you were only a tool that I used to fix myself, to fool myself, to redeem myself. And though I have taught you to lay your lily hand in mine, I walk alone, for I cannot talk to you, lest you talk it back to me, lest I believe that I am not worthy, not deserving, not redeemed. I want desperately for you to be my friend. But you are not my friend; you have slid up warmly to the man I wanted to be, the man I pretended to be, and I was your Jesus and, you were mine. Should I show you who I am, we may crumble. I am not scared of you my love, I am scared of me. I want to be known and loved anyway. Can you do this? I trust by your easy breathing that your are human like me, that you are fallen like me, that you are lonely, like me. My love, do I know you? What is this great gravity that pulls us so painfully toward each other? Why do we not connect? Will we be forever in fleshing this out? And how will we with words, narrow words, come into the knowing of each other?
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
You want to explain everything by the facts that are known to you. But the facts that are not known to you? What do they say?
Joubert
Judge Knight: Here's a word of advice. Our Sun Knight has the nerve to PLOT THE DOWNFALL OF A KING. DO NOT get on his bad side if you don't have a status higher than that. Storm Knight: In addition he has mastered the Resurrection Spell, which even the Pope has a hard time with. And he's an expert of divine magic, sorcery, and necromancy. Then he's got a teacher who's known as 'the strongest Sun Knight in history' as his supporter, not to mention his other teacher who's no doubt a necromancer... Oh, and while we're at it he's probably also buddies with a Death Lord. Everyone's Thoughts: His extraordinarily bad swordsmanship really is a stroke of good fortune. Earth Knight: Dammit! Is he the Sun Knight or the devil himself?! Leaf Knight: Have you forgotten what our teachers taught us all throughout our childhood, Earth? Teacher: 'Child, when you accidentlly discover the imperfections of the Sun Knight, unless you want to have a first hand experience of his imperfections, you'd better dutifully admit he is perfect. Remember, no matter what the Sun Knight is always perfect!
Yu Wo (The Legend of Sun Knight, Vol. 3 (The Legend of Sun Knight - Manhua, #3))
Fathers of the fatherless son and daughters, your children want to see you, your children want to spend time with you, your children want you to be a part of their lives. You all are too focused on what you “think” you should be doing to benefit the mother. Let it be known, you are not doing the mother of your children any favors. The mother of your children is the one who is pulling the entire ship; it would be nice if you all jump on board to share the load.
Charlena E. Jackson (Dear fathers of the fatherless children)
I yet beseech your majesty,-- If for I want that glib and oily art, To speak and purpose not; since what I well intend, I'll do't before I speak,--that you make known It is no vicious blot, murder, or foulness, No unchaste action, or dishonour'd step, That hath deprived me of your grace and favour; But even for want of that for which I am richer, A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue As I am glad I have not, though not to have it Hath lost me in your liking.
William Shakespeare
And then a man of forty or so, with a French accent, asked, "How do you achieve the presence of mind to initiate the writing of a poem?" And something cracked open in me, and I finally stopped hoarding and told them my most useful secret. The only secret that has helped me consistently over all the years that I've written. I said, "Well, I'll tell you how. I ask a simple question. I ask myself: What was the very best moment of your day??" The wonder of it was, I told them that this one question could lift out from my life exactly what I will want to write a poem about. Something I hadn't known was important will leap out and hover there in front of me, saying I am— I am the best moment of the day. I noticed two people were writing down what I was saying. Often, I went on, it's a moment when you're waiting for someone, or you're driving somewhere, or maybe you're just walking across a parking lot and admiring the oil stains and the dribbled tar patterns. One time it was when I was driving past a certain house that was screaming with sunlitness on its white clapboards, and then I plunged through tree shadows that splashed and splayed across the windshield. I thought, Ah, of course— I'd forgotten. You, windshield shadows, you are the best moment of the day. "And that's my secret, such as it is," I said.
Nicholson Baker (The Anthologist (The Paul Chowder Chronicles #1))
Kai held up the broken portscreen. "What would Cinder do? How would she fix it?" A crease formed across Torin's brow. "You want to comm for help?" "Sort of." He buried a hand in his hair, thinking, thinking. He pictured Cinder at her booth at the market. She would have known what to do. She would have - He hopped to his feet, his pulse racing, and whapped the corner of the portscreen hard on the top of the altar. Torin jerked back. Kai looked again and let out an excited whoop. Half the screen had cleared. He opened a comm. "How did you do that?" said Torin. "I don't know," he said, typing in a hasty message, "but you'd be surprised how often that works.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
Hitherto, the Palestinians had been relatively immune to this Allahu Akhbar style. I thought this was a hugely retrograde development. I said as much to Edward. To reprint Nazi propaganda and to make a theocratic claim to Spanish soil was to be a protofascist and a supporter of 'Caliphate' imperialism: it had nothing at all to do with the mistreatment of the Palestinians. Once again, he did not exactly disagree. But he was anxious to emphasize that the Israelis had often encouraged Hamas as a foil against Fatah and the PLO. This I had known since seeing the burning out of leftist Palestinians by Muslim mobs in Gaza as early as 1981. Yet once again, it seemed Edward could only condemn Islamism if it could somehow be blamed on either Israel or the United States or the West, and not as a thing in itself. He sometimes employed the same sort of knight's move when discussing other Arabist movements, excoriating Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party, for example, mainly because it had once enjoyed the support of the CIA. But when Saddam was really being attacked, as in the case of his use of chemical weapons on noncombatants at Halabja, Edward gave second-hand currency to the falsified story that it had 'really' been the Iranians who had done it. If that didn't work, well, hadn't the United States sold Saddam the weaponry in the first place? Finally, and always—and this question wasn't automatically discredited by being a change of subject—what about Israel's unwanted and ugly rule over more and more millions of non-Jews? I evolved a test for this mentality, which I applied to more people than Edward. What would, or did, the relevant person say when the United States intervened to stop the massacres and dispossessions in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo? Here were two majority-Muslim territories and populations being vilely mistreated by Orthodox and Catholic Christians. There was no oil in the region. The state interests of Israel were not involved (indeed, Ariel Sharon publicly opposed the return of the Kosovar refugees to their homes on the grounds that it set an alarming—I want to say 'unsettling'—precedent). The usual national-security 'hawks,' like Henry Kissinger, were also strongly opposed to the mission. One evening at Edward's apartment, with the other guest being the mercurial, courageous Azmi Bishara, then one of the more distinguished Arab members of the Israeli parliament, I was finally able to leave the arguing to someone else. Bishara [...] was quite shocked that Edward would not lend public support to Clinton for finally doing the right thing in the Balkans. Why was he being so stubborn? I had begun by then—belatedly you may say—to guess. Rather like our then-friend Noam Chomsky, Edward in the final instance believed that if the United States was doing something, then that thing could not by definition be a moral or ethical action.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
The sense of wishing to be known only for what one really is is like putting on an old, easy, comfortable garment. You are no longer afraid of anybody or anything. You say to yourself, 'Here I am --- just so ugly, dull, poor, beautiful, rich, interesting, amusing, ridiculous -- take me or leave me.' And how absolutely beautiful it is to be doing only what lies within your own capabilities and is part of your own nature. It is like a great burden rolled off a man's back when he comes to want to appear nothing that he is not, to take out of life only what is truly his own.
David Grayson
I think it happens to everyone as they grow up,” Jeremy responded. “You find out who you are and what you want, and then you realize that people you’ve known forever don’t see things the way you do. And so you keep the wonderful memories, but find yourself moving on. It’s perfectly normal.
Nicholas Sparks (True Believer)
What do you ask from Judd in exchange for giving sanctuary to the kids?' His pale eyes iced over. 'Judd is a fully trained Psy assassin with experience in covert wet work. I’d be a fool if I didn’t utilize his skills.' She choked back a cry. 'How can you ask that of him?' An alpha looked after his own. He didn’t destroy them. But maybe Hawke didn’t consider the Laurens his own. After all, and for reasons she’d never known, he hated the Psy as much as her brothers did. His face gentled, an unexpected softening of harsh masculine lines. Closing the distance between them, he cupped her cheek. 'He is who and what he is, Brenna. If you want something different, you shouldn’t be with him.' 'He’s the only one I want to be with.' 'Then accept his beast like you do your own.
Nalini Singh (Caressed by Ice (Psy-Changeling #3))
The stress of it all. How the hell are we expected at the age of sixteen (and seventeen, in your case) to decide what we want to do for the rest of our lives? Right now all I want to do is get out of school, not start planning to get into another one. You're lucky you've always known what you want to do.
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
Sean: …………And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, 'cause it only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you... I don't see an intelligent, confident man... I see a scared shitless kid. But you're a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my life apart. You're an orphan right? [Will nods] Sean: You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally... I don't give a shit about all that, because you know what, I can't learn anything from you, I can't read in some book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I'm fascinated. I'm in. But you don't want to do that do you sport? You're terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.
Matt Damon
There is a plain under a dim sky. It is covered with gentle rolling curves that might remind you of something else if you saw it from a long way away, and if you did see it from a long way away you'd be very glad that you were, in fact, a long way away. Three gray figures floated just above it. Exactly what they were can't be described in normal language. Some people might call them cherubs, although there was nothing rosy-cheeked about them. They might be rumored among those who see to it that gravity operates and that time stays separate from space. Call them auditors. Auditors of reality. They were in conversation without speaking. They didn't need to speak. They just changed reality so that they had spoken. One said, It has never happened before. Can it be done? One said, It will have to be done. There is a personality. Personalities come to an end. Only forces endure. It said this with satisfaction. One said, Besides... there have been irregularities. Where you get personality, you get irregularities. Well-known fact. One said, He has worked inefficiently? One said, No. We can't get him there. One said, That is the point. The word is him. Becoming a personality is inefficient. We don't want it to spread. Supposing gravity developed a personality? Supposing it decided to like people? One said, Got a crush on them, that sort of thing? One said, in a voice that would have been even chillier if it was not already at absolute zero, No. One said, Sorry. Just my little joke. One said, Besides, sometimes he wonders about his job. Such speculation is dangerous. One said, No argument there. One said, Then we are agreed? One, who seemed to have been thinking about something, said, Just one moment. Did you not just use the singular pronoun "my?" Not developing a personality, are you? One said, guiltily, Who? Us? One said, Where there is personality, there is discord. One said, Yes. Yes. Very true. One said, All right. But watch it in future. One said, Then we are agreed? They looked up at the face of Azrael, outlined against the sky. In fact, it was the sky. Azrael nodded, slowly. One said, Very well. Where is this place? One said, It is the Discworld. It rides through space on the back of a giant turtle. One said, Oh, one of that sort. I hate them. One said, You're doing it again. You said "I." One said, No! No! I didn't! I never said "I!"... oh, bugger... It burst into flame and burned in the same way that a small cloud of vapor burns, quickly and with no residual mess. Almost immediately, another one appeared. It was identical in appearance to its vanished sibling. One said, Let that be a lesson. To become a personality is to end. And now... let us go.
Terry Pratchett (Reaper Man (Discworld, #11; Death, #2))
Do you mind it?” I asked softly. “Being linked to me?” The silence rang with something I recognized. “No.” His voice was a shadow. “It roots me again. You remind me what it is to have a home.” A laugh escaped me. “Dreamwalkers are rootless. Scion wants me dead because I have no anchor.” I traced his stone-cut features. “If you make me your home, you’ll wander forever.” “I am not known for my wide choices, Paige Mahoney.
Samantha Shannon (The Mask Falling (The Bone Season, #4))
This wasn't her first kiss. He could tell that much, though he doubted any of the young men who'd kissed her had known what the hell they were doing. He felt a vague, stupid sort of rage toward them. It made him all the more resolved to make this kiss sublime. Sufficiently long and slow and sweet and deep to obliterate those embraces from her memory. From this day forward-when she thought of kisses, she would think only of him.
Tessa Dare (Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Spindle Cove, #5; Castles Ever After, #4))
My apologies, but it is not youe duty to do what the people want." Elend blinked. "You sound like Tindwyl." "I have known few people as wise as she, Your Majesty," Sazed said, glancing at her. "Well, I disagree with both of you," Elend said. "A ruler should only lead by the consent of the people he rules." "I do not disagree with that, Your Majesty," Sazed said. "Or, at least, I do believe in the theory of it. Regardless, I still do not believe that your duty is to do as the people wish. Your duty is to lead as best you can, following the dictates of your conscience. You must be true, Your Majesty, to the man you wish to become. If that man is not whom the people wish to have lead them, then they will choose somebody else." [...] "Trying to guess what people wish of you will only lead to chaos, I think," Sazed said. "You cannot please them all, Elend Venture.
Brandon Sanderson (The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2))
The Special Operations Network was instigated to handle policing duties considered either too unusual or too specialized to be tackled by the regular force. There were thirty departments in all, starting at the more mundane Neighborly Disputes (SO-30) and going onto Literary Detectives (SO-27) and Art Crime (SO-24). Anything below SO-20 was restricted information, although it was common knowledge that the ChronoGuard was SO-12 and Antiterrorism SO-9. It is rumored that SO-1 was the department that polices the SpecOps themselves. Quite what the others do is anyone's guess. What is known is that the individual operatives themselves are mostly ex-military or ex-police and slightly unbalanced. 'If you want to be a SpecOp,' the saying goes, 'act kinda weird...
Jasper Fforde (The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next, #1))
It was she made me acquainted with love. She went by the peaceful name of Ruth I think, but I can't say for certain. Perhaps the name was Edith. She had a hole between her legs, oh not the bunghole I had always imagined, but a slit, and in this I put, or rather she put, my so-called virile member, not without difficulty, and I toiled and moiled until I discharged or gave up trying or was begged by her to stop. A mug's game in my opinion and tiring on top of that, in the long run. But I lent myself to it with a good enough grace, knowing it was love, for she had told me so. She bent over the couch, because of her rheumatism, and in I went from behind. It was the only position she could bear, because of her lumbago. It seemed all right to me, for I had seen dogs, and I was astonished when she confided that you could go about it differently. I wonder what she meant exactly. Perhaps after all she put me in her rectum. A matter of complete indifference to me, I needn't tell you. But is it true love, in the rectum? That's what bothers me sometimes. Have I never known true love, after all? She too was an eminently flat woman and she moved with short stiff steps, leaning on an ebony stick. Perhaps she too was a man, yet another of them. But in that case surely our testicles would have collided, while we writhed. Perhaps she held hers tight in her hand, on purpose to avoid it. She favoured voluminous tempestuous shifts and petticoats and other undergarments whose names I forget. They welled up all frothing and swishing and then, congress achieved, broke over us in slow cascades. And all I could see was her taut yellow nape which every now and then I set my teeth in, forgetting I had none, such is the power of instinct. We met in a rubbish dump, unlike any other, and yet they are all alike, rubbish dumps. I don't know what she was doing there. I was limply poking about in the garbage saying probably, for at that age I must still have been capable of general ideas, This is life. She had no time to lose, I had nothing to lose, I would have made love with a goat, to know what love was. She had a dainty flat, no, not dainty, it made you want to lie down in a corner and never get up again. I liked it. It was full of dainty furniture, under our desperate strokes the couch moved forward on its castors, the whole place fell about our ears, it was pandemonium. Our commerce was not without tenderness, with trembling hands she cut my toe-nails and I rubbed her rump with winter cream. This idyll was of short duration. Poor Edith, I hastened her end perhaps. Anyway it was she who started it, in the rubbish dump, when she laid her hand upon my fly. More precisely, I was bent double over a heap of muck, in the hope of finding something to disgust me for ever with eating, when she, undertaking me from behind, thrust her stick between my legs and began to titillate my privates. She gave me money after each session, to me who would have consented to know love, and probe it to the bottom, without charge. But she was an idealist. I would have preferred it seems to me an orifice less arid and roomy, that would have given me a higher opinion of love it seems to me. However. Twixt finger and thumb tis heaven in comparison. But love is no doubt above such contingencies. And not when you are comfortable, but when your frantic member casts about for a rubbing-place, and the unction of a little mucous membrane, and meeting with none does not beat in retreat, but retains its tumefaction, it is then no doubt that true love comes to pass, and wings away, high above the tight fit and the loose.
Samuel Beckett (Molloy / Malone Dies / The Unnamable)
It breaks my heart. Better than your words, your eye tells me all your peril. You are not yet free, you still search for freedom. Your search has fatigued you and made you too wakeful. You long for the open heights, your soul thirsts for the stars. But your bad instincts too thirst for freedom. Your fierce dogs long for freedom; they bark for joy in their cellar when your spirit aspires to break open all prisons. To me you are still a prisoner who imagines freedom: ah, such prisoners of the soul become clever, but also deceitful and base. The free man of the spirit, too, must still purify himself. Much of the prison and rottenness still remain within him: his eye still has to become pure. Yes, I know your peril. But, by my love and hope I entreat you: do not reject your love and hope! You still feel yourself noble, and the others, too, who dislike you and cast evil glances at you, still feel you are noble. Learn that everyone finds the noble man an obstruction. The good, too, find the noble man an obstruction: and even when they call him a good man they do so in order to make away with him. The noble man wants to create new things and a new virtue. The good man wants the old things and that the old things shall be preserved. But that is not the danger for the noble man — that he may become a good man — but that he may become an impudent one, a derider, a destroyer. Alas, I have known noble men who lost their highest hope. And henceforth they slandered all high hopes. Henceforth they lived impudently in brief pleasures, and they had hardly an aim beyond the day. ‘Spirit is also sensual pleasure’ — thus they spoke. Then the wings of their spirit broke: now it creeps around and it makes dirty what it feeds on. Once they thought of becoming heroes: now they are sensualists. The hero is to them an affliction and a terror. But, by my love and hope I entreat you: do not reject the hero in your soul! Keep holy your highest hope! Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Friedrich Nietzsche
10 facts about abusive relationships (what i wish i'd known) 1. it's not always loud. it's not always obvious. the poison doesn't always hit you like a gunshot. sometimes, it seeps in quietly, slowly. sometimes, you don't even know it was ever there until months after. 2. love is not draining. love is not tiring. this is not how it is supposed to be. 3. apologies are like band-aids, when what you really need is stitches– they don't actually fix anything long-term. soon enough, you'll be bleeding again, but they will never give you what you really need. 4. this is not your fault. you did not turn them into this. this is how they are, how they've always been. you can't blame yourself. 5. there will be less good days than bad days but the good days will be so amazing that it will feel like everything is better than it actually is. your mind is playing tricks on itself and your heart is trying to convince itself that it made the right choice. 6. they do not love you. they can not love you. this is not love. 7. you're not wrong for wanting to run, so do it. listen to what your gut is telling you. 8. you will let them come back again and again before you realize that they only change long enough for you to let them in one more time. 9. it's okay to be selfish and leave. there is never any crime in putting yourself first. when they tell you otherwise, don't believe them. don't let them tear you down. they want to knock you off your feet so that they can keep you on the ground. 10. after, you will look back on this regretting all the chances given, all the time wasted. you will think about what you know now, and what you would do differently if given the chance. part of you will say that you would never have even given them the time of the day, but another part of you, the larger one, will say that even after everything, you wouldn't have changed a thing. and as much as it will bother you, eventually, you will realize that that is the part that is right. because as much as it hurts, as much as you wish you'd never felt that pain, it has taught you something. it has helped you grow. they brought you something that you would have never gotten from somebody else. at the end of the day, you will accept that even now, you wouldn't go about it differently at all.
Catarine Hancock (how the words come)
And just how did you arrive at that remarkable conclusion, Mr. Mayor?" "In a rather simple way. It merely required the use of that much-neglected commodity -- common sense. You see, there is a branch of human knowledge known as symbolic logic, which can be used to prune away all sorts of clogging deadwood that clutters up human language." "What about it?" said Fulham. "I applied it. Among other things, I applied it to this document here. I didn't really need to for myself because I knew what it was all about, but I think I can explain it more easily to five physical scientists by symbols rather than by words." Hardin removed a few sheets of paper from the pad under his arm and spread them out. "I didn't do this myself, by the way," he said. "Muller Holk of the Division of Logic has his name signed to the analyses, as you can see." Pirenne leaned over the table to get a better view and Hardin continued: "The message from Anacreon was a simple problem, naturally, for the men who wrote it were men of action rather than men of words. It boils down easily and straightforwardly to the unqualified statement, when in symbols is what you see, and which in words, roughly translated is, 'You give us what we want in a week, or we take it by force.'" There was silence as the five members of the Board ran down the line of symbols, and then Pirenne sat down and coughed uneasily. Hardin said, "No loophole, is there, Dr. Pirenne?" "Doesn't seem to be.
Isaac Asimov (Foundation (Foundation, #1))
You must be a rich man," she said. "Not much of a warrior, though. You keep letting me sneak up on you." You don't surprise me," he said. "The Plains Indians had women who rode their horses eighteen hours a day. They could shoot seven arrows consecutively, have them all in the air at the same time. They were the best light cavalry in the world." Just my luck," she said. "An educated Indian." Yeah," he said. "Reservation University." They both laughed at the old joke. Every Indian is an alumnus. Where you from?" she asked. Wellpinit," he said. "I'm a Spokane." I should've known. You got those fisherman's hands." Ain't no salmon left in our river. Just a school bus and a few hundred basketballs." What the hell you talking about?" Our basketball team drives into the river and drowns every year," he said. "It's a tradition." She laughed. "You're just a storyteller, ain't you?" I'm just telling you things before they happen," he said. "The same things sons and daughters will tell your mothers and fathers." Do you ever answer a question straight?" Depends on the question," he said. Do you want to be my powwow paradise?
Sherman Alexie (The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven)
The little kids by the water threw their hands in the air and squealed, chasing each other in circles. It was hard to believe that I’d ever been that small. That young. That happy and clueless. They had pain ahead. Heartbreak. Loss. They didn’t know and I didn’t want them to – but at the same time, I hated that I hadn’t known. I’d taken everything for granted – my mother, my friends in Alexandria, playing hockey. I dreamed about the future because that’s what people persuade you to do when you’re a kid, but that’s the biggest lie of all – that you can plan. Reality is, you have no fucking clue what’s coming and neither do they
Tammara Webber (Breakable (Contours of the Heart, #2))
I think I can,” Lee answered Samuel. “I think this is the best-known story in the world because it is everybody’s story. I think it is the symbol story of the human soul. I’m feeling my way now—don’t jump on me if I’m not clear. The greatest terror a child can have is that he is not loved, and rejection is the hell he fears. I think everyone in the world to a large or small extent has felt rejection. And with rejection comes anger, and with anger some kind of crime in revenge for the rejection, and with the crime guilt—and there is the story of mankind. I think that if rejection could be amputated, the human would not be what he is. Maybe there would be fewer crazy people. I am sure in myself there would not be many jails. It is all there—the start, the beginning. One child, refused the love he craves, kicks the cat and hides his secret guilt; and another steals so that money will make him loved; and a third conquers the world—and always the guilt and revenge and more guilt. The human is the only guilty animal. Now wait! Therefore I think this old and terrible story is important because it is a chart of the soul—the secret, rejected, guilty soul. Mr. Trask, you said you did not kill your brother and then you remembered something. I don’t want to know what it was, but was it very far apart from Cain and Abel? And what do you think of my Oriental patter, Mr. Hamilton? You know I am no more Oriental than you are.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
Ms. Lane.”Barrons’ voice is deep, touched with that strange Old World accent and mildly pissed off. Jericho Barrons is often mildly pissed off. I think he crawled from the swamp that way, chafed either by some condition in it, out of it, or maybe just the general mass incompetence he encountered in both places. He’s the most controlled, capable man I’ve ever known. After all we’ve been through together, he still calls me Ms. Lane, with one exception: When I’m in his bed. Or on the floor, or some other place where I’ve temporarily lost my mind and become convinced I can’t breathe without him inside me this very instant. Then the things he calls me are varied and nobody’s business but mine. I reply: “Barrons,” without inflection. I’ve learned a few things in our time together. Distance is frequently the only intimacy he’ll tolerate. Suits me. I’ve got my own demons. Besides I don’t believe good relationships come from living inside each other’s pockets. I believe divorce comes from that. I admire the animal grace with which he enters the room and moves toward me. He prefers dark colors, the better to slide in and out of the night, or a room, unnoticed except for whatever he’s left behind that you may or may not discover for some time, like, say a tattoo on the back of one’s skull. “What are you doing?” “Reading,” I say nonchalantly, rubbing the tattoo on the back of my skull. I angle the volume so he can’t see the cover. If he sees what I’m reading, he’ll know I’m looking for something. If he realizes how bad it’s gotten, and what I’m thinking about doing, he’ll try to stop me. He circles behind me, looks over my shoulder at the thick vellum of the ancient manuscript. “In the first tongue?” “Is that what it is?” I feign innocence. He knows precisely which cells in my body are innocent and which are thoroughly corrupted. He’s responsible for most of the corrupted ones. One corner of his mouth ticks up and I see the glint of beast behind his eyes, a feral crimson backlight, bloodstaining the whites. It turns me on. Barrons makes me feel violently, electrically sexual and alive. I’d march into hell beside him. But I will not let him march into hell beside me. And there’s no doubt that’s where I’m going. I thought I was strong, a heroine. I thought I was the victor. The enemy got inside my head and tried to seduce me with lies. It’s easy to walk away from lies. Power is another thing. Temptation isn’t a sin that you triumph over once, completely and then you’re free. Temptation slips into bed with you each night and helps you say your prayers. It wakes you in the morning with a friendly cup of coffee, and knows exactly how you take it. He skirts the Chesterfield sofa and stands over me. “Looking for something, Ms. Lane?” I’m eye level with his belt but that’s not where my gaze gets stuck and suddenly my mouth is so dry I can hardly swallow and I know I’m going to want to. I’m Pri-ya for this man. I hate it. I love it. I can’t escape it. I reach for his belt buckle. The manuscript slides from my lap, forgotten. Along with everything else but this moment, this man. “I just found it,” I tell him.
Karen Marie Moning (Burned (Fever, #7))
You wrote down that you were a writer by profession. It sounded to me like the loveliest euphemism I had ever heard. When was writing ever your profession? It's never been anything but your religion. Never. I'm a little over-excited now. Since it is your religion, do you know what you will be asked when you die? But let me tell you first what you won't be asked. You won't be asked if you were working on a wonderful moving piece of writing when you died. You won't be asked if it was long or short, sad or funny, published or unpublished. You won't be asked if you were in good or bad form while you were working on it. You won't even be asked if it was the one piece of writing you would have been working on if you had known your time would be up when it was finished--I think only poor Soren K. will get asked that. I'm so sure you'll get asked only two questions.' Were most of your stars out? Were you busy writing your heart out? If only you knew how easy it would be for you to say yes to both questions. If only you'd remember before ever you sit down to write that you've been a reader long before you were ever a writer. You simply fix that fact in your mind, then sit very still and ask yourself, as a reader, what piece of writing in all the world Buddy Glass would most want to read if he had his heart's choice. The next step is terrible, but so simple I can hardly believe it as I write it. You just sit down shamelessly and write the thing yourself. I won't even underline that. It's too important to be underlined. Oh, dare to do it, Buddy ! Trust your heart. You're a deserving craftsman. It would never betray you.
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction)
A pretty vampire woman in a cheongsam came flying down the hallway, ribbons waving from her purple-streaked hair like a silken flag. Her face was familiar. Alec had seen her at Taki’s, and around the city more generally, usually with Raphael. “Save us, oh fearless leader,” said Raphael’s lady friend. “Elliott’s in a huge aquarium puking blue and green. He tried to drink mermaid blood. He tried to drink selkie blood. He tried to—” “Ahem,” said Raphael, with a savage jerk of his head in Alec’s direction. Alec waved. “Shadowhunter,” he said. “Right here. Hi.” “He tried to keep to the Accords and obey all the known Laws!” the woman declared. “Because that’s the New York clan’s idea of a truly festive good time.” Alec remembered Magnus and tried not to look like he was here to ruin the Downworlder party. There was one thing he and this woman had in common. He recognized the bright purple she was wearing. “I think I saw you earlier,” said Alec hesitantly. “You were—making out with a faerie girl?” “Yeah, you’re gonna have to be more specific than that,” said the vampire woman. “This is a party. I’ve made out with six faerie girls, four faerie boys, and a talking toadstool whose gender I’m unsure about. Pretty sexy for a toadstool, though.” Raphael covered his face briefly with his non-texting hand. “Why, you want to make something of it?” The woman bristled. “How happy I am to see the Nephilim constantly crashing our parties. Were you even invited?” “I’m a plus-one,” said Alec. The vampire girl relaxed slightly. “Oh, right, you’re Magnus’s latest disaster,” she said. “That’s what Raphael calls you. I’m Lily.” She lifted a hand in a halfhearted wave. Alec glanced at Raphael, who arched his eyebrow at Alec in an unfriendly way. “Didn’t realize Raphael and I were on pet name terms,” said Alec. He continued to study Raphael. “Do you know Magnus well?” “Hardly at all,” said Raphael. “Barely acquainted. I don’t think much of his personality. Or his dress sense. Or the company he keeps. Come away, Lily. Alexander, I hope I never see you again.” “I’ve decided I detest you,” Lily told Alec. “It’s mutual,” Alec said dryly. Unexpectedly, that made Lily smile, before Raphael dragged her away.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
Do you even feel anything, Chad? Will you for once stop walking around, all in control and f'ing calm? Do you have any idea what you all have done. I lost everything, Chad. Everything, when Kyle died. I lost myself. I had finally begun to build a new life with new friends. With people I thought cared about me. I have started to be just a little bit happy again. Was it too much to ask? Did I ask for too much by just wanting to have a little bit of a life again? Now, it’s all screwed up again and you walk around here like you don’t feel anything about what’s happened.” Chad spun around, and for only the second time since she’d known him, she saw the flash of anger so fierce her breath caught in her throat and she took an involuntary step back, away from him. Jennie knew Chad would never hurt her on purpose, but the anger rolling off of him was palpable. It seemed to force her backwards as if it had a life of its own, a power of its own. “Not feel anything, Jennie? Are you f'ing kidding me? I walk around here every day and I ache every f'ing minute I’m with you. I’m so twisted up with loving you and hating you, I can’t breathe. I can’t keep my hands off you, but I can’t let myself kiss you because I might lose myself in you. I can’t make love to you because I’m afraid you’ll pretend I’m him. I know you want his arms around you, not mine. I know you want it to be his baby inside you, not mine. And I know you can’t love me back, no matter what I do, because you’re still so in love with your husband, you can’t even begin to see me.” Chad didn’t stop and Jennie didn’t try to stop him. “And every day, I have to sit here and wonder how I’ll be a part of my baby’s life. I wonder if you’ll let me be in the delivery room, if you’ll let me help you name the baby. I wonder how much money I’d have to offer the people who live across the street from you to get them to sell me their house, just so I can see my child grow up. If you’ll let me...” Chad stopped as if he’d run out of steam. They stood in uneasy silence for a long time before Chad spoke again. He sounded worn out and bitter and angry, mirroring Jennie’s chaos of emotions. “Am I feeling anything? Yeah. I’m feeling some f'ing sh**, Jen.
Lori Ryan (Negotiation Tactics (Sutton Capital #3))
How lucky, I thought, were people who had known from earliest childhood what they wanted to do. All the children in my grammar school, who said they wanted to be doctors, had grown up to become doctors. This was also the case apparently with firemen, veterinarians, songwriters, and race car drivers. I had opted for a kind of pure experience, which, as Doo-Wah had pointed out, is not usually something you get paid for. I did not want to write a book about it. I did not want to write so much as an article. I wanted to be left alone with my experience and go on to the next thing, whatever that was.
Laurie Colwin (Goodbye Without Leaving)
Something that a lot of people don’t know is that I have a five-month old son. Any free time I have now is spent with him. A few people suggested to me that I should try and hide the fact that I have a son because it might damage my career. But as far as I'm concerned, to hide it would suggest that I was ashamed and I'm not ashamed. I love my son. Me and his mom aren't in a relationship. We're actually best friends. We've known each other for years and years and never ever wanted to be in a relationship with each other. But the one time we... got physical, she fell pregnant. Of course, we did a lot of talking to decide how we were gonna handle the situation. We weren't about to start a relationship for the sake of the child 'cos that's not what either of us wanted. So I just said, "You be mom, I'll be dad and let's just raise a son." And though we're not together, that's exactly what we're doing.
Ne-Yo
the fourth obstacle: the fear of realizing the dream for which we fought all our lives. Oscar Wilde said: “Each man kills the thing he loves.” And it’s true. The mere possibility of getting what we want fills the soul of the ordinary person with guilt. We look around at all those who have failed to get what they want and feel that we do not deserve to get what we want either. We forget about all the obstacles we overcame, all the suffering we endured, all the things we had to give up in order to get this far. I have known a lot of people who, when their personal calling was within their grasp, went on to commit a series of stupid mistakes and never reached their goal—when it was only a step away. This is the most dangerous of the obstacles because it has a kind of saintly aura about it: renouncing joy and conquest. But if you believe yourself worthy of the thing you fought so hard to get, then you become an instrument of God, you help the Soul of the World, and you understand why you are here.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
You know, Piggly Wiggly never could hang on to a night stock manager. Your math skills would be a plus, maybe even your Spanish, and you don't mind staying up late." "Piggly Wiggly, wow. I hadn't thought about that. I'll swing by, pick up an application tomorrow. But if it doesn't pan out maybe ... Never mind, it's a crazy idea." "No, tell me. I want to hear it." "Well, just as a backup plan, I did hear that Sony has an opening. They're, um, they're looking for a rock star. The hours suck, but it's no worse than night stock manager at Pigs. I bet it pays better too." Isabel stopped in her tracks, playfully slapping his arm. "Aidan, that's genius! That's what you should do! I've heard you sing, you can carry a decent tune." She looked him up and down. "With a little work, you can probably pull off the image." He tugged on her arms until she was in his. "Only if you're sure. Only if it's what we want." "Aidan, it's who you are. I've known it since the day we brought that first guitar here. I'd never want to take that away.
Laura Spinella (Perfect Timing)
A predator’s intention…… It is my intention to cause you fear such as you have never known. It is my desire to take your fear to a whole new level of terror. I can smell your fear as its sweet scent flows through my universe. This small universe that I have created and am permitting you to exist in. I say these things because you only exist right now because I have allowed it, for if I should choose, I could snuff you out as if extinguishing a candle flame. I will make you thank me later for allowing you to breathe. I will mix you a concoction of fear, pain, uncertainty, and arousal, such as you have never known. You see my curious little prey these all create very similar physical reactions. My little prey… they have common traits on the emotional side too. Curious prey, curious prey, let me growl my intentions into your curious ear. I will keep you in a constant state of fear, pain, uncertainty, and arousal. I know exactly what I am doing; I am a skilled and professional predator. It is my full intention to own you! I will keep you in a constant emotional whirlpool. This is the universe of my making, and you exist in it by my power, and by my choice. I want you in a constant state of fear, physical discomfort, pain, uncertainty, and arousal. I am purposely blurring the lines between your emotions, and your physical sensations. As I do this… I am creating a desire and a craving within you to be man handled and taken by me. I am intentionally working you into a state of intense arousal, and desperation. I am conditioning you to crave your new life as my prey…
Suzanne Steele (The Executioner)
Style is not how you write. It is how you do not write like anyone else. * * * How do you know if you're a writer? Write something everyday for two weeks, then stop, if you can. If you can't, you're a writer. And no one, no matter how hard they may try, will ever be able to stop you from following your writing dreams. * * * You can find your writer's voice by simply listening to that little Muse inside that says in a low, soft whisper, "Listen to this... * * * Enter the writing process with a childlike sense of wonder and discovery. Let it surprise you. * * * Poems for children help them celebrate the joy and wonder of their world. Humorous poems tickle the funny bone of their imaginations. * * * There are many fine poets writing for children today. The greatest reward for each of us is in knowing that our efforts might stir the minds and hearts of young readers with a vision and wonder of the world and themselves that may be new to them or reveal something already familiar in new and enlightening ways. * * * The path to inspiration starts Beyond the trails we’ve known; Each writer’s block is not a rock, But just a stepping stone. * * * When you write for children, don't write for children. Write from the child in you. * * * Poems look at the world from the inside out. * * * The act of writing brings with it a sense of discovery, of discovering on the page something you didn't know you knew until you wrote it. * * * The answer to the artist Comes quicker than a blink Though initial inspiration Is not what you might think. The Muse is full of magic, Though her vision’s sometimes dim; The artist does not choose the work, It is the work that chooses him. * * * Poem-Making 101. Poetry shows. Prose tells. Choose precise, concrete words. Remove prose from your poems. Use images that evoke the senses. Avoid the abstract, the verbose, the overstated. Trust the poem to take you where it wants to go. Follow it closely, recording its path with imagery. * * * What's a Poem? A whisper, a shout, thoughts turned inside out. A laugh, a sigh, an echo passing by. A rhythm, a rhyme, a moment caught in time. A moon, a star, a glimpse of who you are. * * * A poem is a little path That leads you through the trees. It takes you to the cliffs and shores, To anywhere you please. Follow it and trust your way With mind and heart as one, And when the journey’s over, You’ll find you’ve just begun. * * * A poem is a spider web Spun with words of wonder, Woven lace held in place By whispers made of thunder. * * * A poem is a busy bee Buzzing in your head. His hive is full of hidden thoughts Waiting to be said. His honey comes from your ideas That he makes into rhyme. He flies around looking for What goes on in your mind. When it is time to let him out To make some poetry, He gathers up your secret thoughts And then he sets them free.
Charles Ghigna
Just try to suppose that I may not know how to behave with dignity. That is, perhaps I'm a dignified man, but I don't know how to behave with dignity. Do you understand that it may be so? All Russians are that way, and you know why? Because Russians are too richly and multifariously endowed to be able to find a decent form for themselves very quickly. It's a matter of form. For the most part, we Russians are so richly endowed that it takes genius for us to find a decent form. Well, but most often there is no genius, because generally it rarely occurs. It's only the French, and perhaps some few other Europeans, who have so well-defined a form that one can look extremely dignified and yet be a most undignified man. That's why form means so much to them. A Frenchman can suffer an insult, a real, heartfelt insult, and not wince, but a flick on the nose he won't suffer for anything, because it's a violation of the accepted and time-honored form of decency. That's why our young ladies fall so much for Frenchmen, because they have good form. In my opinion, however, there's no form there, but only a rooster, le coq gaulois. However, that I cannot understand, I'm not a woman. Maybe roosters are fine. And generally I'm driveling, and you don't stop me. Stop me more often; when I talk with you, I want to say everything, everything, everything. I lose all form. I even agree that I have not only no form, but also no merits. I announce that to you. I don't even care about any merits. Everything in me has come to a stop now. You yourself know why. I don't have a single human thought in my head. For a long time I haven't known what's going on in the world, either in Russia or here. I went through Dresden and don't remember what Dresden is like. You know yourself what has swallowed me up. Since I have no hope and am a zero in your eyes, I say outright: I see only you everywhere, and the rest makes no difference to me. Why and how I love you--I don't know. Do you know, maybe you're not good at all? Imagine, I don't even know whether you're good or not, or even good-looking? Your heart probably isn't good; your mind isn't noble; that may very well be.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Gambler)
If a well-known and trustworthy person were to go to a public square and tell all the idlers loitering there that on a certain hill they would find a gold mine and could take all they wanted, do you think anyone would shrug his shoulders and say he did not care? They’d be dashing there as fast as they could! Well, now, doesn’t the tabernacle hold the most precious treasure ever to be found on earth or in heaven? Unfortunately, there are many who cannot see it because they are blind. Yet our faith unerringly tells us that endless riches are to be found there. People sweat and toil to make money, and yet, in the tabernacle dwells the Lord of the universe. He will grant you what you ask, if you really need it. Isn’t Our Lord Jesus Christ Lord and Master of all? Go to Him then. Ask and it shall be given you; knock and it shall be opened to you! Jesus longs to grant you favors, especially those you need for your soul.
John Bosco
Everett and his mom broke up with me,thank you very much." "You shouldn't have made out with him in his mother's scrapbooking room," Liz said sagely. "We're seventeen,"I snapped, "and Everett and I had been dating for two months when that happened.What were we supposed to do,eat dinner with his family and keep our hands on the table where everyone could see them?I mean, you and Davis are Mr. and Mrs. Polite Reserve, and even you were macking in the hot tub an hour ago." I picked up a pink fuzzy pillow that had fallen from he bed and threw it at Liz. "You were?" Chloe gushed. "You what? Hello,I need the details of Liz and Davis." "Hayden!" Liz squealed, ducking behind Chloe. "I'm not saying you shouldn't have made out with Everett.I'm saying you shouldn't have done it in his mother's scrapbooking room.Location, location,location.You might have disorganized her supplies.Some people are very particular about their chipboard getting mixed up with their cardstock." I closed my eyes,inhaled through my nose,and felt my lungs fill with air. My blood spread the life-giving oxygen throughout my body. "Watch out,"Chloe whispered to Liz. "She's doing yoga." My eyes snapped open.So much for controlling my temper. "Why the hell didn't you tell me Nick's mother left before I went into the sauna with him?" I hollered at Chloe. "We didn't know he was here!" Liz came to Chloe's defense. "And if we'd warned you about him before he got here," Chloe explained, "You would have known he was coming.We didn't want you to leave.The two of you are surprisingly hard to throw together,let me tell you." "I'm not buying it," I informed Chloe. "You were distracted.You had your mind on taking inventory." Liz giggled,turned red, and fell back to the pillows. "Taking inventory requires enormous concentration!" Chloe said with a straight face,but she was blushing,too.
Jennifer Echols (The Ex Games)
Do you think, little flower, that there will ever come a day when you regret meeting me?” he asked quietly. “Yes,” she said simply. “I see,” he said tightly. “Would you like a specific date?” “You are teasing me,” he realized suddenly. “No, I’m dead serious. I have an exact date in mind.” Jacob pulled back to see her eyes, looking utterly perplexed as her pupils sparkled with mischief. “What date is that? And why are you thinking of pink elephants?” “The date is September 8, because, according to Gideon, that’s possibly the day I will go into labor. I say ‘possibly,’ because combining all this human/Druid and Demon DNA ‘may make for a longer period of gestation than usual for a human,’ as the Ancient medic recently quoted. Now, as I understand it, women always regret ever letting a man touch them on that day.” Jacob lurched to his feet, dropping her onto her toes, grabbing her by the arms, and holding her still as he raked a wild, inspecting gaze over her body. “You are pregnant?” he demanded, shaking her a little. “How long have you known? You went into battle with that monster while you are carrying my child?” “Our child,” she corrected indignantly, her fists landing firmly on her hips, “and Gideon only just told me, like, five seconds ago, so I didn’t know I was pregnant when I was fighting that thing!” “But . . . he healed you just a few days ago! Why not tell you then?” “Because I wasn’t pregnant then, Jacob. If you recall, we did make love between then and now.” “Oh . . . oh Bella . . .” he said, his breath rushing from him all of a sudden. He looked as if he needed to sit down and put a paper bag over his head. She reached to steady him as he sat back awkwardly on the altar. He leaned his forearms on his thighs, bending over them as he tried to catch his breath. Bella had the strangest urge to giggle, but she bit her lower lip to repress to impulse. So much for the calm, cool, collected Enforcer who struck terror into the hearts of Demons everywhere. “That is not funny,” he grumbled indignantly. “Yeah? You should see what you look like from over here,” she teased. “If you laugh at me I swear I am going to take you over my knee.” “Promises, promises,” she laughed, hugging him with delight. Finally, Jacob laughed as well, his arm snaking out to circle her waist and draw her back into his lap. “Did you ask . . . I mean, does he know what it is?” “It’s a baby. I told him I didn’t want to know what it is. And don’t you dare find out, because you know the minute you do I’ll know, and if you spoil the surprise I’ll murder you.” “Damn . . . she kills a couple of Demons and suddenly thinks she can order all of us around,” he taunted, pulling her close until he was nuzzling her neck, wondering if it was possible for such an underused heart as his to contain so much happiness.
Jacquelyn Frank (Jacob (Nightwalkers, #1))
At Hamilton Brothers, not much is self-serve, and I was forced to interact with the guys at the counter. These were all middle-aged men who evidently knew a lot about everything. They would ask me questions about my order that I often couldn't answer. “What size chickenwire?" or “Ardox nails or regular?" or the one that always struck me with fear, “What you doing with all this stuff?" It seemed they were running my order through a vast mental database and determining that there was nothing known to humanity that could be built properly with the list of items I wanted.
Brent Preston (The New Farm: Our Ten Years on the Front Lines of the Good Food Revolution)
I wish you had been my father,” she said. If Hunyadi were her father, everything would be easier. She would jump at the chance to crusade with him, to fight at his side. If Hunyadi were her father, she would never have known Mehmed, never had her loyalties twisted and tugged into strange new shapes. And her heart would not have to constantly shield itself from the part that missed Mehmed so desperately. Hunyadi would have protected Radu, too. And Radu would have appreciated him in a way Matthias was incapable of. Hunyadi patted her arm with his heavy hand. “Do not wish away what you are. If you were my daughter, I would have extinguished your fire long ago. I would have given you the best tutors and the finest clothes and made you into a pretty doll to be traded away in marriage. I did the same with my son; I made him into someone I do not know, and it fills me with both pride and sadness. That is the best we can do for our children—turn them into strangers with better hopes than we ever had. Your father was a fool and a coward, but his choices shaped you into the fearsome creature you are. I do not want to imagine a world in which you are not you.
Kiersten White (Now I Rise (And I Darken Series, #2))
You are protected, in short, by your ability to love!" said Dum-bledore loudly. "The only protection that can possibly work against the lure of power like Voldemort's! In spite of all the temptation you have endured, all the suffering, you remain pure of heart, just as pure as you were at the age of eleven, when you stared into a mir-ror that reflected your heart's desire, and it showed you only the way to thwart Lord Voldemort, and not immortality or riches. Harry, have you any idea how few wizards could have seen what you saw in that mirror? Voldemort should have known then what he was dealing with, but he did not! But he knows it now. You have flitted into Lord Voldemort's mind without damage to yourself, but he cannot possess you with-out enduring mortal agony, as he discovered in the Ministry. I do not think he understands why, Harry, but then, he was in such a hurry to mutilate his own soul, he never paused to understand the incomparable power of a soul that is untarnished and whole." "But, sir," said Harry, making valiant efforts not to sound argu-mentative, "it all comes to the same thing, doesn't it? I've got to try and kill him, or —" "Got to?" said Dumbledore. "Of course you've got to! But not because of the prophecy! Because you, yourself, will never rest until you've tried! We both know it! Imagine, please, just for a moment, that you had never heard that prophecy! How would you feel about Voldemort now? Think!" Harry watched Dumbledore striding up and down in front ol him, and thought. He thought of his mother, his father, and Sinus. He thought of Cedric Diggory. He thought of all the terrible deeds he knew Lord Voldemort had done. A flame seemed to leap inside his chest, searing his throat. "I'd want him finished," said Harry quietly. "And I'd want to do it." "Of course you would!" cried Dumbledore. "You see, the prophecy does not mean you have to do anything! But the prophecy caused Lord Voldemort to mark you as his equal. ... In other words, you are free to choose your way, quite free to turn your back on the prophecy! But Voldemort continues to set store by the prophecy. He will continue to hunt you . . . which makes it certain, really, that —" "That one of us is going to end up killing the other," said Harry. "Yes." But he understood at last what Dumbledore had been trying to tell him. It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumble-dore knew — and so do I, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents — that there was all the difference in the world.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
Jack put his hands on his hips, surveying the scene with a satisfied nod. "That turned out much better than I'd hoped." "Please,let's leave!" "What's your hurry? Let's take a moment to bask in the satisfaction of a job well done." "I didn't want to do that!" "No?" He cocked his head and raised his eyebrows. "I thought you hated the fey." "I do,but that doesn't mean I want to run around the Faerie Realms lighting everything on fire!" "What's the point in hating something if you aren't proactive?" He put his arm around my shoulders, steering me to look at the inferno with him. "You can't tell me that's not satisfying, not after what you saw.Faeries care about very few things,but they're quite fond of their little trinkets. That boat was a particular favorite of hers,not to mention the entire lake. All the centuries she spent crafting this landscape,then poof! One excellently thrown firebomb, and you've made her feel anger and pain more deeply than she's probably ever known. And far less than she deserves to know.
Kiersten White (Supernaturally (Paranormalcy, #2))
The berth belongs to you too. It will always be there when—if you want to come back.” Inej could not speak. Her heart felt too full, a dry creek bed ill-prepared for such rain. “I don’t know what to say.” His bare hand flexed on the crow’s head of his cane. The sight was so strange Inej had trouble tearing her eyes from it. “Say you’ll return.” “I’m not done with Ketterdam.” She hadn’t known she meant it until she said the words. Kaz cast her a swift glance. “I thought you wanted to hunt slavers.” “I do. And I want your help.” Inej licked her lips, tasted the ocean on them. Her life had been a series of impossible moments, so why not ask for something impossible now? “It’s not just the slavers. It’s the procurers, the customers, the Barrel bosses, the politicians. It’s everyone who turns a blind eye to suffering when there’s money to be made.” “I’m a Barrel boss.” “You would never sell someone, Kaz. You know better than anyone that you’re not just one more boss scraping for the best margin.” “The bosses, the customers, the politicians,” he mused. “That could be half the people in Ketterdam—and you want to fight them all.” “Why not?” Inej asked. “One the seas and in the city. One by one.” “Brick by brick,” he said. Then he gave a single shake of his head, as if shrugging off the notion. “I wasn’t made to be a hero, Wraith. You should have learned that by now. You want me to be a better man, a good man. I—“ “This city doesn’t need a good man. It needs you.” “Inej—“ “How many times have you told me you’re a monster? So be a monster. Be the thing they all fear when they close their eyes at night. We don’t go after all the gangs. We don’t shut down the houses that treat fairly with their employees. We go after women like Tante Heleen, men like Pekka Rollins.” She paused. “And think about it this way…you’ll be thinning the competition.” He made a sound that might almost have been a laugh. One of his hands balanced on his cane. The other rested at his side next to her. She’d need only move the smallest amount and they’d be touching. He was that close. He was that far from reach. Cautiously, she let her knuckles brush against his, a slight weight, a bird’s feather. He stiffened, but he didn’t pull away. “I’m not ready to give up on this city, Kaz. I think it’s worth saving.” I think you’re worth saving. Once they’d stood on the deck of a ship and she’d waited just like this. He had not spoken then and he did not speak now. Inej felt him slipping away, dragged under, caught in an undertow that would take him farther and farther from shore. She understood suffering and knew it was a place she could not follow, not unless she wanted to drown too. Back on Black Veil, he’d told her they would fight their way out. Knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. She would fight for him, but she could not heal him. She would not waste her life trying. She felt his knuckles slide again hers. Then his hand was in her hand, his palm pressed against her own. A tremor moved through him. Slowly, he let their fingers entwine.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
I think I should learn to get along better with people," he explained to Miss Benson one day, when she came upon him in the corridor of the literature building and asked what he was doing wearing a fraternity pledge pin (wearing it on the chest of the new V-neck pullover in which his mother said he looked so collegiate). Miss Benson's response to his proposed scheme for self-improvement was at once so profound and so simply put that Zuckerman went around for days repeating the simple interrogative sentence to himself; like Of Times and the River, it verified something he had known in his bones all along, but in which he could not placed his faith until it had been articulated by someone of indisputable moral prestige and purity : "Why," Caroline Benson asked the seventeen-year-old boy, "should you want to learn a thing like that?
Philip Roth (My Life as a Man)
The British investigators know what butchers have long known: If you want people to feel comfortable about dead bodies, cut them into pieces. A cow carcass is upsetting; a brisket is dinner. A human leg has no face, no eyes, no hands that once held babies or stroked a lover’s cheek. It’s difficult to associate it with the living person from which it came. The anonymity of body parts facilitates the necessary dissociations of cadaveric research: This is not a person. This is just tissue. It has no feelings, and no one has feelings for it. It’s okay to do things to it which, were it a sentient being, would constitute torture.
Mary Roach (Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers)
But we do not ask. We want to be told. One of the most curious things in the structure of our psyche is that we all want to be told because we are the result of the propaganda of ten thousand years. We want to have our thinking confirmed and corroborated by another, whereas to ask a question is to ask it of yourself. What I say has very little value. You will forget it the moment you shut this book, or you will remember and repeat certain phrases, or you will compare what you have read here with some other book – but you will not face your own life. And that is all that matters – your life, yourself, your pettiness, your shallowness, your brutality, your violence, your greed, your ambition, your daily agony and endless sorrow – that is what you have to understand and nobody on earth or in heaven is going to save you from it but yourself.
J. Krishnamurti (Freedom from the Known)
Imagine yourself taking a stroll through Manhattan, somewhere north of 68th street, deep inside Central Park, late at night. It would be nice to meet someone friendly, but you know that the park is dangerous at night. That's when the monsters come out. There's always a strong undercurrent of drug dealings, muggings, and occasional homicides. It is not easy to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys. They dress alike, and the weapons are concealed. The only difference is intent, and you can't read minds. Stay in the dark long enough and you may hear an occasional distance shriek or blunder across a body. How do you survive the night? The last thing you want to do is shout, "I'm here!" The next to last thing you want to do is reply to someone who shouts, "I'm a friend!" What you would like to do is find a policeman, or get out of the park. But you don't want to make noise or move towards a light where you might be spotted, and it is difficult to find either a policeman or your way out without making yourself known. Your safest option is to hunker down and wait for daylight, then safely walk out. There are, of course, a few obvious differences between Central Park and the universe. There is no policeman. There is no way out. And the night never ends.
Charles Pellegrino (The Killing Star)
Something creaked beneath me! A soft step on rotting wood! I jumped startled, scared, and turned, expecting to see-God knows what! Then I sighed, for it was only Chris standing in the gloom, silently staring at me. Why? Did I look prettier than usual? Was it the moonlight, shining through my airy clothes? All random doubts were cleared when he said in a voice gritty and low, "You look beautiful sitting there like that." He cleared the frog in his throat. "The moonlight is etching you with silver-blue, and I can see the shape of your body through your clothes." Then, bewilderingly, he seized me by the shoulders, digging in his fingers, hard! They hurt. "Damn you, Cathy! You kissed that man! He could have awakened and seen you, and demanded to know who you were! And not thought you only a part of his dream!" Scary the way he acted, the fright I felt for no reason at all. "How do you know what I did? You weren't there; you were sick that night." He shook me, glaring his eyes, and again I thought he seemed a stranger. "He saw you, Cathy-he wasn't soundly asleep!" "He saw me?" I cried, disbelieving. It wasn't possible . . . wasn't! "Yes!" he yelled. This was Chris, who was usually in such control of his emotions. "He thought you a part of his dream! But don't you know Momma can guess who it was, just by putting two and two together-just as I have? Damn you and your romantic notions! Now they're on to us! They won't leave money casually about as they did before. He's counting, she's counting, and we don't have enough-not yet!" He yanked me down from the widow sill! He appeared wild and furious enough to slap my face-and not once in all our lives had he ever struck me, though I'd given him reason to when I was younger. But he shook me until my eyes rolled, until I was dizzy and crying out: "Stop! Momma knows we can't pass through a looked door!" This wasn't Chris . . . this was someone I'd never seen before . . . primitive, savage. He yelled out something like, "You're mine, Cathy! Mine! You'll always be mine! No matter who comes into your future, you'll always belong to me! I'll make you mine . . . tonight . . . now!" I didn't believe it, not Chris! And I did not fully understand what he had in mind, nor, if I am to give him credit, do I think he really meant what he said, but passion has a way of taking over. We fell to the floor, both of us. I tried to fight him off. We wrestled, turning over and over, writhing, silent, a frantic strug- gle of his strength against mine. It wasn't much of a battle. I had the strong dancer's legs; he had the biceps, the greater weight and height . . . and he had much more determination than i to use something hot, swollen and demanding, so much it stile reasoning and sanity from him. And I loved him. I wanted what he wanted-if he wanted it that much, right and wrong. Somehow we ended up on that old mattress-that filthy, smelly, stained mattress that must have known lovers long before this night. And that is where he took me, and forced in that swollen, rigid male sex part of him that had to be satisfied. It drove into my tight and resisting flesh which tore and bled. Now we had done what we both swore we'd never do.
V.C. Andrews (Flowers in the Attic/Petals on the Wind (Dollganger, #1-2))
What is wrong with you?” I say in lieu of greeting. “You went to Morris’s dorm and declared your intentions?” He offers a faint smile. “Of course. It was the noble thing to do. I can’t be chasing after another guy’s girl without his knowledge.” “I’m not his girl,” I snap. “We went on one date! And now I’m never going to be his girl, because he doesn’t want to go out with me again.” “What the hell?” Logan looks startled. “I’m disappointed in him. I thought he had more of a competitive spirit than that.” “Seriously? You’re going to pretend to be surprised? He won’t see me again because your jackass self told him he couldn’t.” Astonishment fills his eyes. “No, I didn’t.” “Yes, you did.” “Is that what he told you?” Logan demands. “Not in so many words.” “I see. Well, what words did he actually use?” I grit my teeth so hard my jaw aches. “He said he’s backing off because he doesn’t want to get in the middle of something so complicated. I pointed out that there’s nothing complicated about it, seeing as you and I are not together.” My aggravation heightens. “And then he insisted that I need to give you a chance, because you’re a—” I angrily air-quote Morris’s words “—‘stand-up guy who deserves another shot.’” Logan breaks out in a grin. I stab the air with my finger. “Don’t you dare smile. Obviously you put those words in his mouth. And what the hell was he jabbering about when he told me you and him were ‘family’?” All the disbelief I’d felt during my talk with Morris comes spiraling back, making me pace the bedroom in hurried strides. “What did you say to him, Logan? Did you brainwash him or something? How are you guys family? You don’t even know each other!” Strangled laughter sounds from Logan’s direction. I spin around and level a dark glower at him. “He’s talking about the joint family we created in Mob Boss. It’s this role-playing game where you’re the Don of a mob family and you’re fighting a bunch of other mafia bosses for territory and rackets and stuff. We played it when I went over there, and I ended up staying until four in the morning. Seriously, it was intense.” He shrugs. “We’re the Lorris crime syndicate.” I’m dumbfounded. Oh my God. Lorris? As in Logan and Morris? They fucking Brangelina’d themselves? “What is happening?” I burst out. “You guys are best friends now?” “He’s a cool guy. Actually, he’s even cooler in my book now for stepping down like that. I didn’t ask him to, but clearly he grasps what you refuse to see.” “Yeah, and what’s that?” I mutter. “That you and I are perfect for each other.” No words. There are no words to accurately convey what I’m feeling right now. Horror maybe? Absolute insanity? I mean, it’s not like I’m madly in love with Morris or anything, but if I’d known that kissing Logan at the party would lead to…this, I would have strapped on a frickin’ chastity gag.
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
I envy them their public love. I myself have only known it in secret, shared it in secret and longed, aw longed to show it—to be able to say out loud what they have no need to say at all: That I have loved only you, surrendered my whole self reckless to you and nobody else. That I want you to love me back and show it to me. That I love the way you hold me, how close you let me be to you. I like your fingers on and on, lifting, turning. I have watched your face for a long time now, and missed your eyes when you went away from me. Talking to you and hearing you answer—that’s the kick. But I can’t say that aloud; I can’t tell anyone that I have been waiting for this all my life and that being chosen to wait is the reason I can. If I were able I’d say it. Say make me, remake me. You are free to do it and I am free to let you because look, look. Look where your hands are. Now.
Toni Morrison
Eventually they climb sixteen steps into the Gallery of Mineralogy. The guide shows them a gate from Brazil and violet amethysts and a meteorite on a pedestal that he claims is as ancient as the solar system itself. Then he leads them single file down two twisting staircases and along several corridors and stops outside an iron door with a single keyhole. “End of tour,” he says. A girl says, “But what’s through there?” “Behind this door is another locked door, slightly smaller.” “And what’s behind that?” “A third locked door, smaller yet.” “What’s behind that?” “A fourth door, and a fifth, on and on until you reach a thirteenth, a little locked door no bigger than a shoe.” The children lean forward. “And then?” “Behind the thirteenth door”—the guide flourishes one of his impossibly wrinkled hands—“is the Sea of Flames.” Puzzlement. Fidgeting. “Come now. You’ve never heard of the Sea of Flames?” The children shake their heads. Marie-Laure squints up at the naked bulbs strung in three-yard intervals along the ceiling; each sets a rainbow-colored halo rotating in her vision. The guide hangs his cane on his wrist and rubs his hands together. “It’s a long story. Do you want to hear a long story?” They nod. He clears his throat. “Centuries ago, in the place we now call Borneo, a prince plucked a blue stone from a dry riverbed because he thought it was pretty. But on the way back to his palace, the prince was attacked by men on horseback and stabbed in the heart.” “Stabbed in the heart?” “Is this true?” A boy says, “Hush.” “The thieves stole his rings, his horse, everything. But because the little blue stone was clenched in his fist, they did not discover it. And the dying prince managed to crawl home. Then he fell unconscious for ten days. On the tenth day, to the amazement of his nurses, he sat up, opened his hand, and there was the stone. “The sultan’s doctors said it was a miracle, that the prince never should have survived such a violent wound. The nurses said the stone must have healing powers. The sultan’s jewelers said something else: they said the stone was the largest raw diamond anyone had ever seen. Their most gifted stonecutter spent eighty days faceting it, and when he was done, it was a brilliant blue, the blue of tropical seas, but it had a touch of red at its center, like flames inside a drop of water. The sultan had the diamond fitted into a crown for the prince, and it was said that when the young prince sat on his throne and the sun hit him just so, he became so dazzling that visitors could not distinguish his figure from light itself.” “Are you sure this is true?” asks a girl. “Hush,” says the boy. “The stone came to be known as the Sea of Flames. Some believed the prince was a deity, that as long as he kept the stone, he could not be killed. But something strange began to happen: the longer the prince wore his crown, the worse his luck became. In a month, he lost a brother to drowning and a second brother to snakebite. Within six months, his father died of disease. To make matters even worse, the sultan’s scouts announced that a great army was gathering in the east. "The prince called together his father’s advisers. All said he should prepare for war, all but one, a priest, who said he’d had a dream. In the dream the Goddess of the Earth told him she’d made the Sea of Flames as a gift for her lover, the God of the Sea, and was sending the jewel to him through the river. But when the river dried up, and the prince plucked it out, the goddess became enraged. She cursed the stone and whoever kept it.
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
Do not focus your gaze on things that are wrong, for what you see, slowly begins to penetrate you. You are addicted to fixing your eyes on the wrong; you pay attention only to what is wrong inside you. The angry man concentrates on his anger, and how to get rid of it. Though he wants to get rid of the anger, he is actually concentrating on that white line of anger within him; the more he concentrates the more he is hypnotized by it. Don’t worry! Everybody is! Don’t focus your eyes on the anger, but concentrate on compassion. Concentrate on what is right. As the right gets more and more energy, the strength of the wrong gets weaker and weaker. Ultimately it will disappear. This happens because energy is one; you cannot use it in two ways. If you have utilized your energy in becoming peaceful, you would have no energy for restlessness. All your energy has moved towards peace, and if you have had a taste of peace and serenity, why bother to become restless? You can maintain your restlessness only if you have never known the flavour of serenity. You can dive into the pleasures of the world only if you have not tasted the divine.
Osho (Bliss: Living beyond happiness and misery)
And the day we bargained about the betrothal, and you told me I had something you wanted very badly, what you wanted to do with me…was this?” “Among other things,” he agreed, tenderly brushing his knuckles over her flushed cheek. “If I had known all this,” she said with a rueful smile, “I’m certain I would have asked for additional concessions.” That startled him-the thought that she would have tried to drive a harder bargain if she’d realized exactly how much and what sort of power she really held. “What kind of additional concessions?” he asked, his face carefully expressionless. She put her cheek against his shoulder, her arms curving around him. “A shorter betrothal,” she whispered. “A shorter courtship, and a shorter ceremony.” A fresh surge of tenderness and profound pride swept through him at her sweetness and her candor, and he wrapped his arms tightly, protectively around her, smiling with joyous contentment. He had realized within minutes of meeting her that she was rare; he had known within hours that she was everything he wanted. Passionate and gentle, intelligent, sensitive, and witty. He loved all of her qualities, but he hadn’t discovered the one he particularly admired until much later, and that was her courage. He was so proud of the courage that had enabled he to repeatedly confront adversity and adversaries-even when the adversary was him.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Has Stalin understood correctly?’ asked Stalin. ‘You were on Franco’s side, you have fought against Comrade Mao, you have… saved the life of the pig in London and you have put the deadliest weapon in the world in the hands of the arch-capitalists in the USA. ‘I might have known,’ Stalin mumbled and in his anger forgot to talk in the third person. ‘And now you are here to sell yourself to Soviet socialism? One hundred thousand dollars, is that the price for your soul? Or has the price gone up during the course of the evening?’ Allan no longer wanted to help. Of course, Yury was still a good man and he was the one who actually needed the help. But you couldn’t get away from the fact that the results of Yury’s work would end up in the hands of Comrade Stalin, and he was not exactly Allan’s idea of a real comrade. On the contrary, he seemed unstable, and it would probably be best for all concerned if he didn’t get the bomb to play with. ‘Not exactly,’ said Allan. ‘This was never about money…’ He didn’t get any further before Stalin exploded again. ‘Who do you think you are, you damned rat? Do you think that you, a representative of fascism, of horrid American capitalism, of everything on this Earth that Stalin despises, that you, you, can come to the Kremlin, to the Kremlin, and bargain with Stalin, and bargain with Stalin?’ ‘Why do you say everything twice?’ Allan wondered, while Stalin went on: ‘The Soviet Union is prepared to go to war again, I’ll tell you that! There will be war, there will inevitably be war until American imperialism is wiped out.’ ‘Is that what you think?’ asked Allan. ‘To do battle and to win, we don’t need your damned atom bomb! What we need is socialist souls and hearts! He who knows he can never be defeated, can never be defeated!’ ‘Unless of course somebody drops an atom bomb on him,’ said Allan. ‘I shall destroy capitalism! Do you hear! I shall destroy every single capitalist! And I shall start with you, you dog, if you don’t help us with the bomb!’ Allan noted that he had managed to be both a rat and a dog in the course of a minute or so. And that Stalin was being rather inconsistent, because now he wanted to use Allan’s services after all. But Allan wasn’t going to sit there and listen to this abuse any longer. He had come to Moscow to help them out, not to be shouted at. Stalin would have to manage on his own. ‘I’ve been thinking,’ said Allan. ‘What,’ said Stalin angrily. ‘Why don’t you shave off that moustache?’ With that the dinner was over, because the interpreter fainted
Jonas Jonasson (Der Hundertjährige, der aus dem Fenster stieg und verschwand)
Patronuses can change, though, can’t they?” said Ron. “Tonks’s changed, didn’t it?” “Yeah, but if Dumbledore was alive, why wouldn’t he show himself? Why wouldn’t he just hand us the sword?” “Search me,” said Ron. “Same reason he didn’t give it to you while he was alive? Same reason he left you an old Snitch and Hermione a book of kids’ stories?” “Which is what?” asked Harry, turning to look Ron full in the face, desperate for the answer. “I dunno,” said Ron. “Sometimes I’ve thought, when I’ve been a bit hacked off, he was having a laugh or—or he just wanted to make it more difficult. But I don’t think so, not anymore. He knew what he was doing when he gave me the Deluminator, didn’t he? He—well,” Ron’s ears turned bright red and he became engrossed in a tuft of grass at his feet, which he prodded with his toe, “he must’ve known I’d run out on you.” “No,” Harry corrected him. “He must’ve known you’d always want to come back.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
I’m not sure how the ponies happened, though I have an inkling: “Can I get you anything?” I’ll say, getting up from a dinner table, “Coffee, tea, a pony?” People rarely laugh at this, especially if they’ve heard it before. “This party’s ‘sposed to be fun,” a friend will say. “Really? Will there be pony rides?” It’s a nervous tic and a cheap joke, cheapened further by the frequency with which I use it. For that same reason, it’s hard to weed it out of my speech – most of the time I don’t even realize I’m saying it. There are little elements in a person’s life, minor fibers that become unintentionally tangled with your personality. Sometimes it’s a patent phrase, sometimes it’s a perfume, sometimes it’s a wristwatch. For me, it is the constant referencing of ponies. I don’t even like ponies. If I made one of my throwaway equine requests and someone produced an actual pony, Juan-Valdez-style, I would run very fast in the other direction. During a few summers at camp, I rode a chronically dehydrated pony named Brandy who would jolt down without notice to lick the grass outside the corral and I would careen forward, my helmet tipping to cover my eyes. I do, however, like ponies on the abstract. Who doesn’t? It’s like those movies with the animated insects. Sure, the baby cockroach seems cute with CGI eyelashes, but how would you feel about fifty of her real-life counterparts living in your oven? And that’s precisely the manner in which the ponies clomped their way into my regular speech: abstractly. “I have something for you,” a guy will say on our first date. “Is it a pony?” No. It’s usually a movie ticket or his cell phone number. But on our second date, if I ask again, I’m pretty sure I’m getting a pony. And thus the Pony drawer came to be. It’s uncomfortable to admit, but almost every guy I have ever dated has unwittingly made a contribution to the stable. The retro pony from the ‘50s was from the most thoughtful guy I have ever known. The one with the glitter horseshoes was from a boy who would later turn out to be straight somehow, not gay. The one with the rainbow haunches was from a librarian, whom I broke up with because I felt the chemistry just wasn’t right, and the one with the price tag stuck on the back was given to me by a narcissist who was so impressed with his gift he forgot to remover the sticker. Each one of them marks the beginning of a new relationship. I don’t mean to hint. It’s not a hint, actually, it’s a flat out demand: I. Want. A. Pony. I think what happens is that young relationships are eager to build up a romantic repertoire of private jokes, especially in the city where there’s not always a great “how we met” story behind every great love affair. People meet at bars, through mutual friends, on dating sites, or because they work in the same industry. Just once a coworker of mine, asked me out between two stops on the N train. We were holding the same pole and he said, “I know this sounds completely insane, bean sprout, but would you like to go to a very public place with me and have a drink or something...?” I looked into his seemingly non-psycho-killing, rent-paying, Sunday Times-subscribing eyes and said, “Sure, why the hell not?” He never bought me a pony. But he didn’t have to, if you know what I mean.
Sloane Crosley (I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays)
And there is one thing that I really, really like to have company for. Watching TV. I'm not particularly needy in relationships, I actually demand a fair amount of space. But I really like to be in bed with another human being and watch TV. That's as intimate and reassuring and tender as it gets for me. I find dating exhausting and uninteresting, and I really would like to skip over the hours of conversation that you need just to get up to speed on each other's lives, and the stories I've told a million times. I just want to get to the watching TV in bed. If you're on a date with me, you can be certain that this is what I'm evaluating you for—how good is it going to be, cuddling with you in bed and watching Damages I'm also looking to see if you have clean teeth. For me, anything less than very clean teeth is fucking disgusting. Here's what I would like to do: I would like to get into bed with a DVD of Damages and have a line of men cue up at my door. I would station a dental hygienist at the front of the line who would examine the men's teeth. Upon passing inspection, she(I've never met a male hygienist, and neither have you) would send them back to my bedroom, one at time, in intervals of ten minutes, during which I would cuddle with the man and watch Damages. Leaving nothing to chance, using some sort of medical telemetry, I would have a clinician take basic readings of my heart rate and brain waves, and create a comparison chart to illustrate which candidate was the most soothing presence for me. After reviewing all the data from what will now be known in diagnostic manuals throughout the world as the Silverman-Damages-Nuzzle-Test, I will make my selection.
Sarah Silverman
I'll fix things up with George soon as she gets here," Anthony mumbled. "You may depend upon it." "Oh,I know you will, but you'll have to hie yourself back to London to do so, since she ain't coming here. Didn't want to inflict her dour mood on the festivities, so decided it ould be best to absent herself." Anthony looked appalled now and complained, "You didn't say she was that mad." "Didn't I? Think you're wearing that black eye just because she's a mite annoyed?" "That will do," Jason said sternly. "This entire situation is intolerable.And frankly, I find it beyond amazing that you have both utterly lost your finesse in dealing ith women since you married." That,of course, hit quite below the belt where these two ex[rakes were concerned. "Ouch," James muttered, then in his own defense, "American women are an exception to any known rule, and bloody stubbron besides." "So are Scots,for that matter," Anthony added. "They just don't behave like normal Enlgishwomen,Jason,indeed they don't." "Regardless.You know my feelings on the entire family gathering here for Christmas.This is not the time for anyone in the family to be harboring any ill will of any sort.You both should have patched this up before the holidays began. See that you do so immediately, if you both have to return to London to do so." Having said his peace, Jason headed for the door to leave his brothers to mull over their conduct,or rather, misconduct, but added before he left, "You both look like bloody panda bears.D'you have any idea what kind of example that sets for the children?" "Panda bears indeed," Anthony snorted as soon as the door closed. James looked up to reply drolly, "Least the roof is still intact.
Johanna Lindsey (The Holiday Present)
Have you ever been to the beach and wanted to feed the seagulls? The problem is you tear off a little crust from your sandwich and toss it to one, and ten more show up. Toss a little more and a flock descends. You start to wonder: if I run out of bread, will I become the meal? Turkeys are different. They startle easily and run for the barn. In the wild, they run for the hills. Of course, they’re very tasty. Benjamin Franklin thought them majestic enough to be an emblem for our country. I’m sorry, but Thanksgiving would be downright depressing. There’s our national symbol lying stuffed and roasted and ready to carve up for hungry guests. And then we have the eagles. Our forefathers were trained in the Bible. […]They would have known Isaiah 40:31. “Those who wait upon the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” They were making war on the greatest power in the world of the time; the world was watching them. What could this band of commoners do? What troubles me about our country today is how many seagulls there are, scrambling for more. Remember the movie “Finding Nemo”? “Mine, mine, mine!” And we sure have a lot of gutless turkeys running for the barn whenever hard decisions have to be made; like how to keep our country solvent so our children won’t be in soup lines… Where are the eagles? That’s what I want to know. Please, God, we need us some eagles!
Francine Rivers
Kestrel, this isn't you." She pressed back against the chill glass. "I don't know what you mean." "This voice you've been using, that bright one...do you think I don't recognize it? It's the sound of you laying a trap. Of you hiding behind your own words. And I know that the way you've been talking is not you. Say what you want about me, about what happened between us, about the shape of the sun and the color of the grass and any other truths in this world you want to deny. Deny everything until the gods strike you down. But you can't say that I don't know you." He was now close enough that the air between them was alive against Kestrel's skin. "I... have thought about you." His voice dropped. "I have thought about how I have never known you to be dishonest with me.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2))
A pale, bored woman in white ankle-socks and a white tasselled beret was sitting on a bentwood chair at the corner entrance to the verandah of the writer's club, where there was an opening in the creeper-grown trellis. In front of her on a plain kitchen table lay a large book like a ledger, in which for no known reason the woman wrote the names of the people entering the restaurant. She stopped Koroviev and Behemoth. 'Your membership cards?' she said, staring in surprise at Koroviev's pince-nez, at Behemoth's Primus and grazed elbow. 'A thousand apologies, madam, but what membership cards?' asked Koroviev in astonishment. 'Are you writers?' asked the woman in return. 'Indubitably,' replied Koroviev with dignity. 'Where are your membership cards?' the woman repeated. 'Dear lady...' Koroviev began tenderly. 'I'm not a dear lady,' interrupted the woman. 'Oh, what a shame,' said Koroviev in a disappointed voice and went on: 'Well, if you don't want to be a dear lady, which would have been delightful, you have every right not to be. But look here - if you wanted to make sure that Dostoyevsky was a writer, would you really ask him for his membership card? Why, you only have to take any five pages of one of his novels and you won't need a membership card to convince you that the man's a writer. I don't suppose he ever had a membership card, anyway! What do you think?' said Koroviev, turning to Behemoth. 'I'll bet he never had one,' replied the cat, putting the Primus on the table and wiping the sweat from its brow with its paw. 'You're not Dostoyevsky,' said the woman to Koroviev. 'How do you know?' 'Dostoyevsky's dead,' said the woman, though not very confidently. 'I protest!' exclaimed Behemoth warmly. 'Dostoyevsky is immortal!' 'Your membership cards, please,' said the woman.
Mikhail Bulgakov (The Master and Margarita)
I do not know you, my friends, not individually, most of you, but this is the wonderful thing about the work of a preacher, he does not need to know his congregation. Do you know why? Because I know the most important thing about every single one of you, and that is that each of you is a vile sinner. I do not care who you are, because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. I do not care what particular form your sin takes. There is a great deal of attention paid to that today. The preacher is not interested in that. I do not want a catalogue of your sins. I do not care what your sins are. They can be very respectable or they can be heinous, vile, foul, filthy. It does not matter, thank God. But what I have authority to tell you is this. Though you may be the vilest man or woman ever known, and though you may until this moment have lived your life in the gutters and the brothels of sin in every shape and form, I say this to you: be it known unto you that through this man, this Lord Jesus Christ, is preached unto you the forgiveness of sin. And by him all who believe, you included, are at this very moment justified entirely and completely from everything you have ever done— if you believe that this is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and that he died there on the cross, for your sins and to bear your punishment. If you believe that, and thank him for it, and rely utterly only upon him and what he has done, I tell you, in the name of God, all your sins are blotted out completely, as if you had never sinned in your life, and his righteousness is put on you and God sees you perfect in his Son. That is the message of the cross, that is Christian preaching, that it is our Lord who saves us, by dying on the cross, and that nothing else can save us, but that that can save whosoever believeth in him.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
When I first met you, I knew, somehow, that you were going to change my life. I just didn’t know in what way. I didn’t know that you’d make me love you. And most importantly, I didn’t know that you’d make me love me. Baby, you make me see the good in myself and the good in everything on this damn earth. You chase my ghosts away, and…” He cleared his throat, and to my surprise, I saw his eyes were watering. Oh fuck. Please don’t cry, Dex, cuz I will fucking lose it. He swallowed hard, blinking tears back. “And you bring me peace. I can’t thank you enough for being in my life. And I want you there for the whole journey. Through everything—the good and the bad, the batshit crazy and the sane, the scary and the sexy. Especially the sexy. Just you and me, baby, until death do us part.” Somehow I found my voice. “Even though we’ve only known each other for eight months?” I asked quietly, afraid of his answer. But he just smiled up at me. “Time has no bearing on the truth. And what we have, that’s true as fucking anything.” He gave my hand a squeeze and reached into his pocket. I sucked in my breath, feeling all my emotions flood me at once, and watched as he took out a beautiful, sparkling ring, and held it poised at my finger. He gazed at me, and it was like I saw every moment we had with each other captured in his eyes. “Perry Palomino, kiddo, baby—will you be my wife?” I didn’t even have to think about it. “Yes!” I blurted out in a sob as the tears started
Karina Halle (Ashes to Ashes (Experiment in Terror, #8))
He knew he needed to release her, but once he allowed his physical connection to drop away, he was uncertain if he’d ever have a chance to reconnect. Instinctively, he knew Azami was elusive, like water flowing through fingers, or the wind shifting in the trees. He needed a way to seal her to him. “How does one court a woman in Japan? Do I need your brothers’ permission?” She blinked again. Shocked. A hint of uncertainty crept into her eyes. She frowned, and he bent his head to swallow her protest before she could utter it. Her mouth trembled beneath his, and then she opened to him, like a flower, luring him deeper. Her arms slid around his neck, her body pressing tightly against his. He tightened his fingers in her hair. He was burning, through and through, from the inside out, a hot melting of bone and tissue. He hadn’t known he was lonely or even looking for something. He’d been complete. He loved his wife. He was a man with teammates he trusted implicitly. He lived in wild places of beauty he enjoyed. He hadn’t considered there would be a woman who could ever fit with him, who would ever turn his insides soft and his body hard. Feel the same way, Azami. He didn’t lift his mouth, kissing her again and again because one he’d made the mistake, he was addicted and what was the use fighting it? Not when it felt so damn right. Somewhere along the line, his kiss went from sheer aggression and command, to absolute tenderness. The emotion for her rose like a volcano, encompassing him entirely, drawn from some part of him he’d never known even existed. His mouth was gentle, his hands on her, possessive, yet just as gentle. Another claiming, this coming from that deep unknown well. Feel the same way, Azami, he whispered into her mind. An enticement. A need. He waited, something in him going still, waiting for her answer. Tell me how you’re feeling? She hadn’t pulled away. If anything, her arms had tightened around his neck. He shared every single breath she took, feeling the slight movement of her rib cage and breasts against him, the warm air they exchanged. Like I’m burning alive. Drowning. Like I never want this moment to end. He wasn’t a man to say flowery things to a woman, nor did he even think them, but he shared the honest truth with her. Like we belong. Once he let her go, the world would slip back into kilter. He wanted her to stay with him, to give him a chance with her. She didn’t hesitate, and he loved that about her as well. She gave herself in truth in the same way he did. I feel the same, but one of us has to be sane. She initiated the kiss when he pulled back slightly, chasing after him with her soft mouth, fingers digging tightly into the heavy muscle at his neck, sighing when his lips settled once more over hers. He took his time, kissing her thoroughly, again and again, all the while slipping deeper into her spell and hoping she was falling under his. Is this your idea of sanity? He’d make it his reality. He was falling further down the rabbit hole and he’d make her his sanity if she’d fall with him. Her soft laughter slipped inside his heart, winding there until there was no shaking her loose. Not really, but you have to be the strong one. He kissed her again. And again. Why is that? You started this.
Christine Feehan (Samurai Game (GhostWalkers, #10))
There's one big difference between the poor and the rich,' Kite says, taking a drag from his cigarette. We are in a pub, at lunch-time. John Kite is always, unless stated otherwise, smoking a fag, in a pub, at lunch-time. 'The rich aren't evil, as so many of my brothers would tell you. I've known rich people -- I have played on their yachts -- and they are not unkind, or malign, and they do not hate the poor, as many would tell you. And they are not stupid -- or at least, not any more than the poor are. Much as I find amusing the idea of a ruling class of honking toffs, unable to put their socks on without Nanny helping them, it is not true. They build banks, and broker deals, and formulate policy, all with perfect competency. 'No -- the big difference between the rich and the poor is that the rich are blithe. They believe nothing can ever really be so bad, They are born with the lovely, velvety coating of blitheness -- like lanugo, on a baby -- and it is never rubbed off by a bill that can't be paid; a child that can't be educated; a home that must be left for a hostel, when the rent becomes too much. 'Their lives are the same for generations. There is no social upheaval that will really affect them. If you're comfortably middle-class, what's the worst a government policy could do? Ever? Tax you at 90 per cent and leave your bins, unemptied, on the pavement. But you and everyone you know will continue to drink wine -- but maybe cheaper -- go on holiday -- but somewhere nearer -- and pay off your mortgage -- although maybe later. 'Consider, now, then, the poor. What's the worst a government policy can do to them? It can cancel their operation, with no recourse to private care. It can run down their school -- with no escape route to a prep. It can have you out of your house and into a B&B by the end of the year. When the middle-classes get passionate about politics, they're arguing about their treats -- their tax breaks and their investments. When the poor get passionate about politics, they're fighting for their lives. 'Politics will always mean more to the poor. Always. That's why we strike and march, and despair when our young say they won't vote. That's why the poor are seen as more vital, and animalistic. No classical music for us -- no walking around National Trust properties, or buying reclaimed flooring. We don't have nostalgia. We don't do yesterday. We can't bear it. We don't want to be reminded of our past, because it was awful; dying in mines, and slums, without literacy, or the vote. Without dignity. It was all so desperate, then. That's why the present and the future is for the poor -- that's the place in time for us: surviving now, hoping for better, later. We live now -- for our instant, hot, fast treats, to prep us up: sugar, a cigarette, a new fast song on the radio. 'You must never, never forget, when you talk to someone poor, that it takes ten times the effort to get anywhere from a bad postcode, It's a miracle when someone from a bad postcode gets anywhere, son. A miracle they do anything at all.
Caitlin Moran (How to Build a Girl (How to Build a Girl, #1))
Jarret supporters have been known, now and then, to form mobs and burn people at the stake for being witches. Witches! In 2032! A witch, in their view, tends to be a Moslem, a Jew, a Hindu, a Buddhist, or, in some parts of the country, a Mormon, a Jehovah’s Witness, or even a Catholic. A witch may also be an atheist, a “cultist,” or a well-to-do eccentric. Well-to-do eccentrics often have no protectors or much that’s worth stealing. And “cultist” is a great catchall term for anyone who fits into no other large category, and yet doesn’t quite match Jarret’s version of Christianity. Jarret’s people have been known to beat or drive out Unitarians, for goodness’ sake. Jarret condemns the burnings, but does so in such mild language that his people are free to hear what they want to hear. As for the beatings, the tarring and feathering, and the destruction of “heathen houses of devil-worship,” he has a simple answer: “Join us! Our doors are open to every nationality, every race! Leave your sinful past behind, and become one of us. Help us to make America great again.” He’s had notable success with this carrot-and-stick approach. Join us and thrive, or whatever happens to you as a result of your own sinful stubbornness is your problem.
Octavia E. Butler (Parable of the Talents (Earthseed, #2))
The average person wastes his life. He has a great deal of energy but he wastes it. The life of an average person seems at the end utterly meaningless…without significance. When he looks back…what has he done? MIND The mind creates routine for its own safety and convenience. Tradition becomes our security. But when the mind is secure it is in decay. We all want to be famous people…and the moment we want to be something…we are no longer free. Intelligence is the capacity to perceive the essential…the what is. It is only when the mind is free from the old that it meets everything new…and in that there’s joy. To awaken this capacity in oneself and in others is real education. SOCIETY It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. Nature is busy creating absolutely unique individuals…whereas culture has invented a single mold to which we must conform. A consistent thinker is a thoughtless person because he conforms to a pattern. He repeats phrases and thinks in a groove. What happens to your heart and your mind when you are merely imitative, naturally they wither, do they not? The great enemy of mankind is superstition and belief which is the same thing. When you separate yourself by belief tradition by nationally it breeds violence. Despots are only the spokesmen for the attitude of domination and craving for power which is in the heart of almost everyone. Until the source is cleared there will be confusion and classes…hate and wars. A man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country to any religion to any political party. He is concerned with the understanding of mankind. FEAR You have religion. Yet the constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear. You can only be afraid of what you think you know. One is never afraid of the unknown…one is afraid of the known coming to an end. A man who is not afraid is not aggressive. A man who has no sense of fear of any kind is really a free and peaceful mind. You want to be loved because you do not love…but the moment you really love, it is finished. You are no longer inquiring whether someone loves you or not. MEDITATION The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence. In meditation you will discover the whisperings of your own prejudices…your own noises…the monkey mind. You have to be your own teacher…truth is a pathless land. The beauty of meditation is that you never know where you are…where you are going…what the end is. Down deep we all understand that it is truth that liberates…not your effort to be free. The idea of ourselves…our real selves…is your escape from the fact of what you really are. Here we are talking of something entirely different….not of self improvement…but the cessation of self. ADVICE Take a break with the past and see what happens. Release attachment to outcomes…inside you will feel good no matter what. Eventually you will find that you don’t mind what happens. That is the essence of inner freedom…it is timeless spiritual truth. If you can really understand the problem the answer will come out of it. The answer is not separate from the problem. Suffer and understand…for all of that is part of life. Understanding and detachment…this is the secret. DEATH There is hope in people…not in societies not in systems but only in you and me. The man who lives without conflict…who lives with beauty and love…is not frightened by death…because to love is to die.
J. Krishnamurti (Think on These Things)
On the morning of November 22nd, a Friday, it became clear the gap between living and dying was closing. Realizing that Aldous [Huxley] might not survive the day, Laura [Huxley's wife] sent a telegram to his son, Matthew, urging him to come at once. At ten in the morning, an almost inaudible Aldous asked for paper and scribbled "If I go" and then some directions about his will. It was his first admission that he might die ... Around noon he asked for a pad of paper and scribbled LSD-try it intermuscular 100mm In a letter circulated to Aldous's friends, Laura Huxley described what followed: 'You know very well the uneasiness in the medical mind about this drug. But no 'authority', not even an army of authorities, could have stopped me then. I went into Aldous's room with the vial of LSD and prepared a syringe. The doctor asked me if I wanted him to give the shot- maybe because he saw that my hands were trembling. His asking me that made me conscious of my hands, and I said, 'No, I must do this.' An hour later she gave Huxley a second 100mm. Then she began to talk, bending close to his ear, whispering, 'light and free you let go, darling; forward and up. You are going forward and up; you are going toward the light. Willingly and consciously you are going, willingly and consciously, and you are doing this beautifully — you are going toward the light — you are going toward a greater love … You are going toward Maria's [Huxley's first wife, who had died many years earlier] love with my love. You are going toward a greater love than you have ever known. You are going toward the best, the greatest love, and it is easy, it is so easy, and you are doing it so beautifully.' All struggle ceased. The breathing became slower and slower and slower until, 'like a piece of music just finishing so gently in sempre piu piano, dolcamente,' at twenty past five in the afternoon, Aldous Huxley died.
Jay Stevens
Evie stayed, however, the silence spinning out until it seemed that the pounding of his heart must be audible. “Do you want to know what I think, Sebastian?” she finally asked. It took every particle of his will to keep his voice controlled. “Not particularly.” “I think that if I leave this room, you’re going to ring that bell again. But no matter how many times you ring, or how often I come running, you’ll never bring yourself to tell me what you really want.” Sebastian slitted his eyes open…a mistake. Her face was very close, her soft mouth only inches from his. “At the moment, all I want is some peace,” he grumbled. “So if you don’t mind—” Her lips touched his, warm silk and sweetness, and he felt the dizzying brush of her tongue. A floodgate of desire opened, and he was drowning in undiluted pleasure, more powerful than anything he had known before. He lifted his hands as if to push her head away, but instead his trembling fingers curved around her skull, holding her to him. The fiery curls of her hair were compressed beneath his palms as he kissed her with ravenous urgency, his tongue searching the winsome delight of her mouth. Sebastian was mortified to discover that he was gasping like an untried boy when Evie ended the kiss. Her lips were rosy and damp, her freckles gleaming like gold dust against the deep pink of her cheeks. “I also think,” she said unevenly, “that you’re going to lose our bet.” Recalled to sanity by a flash of indignation, Sebastian scowled. “Do you think I’m in any condition to pursue other women? Unless you intend to bring someone to my bed, I’m hardly going to—” “You’re not going to lose the bet by sleeping with another woman,” Evie said. There was a glitter of deviltry in her eyes as she reached up to the neckline of her gown and deliberately began to unfasten the row of buttons. Her hands trembled just a little. “You’re going to lose it with me.” Sebastian watched incredulously as she stood and shed the dressing gown. She was naked, the tips of her breasts pointed and rosy in the cool air. She had lost weight, but her breasts were still round and lovely, and her hips still flared generously from the neat inward curves of her waist. As his gaze swept to the triangle of red hair between her thighs, a swell of acute lust rolled through him. He sounded shaken, even to his own ears. “You can’t make me lose the bet. That’s cheating.” “I never promised not to cheat,” Evie said cheerfully, shivering as she slipped beneath the covers with him. “Damn it, I’m not going to cooperate. I—” His breath hissed between his teeth as he felt the tender length of her body press against his side, the springy brush of her private curls on his hip as she slid one of her legs between his. He jerked his head away as she tried to kiss him. “I can’t…Evie…” His mind searched cagily for a way to dissuade her. “I’m too weak.” Ardent and determined, Evie grasped his head and turned his face to hers. “Poor darling,” she murmured, smiling. “Don’t worry. I’ll be gentle with you.” “Evie,” he said hoarsely, aroused and infuriated and pleading, “I have to prove that I can last three months without—no, don’t do that. Damn you, Evie—
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
I’m sorry,” he interrupted, his arm sliding around her waist. He pulled her into the shelter of his body, her back fitting against his hairy chest. “I didn’t mean to nettle you. Here, rest against me.” He nuzzled into the pale streamers of her hair. “What a fiery little wench you are.” “I’m not fiery,” Lottie protested, for that quality was hardly something that befitted a ladylike graduate of Maidstone’s. “Yes, you are.” His hand curved possessively over her hip. “I’ve known it from the moment we met. It’s one of the reasons I wanted you.” “You said you wanted me merely for convenience.” “Well, there is that,” he said with a grin, and reacted swiftly as she tried to elbow him. “But in truth, convenience had nothing to do with it. I wanted you more than any woman I’ve ever met.” “Why did you insist on marriage, when I offered to be your mistress?” “Because being a mistress wasn’t good enough for you.” He paused before adding quietly, “You deserve everything I can give you, including my name.” -Nick & Lottie
Lisa Kleypas (Worth Any Price (Bow Street Runners, #3))
There is no shame in what you are feeling, Harry,' said Dumbledore's voice. 'On the contrary ... the fact that you can feel pain like this is your greatest strength.' Harry felt the white-hot anger lick his insides, blazing in the terrible emptiness, filling him with the desire to hurt Dumbledore for his calmness and his empty words. 'My greatest strength, is it?' said Harry, his voice shaking as he stared out at the Quidditch stadium, no longer seeing it. 'You haven't got a clue ... you don't know ...' 'What don't I know?' asked Dumbledore calmly. It was too much. Harry turned around, shaking with rage. 'I don't want to talk about how I feel, all right?' 'Harry, suffering like this proves you are still a man! This pain is part of being human--' 'THEN--I--DON'T --WANT--TO--BE--HUMAN!' Harry roared, and he seized the delicate silver instrument from the spindle-legged table beside him and flung it across the room; it shattered into a hundred tiny pieces against the wall. Several of the pictures let out yells of anger and fright, and the portrait of Armando Dippet said, 'Really!' 'I DON'T CARE!' Harry yelled at them, snatching up a lunascope and throwing it into the fireplace. 'I'VE HAD ENOUGH, I'VE SEEN ENOUGH, I WANT OUT, I WANT IT TO END, I DON'T CARE ANY MORE--' He seized the table on which the silver instrument had stood and threw that, too. It broke apart on the floor and the legs rolled in different directions. 'You do care,' said Dumbledore. He had not flinched or made a single move to stop Harry demolishing his office. His expression was calm, almost detached. 'You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death with the pain of it.' 'I--DON'T!' Harry screamed, so loudly that he felt his throat might tear, and for a second he wanted to rush at Dumbledore and break him, too; shatter that calm old face, shake him, hurt him, make him feel some tiny part of the horror inside himself. 'Oh, yes, you do,' said Dumbledore, still more calmly. 'You have now lost your mother, your father, and the closest thing to a parent you have ever known. Of course you care.' 'YOU DON'T KNOW HOW I FEEL!' Harry roared. 'YOU--STANDING THERE--YOU--' But words were no longer enough, smashing things was no more help; he wanted to run, he wanted to keep running and never look back, he wanted to be somewhere he could not see the clear blue eyes staring at him, that hatefully calm old face.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
You and Beatrix haven’t known each other long enough to consider matrimony. A matter of weeks, to my knowledge. And what about Prudence Mercer? You’re practically betrothed, aren’t you?” “Those are valid points,” Christopher said. “And I will answer them. But you should know right away that I’m against the match.” Leo blinked in bemusement. “You mean you’re against a match with Miss Mercer?” “Well…yes. But I’m also against a match with Beatrix.” Silence fell over the room. “This is a trick of some sort,” Leo said. “Unfortunately, it’s not,” Christopher replied. Another silence. “Captain Phelan,” Cam asked, choosing his words with care. “Have you come to ask for our consent to marry Beatrix?” Christopher shook his head. “If I decide to marry Beatrix, I’ll do it with or without your consent.” Leo looked at Cam. “Good God,” he said in disgust. “This one’s worse than Harry.” Cam wore an expression of beleaguered patience. “Perhaps we should both talk to Captain Phelan in the library. With brandy.” “I want my own bottle,” Leo said feelingly, leading the way.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
Look, Jordan, you’re not alone any more. It’s my job to protect you while I’m here and I can’t do that if you keep pushing me away.” “That’s the problem, Michael,” I shot back. “You have more responsibilities to your boss than you do to me. You taught me how to defend myself, how to heal myself, and that should be good enough. You can’t keep babysitting one little human when you have an entire cosmos to worry about.” He faced me again, those green eyes boring into mine as if he could see straight through me. “Are you saying you want me to leave?” My chest tightened. I hadn’t expected him to say that. I bit my bottom lip, glancing away. “That’s not what I mean.” “Then what do you mean?” “Since when have I ever known what the hell I mean?” He touched my right cheek, making me face him. “You do when it counts.” Staring up at him, shirtless, vulnerable, and wounded, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. He had a knack for picking my walls apart brick by brick. It bothered me. He took a step closer, casting a shadow over me. “Stop,” I mumbled, fixing my eyes on the floor. He brushed a lock of hair behind my ear, sliding his warm hand to lift my chin so I’d have to look at him. “Stop what?” he murmured. “Looking at me.” “Why?” “That’s how Terrell used to look at me before we kissed.” His lips parted to say something but I pushed past him, gathering up my duster from where it lay on the bed next to the dress. “Get dressed. We have more ghosts to help.
Kyoko M. (The Black Parade (The Black Parade, #1))
When I couldn’t take the hunger anymore, I called Taylor and told her everything. She screamed so loud, I had to hold the phone away from my ear. She came right over with a black-bean burrito and a strawberry-banana smoothie. She kept shaking her head and saying, “That Zeta Phi slut.” “It wasn’t just her, it was him, too,” I said, between bites of my burrito. “Oh, I know. Just you wait. I’m gonna drag my nails across his face when I see him. I’ll leave him so scarred, no girl will ever hook up with him again.” She inspected her manicured nails like they were artillery. “When I go to the salon tomorrow, I’m gonna tell Danielle to make them sharp.” My heart swelled. There are some things only a friend who’s known you your whole life can say, and instantly, I felt a little better. “You don’t have to scar him.” “But I want to.” She hooked her pinky finger with mine. “Are you okay?” I nodded. “Better, now that you’re here.” When I was sucking down the last of my smoothie, Taylor asked me, “Do you think you’ll take him back?” I was surprised and really relieved not to hear any judgement to her voice. “What would you do?” I asked her. “It’s up to you.” “I know, but…would you take him back?” “Under ordinary circumstances, no. If some guy cheated on me while we were on a break, if he so much as looked at another girl, no. He’d be donzo.” She chewed on her straw. “But Jeremy’s not some guy. You have a history together.” “What happened to all that talk about scarring him?” “Don’t get it twisted, I hate him to death right now. He effed up in a colossal way. But he’ll never be just some guy, not to you. That’s a fact.” I didn’t say anything. But I knew she was right. “I could still round up my sorority sisters and go slash his tires tonight.” Taylor bumped my shoulder. “Hmm? Whaddyathink?” She was trying to make me laugh. It worked. I laughed for the first time in what felt like a long time.
Jenny Han (We'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3))
Loving or not loving should be like coffee or tea; people should be allowed to decide. How else are we to get over all our dead and the women we've lost?" Cunco whispered dejectedly. "Maybe we shouldn't." "You think so? Not get over it. but...then? What then? What task do the departed want us to do?" That was the question that Jean Perdu had been unable to answer for all these years. Until now. Now he knew. "To carry them within us—that is our task. We carry them all inside us, all our dead and shattered loves. Only they make us whole. If we begin to forget or cast aside those we've lost, then...then we are no longer present either. " Jean looked at the Allier River, glittering in the moonlight. "All the love, all the dead, all the people we've known. They are the rivers that feed our sea of souls. If we refuse to remember them, that sea will dry up too." He felt an overwhelming inner thirst to seize life with both hands before time sped past even faster. He didn't want to die of thirst, he wanted to be as wide and free as the sea—full and deep. He longed for friends. He wanted to love. He wanted to feel the marks that Manon had left inside him. He still wanted to feel her coursing through him, mingling with him. Manon had changed him forever—why deny it? That was how he had become the man whom Catherine had allowed to approach her. Jean Perdu suddenly realized that Catherine could never taken Mann's place. She took her own place. No worse, no better, simply different. He longed to show Catherine the full expanse of his sea!
Nina George (The Little Paris Bookshop)
Joe stepped in front of them, blocking it from their view. "All of you listen to me." Three pairs of eyes locked on his face: hopeful, expectant, still dark with anger and fear. Protectiveness erupted , so strong Joe wanted to shout with it. He drew one breath, then another, but Jesus it didn't help. "You're mine now," he told them, and he knew his voice was hoarse, trembling with furious conviction. He hadn't meant to rush Luna, to spill his guts so soon. He'd meant to give himself time, to give her and the kids time. But he couldn't hold it in. "All of you. I protect what's mine. No one is going to hurt you, and no one is going to run us off. I'll find the son of a bitch, I swear it. And when I do, he'll pay." Luna's eyes, narrowed with rage only a moment ago, now softened with an expression far too close to concern. She gave a reluctant nod and spoke very softly. "All right, Joe." He had an awful suspicion she agreed more to soothe him than because she believed what he said. Willow swallowed, nodded, then gave him a trembling smile. "All right," she said, agreeing with Luna, and she, too, seemed to want to comfort him. Women. Austin launched himself forward, hugging himself around Joe's knees and hanging on tight. Joe almost fell over. He felt as though he'd been stomped on already, his muscles, his mind, his deepest emotions. Hell, he hadn't known he had deep emotions until the kids and Luna had dredged them from a dark, empty place. He wasn't all that steady on his feet, and Austin hit him with the impact of a small tank. But it was more the punch to his heart than the impetus against his legs that threw him off balance. Joe touched the tangled mop of blond hair. "Austin?" Austin squeezed him, then said against Joe's knees, "Okay." He finally tipped up his face to give Joe a crooked, admiring grin. "I sure like it when you're disrespectful." That ridiculous comment lightened Joe's mood, and he laughed. "Rodent.
Lori Foster (Say No To Joe? (Visitation, North Carolina, #1))
Let us see what words can do. Will you understand me, for a start, if I tell you that I have never known what I am? My vices, my virtues, are under my nose, but I can’t see them, nor stand far enough back to view myself as a whole. I seem to be a sort of flabby mass in which words are engulfed; no sooner do I name myself than what is named is merged in him who names, and one gets no farther. I have often wanted to hate myself and, as you know, had good reasons for so doing. But my attempted hatred of myself was absorbed into my insubstantiality and was nothing but a recollection. I could not love myself either, I am sure, though I have never tried to. But I was eternally compelled to be myself; I was my own burden, but never burdensome enough, Mathieu. For one instant, on that June evening when I elected to confess to you, I thought I had encountered myself in your bewildered eyes. You saw me, in your eyes I was solid and predictable; my acts and moods were the actual consequences of a definite entity. And through me you knew that entity. I described it to you in my words, I revealed to you facts unknown to you, which had helped you to visualize it. And yet you saw it, I merely saw you seeing it. For one instant you were the heaven-sent mediator between me and myself, you perceived that compact and solid entity which I was and wanted to be in just as simple and ordinary a way as I perceived you. For, after all, I exist, I am, though I have no sense of being; and it is an exquisite torment to discover in oneself such utterly unfounded certainty, such unsubstantiated pride. I then understood that one could not reach oneself except through another’s judgment, another’s hatred. And also through another’s love perhaps; but there is here no question of that. For this revelation I am not ungrateful to you. I do not know how you would describe our present relations. Not goodwill, nor wholly hatred. Put it that there is a corpse between us. My corpse.
Jean-Paul Sartre (The Reprieve)
So I help you defeat your brother,” he cut in churlishly. “And then what are your plans?” Annwyl frowned. “My plans?” “Yes. Your plans. You take your brother’s head, your troops are waiting. What is the next thing that you do?” Annwyl just stared at him. He realized in that instant that the girl had no plans. None. No grand schemes of controlling the world. No plots to destroy any other empires. Not even the plan to have a celebratory dinner. “Annwyl, you’ll be queen. You’ll have to do something.” “But I don’t want to be queen.” Her body shook with panic, and he could hear it in her voice. “You take his head, you’ll have little choice.” “What the hell am I supposed to do as queen?” “Well . . . you could try ruling.” “That sounds awfully complicated.” “I don’t understand you.” “What do you mean?” “You command the largest rebellion known to this land. From what I understand, your troops are blindingly loyal to you. And other kingdoms send you reinforcements and gold.” “Your point?” “You’re already queen, Annwyl. You just need to take the crown.” She shook her head. “My father didn’t believe in crowns. There’s a throne, though.” “Then take your throne. Take it and become queen.
G.A. Aiken (Dragon Actually (Dragon Kin, #1))
Jay showed up after school with a bouquet of flowers and an armful of DVDs, although Violet couldn’t have cared less about either . . . he was all she wanted. She couldn’t help the electric thrill of excitement she felt when he came strolling in, grinning at her foolishly as if he hadn’t seen her in weeks rather than hours. He scooped her up from the couch and dropped her onto his lap as he sat down where she had been just a moment before. He was careful to arrange her ankle on a neatly stacked pile of pillows beside him. He stubbornly refused to hide his affection for her, and if Violet hadn’t known better she would have sword that he was going out of his way to make her self-conscious in her own home. Fortunately her parents were giving them some space for the time being, and they were left by themselves most of the time. “Did you miss me?” he asked arrogantly as he gently brushed his lips over hers, not bothering to wait for an answer. She smiled while she kissed him back, loving the topsy-turvy feeling that her stomach always got when he was so close to her. She wound her arms around his neck, forgetting that she was in the middle of the family room and not hidden away in the privacy of her bedroom. He pulled away from her, suddenly serious. “You know, we didn’t get much time alone yesterday. And I didn’t get a chance to tell you . . .” Violet was mesmerized by the thick timbre of his deep voice. She barely heard his words but rather concentrated on the fluid masculinity of his tone. “I feel like I’ve waited too long to finally have you, and then yesterday . . . when . . .” He stopped, seemingly at a loss, and he tried another approach. His hand stroked her cheek, igniting a response from deep within her. “I can’t imagine living without you,” he said, tenderly kissing her forehead, his warm breath fanning her brow. He paused thoughtfully for a moment before speaking again. “I love you, Violet. More than I ever could have imagined. And I don’t want to lose you . . . I can’t lose you.” It was her turn to look arrogant as she glanced up at him. “I know,” she stated smugly, shrugging her shoulder. He shoved her playfully but held on to her tightly so that she never really went anywhere. “What do you mean, ‘I know’? What kind of response is that?” His righteous indignation bordered on comical. He pulled her down into his arms so that his face was directly above hers. “Say it!” he commanded. She shook her head, pretending not to understand him. “What? What do you want me to say?” But then she giggled and ruined her baffled façade. He teased her with his mouth, leaning down to kiss her and then pulling away before his lips ever reached hers. He nuzzled her neck tantalizingly, only to stop once she responded. She wrapped her arms around his neck, trying to pull him closer, frustrated by his mocking ambush of her senses. “Sat it,” he whispered, his breath warm against her neck. She groaned, wanting him to put her out of her misery. “I love you too,” she rasped as she clung to him. “I love you so much . . .” His mouth moved to cover hers in an exhausting kiss that left them both breathless and craving more than they could have. Violet collapsed into his arms, gathering her wits and hoping that no one walking in on them anytime soon.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
Shall we, my lady?" "You go on," she said coolly. "I need to speak to Mr. Pinter alone." Glancing from her to Jackson, the duke nodded. "I'll expect a dance from you later, my dear," he said with a smile that rubbed Jackson raw. "Of course." Her gaze locked with Jackson's. "I'd be delighted." The minute the duke was gone, however, any "delight" she was feeling apparently vanished. "How dare you interfere! You should be upstairs searching my suitors' rooms or speaking to their servants or something useful instead of-" "Do you realize what could have happened if I hadn't come along?" he snapped. "This room is private and secluded, with a nice hot stove keeping it cozy. All he would have had to do was lay you down on one of those damned benches that are everywhere and-" He caught himself. But not quickly enough. "And what?" she prodded. "I would have let him ravish me like the wanton I am?" Confound it all. "I wasn't saying that." "That's what it sounded like. Apparently you have some notion that I have no restraint, no ability to resist the attentions of a man I've known since childhood." "You have no idea what a man can do to a woman!" Jackson shouted. She paled. "It was just a kiss." He strode up to her, driven by a madness he couldn't control. "That's how it begins. A man like him coaxes you into a kiss, then a caress, then..." "I would never let it go beyond a kiss," she said in outrage. "What sort of woman do you think I am?" He backed her toward the wall. "The sort who is too trusting to realize what some men are really after. You can't control every situation, my lady. Some men take what they want, and there isn't a damned thing you can do about it." "I know more about the true nature of men than you think." She stopped short as she came up against the wall. "I can take care of myself." "Can you?" He thrust his hands against the wall on either side of her, trapping her. He thought of his mother and the heartbreak she'd endured because some nobleman had taken a fancy to her. A roiling sickness swamped him at the idea of Lady Celia ever suffering such a thing because she was too reckless and naïve to recognize that she was not invincible. Bending in close, he lowered his voice. "You really believe you can stop any man who wants to hurt you, no matter how strong and determined he is?" Challenge shone in her eyes. "Absolutely." It was time someone made her realize he vulnerability. "Prove it," he growled. Then he brought his mouth down on hers.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
I hurried over to Conrad, walking so fast I kicked up sand behind me. “Hey, I’m gonna get a ride,” I said breathlessly. The blond Red Sox girl looked me up and down. “Hello,” she said. Conrad said, “With who?” I pointed at Cam. “Him.” “You’re not riding with someone you don’t even know,” he said flatly. “I do so know him. He’s Sextus.” He narrowed his eyes. “Sex what?” “Never mind. His name is Cam, he’s studying whales, and you don’t get to decide who I ride home with. I was just letting you know, as a courtesy. I wasn’t asking for your permission.” I started to walk away, but he grabbed my elbow. “I don’t care what he’s studying. It’s not gonna happen,” he said casually, but his grip was tight. “If you want to go, I’ll take you.” I took a deep breath. I had to keep cool. I wasn’t going to let him goad me into being a baby, not in front of all these people. “No, thanks,” I said, trying to walk away again. But he didn’t let go. “I thought you already had a boyfriend?” His tone was mocking, and I knew he’d seen through my lie the night before. I wanted so badly to throw a handful of sand in his face. I tried to twist out of his grip. “Let go of me! That hurts!” He let go immediately, his face red. It didn’t really hurt, but I wanted to embarrass him the way he was embarrassing me. I said loudly, “I’d rather ride with a stranger than with someone who’s been drinking!” “I’ve had one beer,” he snapped. “I weigh a hundred and seventy-five pounds. Wait half an hour and I’ll take you. Stop being such a brat.” I could feel tears starting to spark my eyelids. I looked over my shoulder to see if Cam was watching. He was. “You’re an asshole,” I said. He looked me dead in the eyes and said, “And you’re a four-year-old.” As I walked away, I heard the girl ask, “Is she your girlfriend?” I whirled around, and we both said “No!” at the same time. Confused, she said, “Well, is she your little sister?” like I wasn’t standing right there. Her perfume was heavy. It felt like it filled all the air around us, like we were breathing her in. “No, I’m not his little sister.” I hated this girl for being a witness to all this. It was humiliating. And she was pretty, in the same kind of way Taylor was pretty, which somehow made things worse. Conrad said, “Her mom is best friends with my mom.” So that was all I was to him? His mom’s friend’s daughter? I took a deep breath, and without even thinking, I said to the girl, “I’ve known Conrad my whole life. So let me be the one to tell you you’re barking up the wrong tree. Conrad will never love anyone as much as he loves himself, if you know what I mean-“ I lifted up my hand and wiggled my fingers. “Shut up, Belly,” Conrad warned. The tops of his ears were turning bright red. It was a low blow, but I didn’t care. He deserved it. Red Sox girl frowned. “What is she talking about, Conrad?” To her I blurted out, “Oh, I’m sorry, do you not know what the idiom ‘barking up the wrong tree’ means?” Her pretty face twisted. “You little skank,” she hissed. I could feel myself shrinking. I wished I could take it back. I’d never gotten into a fight with a girl before, or with anyone for that matter. Thankfully, Conrad broke in then and pointed to the bonfire. “Belly, go back over there, and wait for me to come get you,” he said harshly. That’s when Jeremiah ambled over. “Hey, hey, what’s going on?” he asked, smiling in his easy, goofy way. “Your brother is a jerk,” I said. “That’s what’s going on.” Jeremiah put his arm around me. He smelled like beer. “You guys play nice, you hear?” I shrugged out of his hold and said, “I am playing nice. Tell your brother to play nice.” “Wait, are you guys brother and sister too?” the girl asked. Conrad said, “Don’t even think about leaving with that guy.
Jenny Han (The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1))
If she’d known what a good shot you are,” he whispered past the unfamiliar tightness in his throat, “she’d never have dared.” His hand lifted to her wet cheek, holding it pressed against his chest. “You could always call her out, you know.” The spasmodic shaking in Elizabeth’s slender shoulders began to subside, and Ian added with forced tightness, “Better yet, Robert should stand in for you. He’s not as fine a shot as you are, but he’s a hell of a lot faster…” A teary giggle escaped the girl in his arms, and Ian continued, “On the other hand, if you’re holding the pistol, you’ll have some choices to make, and they’re not easy…” When he didn’t say more, Elizabeth drew a shaky breath. “What choices?” she finally whispered against his chest after a moment. “What to shoot, for one thing,” he joked, stroking her back. “Robert was wearing Hessians, so I had a tassel for a target. I suppose, though, you could always shoot the bow off Valerie’s gown.” Elizabeth’s shoulders gave a lurch, and a choked laugh escaped her. Overwhelmed with relief, Ian kept his left arm around her and gently took her chin between his forefinger and thumb, tipping her face up to his. Her magnificent eyes were still wet with tears, but a smile was trembling on her rosy lips. Teasingly, he continued, “A bow isn’t much of a challenge for an expert marksman like you. I suppose you could insist that she hold up an earring between her fingers so you could shoot that instead.” The image was so absurd that Elizabeth chuckled. Without being conscious of what he was doing, Ian moved his thumb from her chin to her lower lip, rubbing lightly against its inviting fullness. He finally realized what he was doing and stopped. Elizabeth saw his jaw tighten. She drew a shuddering breath, sensing he’d been on the verge of kissing her, and had just decided not to do it. After the last shattering minutes, Elizabeth no longer knew who was friend or foe, she only knew she’d felt safe and secure in his arms, and at that moment his arms were already beginning to loosen, and his expression was turning aloof. Not certain what she was going to say or even what she wanted, she whispered a single, shaky word, filled with confusion and a plea for understanding, her green eyes searching his: “Please-“ Ian realized what she was asking for, but he responded with a questioning lift of his brows. “I-“ she began, uncomfortably aware of the knowing look in his eyes. “Yes?” he prompted. “I don’t know-exactly,” she admitted. All she knew for certain was that, for just a few minutes more, she would have liked to be in his arms. “Elizabeth, if you want to be kissed, all you have to do is put your lips on mine.” “What!” “You heard me.” “Of all the arrogant-“ He shook his head in mild rebuke. “Spare me the maidenly protests. If you’re suddenly as curious as I am to find out if it was as good between us as it now seems in retrospect, then say so.” His own suggestion startled Ian, although having made it, he saw no great harm in exchanging a few kisses if that was what she wanted.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
You should’ve told us!” “You wouldn’t have let me help!” Ben shot back. “This whole nightmare was my fault. I needed to find that psycho and stop him. If I’d told you guys the truth, you’d have shut me out. Then we found the corpse, and … and …” He shook his head. “It was too late. Things were crazy. All I could do was try to prevent whatever evil Rome had planned.” I held up a hand. Couldn’t handle any more of his confession. Unwittingly or not, Ben had assisted a monster. A killer. He’d known the truth for days, and never told us. He’d lied. Even when The Game had threatened our lives. “Tell me why, Ben. Why would you want to trick us in the first place?” Ben stopped pacing. Looked directly at me. “Don’t you know?” I shook my head, confused. “To impress you, Victoria Brennan.” His voice cracked. “I wanted you to think I was special.” The words rocked me. Oh, Ben. He’d started this madness … for me? “You were spending all that time with Jason,” Ben said softly, staring at his shoes. “Skipping around town with your new perfect guy. Cotillion this. Fund-raiser that. I hated it. Hated him. When I finally told Rome, he said I needed to amaze you. Said I needed to figure out a way to make you see me.” “I see you, Ben.” I rose and grabbed his hand. “I always have. You’re in my pack.” He pulled away. “What if being packmates isn’t enough for me?” I was speechless. Code, Kathy Reichs
Kathy Reichs
Why not?” I asked, letting my tears spill over. It was easy to cry. All I had to do was look at Alex’s limp body, and the tears came effortlessly. “You were happy enough to do it to me.” There was a beat. Then John said cautiously, “What do you mean?” “The consequences, John?” I let out a bitter laugh. “Persephone wasn’t doomed to stay in the Underworld because she ate a pomegranate. She was doomed to stay there because she did with Hades what we did last night. That’s what the pomegranate symbolizes, right?” John stared, speechless. But I could tell I was right by the color that slowly started to suffuse his cheeks…and the fact that he didn’t try to contradict me. And of course the fact that the whole thing was spelled out right in front of me by the statue Hope was sitting on. I didn’t get why the Rectors were so obsessed by the myth of Persephone that they’d put a statue of it in their mausoleum, but it was clear enough they were involved in an underworld of one kind or another. “Don’t worry,” I said, lowering my voice because I didn’t want Frank to overhear. “I don’t blame you. You asked me if I was sure, despite the consequences. I said I was. But I thought by consequences you meant a baby, and I already knew that could never happen. I guess Mr. Smith must have told you last night that he found out the pomegranate symbolized something completely different than babies or death-“ “Pierce.” John grasped my hand. His fingers were like ice, but his voice and his gaze had an urgency that was anything but cold. “That isn’t why I did it. I love you. I’ve always loved you, because you’re good…you’re so good, you make me want to be good, too. But that’s the problem, Pierce. I’m not good. And I’ve always been afraid that when you find out the truth about me, you’d run away again-“ I sucked in my breath to tell him for the millionth time that this wasn’t true, but he cut me off, not allowing me to speak until he’d had his say. “Then you almost died yesterday,” he went on, “and it was my fault. I wanted to show you how much I loved you, and things…things went further than I expected. But you didn’t stop me”-his silver eyes blazed, as if daring me to deny what he was saying-“even though I told you we could slow down if you wanted to.” “I know,” I said softly, dropping my gaze to look down at our joined fingers. We’d each kept a hand on Alex. “I know you did.” “I don’t want to lose you again,” he said fiercely. “I lost you once and I couldn’t bear it. I won’t go through that again. I…I know I did the wrong thing. But it didn’t feel wrong at the time.” I raised my gaze to his. “You’re right about that, at least,” I said. “So am I forgiven?” he asked. I hesitated, confused by the myriad of emotions I was feeling. John had known. He’d known the whole time we had been together the night before that he was forever sealing my destiny to his. Of course, he’d thought I’d known, too. He’d asked if I was sure it was what I wanted, despite the consequences. I might have misunderstood what those consequences were, but I’d been very adamant in my response. I’d said yes. And I’d meant it. “Excuse me,” called Frank’s voice from the opposite wall of vaults. “But you might want to take a look at the boy.” John and I both glanced down. Beneath the hands we’d left on Alex, he’d come back to life.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
He looked at me, and I saw the knowledge in his eyes. The horror. “I didn’t know, Gideon. I swear to God, I didn’t know.” My heart jerked in my chest, then began to pound. My mouth went dry. “I, uh, went to see Terrence Lucas.” Chris’s voice grew hoarse. “ Barged into his office. He denied it, the lying son of a bitch, but I could see it on his face.” The brandy sloshed in my glass. I set it down carefully, feeling the floor shift under my feet. Eva had confronted Lucas, but Chris..? “I decked him, knocked him out could, but Good … I wanted to take one of those awards on his shelves and bash his head in.” “Stop.” The word broke from my throat like slivers of glass. “And the asshole who did … That asshole is dead. I can’t get to him. Goddamn it.” Chris dropped the tumbler onto the granite with a thud, but it was the sob that tore out of him that nearly shattered me. “Hell, Gideon. It was my job to protect you. And I failed.” “Stop!” I pushed off the counter, my hands clenching. “Don’t fucking look at me like that!” He trembled visibly, but didn’t back down. “I had to tell you –“ His wrinkled dress shirt was in my fist, his feet dangling above the floor. “Stop talking. Now!” Tears lipped down his face. “I love you like my own. Always have.” I shoved him away. Turned my back to him when he stumbled and hit the wall. I left, crossing the living room without seeing it. “I’m not expecting your forgiveness,” he called after me, tears clogging his words. “I don’t deserve it. But you need to hear that I would’ve ripped him apart with my bare hands if I’d known.” I rounded on him, feeling the sickness clawing up from my gut and burning my throat. “What the fuck do you want?” Chris pulled his shoulders back. He faced me with reddened eyes and wet cheeks, shaking but too stupid to run. “I want you to know that you’re not alone.” Alone. Yes. Far away from the pity and guilt and pain staring out at me through his tears. “Get out.” Nodding, he headed toward the foyer. I stood immobile, my chest heaving, my eyes burning. Words backed up in my throat, violence pounded in the painful clench of my fists. He stopped before he left the room, facing me. “I’m glad you told Eva.” “Don’t talk about her.” I couldn’t bear to even think of her. Not now, when I was so close to losing it. He left. The weight of the day crashed onto my shoulders, dropping me to my knees. I broke.
Sylvia Day (Captivated by You (Crossfire, #4))
So, did you see that community center I was talking about?” “What? Where?” “We walked right past it, just before that grocery store. I mentioned it on the way to the city? You just drop in and take classes. They’ve got all sorts of stuff. I bet you can get a student rate, even.” “But I’m not a student—” “You’re young enough that they’ll assume—” “—and how am I supposed to find the time to take dance classes, now that I’m the dessert?” “I’m starting to really regret using that metaphor,” Silas says, grinning. “And let me explain something, Rosie.” He takes a swig of the coffee and presses his lips together, searching for words. “I’m from a long, long, long, long line of woodsmen. My brothers are all supertalented. They all built their own rooms. For god’s sake, Lucas built a freaking wooden hot tub in his bedroom with wooden monkeys pouring water into it.” “Monkeys?” “Don’t ask. Anyway, I can do some woodworking. I know my way around the forest, I can handle an ax better than most, I can make a tree grow where nothing else will, I can live off berries and hunt for my food, and I’ve known about the Fenris since I could crawl. I’m a woodsman, for all intents and purposes. But that doesn’t mean I live for it any more than the fact that you’re good at hunting means you have to live for that. So maybe breaking out of the hunting lifestyle for a few hours here and there will help you figure out if it’s really for you or not.” I shake my head, confused as to why he’d even think that was possible. “I can’t just not hunt, Silas. So yeah, I take a few random classes, and what if I decide that I hate hunting and want to quit? That doesn’t mean I can. I owe Scarlett my life, and if she wants to cash in by having me spend my life hunting beside her, so be it. It’d kill her if she ever thought I wanted to quit.” “Rosie,” Silas says quietly. “I’m not suggesting you drop your sister like a bad habit and take up intense ballet training.
Jackson Pearce (Sisters Red (Fairytale Retellings, #1))
Is this weird?” she asked with a satisfied sigh. Jay shook his head. “Nah,” he answered, rubbing his hand along the sensitive skin of her arm. “It was gonna happen eventually. I’m just glad it’s finally out there . . . I was getting tired of waiting.” Violet was confused. Out there? What the hell was that supposed to mean? It was going to happen eventually? How could he have known what was going to happen? She wiggled out from beneath him. “What do you mean, you were tired of waiting? Waiting for what, exactly?” She propped herself back up on her elbow as she interrogated him, waiting for an answer. He let the questions linger between them for longer than he needed to, deliberately teasing Violet as she waited impatiently. But when he finally did answer her, it proved to be well worth the minor annoyance. “I was just waiting for you to want me as much as I wanted you.” His words were quiet but carried one hell of an impact. “I knew we were going to be together; it was just a matter of time. I kept hoping that you would figure it out. But for a smart girl, you’re a little dense, Vi. I kept bringing up Lissie Adams, and showing you the notes she was leaving me, hoping that you’d get pissed enough to finally admit how you felt about me.” “What makes you think I was feeling anything?” she asked him suspiciously, as if he’d somehow read her mind. If she had been the kind of girl who kept a diary, she would have sworn that he’d picked the lock and read it word for word. He grinned at her. “Because you did,” he stated matter-of-factly. “I know, because I did, and there was just no way that you didn’t feel it too.” She didn’t bother denying it and instead asked, “So you used Lissie to make me jealous?” She tried to sound indignant, but it was difficult when what she really wanted to do was dance around her room triumphantly. She wondered what Lissie would think if she could see them now, together on Violet’s bed. “No, I tried to use Lissie. But apparently you’re more pigheaded than I gave you credit for. I thought for sure that would do it. Instead, it backfired on me, and you agreed to go to the dance with . . . someone else.” He gritted his teeth, probably without even realizing it, as he choked out the words, unable to actually say Grady’s name. “And when I realized you were going with him, I figured the only way I was going to get to see you that night was to ask Lissie to go with me. I figured I could sneak in at least one dance with you.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
Todd wrapped his arm around her. They stood together in silent awe, watching the sunset. All Christy could think of was how this was what she had always wanted, to be held in Todd's arms as well as in his heart. Just as the last golden drop of sun melted into the ocean, Christy closed her eyes and drew in a deep draught of the sea air. "Did you know," Todd said softly, "that the setting sun looks so huge from the island of Papua New Guinea that it almost looks like you're on another planet? I've seen pictures." Then, as had happened with her reflection in her cup of tea and in her disturbing dream, Christy heard those two piercing words, "Let go." She knew what she had to do. Turning to face Todd, she said, "Pictures aren't enough for you, Todd. You have to go." "I will. Someday. Lord willing," he said casually. "Don't you see, Todd? The Lord is willing. This is your 'someday.' Your opportunity to go on the mission field is now. You have to go." Their eyes locked in silent communion. "God has been telling me something, Todd. He's been telling me to let you go. I don't want to, but I need to obey Him." Todd paused. "Maybe I should tell them I can only go for the summer. That way I'll only be gone a few months. A few weeks, really. We'll be back together in the fall." Christy shook her head. "It can't be like that, Todd. You have to go for as long as God tells you to go. And as long as I've known you, God has been telling you to go. His mark is on your life, Todd. It's obvious. You need to obey Him." "Kilikina," Todd said, grasping Christy by the shoulders, "do you realize what you're saying? If I go, I may never come back." "I know." Christy's reply was barely a whisper. She reached for the bracelet on her right wrist and released the lock. Then taking Todd's hand, she placed the "Forever" bracelet in his palm and closed his fingers around it. "Todd," she whispered, forcing the words out, "the Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and give you His peace. And may you always love Jesus more than anything else. Even more than me." Todd crumbled to the sand like a man who had been run through with a sword. Burying his face in his hands, he wept. Christy stood on wobbly legs. What have I done? Oh, Father God, why do I have to let him go? Slowly lowering her quivering body to the sand beside Todd, Christy cried until all she could taste was the salty tears on her lips. They drove the rest of the way home in silence. A thick mantle hung over them, entwining them even in their separation. To Christy it seemed like a bad dream. Someone else had let go of Todd. Not her! He wasn't really going to go. They pulled into Christy's driveway, and Todd turned off the motor. Without saying anything, he got out of Gus and came around to Christy's side to open the door for her. She stepped down and waited while he grabbed her luggage from the backseat. They walked to the front door. Todd stopped her under the trellis of wildly fragrant white jasmine. With tears in his eyes, he said in a hoarse voice, "I'm keeping this." He lifted his hand to reveal the "Forever" bracelet looped between his fingers. "If God ever brings us together again in this world, I'm putting this back on your wrist, and that time, my Kilikina, it will stay on forever." He stared at her through blurry eyes for a long minute, and then without a hug, a kiss, or even a good-bye, Todd turned to go. He walked away and never looked back.
Robin Jones Gunn (Sweet Dreams (Christy Miller, #11))
You know, there’s no need for you to stay here against your will. You could come home.” Kestrel splattered oil onto Cheat’s feet and smeared it into the rough skin. “No. There’s nothing there I want.” She felt his gaze on her bowed head, on her hands moving over his feet. “Do you do this for Arin?” “No.” “What do you do for him?” Kestrel straightened. Her palms were greasy. She rubbed them into her skirts, not caring that disgust was at least one of the things Cheat wanted to see. Why, why would he want that? She turned to leave. “We’re not done,” he said. “We are,” said Kestrel, “unless you’d like to see how much my father taught me about unarmed combat. I’ll drown you in that fountain. If I can’t, I’ll scream loud enough to bring every Herrani in this house running, and make them wonder what kind of man their leader is, that a Valorian girl so easily snapped his self-control.” She walked away, and he didn’t follow, though she felt his eyes on her until she turned a corner. She found the kitchens, the most populated place in the house, and stood by a fire, listening to the metal clatter of kettles. She ignored the strange looks. Then she was shaking, as much with fury as anything else. Tell Arin. Kestrel waved that thought away. What good would telling Arin do? Arin was a black box hidden below a smooth tile. A trap door opening beneath her. He wasn’t what she’d thought he was. Maybe Arin had known that this would happen, or something like it. Maybe he wouldn’t even mind.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
That night, while you were asleep, I unbuttoned your pajama jacket and looked at what he’d done to you. Afterward, I drove back to his house and very nearly killed him. If he hadn’t started crying and begging me to stop, I…” He let out the angry breath. “That was when I realized how I felt about you,” he added, his eyes meeting hers. “A man wants to protect what he considers his own. It started then, that night.” She was surprised by what he was telling her. “You…looked at me?” He nodded. His eyes narrowed. “You had the most beautiful little breasts,” he said roughly. “And they were covered with bruises. I wanted to kiss the bruises, take you into my bed and hold you, just hold you, all night long so that you’d be safe. I didn’t dare give in to the impulse, of course,” he added with the first touch of amusement he’d shown since her arrival. “My mother would have horsewhipped me.” She felt waves of surprised pleasure lance through her body. “I never knew.” “I was always known for my poker face,” he murmured. “But it was sheer agony to be around you. The older you got, the worse it was. It was inevitable that one day I’d go mad and take you.” He sighed. “The most hellish part of the whole thing was knowing that all I had to do was touch you and you’d let me do anything I liked to you.” She traced the mouth of her coffee cup. “I loved you,” she said quietly. “I know.” There was a world of pain in the words. She looked up into his black eyes and saw an answering emotion in them. “You never told me.” “I couldn’t.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
those who gave me the most pleasure. You know why? Because you’re an idiot, and even to fuck well it takes a little intelligence. For example you don’t know how to give a blow job, you’re hopeless, and it’s pointless to explain it to you, you can’t do it, it’s too obvious that it disgusts you. And he went on like that for a while, making speeches that became increasingly crude; with him vulgarity was normal. Then he wanted to explain clearly how things stood: he was marrying her because of the respect he felt for her father, a skilled pastry maker he was fond of; he was marrying her because one had to have a wife and even children and even an official house. But there should be no mistake: she was nothing to him, he hadn’t put her on a pedestal, she wasn’t the one he loved best, so she had better not be a pain in the ass, believing she had some rights. Brutal words. At a certain point Michele himself must have realized it, and he became gripped by a kind of melancholy. He had murmured that women for him were all games with a few holes for playing in. All. All except one. Lina was the only woman in the world he loved—love, yes, as in the films—and respected. He told me, Gigliola sobbed, that she would have known how to furnish this house. He told me that giving her money to spend, yes, that would be a pleasure. He told me that with her he could have become truly important, in Naples. He said to me: You remember what she did with the wedding photo, you remember how she fixed up the shop? And you, and Pinuccia, and all the others, what the fuck are you, what the fuck do you know how to do? He had said those things to her and not only those. He had told her that he thought about Lila night and day, but not with normal desire, his desire for her didn’t resemble what he knew. In reality he didn’t want her. That is, he didn’t want her the way he generally wanted women, to feel them under him, to turn them over, turn them again, open them up, break them, step on them, and crush them. He didn’t want her in order to have sex and then forget her. He wanted the subtlety of her mind with all its ideas. He wanted her imagination. And he wanted her without ruining her, to make her last. He wanted her not to screw her—that word applied to Lila disturbed him. He wanted to kiss her and caress her. He wanted to be caressed, helped, guided, commanded. He wanted to see how she changed with the passage of time, how she aged. He wanted to talk with her and be helped to talk. You understand? He spoke of her in way that to me, to me—when we are about to get married—he has never spoken.
Elena Ferrante (Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay)
After they buy their tickets, Emma pulls him to the concession line. "Galen, do you mind?" she says, drawing a distracting circle on his arm with her finger, sending fire pretty much everywhere inside him. He recognizes the mischief in her eyes but not the particular game she's playing. "Get whatever you want, Emma," he tells her. With a coy smile, she orders seventy-five dollars worth of candy, soda, and popcorn. By the cashier's expression, seventy-five dollars must be a lot. If the game is to spend all his money, she'll be disappointed. He brought enough cash for five more armfuls of this junk. He helps Emma carry two large fountain drinks, two buckets of popcorn and four boxes of candy to the top row of the half-full theater. When she's situated in her seat, she tears into a box and dumps the contents in her hand. "Look, sweet lips, I got your favorite, Lemonheads!" Sweet lips? What the- Before he can turn away, she forces three of them into his mouth. His instant pucker elicits an evil snicker from her. She pops a straw into one of the cups and hands it to him. "Better drink this," she whispers. "To take the bite out of the candy." He should have known better. The drink is so full of bubbles it turns clear up to his nostrils. Pride keeps him from coughing. Pride, and the Lemonhead lodged in his throat. Several more heaping gulps and he gets it down. After a few minutes, a sample of greasy popcorn, and the rest of the soda, the lights finally dim, giving Galen a reprieve. While Emma is engrossed in what she calls "stupid previews," Galen excuses himself to vomit in the bathroom. Emma wins this round.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
The tattoos around his eyes burned as he scanned the surrounding area. No one but him probably noticed, but the plumes of darkness branching in every direction were writhing and groaning, desperate to avoid the light of the moon and street lamps. Come to me, he beseeched them. They didn’t hesitate. As if they’d merely been waiting for the invitation, they danced toward him, flattening against his car, shielding it—and thereby him—from prying eyes. “Freaks me out every damn time you do that,” Rowan said as he crawled into the front passenger seat. For the first time, Sean’s friend had accompanied him to “keep you from doing something you’ll regret.” Not that Gabby had known. Rowan had lain in the backseat the entire drive. “I can’t see a damn thing.” “I can.” Sean’s gaze could cut through shadows as easily as a knife through butter. Gabby was in the process of settling behind the wheel of her car. Though more than two weeks had passed since their kiss, they hadn’t touched again. Not even a brush of fingers. He was becoming desperate for more. That kiss . . . it was the hottest of his life. He’d forgotten where he was, what—and who—was around him. He’d never, never, risked discovery like that. But that night, having Gabby so close, those lush lips of hers parted and ready, those brown eyes watching him as if he were something delicious, he’d been unable to stop himself. He’d beckoned the shadows around them, meshed their lips together, touched her in places a man should only touch a woman in private, and tasted her. Oh, had he tasted her. Sugar and lemon. Which meant she’d been sipping lemonade during her breaks. Lemonade had never been sexy to him before. Now he was addicted to the stuff. Drank it every chance he got. Hell, he sported a hard-on if he even spotted the yellow fruit. At night he thought about pouring lemon juice over her lean body, sprinkling that liquid with sugar, and then feasting. She’d come, he’d come, and then they could do it all over again. Seriously. Lemonade was like his own personal brand of cocaine now—which he’d once been addicted to, had spent years in rehab combating, and had sworn never to let himself become so obsessed with a substance again. Good luck with that. “I’m getting nowhere with her,” Rowan said. “You, she watches. You, she kissed.” “Yeah, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that.” Gabby’s car passed his and he accelerated, staying close enough to her that anyone trying to merge into her lane wouldn’t clip his car because they couldn’t see him. Not that anyone was out and about at this time of night. “She’s mine. I don’t want you touching her.” “Finally. The truth. Which is a good thing, because I already called Bill and told him you were gonna be the one to seduce her.” “Thanks.” This was one of the reasons he and Rowan were such good friends. “But I thought you were here tonight to keep me from her.” “First, you’re welcome. Second, I lied.
Gena Showalter (The Bodyguard (Includes: T-FLAC, #14.5))
Any true definition of preaching must say that that man is there to deliver the message of God, a message from God to those people. If you prefer the language of Paul, he is 'an ambassador for Christ'. That is what he is. He has been sent, he is a commissioned person, and he is standing there as the mouthpiece of God and of Christ to address these people. In other words he is not there merely to talk to them, he is not there to entertain them. He is there - and I want to emphasize this - to do something to those people; he is there to produce results of various kinds, he is there to influence people. He is not merely to influence a part of them; he is not only to influence their minds, not only their emotions, or merely to bring pressure to bear upon their wills and to induce them to some kind of activity. He is there to deal with the whole person; and his preaching is meant to affect the whole person at the very centre of life. Preaching should make such a difference to a man who is listening that he is never the same again. Preaching, in other words, is a transaction between the preacher and the listener. It does something for the soul of man, for the whole of the person, the entire man; it deals with him in a vital and radical manner. I remember a remark made to me a few years back about some studies of mine on “The Sermon on the Mount.” I had deliberately published them in sermonic form. There were many who advised me not to do that on the grounds that people no longer like sermons. The days for sermons, I was told, were past, and I was pressed to turn my sermons into essays and to give them a different form. I was most interested therefore when this man to whom I was talking, and he is a very well-known Christian layman in Britain, said, "I like these studies of yours on “The Sermon on the Mount” because they speak to me.” Then he went on to say, “I have been recommended many books by learned preachers and professors but,” he said, “what I feel about those books is that it always seems to be professors writing to professors; they do not speak to me. But,” he said, “your stuff speaks to me.” Now he was an able man, and a man in a prominent position, but that is how he put it. I think there is a great deal of truth in this. He felt that so much that he had been recommended to read was very learned and very clever and scholarly, but as he put it, it was “professors writing to professors.” This is, I believe, is a most important point for us to bear in mind when we read sermons. I have referred already to the danger of giving the literary style too much prominence. I remember reading an article in a literary journal some five or six years ago which I thought was most illuminating because the writer was making the selfsame point in his own field. His case was that the trouble today is that far too often instead of getting true literature we tend to get “reviewers writing books for reviewers.” These men review one another's books, with the result that when they write, what they have in their mind too often is the reviewer and not the reading public to whom the book should be addressed, at any rate in the first instance. The same thing tends to happen in connection with preaching. This ruins preaching, which should always be a transaction between preacher and listener with something vital and living taking place. It is not the mere imparting of knowledge, there is something much bigger involved. The total person is engaged on both sides; and if we fail to realize this our preaching will be a failure.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Preaching and Preachers)
He started to look at me, but his eyes ran into trouble as they hit Honey and refused to move off of her. It was not an uncommon reaction. One more reason to hate Honey—not that I needed another one. “Honey, this is Tom Black, a reporter who wants the skinny on what it’s like to date Adam Hauptman, prince of the werewolves.” I said it to get a rise out of her, but Honey disappointed me. “Mr. Black,” she said, coolly extending her hand. He shook her hand, still staring at her, and then seemed to recover. He cleared his throat. “Prince of the Werewolves? Is he?” “She can’t talk to you, Mr. Black,” Honey told him, though she glanced at me to make it clear that the words were directed at me. If she weren’t more careful, she’d find herself outed as a werewolf. If she weren’t dumber than a stump, she’d have known I don’t take orders. Not from Bran, not from Adam or Samuel—certainly not from Honey. “No one ever told me not to talk to reporters,” I said truthfully. Everyone just assumed I’d be smart enough not to. I was so busy tormenting Honey that I ignored what the implicit promise in my statement would do to the reporter. “I will make it worth your while,” Black said in a classic assumption close worthy of a used-car salesman. He reached into his suit jacket and pulled out a roll of bills in a gold clip and set them on the counter. If I hadn’t been so ticked off with Honey—and Adam for sticking me with her—I’d have laughed. But Honey was there, so I licked my lips and looked interested. “Well . . .” I began. Honey turned to me, vibrating with rage. “I hope that Adam lets me be the one to break your scrawny neck.” Yep. It wouldn’t be long before everyone knew Honey was a werewolf. She was just too easy. I ought to have felt guilty for baiting her. Instead, I rolled my eyes at her. “Please.
Patricia Briggs (Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2))
Ribs hurting?" When he only shrugged, she shook her head. "Let me take a look." "She barely caught me." "Oh,for heaven's sake." Impatient, Keeley did what she would have done with one of her brothers: She tugged Brian's T-shirt out of his jeans. "Well,darling,if I'd known you were so anxious to get me undressed,I'd have cooperated fully,and in private." "Shut up.God, Brian, you said it was nothing." "It's not much." His definition of not much was a softball-size bruise the ribs in a burst of ugly red and black. "Macho is tedious, so just shut up." He started to grin,then yelped when she pressed her fingers to the bruise. "Hell, woman,if that's your idea of tender mercies, keep them." "You could have a cracked rib. You need an X ray." "I don't need a damned-ouch! Bollocks and bloody hell, stop poking." He tried to pull his shirt down, but she simply yanked it up again. "Stand still,and don't be a baby." "A minute ago it was don't be macho, now it's don't be a baby. What do you want?" "For you to behave sensibly." "It's difficult for a man to behave sensibly when a woman's taking his clothes off in broad daylight. If you're going to kiss it and make it better, I've several other bruises. I've a dandy one on my ass as it happens." "I'm sure that's terribly amusing.One of the men can drive you to the emergency room" "No one's driving me anywhere. I'd know if my ribs are cracked as I've had a few in my time.It's a bruise, and it's throbbing like a bitch now that you've been playing with it." She spotted another, riding high on his hip,and gave that a poke. This time he groaned. "Keeley,you're torturing me here." "Im just trying..." She trailed off as she lifted her head and saw his eyes. It wasn't pain or annoyance in them now. It was heat,and it was frustration. And it was surprisingly gratifying. "Really?" It was wrong,and it was foolish, but a sip of power was a heady thing.She trailed her fingers along his hip, up his ribs and down again, and felt his mucles quiver. "Why don't you stop me?" His throat hurt. "You make my head swim. And you know it." "Maybe I do.Now.Maybe I like it." She'd never been deliberately provocative before. Had never wanted to be. And she'd never known the thrill of having a strong man turn to putty under her hands. "Maybe I've thought about you, Brian,the way you said I would." "You pick a fine time to tell me when there's people everywhere, and your father one of them.
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
Lost In The World" (feat. Justin Vernon of Bon Iver) [Sample From "Woods": Justin Vernon] I'm up in the woods, I'm down on my mind I'm building a still to slow down the time I'm up in the woods, I'm down on my mind I'm building a still to slow down the time I'm up in the woods, I'm down on my mind I'm building a still to slow down the time [Chorus 2x:] I'm lost in the world, I'm down on my mind I'm new in the city, and I'm down for the night Down for the night Said she's down for the night [Kanye West:] You're my devil, you're my angel You're my heaven, you're my hell You're my now, you're my forever You're my freedom, you're my jail You're my lies, you're my truth You're my war, you're my truce You're my questions, you're my proof You're my stress and you're my masseuse Mama-say mama-say ma-ma-coo-sah Lost in this plastic life, Let's break out of this fake ass party Turn this into a classic night If we die in each other's arms we still get laid in the afterlife If we die in each other's arms we still get laid [Chorus:] (I'm lost in the world) Run from the lights, run from the night, (I'm down on my mind) Run for your life, I'm new in the city, and I'm down for the night Down for the night Down for the night I'm lost in the world, been down for my whole life, I'm new in the city but I'm down for the night Down for the night Down for the night Who will survive in America? Who will survive in America? Who will survive in America? [Chorus:] I'm lost in the world, I'm down on my mind I'm new in the city, and I'm down for the night Down for the night Said she's down for the night I'm lost in the world, I'm down on my mind I'm new in the city and I'm goin' for a ride Goin' for a ride I'm lost in the world, been down for my whole life I'm new in the city but I'm down the for the night Down for a night, down for a good time [Gil-Scott Heron:] Us living as we do upside down. And the new word to have is revolution. People don't even want to hear the preacher spill or spiel because God's whole card has been thoroughly piqued. And America is now blood and tears instead of milk and honey. The youngsters who were programmed to continue fucking up woke up one night digging Paul Revere and Nat Turner as the good guys. America stripped for bed and we had not all yet closed our eyes. The signs of truth were tattooed across our open ended vagina. We learned to our amazement the untold tale of scandal. Two long centuries buried in the musty vault, hosed down daily with a gagging perfume. America was a bastard, the illegitimate daughter of the mother country whose legs were then spread around the world and a rapist known as freedom, free doom. Democracy, liberty, and justice were revolutionary code names that preceded the bubbling bubbling bubbling bubbling bubbling in the mother country's crotch What does Webster say about soul? All I want is a good home and a wife And our children and some food to feed them every night. After all is said and done build a new route to China if they'll have you. Who will survive in America? Who will survive in America? Who will survive in America? Who will survive in America?
Kanye West
Oh, I don’t know about that,” he replied. He grasped the bouquet of flowers—which had been tucked under his right arm—with his other hand, and as he brought it forward Kate saw that it was not one massive bouquet, but three smaller ones. “This,” he said, putting one of the bouquets down on a side table, “is for Edwina. And this”—he did the same with the second—“is for your mother.” He was left with a single bouquet. Kate stood frozen with shock, unable to take her eyes off the perfect pink blooms. She knew what he had to be about, that the only reason he’d included her in the gesture was to impress Edwina, but blast it, no one had ever brought her flowers before, and she hadn’t known until that very moment how badly she’d wanted someone to do so. “These,” he said finally, holding out the final arrangement of pink roses, “are for you.” “Thank you,” she said hesitantly, taking them into her arms. “They’re lovely.” She leaned down to sniff them, sighing with pleasure at the thick scent. Glancing back up, she added, “It was very thoughtful of you to think of Mary and me.” He nodded graciously. “It was my pleasure. I must confess, a suitor for my sister’s hand once did the same for my mother, and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen her more delighted.
Julia Quinn (The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2))
Merry Christmas,Ja-" To which he immediately cut her off with a very testy, "Bloody hell it is." Though he did halt his progress to offer her a brief smile, adding, "Good to see you,Molly," then in the very same breath, "Where's that worthless brother of mine?" She was surprised enough to ask, "Ah,which brother would that be?" when she knew very well he would never refer to Edward or Jason, whom the two younger brothers termed the elders, in that way.But then,Jason shared everything with her about his family, so she knew them as well as he did. So his derogatory answer didn't really add to her surprise. "The infant." She winced at his tone,though, as well as his expression, which had reverted to deadly menace at mention of the "infant." Big,blond, and handsome, James Malory was,just like his elder brothers, and rarely did anyone actually see him looking angry. When James was annoyed with someone, he usually very calmly ripped the person to shreds with his devilish wit, and by his inscrutable expression, the victim had absolutely no warning such pointed barbs would be headed his or her way. The infant, or rather, Anthony, had heard James's voice and, unfortunately, stuck his head around the parlor door to determine James's mood, which wasn't hard to misinterpret with the baleful glare that came his way. Which was probably why the parlor door immediately slammed shut. "Oh,dear," Molly said as James stormed off. Through the years she'd become accustomed to the Malorys' behavior, but a times it still alarmed her. What ensued was a tug of war in the reverse, so to speak, with James shoving his considerable weight against the parlor door, and Anthony on the other side doing his best to keep it from opening. Anthony managed for a bit. He wasn't as hefty as his brother, but he was taller and well muscled. But he must have known he couldn't hold out indefinitely, especially when James started to slam his shoulder against the door,which got it nearly half open before Anthony could manage to slam it shut again. But what Anthony did to solve his dilemma produced Molly's second "Oh,dear." When James threw his weight against the door for the third time, it opened ahead of him and he unfortunately couldn't halt his progress into the room. A rather loud crash followed. A few moments later James was up again suting pine needles off his shoulders. Reggie and Molly,alarmed by the noise, soon followed the men into the room. Anthony had picked up his daughter Jamie who had been looking at the tree with her nursemaid and was now holding her like a shield in front of him while the tree lay ingloriously on its side. Anthony knew his brother wouldn't risk harming one of the children for any reason, and the ploy worked. "Infants hiding behind infants, how apropos," James sneered. "Is,aint it?" Anthony grinned and kissed the top of his daughter's head. "Least it works." James was not amused, and ordered, barked, actually. "Put my niece down." "Wouldn't think of it, old man-least not until I find out why you want to murder me." Anthony's wife, Roslynn, bent over one of the twins, didn't turn about to say, "Excuse me? There will be no murdering in front of the children.
Johanna Lindsey (The Holiday Present)
THE THEOPHANY, TECCAM writes of secrets, calling them painful treasures of the mind. He explains that what most people think of as secrets are really nothing of the sort. Mysteries, for example, are not secrets. Neither are little-known facts or forgotten truths. A secret, Teccam explains, is true knowledge actively concealed. Philosophers have quibbled over his definition for centuries. They point out the logical problems with it, the loopholes, the exceptions. But in all this time none of them has managed to come up with a better definition. That, perhaps, tells us more than all the quibbling combined. In a later chapter, less argued over and less well-known, Teccam explains that there are two types of secrets. There are secrets of the mouth and secrets of the heart. Most secrets are secrets of the mouth. Gossip shared and small scandals whispered. These secrets long to be let loose upon the world. A secret of the mouth is like a stone in your boot. At first you’re barely aware of it. Then it grows irritating, then intolerable. Secrets of the mouth grow larger the longer you keep them, swelling until they press against your lips. They fight to be let free. Secrets of the heart are different. They are private and painful, and we want nothing more than to hide them from the world. They do not swell and press against the mouth. They live in the heart, and the longer they are kept, the heavier they become. Teccam claims it is better to have a mouthful of poison than a secret of the heart. Any fool will spit out poison, he says, but we hoard these painful treasures. We swallow hard against them every day, forcing them deep inside us. There they sit, growing heavier, festering. Given enough time, they cannot help but crush the heart that holds them. Modern philosophers scorn Teccam, but they are vultures picking at the bones of a giant. Quibble all you like, Teccam understood the shape of the world.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
But how…how am I a dragon? How are you a starman?” “I don’t think of myself as a starman, exactly,” he said soberly, though I sensed he wanted to smile. His hand released mine, the bridge broken; he moved to hang the lantern on a shiny new hook dug into the wall behind us. “I was born here, on earth. Not even far from here, in fact. Just over in Devon. My parents died young, when I was only five. Hastings is my great-uncle and he took me in, and I’ve lived here ever since. But I’ve always known what I am, as far back as I can remember. I’ve always been able to do the things I do. The stars have always spoken to me.” “And you…speak back to them?” “Yes,” he said simply. “But not to people.” “No. Just to Hastings, and to you.” A shiver took me; I crossed my arms over my chest. “What do the stars say?” “All manner of things. Amazing things. Secret things. Things great and small, things profound and insignificant. They told me that, throughout time, there’ve been only a scattering of people like me, folk of both flesh and star. That even the whisper of their magic in my blood could annihilate me if I didn’t learn to control it. That I’d crisp to ash without control. Or, worse, crisp someone else.” His smile broke through. “And they told me about you. That you were born and would come to me when the time was right.” “Did you summon me here?” The muted echo of my voice rebounded against the firefly walls: here-here-here. “To Iverson, I mean?” …mean-mean-mean… He didn’t answer at first. He looked at his feet, then walked to the edge of the embankment and squatted down, raking his fingers through the bright water near the toes of his boots. “We are such stuff as dreams are made on,” he said softly to the water. “Both infinite and finite, human and not. I’m of comet and clay and the sparks of sun across the ocean waves.” He sighed. “I know what it’s like to doubt yourself, to comprehend that you’re so unique you’re forced to wonder about…everything. But, yes, I called you to Iverson.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert talks about this phenomenon in his 2006 book, Stumbling on Happiness. “The greatest achievement of the human brain is its ability to imagine objects and episodes that do not exist in the realm of the real,” he writes. “The frontal lobe—the last part of the human brain to evolve, the slowest to mature, and the first to deteriorate in old age—is a time machine that allows each of us to vacate the present and experience the future before it happens.” This time travel into the future—otherwise known as anticipation—accounts for a big chunk of the happiness gleaned from any event. As you look forward to something good that is about to happen, you experience some of the same joy you would in the moment. The major difference is that the joy can last much longer. Consider that ritual of opening presents on Christmas morning. The reality of it seldom takes more than an hour, but the anticipation of seeing the presents under the tree can stretch out the joy for weeks. One study by several Dutch researchers, published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life in 2010, found that vacationers were happier than people who didn’t take holiday trips. That finding is hardly surprising. What is surprising is the timing of the happiness boost. It didn’t come after the vacations, with tourists bathing in their post-trip glow. It didn’t even come through that strongly during the trips, as the joy of travel mingled with the stress of travel: jet lag, stomach woes, and train conductors giving garbled instructions over the loudspeaker. The happiness boost came before the trips, stretching out for as much as two months beforehand as the holiday goers imagined their excursions. A vision of little umbrella-sporting drinks can create the happiness rush of a mini vacation even in the midst of a rainy commute. On some level, people instinctively know this. In one study that Gilbert writes about, people were told they’d won a free dinner at a fancy French restaurant. When asked when they’d like to schedule the dinner, most people didn’t want to head over right then. They wanted to wait, on average, over a week—to savor the anticipation of their fine fare and to optimize their pleasure. The experiencing self seldom encounters pure bliss, but the anticipating self never has to go to the bathroom in the middle of a favorite band’s concert and is never cold from too much air conditioning in that theater showing the sequel to a favorite flick. Planning a few anchor events for a weekend guarantees you pleasure because—even if all goes wrong in the moment—you still will have derived some pleasure from the anticipation. I love spontaneity and embrace it when it happens, but I cannot bank my pleasure solely on it. If you wait until Saturday morning to make your plans for the weekend, you will spend a chunk of your Saturday working on such plans, rather than anticipating your fun. Hitting the weekend without a plan means you may not get to do what you want. You’ll use up energy in negotiations with other family members. You’ll start late and the museum will close when you’ve only been there an hour. Your favorite restaurant will be booked up—and even if, miraculously, you score a table, think of how much more you would have enjoyed the last few days knowing that you’d be eating those seared scallops on Saturday night!
Laura Vanderkam (What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend: A Short Guide to Making the Most of Your Days Off (A Penguin Special from Portfo lio))
The people who were behind my abuse were very clever. They had created something which would be so difficult to explain, so difficult to make sense of, that it would be easier to dismiss it all out of hand as the ramblings of an over-imaginative child. Many people don't want to believe that child abuse exists, or are only willing to believe that certain kinds of abuse go on. They don't want to consider that something so horrific, and yet so widespread, is taking place in their community, perhaps only a door away from them, a few steps from their lives - or even in their lives if they would only open their eyes. I know this, not just because of my own personal experience, but through my work supporting and listening to survivors and those still experiencing abuse. To ask people not only to believe in the abuse but also to take on board all the details of what I'm revealing is a big step, and it has taken me many years to make the decision to tell my story, but it has to be done. This type of abuse is ongoing, as is the culture of disbelief to make people dismiss anyone who talks about it. This needs to be challenged. The things I'm telling you in this book have been kept close to me all my life; I have always known that talking of them, telling my full story, would make some people incredulous - but it's true. It's all true. Whatever the set dressing, they were rapists and abusers - just plain and simple/ The trappings that surrounded the abuse was just a way of creating something that would allow them to do what they wanted to, but which would also allow for confusion on our parts, and devotion on the parts of the 'followers'. I think this is what many people find so hard when they are asked to believe in this sort of abuse. It all seems so fantastical, so it's easy to dismiss. I'm not asking you to believe in any of that. I'm not asking you to believe in Satan, I'm not even asking you to believe in God. I'm just asking you to accept that there are some people who will go to extraordinary lengths to cover up the facts that they are abusing children.
Laurie Matthew (Groomed)
How long have you known about him?” I asked Jesse, using my free hand to gesture toward his guest. “Forever. Nearly as long as I did about you.” “God, Jesse. Why didn’t you say anything?” “He was a shadow of you.” Jesse shrugged. “His background is diluted, his dragon blood les strong. Even with you in his proximity, I wasn’t certain any of his drakon traits would emerge. He hasn’t anywhere near your potential.” “Pardon me,” Armand said, freezingly polite, “but he is still right here with you in this room.” “Do you mean…I did it?” I asked. “I made him figure it out? What he is?” Jesse gave me an assessing look. “Like is drawn to like. We’re all three of us thick with magic now, even if it’s different kinds. It’s inevitable that we’ll feed off one another. The only way to prevent that would be to separate. And even then it might not be enough. Too much has already begun.” “I don’t want to separate from you,” I said. “No.” Jesse lifted our hands and gave mine a kiss. “Don’t worry about that.” Armand practically rolled his eyes. “If you two are quite done, might we talk some sense tonight? It’s late, I’m tired, and your ruddy chair, Holms, is about as comfortable as sitting on a tack. I want to…” But his voice only faded into silence. He closed his eyes and raised a hand to his face and squeezed the bridge of his nose. I noted again those shining nails. The elegance of his bones beneath his flawless skin. Skin that was marble-pale, I realized. Just like mine. “Yes?” I said, more gently than I’d intended. “Excuse me. I’m finding this all a bit…impossible to process. I’m beginning to believe that this is the most profoundly unpleasant dream I’ve ever been caught in.” “Allow me to assure you that you’re awake, Lord Armand,” I retorted, all gentleness gone. “To wit: You hear music no one else does. Distinctive music from gemstones and all sorts of metals. That day I played the piano at Tranquility, I was playing your father’s ruby song, one you must have heard exactly as I did. Exactly as your mother would have. You also have, perhaps, something like a voice inside you. Something specific and base, stronger than instinct, hopeless to ignore. Animals distrust you. You might even dream of smoke or flying.” He dropped his arm. “You got that from the diary.” “No, I got that from my own life. And damned lucky you are to have been brought into this world as a pampered little prince instead of spending your childhood being like this and still having to fend for yourself, as I did.” “Right. Lucky me.” Armand looked at Jesse, his eyes glittering. “And what are you? Another dragon? A gargoyle, perchance, or a werecat?” “Jesse is a star.” The hand went up to conceal his face again. “Of course he is. The. Most. Unpleasant. Dream. Ever.” I separated my hand from Jesse’s, angling for more bread. “I think you’re going to have to show him.” “Aye.” A single blue eye blinked open between Armand’s fingers. “Show me what?
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
Part 3 Anna: St. Clair… Etienne: And that. Why don’t you call me Etienne any more? Anna: But … no one else calls you that. It was weird. Right? Etienne: No. It wasn’t And every time you say St. Clair, it’s like you’re rejecting me again. Anna: I have never rejected you. Etienne: But you have. And for Dave. Anna: And you rejected me for Ellie on my birhtday. I don’t understand. If you liked me so much, why didn’t you break up with her? Etienne: I’ve been confused. I’ve been so stupid. Anna: Yes. You have. Etienne: I deserve that. Anna: Yes. You do. But I’ve been stupid, too. You were right. About … the alone thing. Etienne: I’ve been thinking lately. About my mum and dad. How she gives in to him. How she won’t leave him. And as much as I love her, I hate her for it. I don’t understand why she won’t stand up for herself, why she won’t go for what she wants. But I’ve been doing t he same thing. I’m just like her. Anna: You aren’t like your mom. Etienne: I am. But I don’t want to be like that any more, I want what I want. I told my father’s friends that I’m studying at Berkeley next year. It worked. He’s really, really angry with me, but it worked. You told me to go for his pride. You were right. Anna: So.You’re moving to California? Etienne: I have to. Anna: Right. Because of your mom. Etienne: Because of you. I’ll only be a twenty-minute train ride from your school, and I’ll make the commute to see you every night. I’d take a commute ten times that just tob e with you every night. You’re the most incredible girl I’ve ever known. You’re gorgeous and smart, and you make me laugh lilke no one else can. And I can talk to you. And I know after all this I don’t deserve you, but what I’m trying to say ist hat I love you, Anna. Very much.Oh God, And I’ve mucked things up again, haven’t I? I didn’t mean to attack you like this. I mean I did but … all right. I’ll leave. Or you can go down first, and then I’l come down, and I promise I’ll never bother you again… Anna: No. Etienne: I’m so sorry. I never meant to hurt you. Anna: Please stopl apologizing, Etienne. Etienne: Say my name again Anna: Etienne. Etienne: Anna? Anna: Yes? Etienne: Will you please tell me you love me? I’m dying here.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
It doesn’t matter what they think. Dance with me.” He took her hand, and for the first time in a long while, she felt safe. He pulled her to the center of the floor and into the motions of the dance. Ronan didn’t speak for a few moments, then touched a slim braid that curved in a tendril along Kestrel’s cheek. “This is pretty.” The memory of Arin’s hands in her hair made her stiffen. “Gorgeous?” Ronan tried again. “Transcendent? Kestrel, the right adjective hasn’t been invented to describe you.” She attempted a light tone. “What will ladies do, when this kind of exaggerated flirtation is no longer the fashion? We shall be spoiled.” “You know it’s not mere flirtation,” Ronan said. “You’ve always known.” And Kestrel had, it was true that she had, even if she hadn’t wanted to shake the knowledge out of her mind and look at it, truly see it. She felt a dull spark of dread. “Marry me, Kestrel.” She held her breath. “I know things have been hard lately,” Ronan continued, “and that you don’t deserve it. You’ve had to be so strong, so proud, so cunning. But all of this unpleasantness will go away the instant we announce our engagement. You can be yourself again.” But she was strong. Proud. Cunning. Who did he think she was, if not the person who mercilessly beat him at every Bite and Sting game, who gave him Irex’s death-price and told him exactly what to do with it? Yet Kestrel bit back her words. She leaned into the curve of his arm. It was easy to dance with him. It would be easy to say yes. “Your father will be happy. My wedding gift to you will be the finest piano the capital can offer.” Kestrel glanced into his eyes. “Or keep yours,” he said hastily. “I know you’re attached to it.” “It’s just…you are very kind.” He gave a short, nervous laugh. “Kindness has little to do with it.” The dance slowed. It would end soon. “So?” Ronan had stopped, even though the music continued and dancers swirled around them. “What…well, what do you think?” Kestrel didn’t know what to think. Ronan was offering everything she could want. Why, then, did his words sadden her? Why did she feel like something had been lost? Carefully, she said, “The reasons you’ve given aren’t reasons to marry.” “I love you. Is that reason enough?
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Gabriel was stunned by Pandora's compassion for a man who had caused her such harm. He shook his head in wonder as he stared into her eyes, as dark as cloud-shadow on a field of blue gentian. "That doesn't excuse him," he said thickly. Gabriel would never forgive the bastard. He wanted vengeance. He wanted to strip the flesh from the bastard's corpse and hang up his skeleton to scare the crows. His fingers contained a subtle tremor as he reached out to trace the fine edges of her face, the sweet, high plane of her cheekbone. "What did the doctor say about your ear? What treatment did he give?" "It wasn't necessary to send for a doctor." A fresh flood of rage seared his veins as the words sunk in. "Your eardrum was ruptured. What in God's name do you mean a doctor wasn't necessary?" Although he had managed to keep from shouting, his tone was far from civilized. Pandora quivered uneasily and began to inch backward. He realized the last thing she needed from him was a display of temper. Battening down his rampaging emotions, he used one arm to bring her back against his side. "No, don't pull away. Tell me what happened." "The fever had passed," she said after a long hesitation, "and... well, you have to understand my family. If something unpleasant happened, they ignored it, and it was never spoken of again. Especially if it was something my father had done when he'd lost his temper. After a while, no one remembered what had really happened. Our family history was erased and rewritten a thousand times. But ignoring the problem with my ear didn't make it disappear. Whenever I couldn't hear something, or when I stumbled or fell, it made my mother very angry. She said I'd been clumsy because I was hasty or careless. She wouldn't admit there was anything wrong with my hearing. She refused even to discuss it." Pandora stopped, chewing thoughtfully on her lower lip. "I'm making her sound terrible, and she wasn't. There were times when she was affectionate and kind. No one's all one way or the other." She flicked a glance of dread in his direction. "Oh God, you're not going to pity me, are you?" "No." Gabriel was anguished for her sake, and outraged. It was all he could do to keep his voice calm. "Is that why you keep it a secret? You're afraid of being pitied?" "That, and... it's a shame I'd rather keep private." "Not your shame. Your father's." "It feels like mine. Had I not been eavesdropping, my father wouldn't have disciplined me." "You were a child," he said brusquely. "What he did wasn't bloody discipline, it was brutality." To his surprise, a touch of unrepentant amusement curved Pandora's lips, and she looked distinctly pleased with herself. "It didn't even stop my eavesdropping. I just learned to be more clever about it." She was so endearing, so indomitable, that Gabriel was wrenched with a feeling he'd never known before, as if all the extremes of joy and despair had been compressed into some new emotion that threatened to crack the walls of his heart.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
In a hurry to escape he let himself out of the house and walked to the truck. Before he could climb inside Marilee raced down the steps. Breathless,she came to a sudden halt in front of him. At the dark look in his eyes she swallowed. "Please don't go,Wyatt. I've been such a fool." "You aren't the only one." He studied her with a look that had her heart stuttering.A look so intense, she couldn't look away. "I've been neating myself up for days,because I wanted things to go my way or no way." "There's no need.You're not the only one." Her voice was soft,throaty. "You've always respected my need to be independent.But I guess I fought the battle so long,I forgot how to stop fighting even after I'd won the war." "You can fight me all you want. You know Superman is indestructable." Again that long,speculative look. "I know I caught you off guard with that proposal. It won't happen again. Even when I understood your fear of commitment, I had to push to have things my way.And even though I still want more, I'm willing to settle for what you're willing to give,as long as we can be together." She gave a deep sigh. "You mean it?" "I do." "Oh,Wyatt.I was so afraid I'd driven you away forever." He continued studying her. "Does this mean you're suffering another change of heart?" "My heart doesn't need to change. In my heart,I've always known how very special you are.It's my head that can't seem to catch up." She gave a shake of her head,as though to clear it. "I'm so glad you understand me. I've spent so many years fighting to be my own person, it seems I can't bear to give up the battle." A slow smile spread across his face, changing it from darkness to light. "Marilee,if it's a sparring partner you want,I'm happy to sigh on. And if,in time,you ever decide you want more, I'm your man." He framed her face with his hands and lowered his head,kissing her long and slow and deep until they were both sighing with pleasure. Her tears started again,but this time they were tears of joy. Wyatt brushed them away with his thumbs and traced the tracks with his lips. Marilee sighed at the tenderness. It was one of the things she most loved about this man. Loved. Why did she find it so hard to say what she was feeling? Because,her heart whispered, love meant commitment and promises and forever after,and that was more than she was willing to consider. At least for now. After a moment he caught her hand. "Where are we going?" "Your place.It's closer than the ranch, and we've wasted too much time already." "i can't leave the ambulance..." "All right." He turned away from the ranch truck and led her toward her vehicle. "See how easy I am?" At her little laugh he added, "I'm desperate for some time alone with you." Alone. She thought about that word. She'd been alone for so long.What he was offering had her heart working overtime. He was willing to compromise in order to be with her. She was laughing through her tears as she turned the key in the ignition. The key that had saved his life. "Wyatt McCord,I can't think of anything I'd rather be than alone with you.
R.C. Ryan (Montana Destiny)
Lutch Crawford always talked straight to the point. That’s how he got so much work done. “Fawn, about the other night, with all that moon. How do you feel now?” “I feel the same way,” she said tightly. Lutch had a little habit of catching his lower lip with his teeth and letting go when he was thinking was hard. There was a pause about long enough to do this. Then he said, “You been hearing rumors about you and me?” “Well I—” She caught her breath. “Oh, Lutch—” I heard the wicker, sharp and crisp, as she came up out of it. “Hold on!” Lutch snapped. “There’s nothing to it, Fawn. Forget it.” I heard the wicker again, slow, the front part, the back part. She didn’t say anything. “There’s some things too big for one or two people to fool with, honey,” he said gently. “This band’s one of ’em. For whatever it’s worth, it’s bigger than you and me. It’s going good and it’ll go better. It’s about as perfect as a group can get. It’s a unit. Tight. So tight that one wrong move’ll blow out all its seams. You and me, now—that’d be a wrong move.” “How do you know? What do you mean?” “Call it a hunch. Mostly, I know that things have been swell up to now, and I know that you—we—anyway, we can’t risk a change in the good old status quo.” “But—what about me?” she wailed. “Tough on you?” I’d known Lutch a long time, and this was the first time his voice didn’t come full and easy. “Fawn, there’s fourteen cats in this aggregation and they all feel the same way about you as you do about me. You have no monopoly. Things are tough all over. Think of that next time you feel spring fever coming on.” I think he bit at his lower lip again. In a soft voice like Skid’s guitar with the bass stop, he said, “I’m sorry, kid.” “Don’t call me kid!” she blazed. “You better go practice your scales,” he said thickly. The door slammed. After a bit he let me out. He went and sat by the window, looking out. “Now what did you do that for?” I wanted to know. “For the unit,” he said, still looking out the window. “You’re crazy. Don’t you want her?” What I could see of his face answered that question. I don’t think I’d realized before how much he wanted her. I don’t think I’d thought about it. He said, “I don’t want her so badly I’d commit murder for an even chance at her. You do. If anyone wants her worse than I do, I don’t want her enough. That’s the way I see it.
Theodore Sturgeon (The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, Volume 5: The Perfect Host)
Trusting in God's Direction When I served as a denominational leader in Vancouver, one of our churches believed God was leading it to begin three new mission churches for different language groups. At that time, the church had only seventeen members. Human reason would have immediately ruled out such a large assignment for a small church. They were hoping to receive financial support from our denomination's Home Mission Board to pay the mission pastors' salaries. One pastor was already in the process of relocating to Vancouver when we unexpectedly received word that the mission board would be unable to fund any new work in our area for the next three years. The church didn't have the funds to do what God had called it to do. When they sought my counsel, I suggested that they first go back to the Lord and clarify what God had said to them. If this was merely something they wanted to do for God, God would not be obligated to provide for them. After they sought the Lord, they returned and said, “We still believe God is calling us to start all three new churches.” At this point, they had to walk by faith and trust God to provide for what He was clearly leading them to do. A few months later, the church received some surprising news. Six years earlier, I had led a series of meetings in a church in California. An elderly woman had approached me and said she wanted to will part of her estate for use in mission work in our city. The associational office had just received a letter from an attorney in California informing them that they would be receiving a substantial check from that dear woman's estate. The association could now provide the funds needed by the sponsoring church. The amount was sufficient to firmly establish all three churches this faithful congregation had launched. Did God know what He was doing when He told a seventeen-member church to begin three new congregations? Yes. He already knew the funds would not be available from the missions agency, and He was also aware of the generosity of an elderly saint in California. None of these details caught God by surprise. That small church in Vancouver had known in their minds that God could provide. But through this experience they developed a deeper trust in their all knowing God. Whenever God directs you, you will never have to question His will. He knows what He is going to do.
Henry T. Blackaby (Experiencing God)
Are you a relative of her late husband?” the woman asked. His eyes widened. “I beg your pardon?” “It must be so hard for her, pregnant and just widowed,” the middle-aged woman continued. “We’ve all done what we could to make her happy here. Mr. Johnson, the curator, is a widower himself. He’s already sweet on her. But you’re probably anxious to see Mrs. Peterson. Shall I ring her and let her know you’re coming?” Tate’s eyes were blazing. “No,” he said with forced politeness. “I want to surprise her!” He stalked out, leaving the rented vehicle where it was as he trudged through the small layer of snow and glared contemptuously at the cars sliding around in the street as they passed. This little bit of snow was nothing compared to the six-foot snowdrifts on the reservation. Southerners, he considered, must not get much winter precipitation if this little bit of white dust paralyzed traffic! As for Cecily’s mythical dead husband, he considered, going up the walkway to the small brick structure where she lived, he was about to make a startling, resurrected appearance! He knocked on the door and waited. There was an irritated murmur beyond the closed door and the sound of a lock being unfastened. The door opened and a wan Cecily looked straight into his eyes. He managed to get inside the screen door and catch her before she passed out. She came to on the sofa with Tate sitting beside her, smoothing back her disheveled hair. The nausea climbed into her throat and, fortunately, stayed there. She looked at him with helpless delight, wishing she could hide what the sight of him was doing to her after so many empty, lonely weeks. He didn’t speak. He touched her hair, her forehead, her eyes, her nose, her mouth, with fingers that seemed bent on memorizing her. Then his hands went to the robe carelessly fastened over her cotton nightdress and pushed it aside. He touched her belly, his face radiant as he registered the very visible and tangible signs of her condition. “When did we make him?” he asked without preamble. She felt her world dissolve. He knew about the baby. Of course. That was why he was here. He met her eyes, found hostility and bitter disillusionment in them. His hand pressed down over her belly. “I would have come even if I hadn’t known about the baby,” he said at once. “The baby is mine.” “And mine.” “Audrey is not getting her avaricious little hands on my child…!
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
She'd gone and let her hair loose, he thought. Why did she have to do that? It made his hands hurt, actually hurt with wanting to slide into it. "That's good." She stepped in, shut the door. And because it seemed too perfect not to, audibly flipped the lock. Seeing a muscle twitch in his jaw was incredibly satisfying. He was a drowning man, and had just gone under the first time. "Keeley, I've had a long day here.I was just about to-" "Have a nightcap," she finished. She'd spotted the teapot and the bottle of whiskey on the kitchen counter. "I wouldn't mind one myself." She breezed past him to flip off the burner under the now sputtering kettle. She'd put on different perfume, he thought viciously. Put it on fresh, too, just to torment him. He was damn sure of it.It snagged his libido like a fish-hook. "I'm not really fixed for company just now." "I don't think I qualify as company." Competently she warmed the pot, measured out the tea and poured the boiling water in. "I certainly won't be after we're lovers." He went under the second time without even the chance to gulp in air. "We're not lovers." "That's about to change." She set the lid on the pot, turned. "How long do you like it to steep?" "I like it strong, so it'll take some time. You should go on home now." "I like it strong, too." Amazing, she thought,she didn't feel nervous at all. "And if it's going to take some time, we can have it afterward." "This isn't the way for this." He said it more to himself than her. "This is backward, or twisted.I can't get my mind around it. no,just stay back over there and let me think a minute." But she was already moving toward him, a siren's smile on her lips. "If you'd rather seduce me, go ahead." "That's exactly what I'm not going to do." Thought the night was cool and his windows were open to it, he felt sweat slither down his back. "If I'd known the way things were, I'd never have started this." That mouth of his, she thought. She really had to have that mouth. "Now we both know the way things are, and I intend to finish it.It's my choice." His blood was already swimming. Hot and fast. "You don't know anything, which is the whole flaming problem." "Are you afraid of innocence?" "Damn right." "It doesn't stop you from wanting me. Put your hands on me,Brian." She took his wrist,pressed his hand to her breast. "I want your hands on me." The boots clattered to the floor as he went under for the third time.
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
Because you deserve a duke, damn it!” A troubled expression furrowed his brow. “You deserve a man who can give you the moon. I can’t. I can give you a decent home in a decent part of town with decent people, but you…” His voice grew choked. “You’re the most amazing woman I’ve ever known. It destroys me to think of what you’ll have to give up to be with me.” “I told you before-I don’t care!” she said hotly. “Why can’t you believe me?” He hesitated a long moment. “The truth?” “Always.” “Because I can’t imagine why you’d want me when you have men of rank and riches at your fingertips.” She gave a rueful laugh. “You grossly exaggerate my charms, but I can’t complain. It’s one of many things I adore about you-that you see a better version of me than I ever could.” Remembering the wonderful words he’d said last night when she’d been so self-conscious, she left the bed to walk up to him. “Do you know what I see when I look at you?” His wary gaze locked with hers. “Proper Pinter. Proud Pinter.” “Yes, but that’s just who you show to the world to protect yourself.” She reached up to stroke his cheek, reveling in the ragged breath that escaped him. “When you let down your guard, however, I see Jackson-who ferrets out the truth, no matter how hard. Who risks his own life to protect the weak. Who’d sacrifice anything to prevent me from having to sacrifice everything.” Catching her hand, he halted its path. “You see a saint,” he said hoarsely. “I’m not a saint; I’m a man with needs and desires and a great many rough edges.” “I like your rough edges,” she said with a soft smile. “If I’d really wanted a man of rank and riches, I probably would have married long ago. I always told myself I couldn’t marry because no one wanted me, but the truth was, I didn’t want any of them.” She fingered a lock of hair. “Apparently I was waiting for you, rough edges and all.” His eyes turned hot with wanting. Drawing her hand to his lips, he kissed the palm so tenderly that her heart leapt into her throat. When he lifted his head, he said, “Then marry me, rough edges and all.” She swallowed. “That’s what you say now, when we’re alone and you’re caught up in-“ He covered her mouth with his, kissing her so fervently that she turned into a puddle of mush. Blast him-he always did that, too, when they were alone; it was when they were with others that he reconsidered their being together forever. And he still had said nothing of live. “That’s enough of that,” she warned, drawing back from him. “Until you make a proper proposal, before my family, you’re not sharing my bed.” “Sweeting-“ “Don’t you ‘sweeting’ me, Jackson Pinter.” She edged away from him. “I want Proper Pinter back now.” A mocking smile crossed his lips. “Sorry, love. I threw him out when I saw how he was mucking up my private life.” Love? No, she wouldn’t let that soften her. Not until she was sure he wouldn’t turn cold later. “You told Oliver you’d behave like a gentleman.” “To hell with your brother.” He stalked her with clear intent. Even as she darted behind a chair to avoid him, excitement tore through her. “Aren’t you still worried Gran will cut me off, and you’ll be saddled with a spoiled wife and not enough money to please her?” “To hell with your grandmother, too. For that matter, to hell with the money.” He tossed the chair aside as if it were so much kindling; it clattered across the floor. “It’s you I want.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
Katarina wasn’t afraid of Baden. Not anymore. He took a step to the side, intending to move around her. Oh, no. She flattened her hands on his shoulders, keeping him in place. “I want to know what’s wrong with you.” She said. “Tell me.” He snapped his teeth at her in a show of dominance. “You think you want to know my problem. You’re wrong.” Her tone dry, she said, “I’m so glad you know my mind better than I do.” “Very well. I need sex.” He threw the words at her as if they were weapons. “Badly.” Whoa. Blindside! Heart pounding, she jerked her hands away from him. “Sex...from me?” “Yesss.” A hiss. “Only from you.” Only. Amazing how one little word could send pleasure soaring through her, warming her. “You told me never to touch you.” Which she’d just done, she realized. My bad. “I’ve changed my mind.” His gaze dropped, lingered on her lips. Burning her... “But you and I...we’re a different species.” As if that mattered to her body. Gimme!
 He took a step closer, invading her personal space. “We’ll fit, I promise you.”
 Tristo hrmenych! The raspy quality of his voice, all smoke and gravel...she shivered with longing. Must resist his allure. But...but...why? Before she’d committed to Peter, she’d dated around, had made out in movie theaters, cars and on couches. She’d liked kissing and touching and “riding the belt buckle,” as her friends had called it. Then, after committing to Peter, she’d gifted him with her virginity. At first, he hadn’t known what to do with her—he’d been just as inexperienced—and she’d left each encounter disappointed. When finally she’d gathered the courage to tell him what she wanted, he’d satisfied her well. She missed sex. But connection...intimacy...she thought she missed those more. The dogs barked, jolting her from her thoughts. They’d cleaned their food bowls, and now wanted to play. She clasped Baden’s hand to lead him out of the kennel. He jerked away, severing contact. One action. Tons of hurt. “I’m allowed to touch you and you want to have sex with me, but you’re still disgusted by me.” She stomped outside the kennel, done with him. “Well, I’m leaving. Good riddance! Your do-what-I-say-or-else attitude was annoying, anyway.” He darted in front of her, stopping her. Breath caught in her throat as sunlight streamed over him, paying his chiseled features absolute tribute, making his bronzed skin glimmer. So beautiful. Too beautiful. “I’m not disgusted by you. You need me. I’ve come to accept it,” he admitted, looking away from her. “But being skin-to-skin with another is painful for me. We’ll have to proceed carefully. And you’ll get over your annoyance.” Another order! She would show him the error of his ways.
Gena Showalter (The Darkest Torment (Lords of the Underworld, #12))
Ego or fixed identity doesn’t just mean we have a fixed idea about ourselves. It also means that we have a fixed idea about everything we perceive. I have a fixed idea about you; you have a fixed idea about me. And once there is that feeling of separation, it gives rise to strong emotions. In Buddhism, strong emotions like anger, craving, pride, and jealousy are known as kleshas—conflicting emotions that cloud the mind. The kleshas are our vehicle for escaping groundlessness, and therefore every time we give in to them, our preexisting habits are reinforced. In Buddhism, going around and around, recycling the same patterns, is called samsara. And samsara equals pain. We keep trying to get away from the fundamental ambiguity of being human, and we can’t. We can’t escape it any more than we can escape change, any more than we can escape death. The cause of our suffering is our reaction to the reality of no escape: ego clinging and all the trouble that stems from it, all the things that make it difficult for us to be comfortable in our own skin and get along with one another. If the way to deal with those feelings is to stay present with them without fueling the story line, then it begs the question: How do we get in touch with the fundamental ambiguity of being human in the first place? In fact, it’s not difficult, because underlying uneasiness is usually present in our lives. It’s pretty easy to recognize but not so easy to interrupt. We may experience this uneasiness as anything from slight edginess to sheer terror. Anxiety makes us feel vulnerable, which we generally don’t like. Vulnerability comes in many guises. We may feel off balance, as if we don’t know what’s going on, don’t have a handle on things. We may feel lonely or depressed or angry. Most of us want to avoid emotions that make us feel vulnerable, so we’ll do almost anything to get away from them. But if, instead of thinking of these feelings as bad, we could think of them as road signs or barometers that tell us we’re in touch with groundlessness, then we would see the feelings for what they really are: the gateway to liberation, an open doorway to freedom from suffering, the path to our deepest well-being and joy. We have a choice. We can spend our whole life suffering because we can’t relax with how things really are, or we can relax and embrace the open-endedness of the human situation, which is fresh, unfixated, unbiased. So the challenge is to notice the emotional tug of shenpa when it arises and to stay with it for one and a half minutes without the story line. Can you do this once a day, or many times throughout the day, as the feeling arises? This is the challenge. This is the process of unmasking, letting go, opening the mind and heart.
Pema Chödrön (Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change)
Jane, I don’t care what capacity you let me have in your life. I just want to be there. And if that means I have to keep my distance, I’ll do that.” I sighed. If ever there was a time for me to lay all my cards on the table, this was it. Naked, wounded, and vulnerable. “So, here’s my basic problem with us, the reason I can’t seem to relax into a relationship with you, the reason I find problems where none exist and I push you away. I—I can’t figure out why you’re with me!” I exclaimed, clapping my hand over my mouth. I hadn’t meant for that part to come out. I had meant to say, “You lie and hide things from me.” Gabriel pried my fingers away from my lips. My hands trembled as stuff I’d been feeling for months tumbled from my tongue. “I know that makes me neurotic and sad, but I can’t figure out why you want to be with me. Every other woman in your life is exotic and beautiful and has all this history. And I’m just some drunk girl you followed home from a bar, some pathetic human you felt your usual need to protect, and you got stuck with a lifetime tie to her because she was dumb enough to get shot. I can’t stand the idea that you feel obligated to me. I know I’m insecure and pushy and spastic, desperately inappropriate at times and just plain odd at others. And I can’t help but wonder why you would want that when there are obviously so many other options. I can’t help but feel that I’m keeping you from someone better.” I let out a loud, long breath. It felt as if some tremendous weight on my chest had wiggled loose and then dropped away. No more running. No more floating along and waiting. My cards were on the table. If Gabriel and I couldn’t have a future after this, it wasn’t because I held back from him. Now I could only hope it didn’t blow up in my face in some horrible way. I wasn’t sure my face could handle much more. Gabriel sighed and cupped my chin, forcing me to look him in the eye. “I didn’t follow you that night because I wanted to protect you. I followed you that night because you were one of the most interesting people I’d met in decades. You had this light about you, this sweetness, this biting humor. After I’d only known you for an hour, you made me laugh harder than I had since before I was turned. You made me feel normal, at peace, for the first time in years. And I didn’t want to lose that yet. Even if it was just watching over you from a mile away, I didn’t want to leave your presence. I followed you because I didn’t want to let you go. Even then, I saw you were one of the most extraordinary, fascinating, maddening people I would ever know. Even then, I think I knew that I would love you. If you don’t love me, that’s one thing. But if you do, just stop arguing with me about it. It’s annoying. ” “Fair enough,” I conceded. “Why the hell couldn’t you have told me this a year ago?” “I’ve wanted to. You weren’t ready to hear it.
Molly Harper (Nice Girls Don't Live Forever (Jane Jameson, #3))
A businessman buys a business and tries to operate it. He does everything that he knows how to do but just cannot make it go. Year after year the ledger shows red, and he is not making a profit. He borrows what he can, has a little spirit and a little hope, but that spirit and hope die and he goes broke. Finally, he sells out, hopelessly in debt, and is left a failure in the business world. A woman is educated to be a teacher but just cannot get along with the other teachers. Something in her constitution or temperament will not allow her to get along with children or young people. So after being shuttled from one school to another, she finally gives up, goes somewhere and takes a job running a stapling machine. She just cannot teach and is a failure in the education world. I have known ministers who thought they were called to preach. They prayed and studied and learned Greek and Hebrew, but somehow they just could not make the public want to listen to them. They just couldn’t do it. They were failures in the congregational world. It is possible to be a Christian and yet be a failure. This is the same as Israel in the desert, wandering around. The Israelites were God’s people, protected and fed, but they were failures. They were not where God meant them to be. They compromised. They were halfway between where they used to be and where they ought to be. And that describes many of the Lord’s people. They live and die spiritual failures. I am glad God is good and kind. Failures can crawl into God’s arms, relax and say, “Father, I made a mess of it. I’m a spiritual failure. I haven’t been out doing evil things exactly, but here I am, Father, and I’m old and ready to go and I’m a failure.” Our kind and gracious heavenly Father will not say to that person, “Depart from me—I never knew you,” because that person has believed and does believe in Jesus Christ. The individual has simply been a failure all of his life. He is ready for death and ready for heaven. I wonder if that is what Paul, the man of God, meant when he said: [No] other foundation can [any] man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he should receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire (1 Cor. 3:11-15). I think that’s what it means, all right. We ought to be the kind of Christian that cannot only save our souls but also save our lives. When Lot left Sodom, he had nothing but the garments on his back. Thank God, he got out. But how much better it would have been if he had said farewell at the gate and had camels loaded with his goods. He could have gone out with his head up, chin out, saying good riddance to old Sodom. How much better he could have marched away from there with his family. And when he settled in a new place, he could have had “an abundant entrance” (see 2 Pet. 1:11). Thank God, you are going to make it. But do you want to make it in the way you have been acting lately? Wandering, roaming aimlessly? When there is a place where Jesus will pour “the oil of gladness” on our heads, a place sweeter than any other in the entire world, the blood-bought mercy seat (Ps. 45:7; Heb. 1:9)? It is the will of God that you should enter the holy of holies, live under the shadow of the mercy seat, and go out from there and always come back to be renewed and recharged and re-fed. It is the will of God that you live by the mercy seat, living a separated, clean, holy, sacrificial life—a life of continual spiritual difference. Wouldn’t that be better than the way you are doing it now?
A.W. Tozer (The Crucified Life: How To Live Out A Deeper Christian Experience)
Hullo,” he said sleepily, rubbing a hand along his jaw. He’s here in my room, right in the middle of the afternoon. Great God, there’s a boy in my bed in my room- I came to life. “Get out!” He yawned, a lazy yawn, a yawn that clearly indicated he had no intention of leaving. In the moody gray light his body seemed a mere suggestion against the covers, his hair a shaded smudge against the paler lines of his collar and face. “But I’ve been waiting for you for over an hour up here, and bloody boring it’s been, too. I’ve never known a girl who didn’t keep even mildly wicked reading material hidden somewhere in her bedchamber. I’ve had to pass the time watching the spiders crawl across your ceiling.” Voices floated up from downstairs, a maids’ conversation about rags and soapy water sounding horribly loud, and horribly close. I shut the door as gently as I could and pressed my back against it, my mind racing. No lock, no bolt, no key, no way to keep them out if they decided to come up… Armand shifted a bit, rearranging the pillows behind his shoulders. I wet my lips. “If this is about the kiss-“ “No.” He gave a slight shrug. “I mean, it wasn’t meant to be. But if you’d like-“ “You can’t be in here!” “And yet, Eleanor, here I am. You know, I remember this room from when I used to live in the castle as a boy. It was a storage chamber, I believe. All the shabby, cast-off things tossed up here where no one had to look at them.” He stretched out long and lazy again, arms overhead, his shirt pulling tight across his chest. “This mattress really isn’t very comfortable, is it? Hark as a rock. No wonder you’re so ill-tempered.” Dark power. Compel him to leave. I was desperate enough to try. “You must go,” I said. Miraculously, I felt it working. I willed it and it happened, the magic threading through my tone as sly as silk, deceptively subtle. “Now. If anyone sees you, were never here. You never saw me. Go downstairs, and do not mention my name.” Armand sat up, his gaze abruptly intent. One of the pillows plopped on the floor. “That was interesting, how your voice just changed. Got all smooth and eerie. I think I have goose bumps. Was that some sort of technique they taught you at the orphanage? Is it useful for begging?” Blast. I tipped my head back against the wood of the door and clenched my teeth. “Do you have any idea the trouble I’ll be in if they should find you here? What people will think?” “Oh, yes. It rather gives me the advantage, doesn’t it?” “Mrs. Westcliffe will expel me!” “Nonsense.” He smiled. “All right, probably she will.” “Just tell me that you want, then!” His lashes dropped; his smile grew more dry. He ran a hand slowly along a crease of quilt by his thigh. “All I want,” he said quietly, “is to talk. “Then pay a call on me later this afternoon,” I hissed. “No.” “What, you don’t have the time to tear yourself away from your precious Chloe?” I hadn’t meant to say that, and, believe me, as soon as the words left my lips I regretted them. They made me sound petty and jealous, and I was certain I was neither. Reasonably certain.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
I still had moments when my nerves got to me, but whenever I’d start to get anxious, Kyla Ross would remind me, “Simone, just do what you do in practice.” And before I went out for each event, she’d high-five me and say, “Just like practice, Simone!” I’d say the same thing to her when it was her turn to go up. “Just like practice” became our catchphrase. As I walked onto the mat to do my floor exercise, I held on to that phrase like it was a lifeline, because I was about to perform a difficult move I’d come up with in practice—a double flip in the layout position with a half twist out. The way it happened was, I’d landed short on a double layout full out earlier that year during training, and I’d strained my calf muscle on the backward landing. Aimee didn’t want me to risk a more severe injury, so she suggested I do the double layout—body straight with legs together and fully extended as I flipped twice in the air—then add a half twist at the end. That extra half twist meant I’d have to master a very tricky blind forward landing, but it would put less stress on my calves. I thought the new combination sounded incredibly cool, so I started playing around with it until I was landing the skill 95 percent of the time. At the next Nationals Camp, I demonstrated the move for Martha and she thought it looked really good, so we went ahead and added it to the second tumbling pass of my floor routine. I’d already performed the combination at national meets that year, but doing it at Worlds was different. That’s because when a completely new skill is executed successfully at a season-ending championship like Worlds or the Olympics, the move will forever after be known by the name of the gymnast who first performed it. Talk about high stakes! I’ll cut to the chase: I nailed the move, which is how it came to be known as the Biles. How awesome is that! (The only problem is, when I see another gymnast perform the move now, I pray they don’t get hurt. I know it’s not logical, but because the move is named after me, I’d feel as if it was my fault.)
Simone Biles (Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, a Life in Balance)
Did you ever notice how very fickle males are?” she asked the horse. “And how very foolish females are about them?” she added, aware of how inexplicably deflated she felt. She realized as well that she was being completely irrational-she had not intended to come here, had not wanted him to be waiting, and now she felt almost like crying because he wasn’t! Giving the ribbons of her bonnet an impatient jerk, she untied them. Pulling the bonnet off, she pushed the back door of the cottage open, stepped inside-and froze in shock! Standing at the opposite side of the small room, his back to her, was Ian Thornton. His dark head was slightly bent as he gazed at the cheery little fire crackling in the fireplace, his hands shoved into the back waistband of his gray riding breeches, his booted foot upon the grate. He’d taken off his jacket, and beneath his soft lawn shirt his muscles flexed as he withdrew his right hand and shoved it through the side of his hair. Elizabeth’s gaze took in the sheer male beauty of his wide, masculine shoulders, his broad back and narrow waist. Something in the somber way he was standing-added to the fact that he’d waited more than two hours for her-made her doubt her earlier conviction that he hadn’t truly cared whether she came or not. And that was before she glanced sideways and saw the table. Her heart turned over when she saw the trouble he’d taken: A cream linen tablecloth covered with crude china, obviously borrowed from Charise’s house. In the center of the table a candle was lit, and a half-empty bottle of wine stood beside a platter of cold meat and cheese. In all her life Elizabeth had never known that a man could actually arrange a luncheon and set a table. Women did that. Women and servants. Not men who were so handsome they made one’s pulse race. It seemed she’d been standing there for several minutes, not mere seconds, when he stiffened suddenly, as if sensing her presence. He turned, and his harsh face softened with a wry smile: “You aren’t very punctual.” “I didn’t intend to come,” Elizabeth admitted, fighting to recover her balance and ignore the tug of his eyes and voice. “I got caught in the rain on my way to the village.” “You’re wet.” “I know.” “Come over by the fire.” When she continued to watch him warily, he took his foot off the grate and walked over to her. Elizabeth stood rooted to the floor, while all of Lucinda’s dark warnings about being alone with a man rushed through her mind. “What do you want?” she asked him breathlessly, feeling dwarfed by his towering height. “Your jacket.” “No-I think I’d like to keep it on.” “Off,” he insisted quietly. “It’s wet.” “Now see here!” she burst out backing toward the open door, clutching the edges of her jacket. “Elizabeth,” he said with reassuring calm, “I gave you my word you’d be safe if you came today.” Elizabeth briefly closed her eyes and nodded, “I know. I also know I shouldn’t be here. I really ought to leave. I should, shouldn’t I?” Opening her eyes again, she looked beseechingly into his-the seduced asking the seducer for advice. “Under the circumstances, I don’t think I’m the one you ought to ask.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
From another corner of neuroscience, we’re learning about a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Though there are more than fifty neurotransmitters (that we know of), scientists studying substance problems have given dopamine much of their attention. The brain’s reward system and pleasure centers—the areas most impacted by substance use and compulsive behaviors—have a high concentration of dopamine. Some brains have more of it than others, and some people have a capacity to enjoy a range of experiences more than others, owing to a combination of genetics and environment. The thing about dopamine is that it makes us feel really good. We tend to want more of it. It is naturally generated through ordinary, pleasurable activities like eating and sex, and it is the brain’s way of rewarding us—or nature’s way of rewarding the brain—for activities necessary to our survival, individually or as a species. It is the “mechanism by which ‘instinct’ is manifest.” Our brains arrange for dopamine levels to rise in anticipation and spike during a pleasurable activity to make sure we do it again. It helps focus our attention on all the cues that contributed to our exposure to whatever felt good (these eventually become triggers to use, as we explain later). Drugs and alcohol (and certain behaviors) turn on a gushing fire hose of dopamine in the brain, and we feel good, even euphoric. Dopamine produced by these artificial means, however, throws our pleasure and reward systems out of whack immediately. Flooding the brain repeatedly with dopamine has long-term effects and creates what’s known as tolerance—when we lose our ability to produce or absorb our own dopamine and need more and more of it artificially just to feel okay. Specifically, the brain compensates for the flood of dopamine by decreasing its own production of it or by desensitizing itself to the neurotransmitter by reducing the number of dopamine receptors, or both. The brain is just trying to keep a balance. The problem with the brain’s reduction in natural dopamine production is that when you take the substance or behavior out of the picture, there’s not enough dopamine in the brain to make you feel good. Without enough dopamine, there is no interest or pleasure. Then not only does the brain lose the pleasure associated with using, it might not be able to enjoy a sunset or a back rub, either. A lowered level of dopamine, combined with people’s longing for the rush of dopamine they got from using substances, contributes to “craving” states. Cravings are a physiological process associated with the brain’s struggle to regain its normal dopamine balance, and they can influence a decision to keep using a substance even when a person is experiencing negative consequences that matter to him and a strong desire to change. Depending on the length of time and quantities a person has been using, these craving states can be quite uncomfortable and compelling. The dopamine system can and does recover, starting as soon as we stop flooding it. But it takes time, and in the time between shutting off the artificial supply of dopamine and the brain’s rebuilding its natural resources, people tend to feel worse (before they feel better). On a deep, instinctual level, their brains are telling them that by stopping using, something is missing; something is wrong. This is a huge factor in relapse, despite good intentions and effort to change. Knowing this can help you and your loved one make it across this gap in brain reward systems.
Jeffrey Foote (Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change)
Well, now, if we’d known we were going to have such…ah…gra…that is, illustrious company, we’d have-“ “Swept off the chairs?” Lucinda suggested acidly. “Shoveled off the floor?” “Lucinda!” Elizabeth whispered desperately. “They didn’t know we were coming.” “No respectable person would dwell in such a place even for a night,” she snapped, and Elizabeth watched in mingled distress and admiration as the redoubtable woman turned around and directed her attack on their unwilling host. “The responsibility for our being here is yours, whether it was a mistake or not! I shall expect you to rout your servants from their hiding places and have them bring clean linens up to us at once. I shall also expect them to have this squalor remedied by morning! It is obvious from your behavior that you are no gentleman; however, we are ladies, and we shall expect to be treated as such.” From the corner of her eye Elizabeth had been watching Ian Thornton, who was listening to all of this, his jaw rigid, a muscle beginning to twitch dangerously in the side of his neck. Lucinda, however, was either unaware of or unconcerned with his reaction, for, as she picked up her skirts and turned toward the stairs, she turned on Jake. “You may show us to our chambers. We wish to retire.” “Retire!” cried Jake, thunderstruck. “But-but what about supper?” he sputtered. “You may bring it up to us.” Elizabeth saw the blank look on Jake’s face, and she endeavored to translate, politely, what the irate woman was saying to the startled red-haired man. “What Miss Throckmorton-Jones means is that we’re rather exhausted from our trip and not very good company, sir, and so we prefer to dine in our rooms.” “You will dine,” Ian Thornton said in an awful voice that made Elizabeth freeze, “on what you cook for yourself, madam. If you want clean linens, you’ll get them yourself from the cabinet. If you want clean rooms, clean them! Am I making myself clear?” “Perfectly!” Elizabeth began furiously, but Lucinda interrupted in a voice shaking with ire: “Are you suggesting, sirrah, that we are to do the work of servants?” Ian’s experience with the ton and with Elizabeth had given him a lively contempt for ambitious, shallow, self-indulgent young women whose single goal in life was to acquire as many gowns and jewels as possible with the least amount of effort, and he aimed his attack at Elizabeth. “I am suggesting that you look after yourself for the first time in your silly, aimless life. In return for that, I am willing to give you a roof over your head and to share our food with you until I can get you to the village. If that is too overwhelming a task for you, then my original invitation still stands: There’s the door. Use it!” Elizabeth knew the man was irrational, and it wasn’t worth riling herself to reply to him, so she turned instead to Lucinda. “Lucinda,” she said with weary resignation, “do not upset yourself by trying to make Mr. Thornton understand that his mistake has inconvenienced us, not the other way around. You will only waste your time. A gentleman of breeding would be perfectly able to understand that he should be apologizing instead of ranting and raving. However, as I told you before we came here, Mr. Thornton is no gentleman. The simple fact is that he enjoys humiliating people, and he will continue trying to humiliate us for as long as we stand here.” Elizabeth cast a look of well-bred disdain over Ian and said, “Good night, Mr. Thornton.” Turning, she softened her voice a little and said, “Good evening, Mr. Wiley.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
She had several books she'd been wanting to read, but instead she sprawled out on the couch surrounded by pillows and blankets, and spent the hours flipping channels between Judge Judy, The People's Court, Maury, and Jerry Springer, and rounded out her afternoon with Dr. Phil and Oprah. All in all, it was a complete waste of a day. At least until school got out. Jay showed up after school with a bouquet of flowers and an armful of DVDs, although Violet couldn't have card less about either...he was all she wanted. She couldn't help the electric thrill of excitement she felt when he came strolling in, grinning at her foolishly as if he hadn't seen her in weeks rather than hours. He scooped her up from the couch and dropped her onto his lap as he sat down where she had been just a moment before. He was careful to arrange her ankle on a neatly stacked pile of pillows beside him. He stubbornly refused to hide his affection for her, and if Violet hadn't known better she would have sworn that he was going out of his way to make her self-conscious in her own home. Fortunately her parents were giving them some space for the time being, and they were left by themselves most of the time. "Did you miss me?" he asked arrogantly as he gently brushed his lips over hers, not bothering to wait for an answer. She smiled while she kissed him back, loving the topsy-turvy feeling that her stomach always got when he was so close to her. She wound her arms around his neck, forgetting that she was in the middle of the family room and not hidden away in the privacy of her bedroom. He pulled away from her, suddenly serious. "You know, we didn't get much time alone yesterday. And I didn't get a chance to tell you..." Violet was mesmerized by the thick timbre of his deep voice. She barely heard his words but rather concentrated on the fluid masculinity of his tone. "I feel like I've waited too long to finally have you, and then yesterday...when..." He stopped, seemingly at a loss, and then he tried another approach. His hand stroked her cheek, igniting a response from deep within her. "I can't imagine living without you," he said, tenderly kissing her forehead, his warm breath fanning her brow. He paused thoughtfully for a moment before speaking again. "I love you, Violet. More than I ever could have imagined. And I don't want to lose you...I can't lose you." It was her turn to look arrogant as she glanced up at him. "I know," she stated smugly, shrugging her shoulder. He shoved her playfully but held on to her tightly so that she never really went anywhere. "What do you mean, 'I know'? What kind of response is that?" His righteous indignation bordered on comical. He pulled her down into his arms so that his face was directly above hers. "Say it!" he commanded. She shook her head, pretending not to understand him. "What? What do you want me to say?" But then she giggled and ruined her baffled façade. He teased her with his mouth, leaning down to kiss her and then pulling away before his lips ever reached hers. He nuzzled her neck tantalizingly, only to stop once she responded. She wrapped her arms around his neck, trying to pull him closer, frustrated by his mocking ambush of her senses. "Say it," he whispered, his breath warm against her neck. She groaned, wanting him to put her out of her misery. "I love you too," she rasped as she clung to him. "I love you so much..." His mouth moved to cover hers in an exhausting kiss that left them broth breathless and craving more than they could have. Violet collapsed into his arms, gathering her wits and hoping that no one walked in on them anytime soon.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
He opened his eyes then, white fire flaring hotly within them. “Send me home, Legna,” he commanded her, his voice hoarse with suppressed emotion. She moved her head in affirmation even as she leaned toward him to catch his mouth once more in a brief, territorial kiss, her teeth scoring his bottom lip as she broke away. It was an incidental wound, one he could heal in the blink of an eye. But he wouldn’t erase her mark on him, and they both knew it. Finally, she stepped back, closed her eyes, and concentrated on picturing his home in her thoughts. She had been in his parlor dozens of times as a guest, always accompanied by Noah. His library, his kitchen, even the grounds of the isolated estate were well known to her. She could have sent him to any of those locations. But as she began to focus, her mind’s eye was filled with the image of a dark, elegant room she had never seen before. Hand-carved ebony-paneled walls soared up into a vast ceiling, enormous windows of intricate stained glass spilled colored light over the entire room as if a multitude of rainbows had taken up residence. It all centered around an enormous bed, the coverlet’s color indistinguishable under the blanket of colorful dawn sunlight that streamed into the room. She could feel the sun’s warmth, ready and waiting to cocoon any weary occupant who thrived on sleeping in the heat of the muted daylight sun. It was a beautiful room, and she knew without a doubt that it was Gideon’s bedroom and that he had shared the image of it with her. If she sent him there, it would be the first time she had ever teleported someone to a place she had not first seen for herself. The ability to take images of places from others’ minds for teleporting purposes was an advanced Elder ability. “You can do it,” he encouraged her softly, all of his thoughts and his will completely full of his belief in that statement. Legna kept his gaze for one last long moment, and with a flick of a wrist sent him from the room with a soft pop of moving air. She exhaled in wonder, everything inside of her knowing without a doubt that he had appeared in his bedroom, safe and sound, that very next second. Legna turned to look at her own bed and wondered how she would ever be able to sleep. Nelissuna . . . go to bed. I will help you sleep. Gideon’s voice washed through her, warming her, comforting her in a way she hadn’t thought possible. This was the connection that Jacob and Isabella shared. For the rest of the time both of them lived, each would be privy to the other’s innermost thoughts. She realized that because he was the more powerful, it was quite possible he would be able to master parts of himself, probably even hide things from her awareness and keep them private—at least, until she learned how to work her new ability with better skill. After all, she was a Demon of the Mind. It was part of her innate state of being to figure the workings of their complex minds. She removed her slippers and pushed the sleeves of her dress from her shoulders so that it sheeted off her in one smooth whisper of fabric. She closed her eyes, avoiding looking in the mirror or at herself, very aware of Gideon’s eyes behind her own. His masculine laughter vibrated through her, setting her skin to tingle. So, you are both shy and bold . . . he said with amusement as she quickly slid beneath her covers. You are a source of contradictions and surprises, Legna. My world has begun anew. As if living for over a millennium is not long enough? she asked him. On the contrary. Without you, it was far, far too long. Go to sleep, Nelissuna. And a moment after she received the thought, her eyes slid closed with a weight she could not have contradicted even if she had wanted to. Her last thought, as she drifted off, was that she had to make a point of telling Isabella that she might have been wrong about what it meant to have another to share one’s mind with.
Jacquelyn Frank (Gideon (Nightwalkers, #2))
We walk around inside that house like everything is okay, but it’s not, Quinn. We’ve been broken for years and I have no idea how to fix us. I find solutions. It’s what I do. It’s what I’m good at. But I have no idea how to solve me and you. Every day I come home, hoping things will be better. But you can’t even stand to be in the same room with me. You hate it when I touch you. You hate it when I talk to you. I pretend not to notice the things you don’t want me to notice because I don’t want you to hurt more than you already do.” He releases a rush of air. “I am not blaming you for what I did. It’s my fault. I did that. I fucked up. But I didn’t fuck up because I was attracted to her. I fucked up because I miss you. Every day, I miss you. When I’m at work, I miss you. When I’m home, I miss you. When you’re next to me in bed, I miss you. When I’m inside you, I miss you.” Graham presses his mouth to mine. I can taste his tears. Or maybe they’re my tears. He pulls back and presses his forehead to mine. “I miss you, Quinn. So much. You’re right here, but you aren’t. I don’t know where you went or when you left, but I have no idea how to bring you back. I am so alone. We live together. We eat together. We sleep together. But I have never felt more alone in my entire life.” Graham releases me and falls back against his seat. He rests his elbow against the window, covering his face as he tries to compose himself. He’s more broken than I’ve ever seen him in all the years I’ve known him. And I’m the one slowly tearing him down. I’m making him unrecognizable. I’ve strung him along by allowing him to believe there’s hope that I’ll eventually change. That I’ll miraculously turn back into the woman he fell in love with. But I can’t change. We are who our circumstances turn us into. “Graham.” I wipe at my face with my shirt. He’s quiet, but he eventually looks at me with his sad, heartbroken eyes. “I haven’t gone anywhere. I’ve been here this whole time. But you can’t see me because you’re still searching for someone I used to be. I’m sorry I’m no longer who I was back then. Maybe I’ll get better. Maybe I won’t. But a good husband loves his wife through the good and the bad times. A good husband stands at his wife’s side through sickness and health, Graham. A good husband- a husband who truly loves his wife - wouldn’t cheat on her and then blame his infidelity on the fact that he’s lonely.” Graham’s expression doesn’t change. He’s as still as a statue. The only thing that moves is his jaw as he works it back and forth. And then his eyes narrow and he tilts his head. “You don’t think I love you, Quinn?” “I know you used to. But I don’t think you love the person I’ve become.” Graham sits up straight. He leans forward, looking me hard in the eye. His words are clipped as he speaks. “I have loved you every single second of every day since the moment I laid eyes on you. I love you more now than I did the day I married you. I love you, Quinn. I fucking love you!” He opens his car door, gets out and then slams it shut with all his strength. The whole car shakes. He walks toward the house, but before he makes it to the front door, he spins around and points at me angrily. “I love you, Quinn!” He’s shouting the words. He’s angry. So angry. He walks toward his car and kicks at the front bumper with his bare foot. He kicks and he kicks and he kicks and then pauses to scream it at me again. “I love you!” He slams his fist against the top of his car, over and over, until he finally collapses against the hood, his head buried in his arms. He remains in this position for an entire minute, the only thing moving is the subtle shaking of his shoulders. I don’t move. I don’t even think I breathe. Graham finally pushes off the hood and uses his shirt to wipe at his eyes. He looks at me, completely defeated. “I love you,” he says quietly, shaking his head. “I always have. No matter how much you wish I didn’t.
Colleen Hoover (All Your Perfects)
We are all poor; but there is a difference between what Mrs. Spark intends by speaking of 'slender means', and what Stevens called our poverty or Sartre our need, besoin. The poet finds his brief, fortuitous concords, it is true: not merely 'what will suffice,' but 'the freshness of transformation,' the 'reality of decreation,' the 'gaiety of language.' The novelist accepts need, the difficulty of relating one's fictions to what one knows about the nature of reality, as his donnée. It is because no one has said more about this situation, or given such an idea of its complexity, that I want to devote most of this talk to Sartre and the most relevant of his novels, La Nausée. As things go now it isn't of course very modern; Robbe-Grillet treats it with amused reverence as a valuable antique. But it will still serve for my purposes. This book is doubtless very well known to you; I can't undertake to tell you much about it, especially as it has often been regarded as standing in an unusually close relation to a body of philosophy which I am incompetent to expound. Perhaps you will be charitable if I explain that I shall be using it and other works of Sartre merely as examples. What I have to do is simply to show that La Nausée represents, in the work of one extremely important and representative figure, a kind of crisis in the relation between fiction and reality, the tension or dissonance between paradigmatic form and contingent reality. That the mood of Sartre has sometimes been appropriate to the modern demythologized apocalypse is something I shall take for granted; his is a philosophy of crisis, but his world has no beginning and no end. The absurd dishonesty of all prefabricated patterns is cardinal to his beliefs; to cover reality over with eidetic images--illusions persisting from past acts of perception, as some abnormal children 'see' the page or object that is no longer before them --to do this is to sink into mauvaise foi. This expression covers all comfortable denials of the undeniable--freedom --by myths of necessity, nature, or things as they are. Are all the paradigms of fiction eidetic? Is the unavoidable, insidious, comfortable enemy of all novelists mauvaise foi? Sartre has recently, in his first instalment of autobiography, talked with extraordinary vivacity about the roleplaying of his youth, of the falsities imposed upon him by the fictive power of words. At the beginning of the Great War he began a novel about a French private who captured the Kaiser, defeated him in single combat, and so ended the war and recovered Alsace. But everything went wrong. The Kaiser, hissed by the poilus, no match for the superbly fit Private Perrin, spat upon and insulted, became 'somehow heroic.' Worse still, the peace, which should instantly have followed in the real world if this fiction had a genuine correspondence with reality, failed to occur. 'I very nearly renounced literature,' says Sartre. Roquentin, in a subtler but basically similar situation, has the same reaction. Later Sartre would find again that the hero, however assiduously you use the pitchfork, will recur, and that gaps, less gross perhaps, between fiction and reality will open in the most close-knit pattern of words. Again, the young Sartre would sometimes, when most identified with his friends at the lycée, feel himself to be 'freed at last from the sin of existing'--this is also an expression of Roquentin's, but Roquentin says it feels like being a character in a novel. How can novels, by telling lies, convert existence into being? We see Roquentin waver between the horror of contingency and the fiction of aventures. In Les Mots Sartre very engagingly tells us that he was Roquentin, certainly, but that he was Sartre also, 'the elect, the chronicler of hells' to whom the whole novel of which he now speaks so derisively was a sort of aventure, though what was represented within it was 'the unjustified, brackish existence of my fellow-creatures.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)