I don't get scared very often," he said finally. "I was scared the first morning I woke up and you weren't here. I was scared when you left me after Vegas. I was scared when I thought I was going to have to tell my dad that Trent had died in that building. But when I saw you across the flames in the basement...I was terrified. I made it to the door, was a few feet from the exit, and I couldn't leave.
"What do you mean? Are you crazy?" I said, my head jerking up to look into his eyes.
"I've never been so clear about anything in my life. I turned around, made my way to that room you were in, and there you were. Nothing else mattered. I didn't even know if we would make it out or not, I just wanted to be where you were, whatever that meant. The only thing I'm afraid of is a life without you, Pigeon."
I leaned up, kissing his lips tenderly. When our mouths parted, I smiled. "Then you have nothing to be afraid of. We're forever.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
Annabeth,” he said hesitantly, “in New Rome, demigods can live their whole lives in peace.”
Her expression turned guarded. “Reyna explained it to me. But, Percy, you belong at Camp Half-Blood. That other life—”
“I know,” Percy said. “But while I was there, I saw so many demigods living without fear: kids going to college, couples getting married and raising families. There’s nothing like that at Camp Half-Blood. I kept thinking about you and me…and maybe someday when this war with the giants is over…”
It was hard to tell in the golden light, but he thought Annabeth was blushing. “Oh,” she said…
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I just…I had to think of that to keep going. To give me hope. Forget I mentioned—”
“No!” she said. “Gods, Percy, that’s so sweet.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
Here is a lesson in creative writing.
First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.
And I realize some of you may be having trouble deciding whether I am kidding or not. So from now on I will tell you when I'm kidding.
For instance, join the National Guard or the Marines and teach democracy. I'm kidding.
We are about to be attacked by Al Qaeda. Wave flags if you have them. That always seems to scare them away. I'm kidding.
If you want to really hurt your parents, and you don't have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I'm not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)
To my babies,
Merry Christmas. I'm sorry if these letters have caught you both by surprise. There is just so much more I have to say. I know you thought I was done giving advice, but I couldn't leave without reiterating a few things in writing. You may not relate to these things now, but someday you will. I wasn't able to be around forever, but I hope that my words can be.
-Don't stop making basagna. Basagna is good. Wait until a day when there is no bad news, and bake a damn basagna.
-Find a balance between head and heart. Hopefully you've found that Lake, and you can help Kel sort it out when he gets to that point.
-Push your boundaries, that's what they're there for.
-I'm stealing this snippet from your favorite band, Lake. "Always remember there is nothing worth sharing, like the love that let us share our name."
-Don't take life too seriously. Punch it in the face when it needs a good hit. Laugh at it.
-And Laugh a lot. Never go a day without laughing at least once.
-Never judge others. You both know good and well how unexpected events can change who a person is. Always keep that in mind. You never know what someone else is experiencing within their own life.
-Question everything. Your love, your religion, your passions. If you don't have questions, you'll never find answers.
-Be accepting. Of everything. People's differences, their similarities, their choices, their personalities. Sometimes it takes a variety to make a good collection. The same goes for people.
-Choose your battles, but don't choose very many.
-Keep an open mind; it's the only way new things can get in.
-And last but not least, not the tiniest bit least. Never regret.
Thank you both for giving me the best years of my life.
Especially the last one.
Colleen Hoover (Slammed (Slammed, #1))
The only thing I'm afraid of is a life without you, Pigeon."
"Then you have nothing to be afraid of," I said. "We're forever.
Jamie McGuire (A Beautiful Wedding (Beautiful, #2.5))
I don't know what you think of me. And you certainly would never picture us together. But probably peanut butter was just peanut butter for a long time, before someone ever thought of pairing it with jelly. And there was salt, but it started to taste better when there was pepper. And what's the point of butter without bread? (Why are all these examples of FOODS?!!?!?!?!?!?!) Anyway by myself I'm nothing special. But with you I could be.
Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes)
She was still hugging the cat. "Poor slob," she said, tickling his head, "poor slob without a name. It's a little inconvenient, his not having a name. But I haven't any right to give him one: he'll have to wait until he belongs to somebody. We just sort of took up by the river one day, we don't belong to each other: he's an independent, and so am I. I don't want to own anything until I know I've found the place where me and things belong together. I'm not quite sure where that is just yet. But I know what it's like." She smiled, and let the cat drop to the floor. "It's like Tiffany's," she said.
It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there, not with those kind men in their nice suits, and that lovely smell of silver and alligator wallets. If I could find a real-life place that made me feel like Tiffany's, then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name.
Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany's and Three Stories)
The centripetal force on our planet is still fearfully strong, Alyosha. I have a longing for life, and I go on living in spite of logic. Though I may not believe in the order of the universe, yet I love the sticky little leaves as they open in spring. I love the blue sky, I love some people, whom one loves you know sometimes without knowing why. I love some great deeds done by men, though I’ve long ceased perhaps to have faith in them, yet from old habit one’s heart prizes them. Here they have brought the soup for you, eat it, it will do you good. It’s first-rate soup, they know how to make it here. I want to travel in Europe, Alyosha, I shall set off from here. And yet I know that I am only going to a graveyard, but it’s a most precious graveyard, that’s what it is! Precious are the dead that lie there, every stone over them speaks of such burning life in the past, of such passionate faith in their work, their truth, their struggle and their science, that I know I shall fall on the ground and kiss those stones and weep over them; though I’m convinced in my heart that it’s long been nothing but a graveyard. And I shall not weep from despair, but simply because I shall be happy in my tears, I shall steep my soul in emotion. I love the sticky leaves in spring, the blue sky — that’s all it is. It’s not a matter of intellect or logic, it’s loving with one’s inside, with one’s stomach.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
You don't complete me, Tru. You make me who I am. You make me better. I'd be nothing without you. NOTHING. I've been there once before, and I'm never going back. I'm never losing you again.
Samantha Towle (Wethering the Storm (The Storm, #2))
Impertinent submissive,” Raoul snapped, and his dark brown eyes turned mean. “Nothing new for this one. You're doing a lousy job of bringing her to heel, Marcus.”
“Bring me to heel? Like I'm a dog?” Without thinking, Gabi instinctively yanked away and snapped out, “Bite me.
Cherise Sinclair (Make Me, Sir (Masters of the Shadowlands, #5))
Without you, I'm nothing. Don't you understand that?
Olivia Cunning (Rock Hard (Sinners on Tour, #2))
But I can be alone without Yoko, but I just have no wish to be. There’s no reason on earth why I should be alone without Yoko. There’s nothing more important than our relationship, nothing. And we dig being together all the time. Both of us could survive apart but what for? I’m not going to sacrifice love, real love for any whore or any friend or any business, because in the end you’re alone at night and neither of us want to be. And you can’t fill a bed with groupies. It doesn’t work. I don’t want to be a swinger. I’ve been through it all and nothing works better than to have someone you love hold you.
And so now I'd like to say - people can change anything they want to. And that means everything in the world. People are running about following their little tracks - I am one of them. But we've all got to stop just following our own little mouse trail. People can do anything - this is something that I'm beginning to learn. People are out there doing bad things to each other. That's because they've been dehumanised. It's time to take the humanity back into the center of the ring and follow that for a time. Greed, it ain't going anywhere. They should have that in a big billboard across Times Square. Without people you're nothing. That's my spiel.
He didn’t say a word and she didn’t ask anything else, just ran her fingers through his hair until his breathing began to calm. Without letting go of her or even pulling away to face her he finally whispered against her ear, “Please don’t leave me. I promise I’ll try harder.” Slowly he pulled away and their eyes met. “I’m nothing without you, Izzy.
Elizabeth Reyes (Romero (The Moreno Brothers, #4))
You don't see me
Blind to the real me
I'm not who you think I should be
But I can't be someone I'm not
I'll try to be who you need,
what you need,
I fail again
tear me, cut me make me bleed
If it opens your heart to me
Just don't leave me with nothing
less than nothing
Like the last time
It's better than existing without you
Olivia Cunning (Rock Hard (Sinners on Tour, #2))
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)
Maybe you had to be dying to finally get to do what you wanted.
I fidgeted around with the puzzle pieces for a while longer, but I wasn't lucky. Nothing seemed to fit without a whole lot of work.
Then I had this thought: What if it was enough to realize that you would die someday, that none of this would go on forever? Would that be enough?
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
By my love for you. I realized I loved you more than life itself, and I would rather give myself into your power than live without you. Nothing the magic could do to me could be worse than living without you. I was willing to give it all over to you. I offered the power everything I have. All of my love for you. Once I realized how much I loved you, I was willing to be yours on any terms. I understood that there could be nothing for the magic to harm. I’m already devoted to you; it didn’t need to change me. I was protected, because I have already been untouched by your love. I had utter faith that you felt the same, and had no fear of what would happen. Had I had any doubt, the magic would have latched on to that crack and taken me, but I had no doubt. My love for you is smooth and seamless. My love for you protected me from the magic.
Terry Goodkind (Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1))
What are my options?"
"You could read obscure poetry while I play the triangle, I suppose. Or we can smother ourselves in peanut butter and howl at the moon. Use your imagination."
"Fine,"I said. "You take my hand and back up toward the bed."
"Excellent choice. What then?"
"You sit down, and pull me down with you."
"Where are you?" he asked.
"You pull me onto your lap."
"Where are your legs?"
"Around your waist."
"Well," Noah said, his voice slightly rough. "This is getting interesting. So I'm on the edge of your bed. I'm holding you on my lap as you straddle me. My arms are around you, bracing you there so you don't fall. What am I wearing?"...
"What do you usually wear to bed?" I asked.
Noah said nothing. I opened my eyes to an arched brow and a devious grin.
Oh my God.
"Close. Your. Eyes," he said. I did. "Now, where were we?"
"I was straddling you," I said.
"Right. And I'm wearing..."
"Those are quite thin, you know."
"Right," he said. "So what are you wearing?"
"I don't know. A space suit. Who cares?"
"I think this should be as vivid as possible," he said. "For you," he clarified, and I chuckled. "Eyes closed," he reminded me. "I'm going to have to institute a punishment for each time I have to tell you."
"What did you have in mind?"
"Don't tempt me. Now, what are you wearing?"
"A hoodie and drawstring pants too, I guess."
"I don't typically walk around without underwear."
"Only on special occasions."
"Christ. I meant under your hoodie."
"A tank top, I guess."
"White tank. Black hoodie. Gray pants. I'm ready to move on now."
I felt him nearer, his words close to my ear. "To the part where I lean back and pull you down with me?"
"Over me," he said.
"The part where I tell you that I want to feel the softness of the curls at the nape of your neck? To know what your hipbone would feel like against my mouth?" he murmured against my skin. "To memorize the slope of your navel and the arch of your neck and the swell of your-
Michelle Hodkin (The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2))
It's my motto," said Isabelle, with a sultry smile. 'Nothing less than seven inches.'
Meliorn gazed at her stonily.
'I'm talking about my heels,' she said. " It's a pun. You know? A play on-"
"Come," the faerie knight said. "The Queen will be growing impatient." He headed down the corridor without giving Isabelle a second glance.
"I forgot," Isabelle muttered as the rest of them caught up to her. " Faeries have no sense of humor."
"Oh, I wouldn't say that," said Jace. "There's a pixie night club called Hot Wings. Not," he added," that I have ever been there.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
Laney, I love you. I've found everything I've ever needed and wanted with you. I'm nothing without you.- Oliver
Joann I. Martin-Sowles (Laney (The Brookehaven Vampires, #1))
After a steadying breath, Aislinn turned to Keenan. "I'm sure you can figure out lunch without help. So, umm, go make friends or whatever."
And she walked away.
He sped up to stay beside her as they entered the cafeteria. "May I join you?"
He stepped in front of her. "Please?"
"No." She dropped her bag into a chair next to Rianne's things. Ignoring him-and the stares they were attracting-she opened her bag.
He hadn't moved.
With a shaky gesture, she pointed. "The line's over there."
He looked at the throng slowly progressing to the vats of food. "Can I get you something?"
"A little space?"
A flare of anger flashed over his too-beatiful face, but he said nothing. He just walked away.
Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely, #1))
The wish of death had been palpably hanging over this otherwise idyllic paradise for a good many years.
All business and politics is personal in the Philippines.
If it wasn't for the cheap beer and lovely girls one of us would spend an hour in this dump.
They [Jehovah's Witnesses] get some kind of frequent flyer points for each person who signs on.
I'm not lazy. I'm just motivationally challenged.
I'm not fat. I just have lots of stored energy.
You don't get it do you? What people think of you matters more than the reality. Marilyn.
Despite standing firm at the final hurdle Marilyn was always ready to run the race.
After answering the question the woman bent down behind the stand out of sight of all, and crossed herself.
It is amazing what you can learn in prison. Merely through casual conversation Rick had acquired the fundamentals of embezzlement, fraud and armed hold up.
He wondered at the price of honesty in a grey world whose half tones changed faster than the weather.
The banality of truth somehow always surprises the news media before they tart it up.
You've ridden jeepneys in peak hour. Where else can you feel up a fourteen-year-old schoolgirl without even trying? [Ralph Winton on the Philippines finer points]
Life has no bottom. No matter how bad things are or how far one has sunk things can always get worse.
You could call the Oval Office an information rain shadow.
In the Philippines, a whole layer of criminals exists who consider that it is their right to rob you unhindered. If you thwart their wicked desires, to their way of thinking you have stolen from them and are evil.
There's honest and dishonest corruption in this country.
Don't enjoy it too much for it's what we love that usually kills us.
The good guys don't always win wars but the winners always make sure that they go down in history as the good guys.
The Philippines is like a woman. You love her and hate her at the same time.
I never believed in all my born days that ideas of truth and justice were only pretty words to brighten a much darker and more ubiquitous reality.
The girl was experiencing the first flushes of love while Rick was at least feeling the methadone equivalent.
Although selfishness and greed are more ephemeral than the real values of life their effects on the world often outlive their origins.
Miriam's a meteor job. Somewhere out there in space there must be a meteor with her name on it.
Tsismis or rumours grow in this land like tropical weeds.
Surprises are so common here that nothing is surprising.
A crooked leader who can lead is better than a crooked one who can't.
Although I always followed the politics of Hitler I emulate the drinking habits of Churchill.
It [Australia] is the country that does the least with the most.
Rereading the brief lines that told the story in the manner of Fox News reporting the death of a leftist Rick's dark imagination took hold.
Didn't your mother ever tell you never to trust a man who doesn't drink?
She must have been around twenty years old, was tall for a Filipina and possessed long black hair framing her smooth olive face. This specter of loveliness walked with the assurance of the knowingly beautiful. Her crisp and starched white uniform dazzled in the late-afternoon light and highlighted the natural tan of her skin. Everything about her was in perfect order. In short, she was dressed up like a pox doctor’s clerk. Suddenly, she stopped, turned her head to one side and spat comprehensively into the street. The tiny putrescent puddle contrasted strongly with the studied aplomb of its all-too-recent owner, suggesting all manner of disease and decay.
John Richard Spencer
believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers growing in your own garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was coal. This way of living and noticing and building and crafting can crack through the movie sets and soundtracks that keep us waiting for our own life stories to begin, and set us free to observe the lives we have been creating all along without ever realizing it.
I don’t want to wait anymore. I choose to believe that there is nothing more sacred or profound than this day. I choose to believe that there may be a thousand big moments embedded in this day, waiting to be discovered like tiny shards of gold. The big moments are the daily, tiny moments of courage and forgiveness and hope that we grab on to and extend to one another. That’s the drama of life, swirling all around us, and generally I don’t even see it, because I’m too busy waiting to become whatever it is I think I am about to become. The big moments are in every hour, every conversation, every meal, every meeting.
The Heisman Trophy winner knows this. He knows that his big moment was not when they gave him the trophy. It was the thousand times he went to practice instead of going back to bed. It was the miles run on rainy days, the healthy meals when a burger sounded like heaven. That big moment represented and rested on a foundation of moments that had come before it.
I believe that if we cultivate a true attention, a deep ability to see what has been there all along, we will find worlds within us and between us, dreams and stories and memories spilling over. The nuances and shades and secrets and intimations of love and friendship and marriage an parenting are action-packed and multicolored, if you know where to look.
Today is your big moment. Moments, really. The life you’ve been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting, and the crackers and peanut butter that you’re having for lunch on the coffee table are as profound, in their own way, as the Last Supper. This is it. This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian non-events. But pull of the mask and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted.
Your life, right now, today, is exploding with energy and power and detail and dimension, better than the best movie you have ever seen. You and your family and your friends and your house and your dinner table and your garage have all the makings of a life of epic proportions, a story for the ages. Because they all are. Every life is.
You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural.
You are more than dust and bones.
You are spirit and power and image of God.
And you have been given Today.
Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
I can do oblivion, you know. I can do it better than him. I'd like to see how he likes it if I just disappear from his life without a word. It was okay for him to keep in contact with Georgie and my mum, but not once did he pick up the phone or write to me. Like I was fucking nothing to him. Like I'm nothing to no one.
Melina Marchetta (The Piper's Son)
...I didn't know the meaning of the word dying until you left me. This last week without you.." He pulls in a sharp breath, briefly closing his eyes. "I'm nothing without you Tru, nothing.
Samantha Towle (The Mighty Storm (The Storm, #1))
I need you to come back with me, please.” His breath warmed my ear. The heat of his body beckoned against my back. “I can’t stand not having you there, not knowing what you’re thinking, what you’re doing, not being able to tell you things and share them with you. It’s just … nothing’s the same. I hate waking up without you and I worry constantly that you’re okay, that you’ve got everything you need. Look, the truth is, I’m all about you, Lena. You’re my best friend. You’re my girl.
Kylie Scott (Lead (Stage Dive, #3))
How does one fall in love? Do you trip? Do you stumble, lose your balance and drop to the sidewalk, graze your knee, graze your heart? Do you crash to the stony ground? Is there a precipice, from which you float, over the edge, forever?
I know I'm in love when I see you, I know when I long to see you. Not a muscle has moved. Leaves hang unruffled by any breeze. The air is still. I have fallen in love without taking step. When did this happen? I haven't even blinked.
I'm on fire. Is that too banal for you? It's not, you know. You'll see. It's what happens. It's what matters. I'm on fire.
I no longer eat, I forget to eat. Food looks silly to me, irrelevant. If I even notice it. But I notice nothing. My thoughts are full and raging, a house full of brothers, related by blood, feuding blood feuds:
"I'm in love."
"Typically stupid choice."
"I am, though, I'm racked by love as if love were pain."
"Go ahead. Fuck up your life. It's all wrong and you know it. Wake up. Face it."
"There's only one face, it's all I see, awake or asleep."
I threw the book out the window last night. I tried to forget. You are all wrong for me, I know it, but I no longer care for my thoughts unless they're thoughts of you. When I'm close to you, in your presence, I feel your hair brush my cheek when it does not. I look away from you, sometimes. Then I look back.
When I tie my shoes, when I peel an orange, when I drive my car, when I lie down each night without you, I remain,
Cathleen Schine (The Love Letter)
I’ve never been so clear about anything in my life. I turned around, made my way to that room you were in, and there you were. Nothing else mattered. I didn't even know if we would make it out or not, I just wanted to be where you were, whatever that meant. The only thing I’m afraid of is a life without you, Pigeon.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
The only thing I'm afraid of is a life without you, Pigeon."
Abby leaned forward, softly kissing my lips. When our mouths parted, she smiled. "Then you have nothing to be afraid of. We're forever.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
If you try to find a replacement, you'll be sadly disappointed, I can't be replaced. I'm the only man in all the world who possesses the right combination of qualities for you.You can turn your Ballister stare upon me all you like, but you can't petrify me. You can knock me about to your heart's content without worrying about doing any damage. You can perpetrate any sort of outrage your wicked mind conceives and be sure I'll join in, with a will. You're a troublemaker, Lydia. A Ballister devil. Nothing less than a Mallory hellion would ever suit you."
- Vere Mallory -
Loretta Chase (The Last Hellion (Scoundrels, #4))
But I'm collecting the story of his life. The real story.' Chronicler made a helpless gesture. 'Without the dark parts it's just some silly f—' Chronicler froze halfway through the word, eyes darting nervously to the side.
Bast grinned like a child catching a priest midcurse. 'Go on,' he urged, his eyes were delighted, and hard, and terrible. 'Say it.'
Like some silly faerie story,' Chronicler finished, his voice thin and pale as paper.
Bast smiled a wide smile. 'You know nothing of the Fae, if you think our stories lack their darker sides. But all that aside, this is a faerie story, because you are gathering it for me.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
I see how it is,” I snapped. “You were all in favor of me breaking the tattoo and thinking on my own—but that’s only okay if it’s convenient for you, huh? Just like your ‘loving from afar’ only works if you don’t have an opportunity to get your hands all over me. And your lips. And . . . stuff.”
Adrian rarely got mad, and I wouldn’t quite say he was now. But he was definitely exasperated. “Are you seriously in this much self-denial, Sydney? Like do you actually believe yourself when you say you don’t feel anything? Especially after what’s been happening between us?”
“Nothing’s happening between us,” I said automatically. “Physical attraction isn’t the same as love. You of all people should know that.”
“Ouch,” he said. His expression hadn’t changed, but I saw hurt in his eyes. I’d wounded him. “Is that what bothers you? My past? That maybe I’m an expert in an area you aren’t?”
“One I’m sure you’d just love to educate me in. One more girl to add to your list of conquests.”
He was speechless for a few moments and then held up one finger. “First, I don’t have a list.” Another finger, “Second, if I did have a list, I could find someone a hell of lot less frustrating to add to it.” For the third finger, he leaned toward me. “And finally, I know that you know you’re no conquest, so don’t act like you seriously think that. You and I have been through too much together. We’re too close, too connected. I wasn’t that crazy on spirit when I said you’re my flame in the dark. We chase away the shadows around each other. Our backgrounds don’t matter. What we have is bigger than that. I love you, and beneath all that logic, calculation, and superstition, I know you love me too. Running away and fleeing all your problems isn’t going to change that. You’re just going to end up scared and confused.”
“I already feel that way,” I said quietly.
Adrian moved back and leaned into his seat, looking tired. “Well, that’s the most accurate thing you’ve said so far.”
I grabbed the basket and jerked open the car door. Without another word, I stormed off, refusing to look back in case he saw the tears that had inexplicably appeared in my eyes. Only, I wasn’t sure exactly which part of our conversation I was most upset about.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
Maybe we should go by tube', he said.
A taxi'll come', she said. 'I'm in no hurry'.
She remembered something a woman in Paris had told her once. A woman in her forties, much married, elegant, a little world-weary. There is nothing easier in this world, this woman had claimed, than getting a man to kiss you. Oh really? Eva had said, so how do you do that? Just stand close to a man, the woman has said, very close, as close as you can without touching - he will kiss you in one minute or two. It's inevitable. For them it's like an instinct - they can't resist. Infaillible.
So Eva stood close to Romer in the doorway of the shop on Frith Street as he shooted and waved at the passing cars moving down the dark street, hoping one of them might be a taxi.
We're out of luck', he said, turning, to find Eva standing very close to him, her face lifted.
I'm in no hurry', she said.
He reached for her and kissed her.
William Boyd (Restless)
You may think I'm doing this without taking the time to really think it through, and you're absolutely right. It would take me the rest of my life to think this thing through. But it's while you're thinking, while you're weighing the pros and cons, that life goes on. It passes by you while you're doing nothing. - Arthur
Marc Levy (If Only It Were True)
Wherever your heart rests
There I will live and be blessed
I've tried to line up the things I
Needed to say but now my feelings just
Tumble from me. I am half foolish,
Half drunk with wanting you
With wanting to take your hand
And leap into the darkness of whatever
Life will bring. Love makes me
Brave and without love I'm made
Walter Dean Myers (Street Love)
December 27, 11:00 p.m.
My Dear America,
I’ve never written a love letter, so forgive me if I fail now. . . .
The simple thing would be to say that I love you. But, in truth, it’s so much more than that. I want you, America. I need you.
I’ve held back so much from you out of fear. I’m afraid that if I show you everything at once, it will overwhelm you, and you’ll run away. I’m afraid that somewhere in the back of your heart is a love for someone else that will never die. I’m afraid that I will make a mistake again, something so huge that you retreat into that silent world of yours. No scolding from a tutor, no lashing from my father, no isolation in my youth has ever hurt me so much as you separating yourself from me.
I keep thinking that it’s there, waiting to come back and strike me. So I’ve held on to all my options, fearing that the moment I wipe them away, you will be standing there with your arms closed, happy to be my friend but unable to be my equal, my queen, my wife.
And for you to be my wife is all I want in the world. I love you. I was afraid to admit it for a long time, but I know it now.
I would never rejoice in the loss of your father, the sadness you’ve felt since he passed, or the emptiness I’ve experienced since you left. But I’m so grateful that you had to go. I’m not sure how long it would have taken for me to figure this out if I hadn’t had to start trying to imagine a life without you. I know now, with absolute certainty, that is nothing I want.
I wish I was as true an artist as you so that I could find a way to tell you what you’ve become to me. America, my love, you are sunlight falling through trees. You are laughter that breaks through sadness. You are the breeze on a too-warm day. You are clarity in the midst of confusion.
You are not the world, but you are everything that makes the world good. Without you, my life would still exist, but that’s all it would manage to do.
You said that to get things right one of us would have to take a leap of faith. I think I’ve discovered the canyon that must be leaped, and I hope to find you waiting for me on the other side.
I love you, America.
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
We’re like magnets, you know. Only I’m spinning, so I keep pulling you in and then pushing you away. I like you, but then you hurt me, so I run. I like you, but then something makes things feel impossible, so I turn away. And you. You’re so constant. Your orientation never wavers. You feel what you feel and you want what you want without hesitation or doubt. God, I envy that. I feel like if someone stripped away my hesitation and doubt that there’d be nothing left.
Paula Stokes (Ferocious (Vicarious, #2))
I read that Monica Seles got stabbed. And although I have nothing against Monica Seles, I'm glad somebody in sports got stabbed. I like the idea of it; it's good entertainment. If we're lucky, it'll spread through sports. And show business, too! Wouldn't you like to see a guy jump up on stage and stab some famous singer? Especially a real shitty pop singer? Maybe they'll even start stabbing comedians. Fuck it, I'm ready! I never perform without my can of mace. I have a switchblade knife, too. I'll cut your eye out and go right on telling jokes.
George Carlin (Brain Droppings)
There's nothing I could say to you
Nothing I could ever do to make you see
What you mean to me
All the pain, the tears I cried
Still you never said goodbye and now I know
How far you'd go
I know I let you down
But it's not like that now
This time I'll never let you go
I will be, all that you want
And get myself together
Cause you keep me from falling apart
All my life, I'll be with you forever
To get you through the day
And make everything okay
I thought that I had everything
I didn't know what life could bring
But now I see, honestly
You're the one thing I got right
The only one I let inside
Now I can breathe, cause you're here with me
And if I let you down
I'll turn it all around
Cause I would never let you go
I will be, all that you want
And get myself together
Cause you keep me from falling apart
All my life, I'll be with you forever
To get you through the day
And make everything okay
Cause without you I cant sleep
I'm not gonna ever, ever let you leave
You're all I've got, you're all I want
And without you I don't know what I'd do
I can never, ever live a day without you
Here with me, do you see,
You're all I need
And I will be, all that you want
And get myself together
Cause you keep me from falling apart
All my life (my life), I'll be with you forever
To get you through the day
And make everything okay.
You are not going to walk away from me. You are not going to leave me. I know I'm messed up. I know I will never be what you deserve but, damnit, I'm sure as hell going to try every single day. I'm going to try my hardest, Estella, because without you, there's nothing.
Komal Kant (Wrong Side of Town (With Me, #3))
I’m not a religious or spiritual man. I am guided solely by my instincts, my gut. And they have led me to you. Without you, I have nothing to believe in.
Jessica Hawkins (Come Alive (The Cityscape, #2))
I’m so in love with you, and I need you. I need you every day. You’re my strength and my light and, without you, I’m nothing.
Sandi Lynn (Forever Us (Forever, #3))
Thank you for giving me the most amazing memories. My life growing up was so full because you were in it. Having your love and loving you was always
just right. It made sense. You were my home. When I was with you I knew everything would be okay.
You dried my tears for me when I was sad. You held my hand when we buried my mother. You made me laugh when the world seemed like it was
falling apart. You were every special memory a girl could have. That first kiss will forever be embedded in my brain. It was as funny as it was sweet.
Our life together molded me into the woman I’ve become. I understand what it feels like to be loved and cherished because I had that with you. I
never doubted my worth because you taught me I was worthy.
When you said that one day I would heal I didn’t believe that was possible. Life couldn’t go one without my best friend. There was no room for
another guy in my heart. It turns out you were right. You always were. I found him. He is incredible. He is nothing at all like I would have planned. He
doesn’t fit into a perfect package. He managed to wiggle into my heart and take over before I knew what was happening. I found that happiness you told me
would come along. I’m going to go live that life. I’m sure it will be a wilder ride than I ever imagined and I can’t wait to live it. He’s my home now. I’ll
always love you. I’ll never forget you. But this is my goodbye. I wasn’t ready before to let you go. Now, I can move on. Your memory will live on in my heart
Your Eva Blue
Abbi Glines (While It Lasts (Sea Breeze, #3))
I'm one of those people who was meant to have a very ordinary life. I have no special talent, no great beauty, nothing that distinguishes me from a hundred, thousand other girls. But I can't go through an entire lifetime without at least one night of magic.
Lisa Kleypas (Because You're Mine (Capital Theatre, #2))
I've loved you my whole life, Chas, from that first day you took me home after Michelle died. And I'm terrified you'll leave me or you'll stop loving me or even worse, something will happen to you. But I can't be without you anymore." He takes my hands, which are shaking wildly, and swallows.
"Today I watched Mike give away the woman he loves. I can't do that, Chas. I thought I could, I thought it would be better if you were with someone else, but I was wrong. And I swear to you, I will love you the rest of my life and nothing will ever come before you. Please, Chastity. Forgive me and marry me and have a bunch of babies with me, and I'll-
Kristan Higgins (Just One of the Guys)
You're Nash's brother. And a grim reaper?" She blinked again, and I readied myself for hysterics, or fear, or laughter. But knowing emma, I should have known better. "So you, what? Kill people? Did you kill me that day in the gym?" She clenched the headrest, her expression an odd mix of anger, awe, and confusion. But there was no disbelief. She'd seen and heard enough of the bizarre following her own temporary death that Tod's admission obviously didn't come as that much of a surprise.
Or maybe Nash's Influence was still affecting her a little.
"No," Tod shook his head firmly, but the corners of his mouth turned up in amusement. "I had nothing to do with that. I do kill people, then I reap their souls and take them to be recycled. But only people who are on my list."
"So, you're not...dangerous?"
His pouty grin deepened into something almost predatory, like the Tod I'd first met two months earlier. "Oh, I'm dangerous...."
"Tod..." I warned, as Nash punched his brother in the arm, hard enough to actually hurt.
"Just not to you," the reaper finished, shrugging at Emma. "I see you all the time, but you've never seen me, because Kaylee said if I got too close to you, I'd suffer eternity without my balls."
"Jeez, Tod!" I shouted, my anger threatening to boil over and scald us all.
The reaper leaned closer to Emma and spoke in a stage whisper. "She's not as scary as she thinks she is, but I respect her intent.
Rachel Vincent (My Soul to Save (Soul Screamers, #2))
I'm all these words, all these strangers, this dust of words, with no ground for their settling, no sky for their dispersing, coming together to say, fleeing one another to say, that I am they, all of them, those that merge, those that part, those that never meet, and nothing else, yes, something else, that I'm something quite different, a quite different thing, a wordless thing in an empty place, a hard shut dry cold black place, where nothing stirs, nothing speaks, and that I listen, and that I seek, like a caged beast born of caged beasts born of caged beasts born of caged beasts born in a cage and dead in a cage, born and then dead, born in a cage and then dead in a cage, in a word like a beast, in one of their words, like such a beast, and that I seek, like such a beast, with my little strength, such a beast, with nothing of its species left but fear and fury, no, the fury is past, nothing but fear, nothing of all its due but fear centupled, fear of its shadow, no, blind from birth, of sound then, if you like, we'll have that, one must have something, it's a pity, but there it is, fear of sound, fear of sounds, the sounds of beasts, the sounds of men, sounds in the daytime and sounds at night, that's enough, fear of sounds all sounds, more or less, more or less fear, all sounds, there's only one, continuous, day and night, what is it, it's steps coming and going, it's voices speaking for a moment, it's bodies groping their way, it's the air, it's things, it's the air among the things, that's enough, that I seek, like it, no, not like it, like me, in my own way, what am I saying, after my fashion, that I seek, what do I seek now, what it is, it must be that, it can only be that, what it is, what it can be, what what can be, what I seek, no, what I hear, I hear them, now it comes back to me, they say I seek what it is I hear, I hear them, now it comes back to me, what it can possibly be, and where it can possibly come from, since all is silent here, and the walls thick, and how I manage, without feeling an ear on me, or a head, or a body, or a soul, how I manage, to do what, how I manage, it's not clear, dear dear, you say it's not clear, something is wanting to make it clear, I'll seek, what is wanting, to make everything clear, I'm always seeking something, it's tiring in the end, and it's only the beginning.
Samuel Beckett (The Unnamable)
Some sleepers have intelligent faces even in sleep, while other faces, even intelligent ones, become very stupid in sleep and therefore ridiculous. I don't know what makes that happen; I only want to say that a laughing man, like a sleeping one, most often knows nothing about his face. A great many people don't know how to laugh at all. However, there's nothing to know here: it's a gift, and it can't be fabricated. It can only be fabricated by re-educating oneself, developing oneself for the better, and overcoming the bad instincts of one's character; then the laughter of such a person might quite possibly change for the better. A man can give himself away completely by his laughter, so that you suddenly learn all of his innermost secrets. Even indisputably intelligent laughter is sometimes repulsive. Laughter calls first of all for sincerity, and where does one find sincerity? Laughter calls for lack of spite, but people most often laugh spitefully. Sincere and unspiteful laughter is mirth. A man's mirth is a feature that gives away the whole man, from head to foot. Someone's character won't be cracked for a long time, then the man bursts out laughing somehow quite sincerely, and his whole character suddenly opens up as if on the flat of your hand. Only a man of the loftiest and happiest development knows how to be mirthful infectiously, that is, irresistibly and goodheartedly. I'm not speaking of his mental development, but of his character, of the whole man. And so, if you want to discern a man and know his soul, you must look, not at how he keeps silent, or how he speaks, or how he weeps, or even how he is stirred by the noblest ideas, but you had better look at him when he laughs. If a man has a good laugh, it means he's a good man. Note at the same time all the nuances: for instance, a man's laughter must in no case seem stupid to you, however merry and simplehearted it may be. The moment you notice the slightest trace of stupidity in someone's laughter, it undoubtedly means that the man is of limited intelligence, though he may do nothing but pour out ideas. Or if his laughter isn't stupid, but the man himself, when he laughs, for some reason suddenly seems ridiculous to you, even just slightly—know, then, that the man has no real sense of dignity, not fully in any case. Or finally, if his laughter is infectious, but for some reason still seems banal to you, know, then, that the man's nature is on the banal side as well, and all the noble and lofty that you noticed in him before is either deliberately affected or unconsciously borrowed, and later on the man is certain to change for the worse, to take up what's 'useful' and throw his noble ideas away without regret, as the errors and infatuations of youth.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Adolescent)
When you lost your brother, was there someone to comfort you?"
"Yes," said Laurent. "In a way."
"Then I'm glad," said Damen. "I'm glad that you weren't alone."
Laurent pushed himself away, up into a sitting position, and for a moment he sat, without speaking. He pushed his palms into his eye sockets.
"What is it?"
"It's nothing," said Laurent.
C.S. Pacat (Kings Rising (Captive Prince, #3))
Damon spoke without moving. “I’m not like you.”
“You’re not as different from us as you want to think,” Matt said. “Look,” he added, an odd note of challenge in his voice, “I know you killed Mr. Tanner in self-defense, because you told me. And I know you didn’t come here to Fell’s Church because Bonnie’s spell dragged you here, because I sorted the hair and I didn’t make any mistakes. You’re more like us than you admit, Damon. The only thing I don’t know is why you didn’t go into Vickie’s house to help her.”
Damon snapped, almost automatically, “Because I wasn’t invited!”
Memory swept over Bonnie. Herself standing outside Vickie’s house, Damon standing beside her. Stefan’s voice: Vickie, invite me in. But no one had invited Damon.
“But how did Klaus get in, then—?” she began, following her own thoughts.
“That was Tyler’s job, I’m sure,” Damon said tersely. “What Tyler did for Klaus in return for learning how to reclaim his heritage. And he must have invited Klaus in before we ever started guarding the house—probably before Stefan and I came to Fell’s Church. Klaus was well prepared. That night he was in the house and the girl was dead before I knew what was happening.”
“Why didn’t you call for Stefan?” Matt said. There was no accusation in his voice. It was a simple question.
“Because there was nothing he could have done! I knew what you were dealing with as soon as I saw it. An Old One. Stefan would only have gotten himself killed—and the girl was past caring, anyway.”
Bonnie heard the thread of coldness in his voice, and when Damon turned back to Stefan and Elena, his face had hardened. It was as if some decision had been made.
“You see, I’m not like you,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter.” Stefan had still not withdrawn his hand. Neither had Elena.
L.J. Smith (Dark Reunion (The Vampire Diaries, #4))
I’ve never been so clear about anything in my life. I turned around, made my way to that room you were in, and there you were. Nothing else mattered. I didn’t even know if we would make it out or not, I just wanted to be where you were, whatever that meant. The only thing I’m afraid of is a life without you, Pigeon.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
What I mean is that nothing ever happens the way it’s supposed to. Everything is messed up. Everything is flawed. And if we didn’t have imperfection, I’m not sure what we would have left.
Peter Bognanni (Things I'm Seeing Without You)
A woman in her thirties came to see me. As she greeted me, I could sense the pain behind her polite and superficial smile. She started telling me her story, and within one second her smile changed into a grimace of pain. Then, she began to sob uncontrollably. She said she felt lonely and unfulfilled.
There was much anger and sadness. As a child she had been abused by a physically violent father. I saw quickly that her pain was not caused by her present life circumstances but by an extraordinarily heavy pain-body. Her pain-body had become the filter through which she viewed her life situation.
She was not yet able to see the link between the emotional pain and her thoughts, being completely identified with both. She could not yet see that she was feeding the pain-body with her thoughts. In other words, she lived with the burden of a deeply unhappy self. At some level, however, she must have realized that her pain originated within herself, that she was a burden to herself. She was ready to awaken, and this is why she had come.
I directed the focus of her attention to what she was feeling inside her body and asked her to sense the emotion directly, instead of through the filter of her unhappy thoughts, her unhappy story. She said she had come expecting me to show her the way out of her unhappiness, not into it.
Reluctantly, however, she did what I asked her to do. Tears were rolling down her face, her whole body was shaking. “At this moment, this is what you feel.” I said. “There is nothing you can do about the fact that at this moment this is what you feel. Now, instead of wanting this moment to be different from the way it is, which adds more pain to the pain that is already there, is it possible for you to completely accept that this is what you feel right now?”
She was quiet for a moment. Suddenly she looked impatient, as if she was about to get up, and said angrily, “No, I don't want to accept this.” “Who is speaking?” I asked her. “You or the unhappiness in you? Can you see that your unhappiness about being unhappy is just another layer of unhappiness?” She became quiet again. “I am not asking you to do anything. All I'm asking is that you find out whether it is possible for you to allow those feelings to be there. In other words, and this may sound strange, if you don't mind being unhappy, what happens to the unhappiness? Don't you want to find out?”
She looked puzzled briefly, and after a minute or so of sitting silently, I suddenly noticed a significant shift in her energy field. She said, “This is weird. I 'm still unhappy, but now there is space around it. It seems to matter less.”
This was the first time I heard somebody put it like that: There is space around my unhappiness. That space, of course, comes when there is inner acceptance of whatever you are experiencing in the present moment.
I didn't say much else, allowing her to be with the experience. Later she came to understand that the moment she stopped identifying with the feeling, the old painful emotion that lived in her, the moment she put her attention on it directly without trying to resist it, it could no longer control her thinking and so become mixed up with a mentally constructed story called “The Unhappy Me.” Another dimension had come into her life that transcended her personal past – the dimension of Presence. Since you cannot be unhappy without an unhappy story, this was the end of her unhappiness. It was also the beginning of the end of her pain-body. Emotion in itself is not unhappiness. Only emotion plus an unhappy story is unhappiness.
When our session came to an end, it was fulfilling to know that I had just witnessed the arising of Presence in another human being. The very reason for our existence in human form is to bring that dimension of consciousness into this world. I had also witnessed a diminishment of the pain-body, not through fighting it but through bringing the light of consciousness to it.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Search for the answers I knew all along;
I lost myself,
We all fall down;
Never the wiser of what I've become
Alone I stand,
A broken man...
All I have is one last chance.
I won't turn my back on you.
Take my hand,
Drag me down.
If you fall,
Then I will too.
And I can't save what's left of you...
Sing something new,
I have nothing left.
I can't face the dark without you.
There's nothing left to lose,
The fight never ends.
I can't face the dark without you.
Swallow me under and pull me apart.
There's nothing left.
Pain so familiar and close to the heart;
No more no less,
I won't forget.
Come back down,
I can't find my way to you.
And I can't bear to face the truth...
I wanted to forgive;
I'm trying to forget;
Don't leave me here again.
I am with you, forever, the end.
Holding the hand that holds me down.
I forgive you, forget you, the end.
Holding the hand that holds me down.
I forgive you, forget you, the end.
Order my life. I’m nothing without you: fragments of time, fragments of words, fragments of feelings. Make sense of me. Make me whole.
Greg Egan (Permutation City (Subjective Cosmology #2))
It’s a risk I’m willing to take. This happens once in a lifetime. You meet someone and have this crazy reaction … you touch her skin and it’s the best skin you’ve ever felt, and no perfume on earth could be better than her smell, and you know you could never be bored with her because she’s interesting even when she’s doing nothing. Even without knowing everything about her, you get her. You know who she is, and it works for you on every level.
Lisa Kleypas (Crystal Cove (Friday Harbor, #4))
THE ELFIN KNIGHT
Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
She must be a true love of mine
Tell her she'll sleep in a goose-feather bed
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
Tell her I sear she'll have nothing to dread
She must be a true love of mine
Tell her tomorrow her answer make known
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
What e'er she may say I'll not leave her alone
She must be a true love of mine
Her answer came in a week and a day
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
I'm sorry good sir, I must answer thee nay
I'll not be a true love of thine
From the sting of my curse she can never be free
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
Unless she unravels my riddlings three
She will be a true love of mine
Tell her to make me a magical shirt
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
Without any seam or needlework
Else she'll be a true love of mine
Tell her to find me an acre of land
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
Between the salt water and the sea strand
Else she'll be a true love of mine
Tell her to plow it with just a goat's horn
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
And sow it all over with one grain of corn
Else she'll be a true love of mine
And her daughters forever possessions of mine
Nancy Werlin (Impossible (Impossible, #1))
I tried to get over you. I wanted so fucking bad to forget you. But every time I was with someone, it was you. Your hair, your eyes, your touch. You're all I fucking saw. You have a choice Georgia but I don't. I don't have a fucking choice, I never did. It's always been you. You destroyed me. I'm not the person I was before I met you and I can't go back. Nothing works anymore without you." ~Tristan
Adriane Leigh (The Mourning After (Mourning, #1))
Jack: Rose, you're no picnic, all right? You're a spoiled little brat, even, but under that, you're the most amazingly, astounding, wonderful girl, woman that I've ever known...
Rose: Jack, I...
Jack: No, let me try and get this out. You're ama- I'm not an idiot, I know how the world works. I've got ten bucks in my pocket, I have no-nothing to offer you and I know that. I understand. But I'm too involved now. You jump, I jump remember? I can't turn away without knowing you'll be all right... That's all that I want.
Rose: Well, I'm fine... I'll be fine... really.
Jack: Really? I don't think so. They've got you trapped, Rose. And you're gonna die if you don't break free. Maybe not right away because you're strong but... sooner or later that fire that I love about you, Rose... that fire's gonna burn out...
Rose: It's not up to you to save me, Jack.
Jack: You're right... only you can do that.
James Francis Cameron
I’m looking for Fat Hoochie Prom Queen,” I declared.
He did not respond.
“It’s a book,” I said. “Not a person.”
“At the very least, can you tell me the author?”
He looked at his computer, as if it had some way to speak to me without any typing on his part.
“Are you wearing headphones that I can’t see?” I asked.
He scratched at the inside of his elbow.
“Do you know me?” I persisted. “Did I grind you to a pulp in kindergarten, and are you now getting sadistic pleasure from this petty revenge?
Stephen Little, is that you? Is it? I was much younger then, and foolish to have nearly drowned you in that water fountain. In my defense, your
prior destruction of my book report was a completely unwarranted act of aggression.”
Finally, a response. The information desk clerk shook his shaggy head.
“No?” I said.
“I am not allowed to disclose the location of Fat Hoochie Prom Queen,” he explained. “Not to you. Not to anyone. And while I am not Stephen
Little, you should be ashamed of what you did to him. Ashamed.
Rachel Cohn (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
I'm sorry." Her voice cracked. "McKenna-"
"Not sorry enough." He pressed his wet face to hers, his mouth rubbing over her cheeks and chin in feverish, rough half kisses, as if he wanted to devour her. "Not nearly enough. You say you've had to live without your heart...how would you like to lose your soul as well? I've cursed every day I've had to live without you, and every night that I spent with another woman, wishing that it was you in my arms-"
"NO-" she moaned.
"Wishing," he continued fiercely, "for some way to stop the memories of you from eating away at me until there was nothing left inside. I've found no peace anywhere, not even in sleep. Not even in dreams..." He broke off and assaulted her with hungry, shuddering kisses. The taste of his tears, his mouth, made Aline disoriented and hot, her head reeling from shocks of pleasure. McKenna seemed possessed by a passion that bordered on violence, his lungs wracked with hard breaths, his hands tightening with a force that threatened to leave bruises on her tender flesh. "By God," he said with the vehemence of a man to whom entirely too much had happened, "In the past few days I've suffered the torments of the damned, and I've had enough!
Lisa Kleypas (Again the Magic (Wallflowers, #0.5))
The Couple Overfloweth
We sometimes go on as though people can’t express themselves. In fact they’re always expressing themselves. The sorriest couples are those where the woman can’t be preoccupied or tired without the man saying “What’s wrong? Say something…,” or the man, without the woman saying … and so on. Radio and television have spread this spirit everywhere, and we’re riddled with pointless talk, insane quantities of words and images. Stupidity’s never blind or mute. So it’s not a problem of getting people to express themselves but of providing little gaps of solitude and silence in which they might eventually find something to say. Repressive forces don’t stop people expressing themselves but rather force them to express themselves; What a relief to have nothing to say, the right to say nothing, because only then is there a chance of framing the rare, and ever rarer, thing that might be worth saying. What we’re plagued by these days isn’t any blocking of communication, but pointless statements. But what we call the meaning of a statement is its point. That’s the only definition of meaning, and it comes to the same thing as a statement’s novelty. You can listen to people for hours, but what’s the point? . . . That’s why arguments are such a strain, why there’s never any point arguing. You can’t just tell someone what they’re saying is pointless. So you tell them it’s wrong. But what someone says is never wrong, the problem isn’t that some things are wrong, but that they’re stupid or irrelevant. That they’ve already been said a thousand times. The notions of relevance, necessity, the point of something, are a thousand times more significant than the notion of truth. Not as substitutes for truth, but as the measure of the truth of what I’m saying. It’s the same in mathematics: Poincaré used to say that many mathematical theories are completely irrelevant, pointless; He didn’t say they were wrong – that wouldn’t have been so bad.
Gilles Deleuze (Negotiations, 1972-1990)
I’m nothing without you, Ly. I just don’t work without you. You’ve broken me.” He smiles. “You are everything to me and I will spend the rest of my life showing you that you didn’t make the worst mistake of your life by falling in love with a must like me.
Samantha Towle (Taming the Storm (The Storm, #3))
The first time you asked me to marry you was three years ago. You told me it didn’t have to be that day, or the next day, or even that year. You just wanted me to swear I would when I was ready. I said yes, of course, and I meant it with everything in me. We were young and maybe we were naïve, thinking we had it all figured out, but one thing I never doubted was that we were meant to be. “
Haven paused to wipe her cheeks as more tears spilled from her eyes. “When I first met you I wasn’t sure what to think. You were nothing like anyone I’d ever met before. The things you made me feel were scary, and I wanted nothing more than to stay away from you, but I couldn’t. I was drawn to you. You gave me hope. You believed in me and helped me, and most of all, you loved me. Me. Out of all he people in the world, you picked me. I was used to being overlooked, used to being invisible, but you saw me. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without you. I love you, Carmine Marcello DeMarco, and I want you to know I’m ready now. I’m ready to spend the rest of my life with you.”
“Sempre,” he whispered, choking on the word.
“Sempre.” Haven meant it with every fiber of her being. He was hers forever.
J.M. Darhower (Redemption (Sempre, #2))
Abigail,’ he says. ‘I thought it was you.’
‘Hi!’ I say loudly. ‘Mark!’
‘Who?’ says Robert. Fuck, he doesn’t know his real name. Why do I give everyone stupid nicknames?
‘I almost don’t recognise you out of your SKINNY JEANS,’ I enunciate carefully. He’s wearing grey flannel trousers and a pink T-Shirt with leather Converses. He speaks clothes exceptionally confidently for a straight man. I wonder if he’d take me shopping.
‘Oh, right. Got it.’
‘That’s odd,’ says Skinny Jeans. ‘Since I was wearing nothing at all when you left my room without saying goodbye . . . let’s see, seven weeks ago?’
‘Um, yes. Well, you know . . .’ I trail off. Come on, Robert, I think desperately.
‘I’m sorry, were you planning on making me breakfast in bed?’ says Robert. Yes! Make a joke!
‘I’m sorry, were you planning on making me breakfast in bed?’ I say.
Skinny Jeans grins.
‘Scrambled eggs? Toast? On a little tray?’
‘Scrambled eggs? Toast? On a little tray with a rose on it?’ I say.
‘Don’t fuck with my script,’ says Robert, which makes me grin slightly more broadly
There's too many songs and nothing to dance to
The future is putrid, I'm useless without you
Wesley Eisold (Deathbeds)
I would become anyone, anything for you. I would lie, steal, beg, kill for you. I'm not sorry for what I did in the past few months. My life would have been nothing without them.
Lisa Kleypas (Stranger in My Arms)
Termite, you're young, and I'm not sure if you're going to understand what I'm about to say, but here's the nugget: Without the heart, nothing else matters. She could be the Goddess of Love, you could have all the mind-blowing sex you could physically handle, but when the shooting is over, and you're starting to think about getting a bite to eat, smoking a cigarette, or what you do with her now, you're just lying in bed with a woman who means little more to you than the remote control for your TV. Love is not tool; neither is a woman's heart. What I'm talking about, you won't find in that magazine."
"How would you know? You just said you've only loved one woman. I think you need to test-drive a few cars before you buy one."
"You can buy that lie if you want, but if you're working for a bank, you don't study the counterfeit to know the real thing. You study the real thing to know the counterfeit."
Reese talking to Termite, pg. 109-110
Charles Martin (When Crickets Cry)
He says nothing but I know he is listening. Words are the only medicine I have.
‘You make sense of a world that is senseless. You gave me space boots so that I could walk on other planets. Without you, I’m lost. There’s no left, no right. No tomorrow, only miles of yesterdays. It doesn’t matter what happens now because I’ve found you. That’s why I’m here. Because of you. You who I love. My best friend. My brother.
Sally Gardner (Maggot Moon)
I miss you more than ever and do not know what to do.
I remember waking up at dawn,
but can't expect to live another day without you.
The mirror does not lie.
I feel so different.
I miss you you.
People spend and spend as long as the pace of life seems wrong.
I was so different when you were here.
It was so different when you were here.
There is nothing more difficult than living without you.
I'm suffering in the hope to once again see.
You get the cold out of my body and it asks for you.
But I do not know where you are. . .
If you had been here, I would be so happy.
But there is nothing more difficult than living without you...
José N. Harris (MI VIDA: A Story of Faith, Hope and Love)
She buried her face in his neck, beard tickling his throat. "I am going to bury you right here," she sobbed. "I'm digging your grave, just so you know."
"I know," he said, rubbing a hand over her back. "I would expect nothing less."
"No one would ever be able to find you! And even if they did, it would be too late and you'd be only bones!"
"Perhaps we can hold off on that, for at least a little while, I have something important to say to all of you."
She sniffled. "Perhaps. But if I don't like what I hear, we come right back and you will climb inside the hole without arguing.
T.J. Klune (The House in the Cerulean Sea)
If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time. I'd relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I'm one of those people who lived sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I've had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I'd have more of them. In fact, I'd try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I've been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.
If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.
So I take it you and Gansey get along, then?” Maura’s expression was annoyingly knowing.
“Orla told me about his muscle car,” Maura continued. Her voice was still angry and artificially bright. The fact that Blue was well aware that she’d earned it made the sting of it even worse. “You aren’t planning on kissing him, are you?”
“Mom, that will never happen,” Blue assured her. “You did meet him, didn’t you?”
“I wasn’t sure if driving an old, loud Camaro was the male equivalent of shredding your T-shirts and gluing cardboard trees to your bedroom walls.”
“Trust me,” Blue said. “Gansey and I are nothing like each other. And they aren’t cardboard. They’re repurposed canvas.”
“The environment breathes a sigh of relief.” Maura attempted another sip of her drink; wrinkling her nose, she shot a glare at Persephone. Persephone looked martyred. After a pause, Maura noted, in a slightly softer voice, “I’m not entirely happy about you’re getting in a car without air bags.”
“Our car doesn’t have air bags,” Blue pointed out.
Maura picked a long strand of Persephone’s hair from the rim of her glass. “Yes, but you always take your bike.”
Blue stood up. She suspected that the green fuzz of the sofa was now adhered to the back of her leggings. “Can I go now? Am I in trouble?”
“You are in trouble. I told you to stay away from him and you didn’t,” Maura said. “I just haven’t decided what to do about it yet. My feelings are hurt. I’ve consulted with several people who tell me that I’m within my rights to feel hurt. Do teenagers still get grounded? Did that only happen in the eighties?”
“I’ll be very angry if you ground me,” Blue said, still wobbly from her mother’s unfamiliar displeasure. “I’ll probably rebel and climb out my window with a bedsheet rope.”
Her mother rubbed a hand over her face. Her anger had completely burned itself out. “You’re well into it, aren’t you? That didn’t take long.”
“If you don’t tell me not to see them, I don’t have to disobey you,” Blue suggested.
“This is what you get, Maura, for using your DNA to make a baby,” Calla said.
Maura sighed. “Blue, I know you’re not an idiot. It’s just, sometimes smart people do dumb things.”
Calla growled, “Don’t be one of them.”
“Persephone?” asked Maura.
In her small voice, Persephone said, “I have nothing left to add.” After a moment of consideration, she added, however, “If you are going to punch someone, don’t put your thumb inside your fist. It would be a shame to break it.”
“Okay,” Blue said hurriedly. “I’m out.”
“You could at least say sorry,” Maura said. “Pretend like I have some power over you.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
I’m sorry. I was going to be stoic, and say nothing for as long as you wanted me, but then we made love… and I’ve, I’ve never had that… and I just can’t go back to who I was before. I want you and only you and I can’t bear the thought of sharing you. I’m sorry.” He looked down sadly. “I want to be with you the right way – in the open. I want to walk into Pete’s with you on my arm. I want to kiss you every time I see you, no matter who’s looking. I want to make love to you without fear of someone finding out. I want to fall asleep with you in my arms every night. I don’t want to feel guilty about something that makes me feel so… whole. I’m sorry, Kiera, but I’m asking you to choose.
S.C. Stephens (Thoughtless (Thoughtless, #1))
Nothing will be the same without him."
Micah nods slowly. "I know what you're saying. I guess I'm just wondering how we know when to give up and move on."
I shake my head. "Not yet. I'm not ready to quit fighting.
Paula Stokes (The Art of Lainey (The Art of Lainey, #1))
You refused him,” he said to me, almost angrily. “I’m not a fool, to take gifts from monsters,” I said. “Where do you think its power comes from? Nothing like that comes without a price.” He laughed, a little shrill and sharp. “Yes, the trick is to have someone else pay it for you,
Naomi Novik (Spinning Silver)
I felt my resolve crumbling. I wanted him, wanted him badly. I needed him too. I almost gave in. I almost told him that there was nothing in the world I wanted more than to be with him. That I didn’t think I was capable of leaving him. That he was more precious to me than anything. That I’d give up anything to be with him.
But then he pressed me close and spoke softly in my ear, “Pease don’t leave me, priya. I don’t think I could survive without you.”
My eyes filled up with tears, and shiny wet drops spilled down my cheeks. I touched his face.
“Don’t you see, Ren? That’s exactly why I have to go. You need to know that you can survive without me. That there’s more to life than just me. You need to see this world that’s opened up to you and know that you have choices. I refuse to be your cage.
“I could capture you and keep you selfishly to indulge my own desires. Regardless of whether you’re willing or not, it would be wrong. I helped you so that you could be free. Free to see and do all of the things that you missed out on all these years.” My hand slipped from his cheek to his neck. “Should I put a collar on you? Chain you up so you spend your life connected to me out of a sense of obligation?” I shook my head.
I wept openly now. “I’m sorry, Ren, but I won’t do that to you. I can’t. Because…I love you too.”
I kissed him quickly one last time.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Pain, I can't get enough
Pain, I like it rough cuz I'd rather feel Pain than nothing at all.
You're sick of feeling numb
You're not the only one
I'll take you by the hand and I'll show you a world that you can understand
This life is filled with hurt
When happiness doesn't work
Trust me, and take my hand
When the lights go out you will understand
Anger and agony are better than misery
Trust me, I've got a plan
When the lights go off you will understand
I know (4)
That you're wounded
That I'm here to save you
You know (4)
I'm always here for you
I know (4)
That you'll thank me later
Pain, I can't get enough
Pain, I like it rough cuz I'd rather feel Pain than nothing at all.
Pain, I can't get enough
Pain, I like it rough cuz I'd rather feel Pain than nothing at all.
Rather feel Pain than nothing at all
Rather feel Pain!!
Three Days Grace (Three Days Grace - One-X)
Go on," Kell told him without taking his eyes from Lila. " Get some rest."
Hastra shifted. "I can't, sir," he said. "I'm to escort Miss Bard--"
"I'll take that charge," cut in Kell. Hastra bit his lip and retreated several steps.
Lila let her forehead come to rest against his, her face so close the features blurred. And yet, that fractured eye shone with frightening clarity.
"You never told me," he whispered.
"You never noticed," she answered. And then, "Alucard did."
The blow landed, and Kell started to pull away when Lila's eyelids fluttered and she swayed dangerously.
He braced her. "Come on," he said gently. "I have a room upstairs. Why don't we--"
A sleepy flicker of amusement. "Trying to get me into bed?"
Kell mustered a smile. "It's only fair. I've spent enough time in yours."
"If I remember correctly," she said, her voice dreamy with fatigue, "you were on top of the bed the entire time."
"And tied to it," observed Kell.
Her words were soft at the edges. "Those were the days..." she said, right before she fell forward. It happened so fast Kell could do nothing but throw his arms around her.
"Lila?" he asked, first gently, and then more urgently. "Lila?"
She murmured against his front, something about sharp knives and soft corners, but didn't rouse, and Kell shot a glance at Hastra, who was still standing there, looking thoroughly embarrassed.
"What have you done?" demanded Kell.
"It was just a tonic, sir," he fumbled, "something for sleep."
"You drugged her?"
"It was Tieren's order," said Hastra, chastised. "He said she was mad and stubborn and no use to us dead." Hastra lowered his voice when he said this, mimicking Tieren's tone with startling accuracy.
"And what do you plan to do when she wakes back up?"
Hastra shrank back. "Apologize?"
Kell made an exasperated sound as Lila nuzzled-- actually nuzzled-- his shoulder.
"I suggest," he snapped at the young man, "you think of something better. Like an escape route."
Hastra paled, and Kell swept Lila up into his arms, amazed at her lightness... Kell swept through the halls until he reached his room and lowered Lila onto the couch.
Hastra handed him a blanket. "Shouldn't you take off her knives?"
"There's not enough tonic in the world to risk it," said Kell.
V.E. Schwab (A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3))
I don’t know who I am or what I want. All I know is that without you… without you, there’s nothing. I’m nothing. Do you have any idea how terrifying that is for someone like me?
C.J. Roberts (Epilogue (The Dark Duet, #3))
Fucking A. Hell can do without me for a while. And I’m going to make you feel so good you won’t even think about leaving.
C.C. Gibbs (All He Needs (All or Nothing, #2))
You’re a survivor. Voron put you on the edge of that cliff again and again until he conditioned you to claw onto life. You’ll do whatever you have to do to survive, and I’m your only chance of getting out. At first you’ll balk, but with every passing hour my offer will look better and better. You’ll convince yourself that dying will accomplish nothing and you should at least go out with a bang. You’ll tell yourself that you’re accepting my offer just so you can stick that broken sword into my chest and feel it cut through my heart. Even if you die afterward, the fact that I’ll stop breathing makes your death mean something. So you’ll call me. And you’ll try to kill me. Except you’ve gone three days without food, and that body . . .” He tilted his head and looked me over slowly. “That body burns through calories like fire goes through gasoline. You’re running out of reserves. I can put you down with one hit.”
“You’re right about the sword. You broke mine. I owe you one.”
He tapped his naked chest over his heart. “This is the spot. Give it a shot, Kate. Let’s see what happens.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels, #7))
depression is stupid and not a thing that makes me a better writer. one time i went a whole year without writing and i stayed in bed and drank. fuck your bukowskisms. i want sunlight and love and running down some street i’ve never been on where it’s warm and cool at the same time and i’m smiling. i want nothing to ever be bad again- and i don’t mean that i want a life free of conflict, i mean that i want a life free of meaningless conflict. not being able to will oneself to take a shower or leave the house is meaningless. there is nothing to be gained, no lesson to be learned from that kind of life. my heart is stale, my prose is stale. give me fire if you want to hurt me. give me something i can taste. there’s nothing romantic or mysterious about where i am. there’s nothing here worth holding onto.
When I give, it does not come with strings. I’m not keeping track of what you owe me. When I give, I choose to do so without ulterior motives. I give because I know what it’s like to be without. To long for and be ignored; to speak and not be heard; to care for and have nothing returned. When I give it’s because I know the value in what I have in my heart. And I refuse to let the world stop me from sharing that, But when things start being taken for granted, When you no longer appreciate my sincerity, I won’t switch, I won’t get angry, and I won’t be spiteful. I’ll just get smart, and change your role in my life. Because when I give, I’m all in. But when I’m done, there’s no turning back.
I never knew I never knew that everything was falling through That everyone I knew was waiting on a cue To turn and run when all I needed was the truth But that's how it's got to be It's coming down to nothing more than apathy I'd rather run the other way than stay and see The smoke and who's still standing when it clears Everyone knows I'm in Over my head
Over my head With eight seconds left in overtime She's on your mind
She's on your mind Let's rearrange I wish you were a stranger I could disengage Just say that we agree and then never change Soften a bit until we all just get along But that's disregard Find another friend and you discard As you lose the argument in a cable car Hanging above as the canyon comes between Everyone knows I'm in Over my head
Over my head With eight seconds left in overtime She's on your mind
She's on your mind Everyone knows I'm in Over my head
Over my head With eight seconds left in overtime She's on your mind She's on your ... And suddenly I become a part of your past I'm becoming the part that don't last I'm losing you and its effortless Without a sound we lose sight of the ground In the throw around Never thought that you wanted to bring it down I won't let it go down till we torch it ourselves And everyone knows I'm in Over my head
Over my head With eight seconds left in overtime She's on your mind
She's on your mind Everyone knows She's on your mind Everyone knows I'm in over my head I'm in over my head I'm over my... Everyone knows I'm in Over my head
Over my head With eight seconds left in overtime She's on your mind
She's on your mind.
When we met, we were two injured souls. Both keeping the real out of our lives for fear of what we might find. But nothing could have kept us apart. I never believed in destiny. Thought that was a bunch of crap for people who read too many books. Until I met you. You’re it for me, Babe. I didn’t even know I was missing something until I found you, but now I don’t know how I got through a day without what you’ve given me. You’re my soul mate. As sappy as it sounds, it’s god damn true. Nothing has ever been truer in my life. So no, I’m not worried about this fight not helping me heal from my past, because it’s you who does that for me. You’ve filled all the cracks in my heart and made me better. I never thought I’d say this after what I went through, but I’m the luckiest bastard on this earth.
Vi Keeland (Worth the Fight (MMA Fighter, #1))
To begin with, this case should never have come to trial. The state has not produced one iota of medical evidence that the crime Tom Robinson is charged with ever took place... It has relied instead upon the testimony of two witnesses, whose evidence has not only been called into serious question on cross-examination, but has been flatly contradicted by the defendant. Now, there is circumstantial evidence to indicate that Mayella Ewel was beaten - savagely, by someone who led exclusively with his left. And Tom Robinson now sits before you having taken the oath with the only good hand he possesses... his RIGHT. I have nothing but pity in my heart for the chief witness for the State. She is the victim of cruel poverty and ignorance. But my pity does not extend so far as to her putting a man's life at stake, which she has done in an effort to get rid of her own guilt. Now I say "guilt," gentlemen, because it was guilt that motivated her. She's committed no crime - she has merely broken a rigid and time-honored code of our society, a code so severe that whoever breaks it is hounded from our midst as unfit to live with. She must destroy the evidence of her offense. But what was the evidence of her offense? Tom Robinson, a human being. She must put Tom Robinson away from her. Tom Robinson was to her a daily reminder of what she did. Now, what did she do? She tempted a *****. She was white, and she tempted a *****. She did something that, in our society, is unspeakable. She kissed a black man. Not an old uncle, but a strong, young ***** man. No code mattered to her before she broke it, but it came crashing down on her afterwards. The witnesses for the State, with the exception of the sheriff of Maycomb County have presented themselves to you gentlemen, to this court in the cynical confidence that their testimony would not be doubted, confident that you gentlemen would go along with them on the assumption... the evil assumption that all Negroes lie, all Negroes are basically immoral beings, all ***** men are not to be trusted around our women. An assumption that one associates with minds of their caliber, and which is, in itself, gentlemen, a lie, which I do not need to point out to you. And so, a quiet, humble, respectable *****, who has had the unmitigated TEMERITY to feel sorry for a white woman, has had to put his word against TWO white people's! The defendant is not guilty - but somebody in this courtroom is. Now, gentlemen, in this country, our courts are the great levelers. In our courts, all men are created equal. I'm no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and of our jury system - that's no ideal to me. That is a living, working reality! Now I am confident that you gentlemen will review, without passion, the evidence that you have heard, come to a decision and restore this man to his family. In the name of GOD, do your duty. In the name of God, believe... Tom Robinson
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
How he died hadn't been funny, Newt thought.
"It's all right, though," Augustus said. "It's mostly bones we're riding over anyway. Why, think of all the buffalo that have died on these plains. Buffalo and other critters too. And the Indians have been here forever; their bones are down there in the earth. I'm told that over in the Old Country you can't dig six feet without uncovering skulls and leg bones and such. People have been living there since the beginning, and their bones have kinda filled up the ground. It's interesting to think about, all the bones in the ground. But it's just fellow creatures, it's nothing to shy from.
Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove (Lonesome Dove #1))
There's a very mean girl down the hall who's trying to get me fired. I'm no good with confrontation, so whenever I say, "Have a wonderful day," to her out loud, I'm really saying, "Be nice to me or I will stab you in the face with a fork," in my head. I wish her a wonderful day at least once an hour. She's starting to get paranoid and jumpy about it, but there's really nothing she can do, because she can't complain about me wishing her a wonderful day without sounding totally insane. This is why you should never mess with nonconfrontational people. Because they're too unstable to second-guess. And because they're totally the kind of people who could suddenly snap, and stab you in the face with a fork.
Tell me something. Do you believe in God?'
Snow darted an apprehensive glance in my direction. 'What? Who still believes nowadays?'
'It isn't that simple. I don't mean the traditional God of Earth religion. I'm no expert in the history of religions, and perhaps this is nothing new--do you happen to know if there was ever a belief in an...imperfect God?'
'What do you mean by imperfect?' Snow frowned. 'In a way all the gods of the old religions were imperfect, considered that their attributes were amplified human ones. The God of the Old Testament, for instance, required humble submission and sacrifices, and and was jealous of other gods. The Greek gods had fits of sulks and family quarrels, and they were just as imperfect as mortals...'
'No,' I interrupted. 'I'm not thinking of a god whose imperfection arises out of the candor of his human creators, but one whose imperfection represents his essential characteristic: a god limited in his omniscience and power, fallible, incapable of foreseeing the consequences of his acts, and creating things that lead to horror. He is a...sick god, whose ambitions exceed his powers and who does not realize it at first. A god who has created clocks, but not the time they measure. He has created systems or mechanisms that serves specific ends but have now overstepped and betrayed them. And he has created eternity, which was to have measured his power, and which measures his unending defeat.'
Snow hesitated, but his attitude no longer showed any of the wary reserve of recent weeks:
'There was Manicheanism...'
'Nothing at all to do with the principles of Good and Evil,' I broke in immediately. 'This god has no existence outside of matter. He would like to free himself from matter, but he cannot...'
Snow pondered for a while:
'I don't know of any religion that answers your description. That kind of religion has never been...necessary. If i understand you, and I'm afraid I do, what you have in mind is an evolving god, who develops in the course of time, grows, and keeps increasing in power while remaining aware of his powerlessness. For your god, the divine condition is a situation without a goal. And understanding that, he despairs. But isn't this despairing god of yours mankind, Kelvin? Is it man you are talking about, and that is a fallacy, not just philosophically but also mystically speaking.'
I kept on:
'No, it's nothing to do with man. man may correspond to my provisional definition from some point of view, but that is because the definition has a lot of gaps. Man does not create gods, in spite of appearances. The times, the age, impose them on him. Man can serve is age or rebel against it, but the target of his cooperation or rebellion comes to him from outside. If there was only a since human being in existence, he would apparently be able to attempt the experiment of creating his own goals in complete freedom--apparently, because a man not brought up among other human beings cannot become a man. And the being--the being I have in mind--cannot exist in the plural, you see? ...Perhaps he has already been born somewhere, in some corner of the galaxy, and soon he will have some childish enthusiasm that will set him putting out one star and lighting another. We will notice him after a while...'
'We already have,' Snow said sarcastically. 'Novas and supernovas. According to you they are candles on his altar.'
'If you're going to take what I say literally...'
...Snow asked abruptly:
'What gave you this idea of an imperfect god?'
'I don't know. It seems quite feasible to me. That is the only god I could imagine believing in, a god whose passion is not a redemption, who saves nothing, fulfills no purpose--a god who simply is.
Stanisław Lem (Solaris)
I need to give you one last bit of advice in the off chance this rather extraordinary and enviable situation in which you find yourself is actually true- that somehow you've fallen deep down into a Cordova story. I stared back at him. Be the good guy, he said. How do I know I'm the good guy? He pointed at me, nodding. A very wise question. You don't. Most bad guys think they're good. But there are a few signifiers. You'll be miserable. You'll be hated. You'll fumble around in the dark, alone and confused. You'll have little insight as to the true nature of things, not until the very last minute, and only if you have the stamina and the madness to go to the very, very end. But most importantly- and critically- you will act without regard for yourself. You'll be motivated by something that has nothing to do with the ego. You'll do it for justice. For grace. For love. Those large rather heroic qualities only the good have the strength to carry on their shoulders. And you'll listen.
Marisha Pessl (Night Film)
Performance without rehearsal.
Body without alterations.
Head without premeditation.
I know nothing of the role I play.
I only know it’s mine. I can’t exchange it.
I have to guess on the spot
just what this play’s all about.
Ill-prepared for the privilege of living,
I can barely keep up with the pace that the action demands.
I improvise, although I loathe improvisation.
I trip at every step over my own ignorance.
I can’t conceal my hayseed manners.
My instincts are for happy histrionics.
Stage fright makes excuses for me, which humiliate me more.
Extenuating circumstances strike me as cruel.
Words and impulses you can’t take back,
stars you’ll never get counted,
your character like a raincoat you button on the run —
the pitiful results of all this unexpectedness.
If only I could just rehearse one Wednesday in advance,
or repeat a single Thursday that has passed!
But here comes Friday with a script I haven’t seen.
Is it fair, I ask
(my voice a little hoarse,
since I couldn’t even clear my throat offstage).
You’d be wrong to think that it’s just a slapdash quiz
taken in makeshift accommodations. Oh no.
I’m standing on the set and I see how strong it is.
The props are surprisingly precise.
The machine rotating the stage has been around even longer.
The farthest galaxies have been turned on.
Oh no, there’s no question, this must be the premiere.
And whatever I do
will become forever what I’ve done.
Wisława Szymborska (Map: Collected and Last Poems)
I already live like you," Evan lifted his head and looked straight into Christian's eyes. "I'm living like you right now, without her. If she leaves me when I ask her to marry me, or at the altar, or tomorrow, I could still say I tried. I could still say I loved her, that I kissed her, I held her." Evan inhaled a deep breath, his chest swelling with the intensity of it. "Without her, I'll just rot into nothing.
Allie Burke (Emerald Destiny (The Enchanters, #2))
This is the fifty-seventh message. Fifty seven days. I’m sitting here staring out at the Gulf, like I used to do with you. Nothing is the same without you here. I can’t even go near the bar in my kitchen. Remembering what we did there is too difficult. Everything reminds me of you. If I could hear your voice tonight, Harlow, if I could just hear you tell me you’re OK . . . I would be better. I would be able to take a deep breath. Then I’d beg. I would beg you to love me. I would beg you to forgive me.
Abbi Glines (One More Chance (Rosemary Beach, #8; Chance, #2))
I told you that I was a roadway of potholes, not safe to cross. You said nothing, showed up in my driveway wearing roller-skates.
The first time I asked you on a date, after you hung up, I held the air between our phones against my ear and whispered, “You will fall in love with me. Then, just months later, you will fall out. I will pretend the entire time that I don’t know it’s coming.”
Once, I got naked and danced around your bedroom, awkward and safe. You did the same. We held each other without hesitation and flailed lovely. This was vulnerability foreplay.
The last eight times I told you I loved you, they sounded like apologies.
You recorded me a CD of you repeating, “You are beautiful.” I listened to it until I no longer thought in my own voice.
Into the half-empty phone line, I whispered, “We will wake up believing the worst in each other. We will spit shrapnel at each other’s hearts. The bruises will lodge somewhere we don’t know how to look for and I will still pretend I don’t know its coming.”
You photographed my eyebrow shapes and turned them into flashcards: mood on one side, correct response on the other. You studied them until you knew when to stay silent.
I bought you an entire bakery so that we could eat nothing but breakfast for a week. Breakfast, untainted by the day ahead, was when we still smiled at each other as if we meant it.
I whispered, “I will latch on like a deadbolt to a door and tell you it is only because I want to protect you. Really, I’m afraid that without you I mean nothing.”
I gave you a bouquet of plane tickets so I could practice the feeling of watching you leave.
I picked you up from the airport limping. In your absence, I’d forgotten how to walk. When I collapsed at your feet, you refused to look at me until I learned to stand up without your help.
Too scared to move, I stared while you set fire to your apartment – its walls decaying beyond repair, roaches invading the corpse of your bedroom. You tossed all the faulty appliances through the smoke out your window, screaming that you couldn’t handle choking on one more thing that wouldn’t just fix himself.
I whispered, “We will each weed through the last year and try to spot the moment we began breaking. We will repel sprint away from each other. Your voice will take months to drain out from my ears. You will throw away your notebook of tally marks from each time you wondered if I was worth the work. The invisible bruises will finally surface and I will still pretend that I didn’t know it was coming.”
The entire time, I was only pretending that I knew it was coming.
Contemplations on the belly
When pregnant with our first, Dean and I attended a child birth class. There were about 15 other couples, all 6-8 months pregnant, just like us. As an introduction, the teacher asked us to each share what had been our favorite part of pregnancy and least favorite part. I was surprised by how many of the men and women there couldn't name a favorite part. When it was my turn, I said, "My least favorite has been the nausea, and my favorite is the belly."
We were sitting in the back of the room, so it was noticeable when several heads turned to get a look at me. Dean then spoke. "Yeah, my least favorite is that she was sick, and my favorite is the belly too."
Now nearly every head turned to gander incredulously at the freaky couple who actually liked the belly.
Dean and I laughed about it later, but we were sincere. The belly is cool. It is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, an unmistakable sign of what's going on inside, the wigwam for our little squirmer, the mark of my undeniable superpower of baby-making. I loved the belly and its freaky awesomeness, and especially the flutters, kicks, and bumps from within.
Twins belly is a whole new species. I marvel at the amazing uterus within and skin without with their unceasing ability to stretch (Reed Richards would be impressed). I still have great admiration for the belly, but I also fear it. Sometimes I wonder if I should build a shrine to it, light some incense, offer up gifts in an attempt both to honor it and avoid its wrath. It does seem more like a mythic monstrosity you'd be wise not to awaken than a bulbous appendage. It had NEEDS. It has DEMANDS. It will not be taken lightly (believe me, there's nothing light about it). I must give it its own throne, lying sideways atop a cushion, or it will CRUSH MY ORGANS. This belly is its own creature, is subject to different laws of growth and gravity. No, it's not a cute belly, not a benevolent belly. It would have tea with Fin Fang Foom; it would shake hands with Cthulhu. It's no wonder I'm so restless at night, having to sleep with one eye open.
Nevertheless, I honor you, belly, and the work you do to protect and grow my two precious daughters inside. Truly, they must be even more powerful than you to keep you enslaved to their needs. It's quite clear that out of all of us, I'm certainly not the one in control. I am here to do your bidding, belly and babies. I am your humble servant.
Miss Dearheart gave him a very brief look, and shook her head. There was movement under the table, a small fleshy kind of noise and the drunk suddenly bent forward, colour draining from his face. Probably only he and Moist heard Miss Dearheart purr: ‘What is sticking in your foot is a Mitzy “Pretty Lucretia” four-inch heel, the most dangerous footwear in the world. Considered as pounds per square inch, it’s like being trodden on by a very pointy elephant. Now, I know what you’re thinking: you’re thinking, “Could she press it all the way through to the floor?” And, you know, I’m not sure about that myself. The sole of your boot might give me a bit of trouble, but nothing else will. But that’s not the worrying part. The worrying part is that I was forced practically at knifepoint to take ballet lessons as a child, which means I can kick like a mule; you are sitting in front of me; and I have another shoe . Good, I can see you have worked that out. I’m going to withdraw the heel now.’
There was a small ‘pop’ from under the table. With great care the man stood up, turned and, without a backward glance, lurched unsteadily away.
‘Can I bother you?’ said Moist. Miss Dearheart nodded, and he sat down, with his legs crossed. ‘He was only a drunk,’ he ventured.
‘Yes, men say that sort of thing,’ said Miss Dearheart.
Terry Pratchett (Going Postal (Discworld, #33; Moist von Lipwig, #1))
Nothing is fake. My feelings for you aren’t fake. They are very, terribly real. You are the pulse of my heart, darlin’, and my heart won’t beat without you.” I take in a deep breath, that soaring feeling intensifying as I gaze into her eyes. I smile. “I’m so in love with ye, it hurts me.
Karina Halle (My Life in Shambles)
I went back in and grabbed my running clothes, then changed in the bathroom. I opened the door to the bathroom, stopping when I saw Kaidan's toiletry bag on the sink. I was overcome with curiosity about his cologne or aftershave, because I'd never smelled it on anyone else before. Feeling sneaky, I prodded one finger into the bag and peeked. No cologne bottle. Only a razor, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant. I picked up the deodorant, pulled off the lid, and smelled it. Nope, that wasn't it.
The sound of Kaidan's deep chuckle close to the doorway made me scream and drop the deodorant into the sink with a clatter. I smacked one hand to my chest and grabbed the edge of the sink with the other. He laughed out loud now.
“Okay, that must have looked really bad.” I spoke to his reflection in the mirror, then fumbled to pick up the deodorant. I put the lid on and dropped it in his bag. “But I was just trying to figure out what cologne you wear.”
My face was on fire as Kaidan stepped into the small bathroom and leaned against the counter, crossing his arms over his chest. I stepped away. He seemed entertained by my predicament.
“I haven't been wearing any cologne.”
“Oh.” I cleared my throat. “Well, I didn't see any, so I thought it might be your deodorant, but that's not it either. Maybe it's your laundry detergent or something. Let's just forget about it.”
“What is it you smell, exactly?” His voice took on a husky quality, and it felt like he was taking up a lot of room. I couldn't bring myself to look at him. Something strange was going on here. I stepped back, hitting the tub with my heel as I tried to put the scent into words.
“I don't know. It's like citrus and the forest or something...leaves and tree sap. I can't explain it.”
His eyes bored into mine while he wore that trademark sexy smirk, arms still crossed.
“Citrus?” he asked. “Like lemons?”
“Oranges mostly. And a little lime, too.”
He nodded and flicked his head to the side to get hair out of his eyes. Then his smile disappeared and his badge throbbed.
“What you smell are my pheromones, Anna.”
A small, nervous laugh burst from my throat.
“Oh, okay, then. Well...” I eyed the small space that was available to pass through the door. I made an awkward move toward it, but he shifted his body and I stepped back again.
“People can't usually smell pheromones,” he told me. “You must be using your extra senses without realizing it. I've heard of Neph losing control of their senses with certain emotions. Fear, surprise...lust.”
I rubbed my hands up and down my upper arms, wanting nothing more than to veer this conversation out of the danger zone.
“Yeah, I do have a hard time reining in the scent sometimes,” I babbled. “It even gets away from me while I sleep now and then. I wake up thinking Patti's making cinnamon rolls and it ends up being from someone else's apartment. Then I'm just stuck with cereal. Anyway...”
“Would you like to know your own scent?” he asked me.
My heart swelled up big in my chest and squeezed small again. This whole scent thing was way too sensual to be discussed in this small space. Any second now my traitorous body would be emitting some of those pheromones and there'd be red in my aura.
“Uh, not really,” I said, keeping my eyes averted. “I think I should probably go.”
He made no attempt to move out of the doorway.
“You smell like pears with freesia undertones.”
“Wow, okay.” I cleared my throat, still refusing eye contact. I had to get out of there. “I think I'll just...” I pointed to the door and began to shuffle past him, doing my best not to brush up against him. He finally took a step back and put his hands up by his sides to show that he wouldn't touch me. I broke out of the confined bathroom and took a deep breath.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
Zaphod left the controls for Ford to figure out, and lurched over to Arthur.
"Look, Earthman," he said angrily, "you've got a job to do, right? The Question to the Ultimate Answer, right?"
"What, that thing?" said Arthur, "I thought we'd forgotten about that."
"Not me, baby. Like the mice said, it's worth a lot of money in the right quarters. And it's all locked up in that head thing of yours."
"Yes but ..."
"But nothing! Think about it. The Meaning of Life! We get our fingers on that we can hold every shrink in the Galaxy up to ransom, and that's worth a bundle. I owe mine a mint."
Arthur took a deep breath without much enthusiasm.
"Alright," he said, "but where do we start? How should I know? They say the Ultimate Answer or whatever is Forty-two, how am I supposed to know what the question is? It could be anything. I mean, what's six times seven?"
Zaphod looked at him hard for a moment. Then his eyes blazed with excitement.
"Forty-two!" he cried.
Arthur wiped his palm across his forehead.
"Yes," he said patiently, "I know that."
Zaphod's faces fell.
"I'm just saying that the question could be anything at all," said Arthur, "and I don't see how I am meant to know.
Douglas Adams (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2))
When she says margarita she means daiquiri.
When she says quixotic she means mercurial.
And when she says, "I'll never speak to you again,"
she means, "Put your arms around me from behind
as I stand disconsolate at the window."
He's supposed to know that.
When a man loves a woman he is in New York and she is in Virginia
or he is in Boston, writing, and she is in New York, reading,
or she is wearing a sweater and sunglasses in Balboa Park and he
is raking leaves in Ithaca
or he is driving to East Hampton and she is standing disconsolate
at the window overlooking the bay
where a regatta of many-colored sails is going on
while he is stuck in traffic on the Long Island Expressway.
When a woman loves a man it is one ten in the morning
she is asleep he is watching the ball scores and eating pretzels
and two hours later he wakes up and staggers into bed
where she remains asleep and very warm.
When she says tomorrow she means in three or four weeks.
When she says, "We're talking about me now,"
he stops talking. Her best friend comes over and says,
"Did somebody die?"
When a woman loves a man, they have gone
to swim naked in the stream
on a glorious July day
with the sound of the waterfall like a chuckle
of water rushing over smooth rocks,
and there is nothing alien in the universe.
Ripe apples fall about them.
What else can they do but eat?
When he says, "Ours is a transitional era,"
"that's very original of you," she replies,
dry as the martini he is sipping.
They fight all the time
What do I owe you?
Let's start with an apology
Ok, I'm sorry, you dickhead.
A sign is held up saying "Laughter."
It's a silent picture.
"I've been fucked without a kiss," she says,
"and you can quote me on that,"
which sounds great in an English accent.
One year they broke up seven times and threatened to do it
another nine times.
When a woman loves a man, she wants him to meet her at the
airport in a foreign country with a jeep.
When a man loves a woman he's there. He doesn't complain that
she's two hours late
and there's nothing in the refrigerator.
When a woman loves a man, she wants to stay awake.
She's like a child crying
at nightfall because she didn't want the day to end.
When a man loves a woman, he watches her sleep, thinking:
as midnight to the moon is sleep to the beloved.
A thousand fireflies wink at him.
The frogs sound like the string section
of the orchestra warming up.
The stars dangle down like earrings the shape of grapes.
David Lehman (When a Woman Loves a Man: Poems)
He opened her door, helped her to the ground, and held
her before him. “You’re cold.”
Unable to meet his gaze, Kara spoke without thinking.
“N-no, it’s not that.”
His brow furrowed for a moment and then he seemed to
understand. He grinned, a sexy know-it-all grin, and ran a
finger down her cheek. “I’m glad I was able to provoke a
Her sexual frustration became irritation. She glowered at
him. “How is it you remain so unaffected?”
His eyebrows rose, and he gave a snort. “Unaffected?”
Without warning, he cupped her bottom, pulled her hard
against him, and she felt the unmistakable evidence of his
arousal. He was rock-hard, huge.
Her inner muscles clenched—hard—and the air rushed
out of her lungs. “Oh!”
He thrust against her, his eyes dark with obvious male
hunger. His voice was deep and husky. “Nothing about you
leaves me unaffected, Kara.
Pamela Clare (Extreme Exposure (I-Team, #1))
Unless you put prayer with your fasting, there is no need to fast. If it doesn't mean anything to you, it won't mean anything to God.
I can do without a lot of things, but I cannot do anything without Jesus.
Moses fasted. Elijah fasted forty days. Paul fasted fourteen days. Jesus fasted forty days. If the children of God do not fast, how will we ever fit into the armor of God?
Fasting is not a requirement; it is a choice. It is a vow you choose to make to pursue God on a deeper level. The entire time that you are on a fast you are acknowledging God. When you are feeling hungry, empty, and weak, you connect with God without all the clutter. In that way fasting is a time vow. It is also a discipline vow. Fasting, especially a longer fast, strengthens your character in every area of your life.
If you do not have the power of a made-up mind to honor God with your body, you will be at the mercy of the lust of your flesh.
If failure is not a possibility, then success doesn’t mean anything.
Prayer and fasting were a big part of Jesus’s life. Why should it be such a small part of yours? If Jesus needed to fast, how much greater is our need to fast?
If we are not drawing closer to God, we are drifting farther from Him.
I am not in this for what I can get out of Jesus. I’m in this because He loved me first and gave Himself for me. I have nothing to go back to. I crossed that bridge a long time ago. The enemy, this world, difficult circumstances—it doesn’t matter. I’ll still be in church. I am never going to walk away from God.
Jentezen Franklin (The Fasting Edge: Recover Your Passion. Recapture Your Dream. Restore Your Joy)
I remember going to the British Museum one day to read up the treatment for some slight ailment of which I had a touch – hay fever, I fancy it was. I got down the book, and read all I came to read; and then, in an unthinking moment, I idly turned the leaves, and began to indolently study diseases, generally. I forget which was the first distemper I plunged into – some fearful, devastating scourge, I know – and, before I had glanced half down the list of “premonitory symptoms,” it was borne in upon me that I had fairly got it.
I sat for awhile, frozen with horror; and then, in the listlessness of despair, I again turned over the pages. I came to typhoid fever – read the symptoms – discovered that I had typhoid fever, must have had it for months without knowing it – wondered what else I had got; turned up St. Vitus’s Dance – found, as I expected, that I had that too, – began to get interested in my case, and determined to sift it to the bottom, and so started alphabetically – read up ague, and learnt that I was sickening for it, and that the acute stage would commence in about another fortnight. Bright’s disease, I was relieved to find, I had only in a modified form, and, so far as that was concerned, I might live for years. Cholera I had, with severe complications; and diphtheria I seemed to have been born with. I plodded conscientiously through the twenty-six letters, and the only malady I could conclude I had not got was housemaid’s knee.
I had walked into that reading-room a happy, healthy man. I crawled out a decrepit wreck.
I went to my medical man. He is an old chum of mine, and feels my pulse, and looks at my tongue, and talks about the weather, all for nothing, when I fancy I’m ill; so I thought I would do him a good turn by going to him now. “What a doctor wants,” I said, “is practice. He shall have me. He will get more practice out of me than out of seventeen hundred of your ordinary, commonplace patients, with only one or two diseases each.” So I went straight up and saw him, and he said:
“Well, what’s the matter with you?”
“I will not take up your time, dear boy, with telling you what is the matter with me. Life is brief, and you might pass away before I had finished. But I will tell you what is NOT the matter with me. I have not got housemaid’s knee. Why I have not got housemaid’s knee, I cannot tell you; but the fact remains that I have not got it. Everything else, however, I HAVE got.”
And I told him how I came to discover it all.
Then he opened me and looked down me, and clutched hold of my wrist, and then he hit me over the chest when I wasn’t expecting it – a cowardly thing to do, I call it – and immediately afterwards butted me with the side of his head. After that, he sat down and wrote out a prescription, and folded it up and gave it me, and I put it in my pocket and went out.
I did not open it. I took it to the nearest chemist’s, and handed it in. The man read it, and then handed it back.
He said he didn’t keep it.
“You are a chemist?”
“I am a chemist. If I was a co-operative stores and family hotel combined, I might be able to oblige you. Being only a chemist hampers me.”
I read the prescription. It ran:
“1 lb. beefsteak, with
1 pt. bitter beer
every 6 hours.
1 ten-mile walk every morning.
1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
And don’t stuff up your head with things you don’t understand.”
I followed the directions, with the happy result – speaking for myself – that my life was preserved, and is still going on.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
I stood as she straightened and snaked my arms around her, pulling her close to me, savoring the feel of every delicate curve. For three weeks, I spent my time convincing myself that our breakup was the right choice. But being this close to her, hearing her laugh, listening to her voice, I knew I had been telling myself lies.
Her eyes widened when I lowered my head to hers. “It doesn’t have to be this way. We can find a way to make us work.”
She tilted her head and licked her lips, whispering through shallow breaths, “You’re not playing fair.”
“No, I’m not.” Echo thought too much. I threaded my fingers into her hair and kissed her, leaving her no opportunity to think about what we were doing. I wanted her to feel what I felt. To revel in the pull, the attraction. Dammit, I wanted her to undeniably love me.
Her pack hit the floor with a resounding thud and her magical fingers explored my back, neck and head. Echo’s tongue danced manically with mine, hungry and excited.
Her muscles stiffened when her mind caught up. I held her tighter to me, refusing to let her leave so easily again. Echo pulled her lips away, but was unable to step back from my body. “We can’t, Noah.”
“Why not?” I shook her without meaning to, but if it snapped something into place, I’d shake her again.
“Because everything has changed. Because nothing has changed. You have a family to save. I …” She looked away, shaking her head. “I can’t live here anymore. When I leave town, I can sleep. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
I did. I understood all too well, as much as I hated it. This was why we ignored each other. When she walked away the first time, my damn heart ruptured and I swore I’d never let it happen again. Like an idiot, here I was setting off explosives.
Both of my hands wove into her hair again and clutched at the soft curls. No matter how I tightened my grip, the strands kept falling from my fingers, a shower of water from the sky. I rested my forehead against hers. “I want you to be happy.”
“You, too,” she whispered. I let go of her and left the main office. When I first connected with Echo, I’d promised her I would help her find her answers. I was a man of my word and Echo would soon know that.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
I wonder where the dreams go that I don't remember. I do not know what to do with my hands when they have nothing to do. Even though it's not for me, I turn around when someone whistles in the street. Dangerous animals do not scare me. I have seen lightening. I wish they had slides for grown-ups. I have read more volumes one than volumes two. The date on my birth certificate is wrong. I am not sure I have any influence. I talk to my things when they're sad. I don't know why I write. I prefer a ruin to a monument. I am calm during reunions. I have nothing against New Year's Eve. Fifteen years old is the middle of my life, regardless of when I die. I believe there is an afterlife, but not an afterdeath. I do not ask "do you love me". Only once can I say "I'm dying" without telling a lie. The best day of my life may already be behind me.
Édouard Levé (Autoportrait)
I smack into him as if shoved from behind. He doesn't budge, not an inch. Just holds my shoulders and waits. Maybe he's waiting for me to find my balance. Maybe he's waiting for me to gather my pride. I hope he's got all day.
I hear people passing on the boardwalk and imagine them staring. Best-case scenario, they think I know this guy, that we're hugging. Worst-case scenario, they saw me totter like an intoxicated walrus into this complete stranger because I was looking down for a place to park our beach stuff. Either way, he knows what happened. He knows why my cheek is plastered to his bare chest. And there is definite humiliation waiting when I get around to looking up at him.
Options skim through my head like a flip book.
Option One: Run away as fast as my dollar-store flip flops can take me. Thing is, tripping over them is partly responsible for my current dilemma. In fact, one of them is missing, probably caught in a crack of the boardwalk. I'm getting Cinderella didn't feel this foolish, but then again, Cinderella wasn't as clumsy as an intoxicated walrus.
Option two: Pretend I've fainted. Go limp and everything. Drool, even. But I know this won't work because my eyes flutter too much to fake it, and besides, people don't blush while unconscious.
Option Three: Pray for a lightning bolt. A deadly one that you feel in advance because the air gets all atingle and your skin crawls-or so the science books say. It might kill us both, but really, he should have been paying more attention to me when he saw that I wasn't paying attention at all.
For a shaved second, I think my prayers are answered because I go get tingly all over; goose bumps sprout everywhere, and my pulse feels like electricity. Then I realize, it's coming from my shoulders. From his hands.
Option Last: For the love of God, peel my cheek off his chest and apologize for the casual assault. Then hobble away on my one flip-flop before I faint. With my luck, the lightning would only maim me, and he would feel obligated to carry me somewhere anyway. Also, do it now.
I ease away from him and peer up. The fire on my cheeks has nothing to do with the fact that it's sweaty-eight degrees in the Florida sun and everything to do with the fact that I just tripped into the most attractive guy on the planet. Fan-flipping-tastic.
"Are-are you all right?" he says, incredulous. I think I can see the shape of my cheek indented on his chest.
I nod. "I'm fine. I'm used to it. Sorry." I shrug off his hands when he doesn't let go. The tingling stays behind, as if he left some of himself on me.
"Jeez, Emma, are you okay?" Chloe calls from behind. The calm fwopping of my best friend's sandals suggests she's not as concerned as she sounds. Track star that she is, she would already be at my side if she thought I was hurt. I groan and face her, not surprised that she's grinning wide as the equator. She holds out my flip-flop, which I try not to snatch from her hand.
"I'm fine. Everybody's fine," I say. I turn back to the guy, who seems to get more gorgeous by the second. "You're fine, right? No broken bones or anything?"
He blinks, gives a slight nod.
Chloe setts her surfboard against the rail of the boardwalk and extends her hand to him. He accepts it without taking his eyes off me. "I'm Chloe and this is Emma," she says. "We usually bring her helmet with us, but we left it back in the hotel room this time.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
My little brother's greatest fear was that the one person who meant so much to him would go away. He loved Lindsey and Grandma Lynn and Samuel and Hal, but my father kept him stepping lightly, son gingerly monitoring father every morning and every evening as if, without such vigilance, he would lose him.
We stood- the dead child and the living- on either side of my father, both wanting the same thing. To have him to ourselves forver. To please us both was an impossibility.
'Please don't let Daddy die, Susie,' he whispered. 'I need him.'
When I left my brother, I walked out past the gazebo and under the lights hanging down like berries, and I saw the brick paths branching out as I advanced.
I walked until the bricks turned to flat stones and then to small, sharp rocks and then to nothing but churned earth for miles adn miles around me. I stood there. I had been in heaven long enough to know that something would be revealed. And as the light began to fade and the sky to turn a dark, sweet blue as it had on the night of my death, I saw something walking into view, so far away I could not at first make out if it was man or woman, child or adult. But as moonlight reached this figure I could make out a man and, frightened now, my breathing shallow, I raced just far enough to see. Was it my father? Was it what I had wanted all this time so deperately?
'Susie,' the man said as I approached and then stopped a few feet from where he stood. He raised his arms up toward me.
'Remember?' he said.
I found myself small again, age six and in a living room in Illinois. Now, as I had done then, I placed my feet on top of his feet.
'Granddaddy,' I said.
And because we were all alone and both in heaven, I was light enough to move as I had moved when I was six and in a living room in Illinois. Now, as I had done then, I placed my feet on top of his feet.
'Granddaddy,' I said.
And because we were all alone and both in heaven, I was light enough to move as I had moved when I was six and he was fifty-six and my father had taken us to visit. We danced so slowly to a song that on Earth had always made my grandfather cry.
'Do you remember?' he asked.
'Adagio for Strings,' he said.
But as we danced and spun- none of the herky-jerky awkwardness of Earth- what I remembered was how I'd found him crying to this music and asked him why.
'Sometimes you cry,' Susie, even when someone you love has been gone a long time.' He had held me against him then, just briefly, and then I had run outside to play again with Lindsey in what seemed like my grandfather's huge backyard.
We didn't speak any more that night, but we danced for hours in that timeless blue light. I knew as we danced that something was happening on Earth and in heaven. A shifting. The sort of slow-to-sudden movement that we'd read about in science class one year. Seismic, impossible, a rending and tearing of time and space. I pressed myself into my grandfather's chest and smelled the old-man smell of him, the mothball version of my own father, the blood on Earth, the sky in heaven. The kumquat, skunk, grade-A tobacco.
When the music stopped, it cold have been forever since we'd begun. My grandfateher took a step back, and the light grew yellow at his back.
'I'm going,' he said.
'Where?' I asked.
'Don't worry, sweetheart. You're so close.'
He turned and walked away, disappearing rapidly into spots and dust. Infinity.
I’ve been labeled before. I’m supposed to be a jock and then a brain and then one of those music/theater people. I guess I like to keep surprising people. But what kind of life can you live in a tiny square box? My personality is less narrow. I like a lot of different things. But still, people like to be able to put you in a category, to be able to place you in even rows and put a sign at the front. They think the best you can achieve is being at the front of your row…but why not form your own row? Isn’t that the definition of being a leader?
Maybe taking charge means something different nowadays. How come lately people think you’re a leader just because you happen to be at the front of the line? A good leader need only point the way and watch as others follow a direction, not a figure. A great leader can lead without anyone ever knowing it. A spectacular leader can lead without ever knowing it themselves. The person at the front of the line is the puppet of someone that you couldn’t name because someone else pointed the way. I must have missed something. I thought being a follower was letting other people shape your life. I thought it meant letting other people decide who you were going to be.
I won’t conform. I won’t let people class me. Because once you’re there you’re stuck. I will be whoever I want to be, and no one can stop me. I have something they don’t have, which is nothing to lose. I have my entire life to live and I intend to live it the way I would like to live. I will form my own row. I will point in a new direction. If that means going against other peoples’ opinion of normal, then so be it. Who says normal is right? Normal certainly strikes me as a boring way to live my life.
I hear there are giant jellyfish in the Arctic,
tentacles longer than train carriages.
Haystacks fly over cities in whirlwinds, and fish frogs and turtles rain on towns.
There are spaces of perfect nothing that they call black holes.
Nothing's impossible- that's what you think I'm trying to say.
But I'm not.
There are things that are impossible - unimaginable even- and here they are: That I broke you.
Said I'd given up on you. Sent you flying to a park in a thunderstorm.
That I've been wrong about you all along- saw something in your face each time you faded to your past, when the opposite was true.
That all this time you've been lost and that I won't get a second chance to find you.
Amelia your name is a song. It's a name you can't say without smiling or crying, without casting both shadows and light. But there are too many places to hide or get lost in a name like Amelia.
So this is me shouting that name. They say nobody ever escapes from a black hole. They don't know the strength in my Amelia. The strength in your grip when you want to stay out dancing- the strength in your wicked smile.
Jaclyn Moriarty (The Ghosts of Ashbury High (Ashbury/Brookfield, #4))
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When I Give It Does Not Come With Strings
When I give, it does not come with strings. I’m not keeping track of what you owe me. When I give, I choose to do so without ulterior motives. I give because I know what it’s like to be without. To long for and be ignored; to speak and not be heard; to care for and have nothing returned. When I give it’s because I know the value in what I have in my heart. And I refuse to let the world stop me from sharing that, But when things start being taken for granted, When you no longer appreciate my sincerity, I won’t switch, I won’t get angry, and I won’t be spiteful. I’ll just get smart, and change your role in my life. Because when I give, I’m all in. But when I’m done, there’s no turning back.
Rob Hill Sr.
And here was your mysterious innocence and invulnerability: you abused others without regret, and you condemned abuse, and said it was forbidden. You backed your derision with threats, for example, ‘I’ll rip you apart like a fish.’ And that was dreadful to me, even though I knew that nothing bad would happen (yet as a young child I didn’t know this), but your words served as a sign of your power, and you always seemed capable of doing something. And it was also dreadful when you shouted left and right at the table, and tried to grab someone – or pretended to try – until mother seemingly came to the rescue. And it appeared to a child that life existed through your mercy, and continued as your unearned gift. And linked to this were your threats about disobedience and where it would lead. When I began something which didn’t please you and you threatened me with failure, my awe for your opinion was so great that failure was unavoidable – perhaps at first, if not, then later. I lost the confidence to do anything. I was unsettled, doubtful. And the older I was, the more solid was the material with which you could demonstrate how worthless I was; and gradually, to a certain extent, you became right. But again, I must say that I’m not as I am just because of you; yet you increased what was there, and you increased it greatly; because against me you were very powerful, and you used all your power. You
Franz Kafka (Letter to My Father)
Well, Espen, you're no drug addict, so why do you beg?"
"Because it's my mission to be mirror for mankind so that they can see which actions are great and which are small."
"And which are great?"
Espen sighed in despair, as though weary of repeating the obvious. "Charity. Sharing and helping your neighbor. The Bible deals with nothing else. In fact, you have to search extremely hard to find anything about sex before marriage, abortion, homosexuality, or a woman's right to speak in public. But, of course, it is easier for Pharisees to talk aloud about subordinate clauses than to describe and perform the great actions the Bible leaves us in no doubt about: You have to give half of what you own to someone who has nothing. Thousands of people are dying every day without hearing the words of God because these Christians will not let go of their earthly goods. I'm giving them a chance to reflect.
Jo Nesbø (Frelseren (Harry Hole, #6))
Remember how I said nothing changes everything? I think I was wrong about that. I'm starting to think that maybe everything changes everything. That we never know what's going to happen next and we're not even supposed to. Maybe 'Z' is the shape of everyone's life. You're going along in what feels like a straight line, headed for one horizon, the only one as far as you know, and then something happens, maybe something good, maybe something terrible, or maybe just something like seeing a guy picking out a cantelope at the store, something that feels like nothing, and all of a sudden you're headed at another horizon altogether. Good things can happen that you did nothing to deserve. Bad things can happen that aren't anyone's fault. And it's sad how, if you let yourself, it's so much easier to think about what you've lost instead of what you have left. I'm not saying everything's okay, because it's not. We will never, ever be the same without you. We have our good days and bad days as a family, and you will always be the invisible center of both. But love is this really powerful thing that everyone's got if they'd just learn how to accept it. I mean, come on. If it's something we all have to give, and it's something we all want, doesn't that mean there's exactly enough to go around?
He said nothing. Juliana peeped at him again. “You’re very anxious to get her in your power again,
Vidal. But I don’t quite know why you should be, for you meant to marry her only because you had
ruined her, and so were obliged to, didn’t you?”
She thought that he was not going to answer, but suddenly he raised his eyes from the contemplation
of the dregs of his wine. “Because I am obliged to?” he said. “I mean to marry Mary Challoner
because I’m devilish sure I can’t live without her.”
Juliana clapped her hands with a crow of delight. “Oh, it is famous!” she exclaimed. “I never dreamed
you had fallen in love with my staid Mary! I thought you were chasing her through France just
because you so hate to be crossed! But when you flew into a rage with me for saying she was too dull
to be afraid of you, of course, I guessed at once! My dearest Dominic, I was never more glad of
anything in my life, and it is of all things the most romantic possible! Do, do let us overtake them at
once! Only conceive of their astonishment when they see us!
Georgette Heyer (Devil's Cub (Alastair-Audley, #2))
You're a beautiful young woman walking without an escort at one in the morning. Why doesn't one of your staff at least see you to your car?"
"Because they're not sexist pigs who think women are incapable of taking care of themselves."
Chance rolled his eyes. "This has nothing to do with feminism. I'm all for gender equality, but the fact remains that women are targeted for more specific crimes than men, and the perpetrators of those crimes often look for circumstances such as these to attack."
"See this?" Isa pulled something dark and oblong out of her purse. Chance's mouth twitched.
"No, It's a taser!" Isa said indignantly. "I can take care of myself, Chance. I've been doing that just fine for the past twenty-nine and a half years before you showed up, remember?
Jeaniene Frost (Happily Never After (Night Huntress, #1.5))
I love her with all my soul. Why, she is a child! She's a child now — a real child. Oh! you know nothing about it at all, I see."
"And are you assured, at the same time, that you love Aglaya too?"
"Yes — yes — oh; yes!"
"How so? Do you want to make out that you love them BOTH?"
"Yes — yes — both! I do!"
"Excuse me, prince, but think what you are saying! Recollect yourself!"
"Without Aglaya — I — I MUST see Aglaya! — I shall die in my sleep very soon — I thought I was dying in my sleep last night. Oh! if Aglaya only knew all — I mean really, REALLY all! Because she must know ALL — that's the first condition towards understanding. Why cannot we ever know all about another, especially when that other has been guilty? But I don't know what I'm talking about — I'm so confused. You pained me so dreadfully. Surely — surely Aglaya has not the same expression now as she had at the moment when she ran away? Oh, yes! I am guilty and I know it — I know it! Probably I am in fault all round — I don't quite know how — but I am in fault, no doubt. There is something else, but I cannot explain it to you, Evgenie Pavlovitch. I have no words; but Aglaya will understand. I have always believed Aglaya will understand — I am assured she will."
"No, prince, she will not. Aglaya loved like a woman, like a human being, not like an abstract spirit. Do you know what, my poor prince? The most probable explanation of the matter is that you never loved either the one or the other in reality.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Idiot)
Ask me anything, Bailey challenged.
What are you scared of? The question got out of Tibby's mouth before she meant to ask it.
Bailey thought. I'm afriad of time, she answered. She was brave, unflinching in the big Cyclops eye of the camera. There was nothing prissy or self-conscious about Bailey. I mean, I'm afraid of not having enough time, she clarified. Not enough time to understand people, how they really are, or to be understood myself. I'm afraid of the quick judgments and mistakes that eerybody makes. You can't fix them without time. I'm afraid of seeing snapshots instead of movies.
Tibby looked at her in disbelief. She was struck by this new side of Bailey, this philosophical-beyond-her-years Bailey. Did cancer make you wise? Did those chemicals and X rays supercharge her twelve-year-old brain?
I don’t know what I feel, tell me what I feel and I’ll tell you who I am, they’ll tell me who I am, I won’t understand, but the thing will be said, they’ll have said who I am, and I’ll have heard, without an ear I’ll have heard, and I’ll have said it, without a mouth I’ll have said it, I’ll have said it inside me, then in the same breath outside me, perhaps that’s what I feel, an outside and an inside and me in the middle, perhaps that’s what I am, the thing that divides the world in two, on the one side the outside, on the other the inside, that can be as thin as foil, I’m neither one side nor the other, I’m in the middle, I’m the partition, I’ve two surfaces and no thickness, perhaps that’s what I feel, myself vibrating, I’m the tympanum, on the one hand the mind, on the other the world, I don’t belong to either, it’s not to me they’re talking, it’s not of me they’re talking, no, that’s not it, I feel nothing of all that, try something else, herd of shites,
There’s a very mean girl down the hall who’s trying to get me fired. I’m no good with confrontation, so whenever I say, "Have a wonderful day,” to her out loud, I’m really saying, “Be nice to me or I will stab you in the face with a fork,” in my head. I wish her a wonderful day at least once an hour. She’s starting to get paranoid and jumpy about it, but there’s really nothing she can do, because she can’t complain about me wishing her a wonderful day without sounding totally insane. This is why you should never mess with nonconfrontational people. Because they’re too unstable to second-guess. And because they’re totally the kind of people who could suddenly snap, and stab you in the face with a fork.
Jenny Lawson (Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir)
Helen of Troy Does Counter Dancing
The world is full of women
who'd tell me I should be ashamed of myself
if they had the chance. Quit dancing.
Get some self-respect
and a day job.
Right. And minimum wage,
and varicose veins, just standing
in one place for eight hours
behind a glass counter
bundled up to the neck, instead of
naked as a meat sandwich.
Selling gloves, or something.
Instead of what I do sell.
You have to have talent
to peddle a thing so nebulous
and without material form.
Exploited, they'd say. Yes, any way
you cut it, but I've a choice
of how, and I'll take the money.
I do give value.
Like preachers, I sell vision,
like perfume ads, desire
or its facsimile. Like jokes
or war, it's all in the timing.
I sell men back their worst suspicions:
that everything's for sale,
and piecemeal. They gaze at me and see
a chain-saw murder just before it happens,
when thigh, ass, inkblot, crevice, tit, and nipple
are still connected.
Such hatred leaps in them,
my beery worshipers! That, or a bleary
hopeless love. Seeing the rows of heads
and upturned eyes, imploring
but ready to snap at my ankles,
I understand floods and earthquakes, and the urge
to step on ants. I keep the beat,
and dance for them because
they can't. The music smells like foxes,
crisp as heated metal
searing the nostrils
or humid as August, hazy and languorous
as a looted city the day after,
when all the rape's been done
already, and the killing,
and the survivors wander around
looking for garbage
to eat, and there's only a bleak exhaustion.
Speaking of which, it's the smiling
tires me out the most.
This, and the pretense
that I can't hear them.
And I can't, because I'm after all
a foreigner to them.
The speech here is all warty gutturals,
obvious as a slam of ham,
but I come from the province of the gods
where meaning are lilting and oblique.
I don't let on to everyone,
but lean close, and I'll whisper:
My mothers was raped by a holy swan.
You believe that? You can take me out to dinner.
That's what we tell all the husbands.
There sure are a lot of dangerous birds around.
Not that anyone here
but you would understand.
The rest of them would like to watch me
and feel nothing. Reduce me to components
as in a clock factory or abattoir.
Crush out the mystery.
Wall me up alive
in my own body.
They'd like to see through me,
but nothing is more opaque
than absolute transparency.
Look - my feet don't hit the marble!
Like breath or a balloon, I'm rising,
I hover six inches in the air
in my blazing swan-egg of light.
You think I'm not a goddess?
This is a torch song.
Touch me and you'll burn.
Margaret Atwood (Morning in the Burned House)
Yet somehow many have come to believe that a person can be a “Christian” without being like Christ. A “follower” who doesn’t follow. How does that make any sense? Many people in the church have decided to take on the name of Christ and nothing else. This would be like Jesus walking up to those first disciples and saying, “Hey, would you guys mind identifying yourselves with Me in some way? Don’t worry, I don’t actually care if you do anything I do or change your lifestyle at all. I’m just looking for people who are willing to say they believe in Me and call themselves Christians.
Francis Chan (Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples)
I knew you were too fine for me."
"No," she protested. "I'm not a highborn lady, I'm a commoner."
"There's nothing common about you." Ethan began to play with her hair, sifting his fingers through it, lifting a lock to brush the ends against his lips and cheeks. "Do you want to know why I gave you violets? They're beautiful and small, but tough enough to grow in the cracks of city pavement. More than once, I've been in some dark place and seen them clustered near a broken stoop, or at the base of a brick wall, bright as jewels. Even without sunlight or good soil, they show up to do a flower's job.
Lisa Kleypas (Hello Stranger (The Ravenels, #4))
Quince leans in over the map, studying, and I think he’s going to ask me something about the kingdoms or my plan or Daddy’s trident.
Instead, without taking his eyes off the map, he asks, “What happens if I fail?”
“What?” I whisper.
“If I don’t pass the three tests,” he says. “What’s the consequence?”
I suck in a shaky breath. This is the part I didn’t want to talk about, the part I hoped he wouldn’t ask about. But I guess he’s too clever—or has learned too much about how mer-world magic works—to assume there won’t be a price.
There is, and it’s a big one.
“If you fail,” I say, keeping my voice steady, “then you are banished from the water forever.”
He lifts his Caribbean-blue eyes to stare into mine. “And?”
“And?” I echo.
“I know that can’t be it,” he says. “Nothing in your world is ever that simple.”
A part of my heart breaks when he calls it my world. I want it to feel like his world, too. But now isn’t the time. He’s right; there’s more to the consequence of failure than him being exiled.
“And . . . ,” I say, wishing I didn’t have to tell him this, “I’ll be banished from land.” I swallow hard. “Forever.”
He stares into my eyes, unblinking, and I can’t read any sort of reaction. His mind is racing, I’m sure, but everything on the outside is a stone facade.
Finally, after what feels like an eternity, he says, “Then I won’t fail.
Tera Lynn Childs
Try not to breathe,” I tell Lira. “It might get stuck halfway out.”
Lira flicks up her hood. “You should try not to talk then,” she retorts. “Nobody wants your words being preserved for eternity.”
“They’re pearls of wisdom, actually.”
I can barely see Lira’s eyes under the mass of dark fur from her coat, but the mirthless curl of her smile is ever-present. It lingers in calculated amusement as she considers what to say next. Readies to ricochet the next blow.
Lira pulls a line of ice from her hair, artfully indifferent. “If that is what pearls are worth these days, I’ll make sure to invest in diamonds.”
“Or gold,” I tell her smugly. “I hear it’s worth its weight.”
Kye shakes the snow from his sword and scoffs. “Anytime you two want to stop making me feel nauseated, go right ahead.”
“Are you jealous because I’m not flirting with you?” Madrid asks him, warming her finger on the trigger mechanism of her gun.
“I don’t need you to flirt with me,” he says. “I already know you find me irresistible.”
Madrid reholsters her gun. “It’s actually quite easy to resist you when you’re dressed like that.”
Kye looks down at the sleek red coat fitted snugly to his lithe frame. The fur collar cuddles against his jaw and obscures the bottoms of his ears, making it seem as though he has no neck at all. He throws Madrid a smile.
“Is it because you think I look sexier wearing nothing?”
Torik lets out a withering sigh and pinches the bridge of his nose. I’m not sure whether it’s from the hours we’ve gone without food or his inability to wear cutoffs in the biting cold, but his patience seems to be wearing thin.
“I could swear that I’m on a life-and-death mission with a bunch of lusty kids,” he says. “Next thing I know, the lot of you will be writing love notes in rum bottles.”
“Okay,” Madrid says. “Now I feel nauseated.”
Alexandra Christo (To Kill a Kingdom)
Dear Neil Armstrong,
I write this to you as she sleeps down the hall. I need answers I think only you might have. When you were a boy, and space was simple science fiction, when flying was merely a daydream between periods of History and Physics, when gifts of moon dust to the one you loved could only be wrapped in your imagination.. Before the world knew your name; before it was a destination in the sky.. What was the moon like from your back yard?
Your arm, strong warm and wrapped under her hair both of you gazing up from your back porch summers before your distant journey. But upon landing on the moon, as the earth rose over the sea of tranquility, did you look for her? What was it like to see our planet, and know that everything, all you could be, all you could ever love and long for.. was just floating before you. Did you write her name in the dirt when the cameras weren't looking? Surrounding both your initials with a heart for alien life to study millions of years from now? What was it like to love something so distant? What words did you use to bring the moon back to her? And what did you promise in the moons ear, about that girl back home? Can you, teach me, how to fall from the sky?
I ask you this, not because I doubt your feat, I just want to know what it's like to go somewhere no man had ever been, just to find that she wasn't there. To realize your moon walk could never compare to the steps that led to her. I now know that the flight home means more. Every July I think of you. I imagine the summer of 1969, how lonely she must have felt while you were gone.. You never went back to the moon. And I believe that's because it dosen't take rockets to get you where you belong. I see that in this woman down the hall, sometimes she seems so much further. But I'm ready for whatever steps I must take to get to her.I have seem SO MANY skies.. but the moon, well, it always looks the same. So I gotta say, Neil, that rock you landed on, has got NOTHING on the rock she's landed on. You walked around, took samples and left.. She's built a fire cleaned up the place and I hope she decides to stay.. because on this rock.. we can breath.
Mr. Armstrong, I don't have much, many times have I been upside down with trauma, but with these empty hands, comes a heart that is often more full than the moon. She's becoming my world, pulling me into orbit, and I now know that I may never find life outside of hers. I want to give her EVERYTHING I don't have yet.. So YES, for her, I would go to the moon and back.... But not without her. We'd claim the moon for each other, with flags made from sheets down the hall. And I'd risk it ALL to kiss her under the light of the earth, the brightness of home... but I can do all of that and more right here, where she is..And when we gaze up, her arms around ME, I will NOT promise her gifts of moon dust, or flights of fancy. Instead I will gladly give her all the earth she wants, in return for all the earth she is. The sound of her heart beat and laughter, and all the time it takes to return to fall from the sky,down the hall, and right into love.
God, I'd do it every day, if I could just land next to her.
One small step for man, but she's one giant leap for my kind.
MY BOSS SENDS me home because of all the dried blood on my pants, and I am overjoyed.
The hole punched through my cheek doesn’t ever heal. I’m going to work, and my punched-out eye sockets are two swollen-up black bagels around the little piss holes I have left to see through. Until today, it really pissed me off that I’d become this totally centered Zen Master and nobody had noticed. Still, I’m doing the little FAX thing. I write little HAIKU things and FAX them around to everyone. When I pass people in the hall at work, I get totally ZEN right in everyone’s hostile little FACE.
Worker bees can leave
Even drones can fly away
The queen is their slave
You give up all your worldly possessions and your car and go live in a rented house in the toxic waste part of town where late at night, you can hear Marla and Tyler in his room, calling each other hum; butt wipe.
Take it, human butt wipe.
Do it, butt wipe.
Choke it down. Keep it down, baby.
Just by contrast, this makes me the calm little center of the world.
Me, with my punched-out eyes and dried blood in big black crusty stains on my pants, I’m saying HELLO to everybody at work. HELLO! Look at me. HELLO! I am so ZEN. This is BLOOD. This is NOTHING. Hello. Everything is nothing, and it’s so cool to be ENLIGHTENED. Like me.
Look. Outside the window. A bird.
My boss asked if the blood was my blood.
The bird flies downwind. I’m writing a little haiku in my head.
Without just one nest
A bird can call the world home
Life is your career
I’m counting on my fingers: five, seven, five. The blood, is it mine? Yeah, I say. Some of it. This is a wrong answer.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
When he was finished, he set his plate down, looked at me, and raised an eyebrow.
I leaned forward and whispered angrily, “I am not going to sit on your lap, so don’t get your hopes up, Mister.”
He still waited until I picked up a fork and took a few bites. I speared a bite of macadamia nut crusted ruby snapper and said, “Whew. Time’s up. Isn’t it? The clock is ticking. You must be sweating it, huh? I mean, you could turn any second.”
He just took a bite of curried lamb and then some saffron rice and sat there chewing as cool as a cucumber.
I watched him closely for a full two minutes and then folded up my napkin.
“Okay, I give. Why are you acting so smug and confident? When are you going to tell me what’s going on?”
He wiped his mouth carefully and took a sip of water. “What’s going on, my prema, is that the curse has been lifted.”
My mouth dropped open. “What? If it was lifted, why were you a tiger for the last two days?”
“Well, to be clear, the curse is not completely gone. I seem to have been granted a partial removal of the curse.”
“Partial? Partial meaning what, exactly?”
“Partial, meaning a certain number of hours per day. Six hours to be exact.”
I recited the prophecy in my mind and remembered that there were four sides to the monolith, and four times six was…”Twenty-four.”
He paused. “Twenty-four what?”
“Well, six hours makes sense because there are four gifts to obtain for Durga and four sides of the monolith. We’ve only completed one of the tasks, so you only get six hours.”
He smiled. “I guess I get to keep you around then, at least until the other tasks are finished.”
I snorted. “Don’t hold your breath, Tarzan. I might not need to be present for the other tasks. Now that you’re a man part of the time, you and Kishan can resolve this problem yourselves, I’m sure.”
He cocked his head and narrowed his eyes at me. “Don’t underestimate your level of…involvement, Kelsey. Even if you weren’t needed anymore to break the curse, do you think I’d simply let you go? Let you walk out of my life without a backward glance?”
I nervously began toying with my food and decided to say nothing. That was exactly what I’d been planning to do.
Something had changed. The hurt and confused Ren that made me feel guilty for rejecting him in Kishkindha was gone. He was now supremely confident, almost arrogant, and very sure of himself.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
This is what makes me crazy in this family, Dad. I don't care that you hit us. I really don't. That's over and there's nothing any of us can do about it. But I can't stand it when I state a simple fact about this family's history and I'm told by you or Mom that it didn't happen. But you've got to know, Dad, and I'm saying this as a son who loves you, that you were a shit to your kids. Not all the time. Not every day. Not every month. But we never knew what would set you off. We never knew when your temper would explode and we'd have the strongest shrimper on the river knocking us around the house. So we learned to be afraid without making a sound. And Mom was a loyal wife to you, Dad. She would never let us tell a soul that you were hitting us. Most of the time, she was like you and would simply tell us it didn't happen the way we remembered it.
Pat Conroy (The Prince of Tides)
I don’t want to go through it all again. All that time without you, always waiting, my foolish optimism that someday it would be different-“
“Your optimism was justified! Look at me. Look at us! This is different. I know it is, Daniel. I saw us in Helston and Tibet and Tahiti. We were in love, sure, but it was nothing like what we have now.”
They’d dropped back farther, out of earshot of the others. They were just Luce and Daniel, two lovers talking in the sky. “I’m still here,” she said. “I’m here because you believed in us. You believed in me.”
“I did-I do believe in you.”
“I believe in you, too.” She heard a smile enter her voice. “I always have.”
They were not going to fail.
Lauren Kate (Rapture (Fallen, #4))
All right,” said Susan. “I’m not stupid. You’re saying humans need…fantasies to make life bearable.”
REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.
“Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—”
YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.
“So we can believe the big ones?”
YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.
“They’re not the same at all!”
YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME…SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.
“Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what’s the point—”
MY POINT EXACTLY.
She tried to assemble her thoughts.
THERE IS A PLACE WHERE TWO GALAXIES HAVE BEEN COLLIDING FOR A MILLION YEARS, said Death, apropos of nothing. DON’T TRY TO TELL ME THAT’S RIGHT.
“Yes, but people don’t think about that,” said Susan. “Somewhere there was a bed…”
CORRECT. STARS EXPLODE, WORLDS COLLIDE, THERE’S HARDLY ANYWHERE IN THE UNIVERSE WHERE HUMANS CAN LIVE WITHOUT BEING FROZEN OR FRIED, AND YET YOU BELIEVE THAT A…A BED IS A NORMAL THING. IT IS THE MOST AMAZING TALENT.
OH, YES. A VERY SPECIAL KIND OF STUPIDITY. YOU THINK THE WHOLE UNIVERSE IS INSIDE YOUR HEADS.
“You make us sound mad,” said Susan. A nice warm bed…
NO. YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN THINGS THAT AREN’T TRUE. HOW ELSE CAN THEY BECOME? said Death
Terry Pratchett (Hogfather (Discworld, #20; Death, #4))
You have a visitors," Maximus stated. His face was impassive, but I still cringed, trying to discreetly tug my hand out of Vlad's. He let me go and folded his arms, smiling in that scary, pleasant way at Maximus.
“And they are so important that you had to find me at once and enter without knocking?”
I heard the threat behind those words and blanched. He wasn’t about to throw down on Maximus over this, was he? Don’t, I sent him, not adding the please only because I knew the word didn’t work on him.
“Forgive me, but it’s Mencheres and his co-ruler,” Maximus stated, not sounding apologetic even though he bowed. “Their wives as well.” I started to slink away, sanity returning now that I wasn’t caught up by Vlad’s mesmerizing nearness. What had I been doing? Nothing smart, that was for sure.
“Leila Stop,” Vlad said I kept heading for the door. “You have company, so I’ll just make myself scarce-“
I did at his commanding tone, and then cursed. I wasn’t one of his employees-he had no right to order me around. “NO,” I said defiantly. “I’m sweaty, and bloody and I want to take a shower, so whatever you have to say, it can wait.”
Maximus lost his impassive expression and looked at me as if I’d suddenly sprouted a second head. Vlad’s brow drew together and he opened his mouth, but before he could speak, laughter rang out from the hallway.
“I simply must meet whoever has put you in your place so thoroughly, Tepesh,” an unfamiliar British voice stated. “Did I mention they were on their way down?” Maximus muttered before the gym door swung open and four people entered.
The first was a short-haired brunet whose grin made me assume he was the one who’d greeted Vlad with the taunt. He was also handsome in a too-pretty way that made me think with less muscles, a wig, and some makeup he’d look great in a dress.
Vlad’s scowl vanished into a smile as the brunet’s gaze swung in my direction as though he’d somehow heard that. “Looks as though she’s put you in your place as well, Bones,” Vlad drawled. “So it seems.” Bones replied, winking at me.” “But while I’ve worn many disguises, I draw the line at a dress.”
My mouth dropped another mind reader?
Jeaniene Frost (Once Burned (Night Prince, #1))
I’ve experienced a lot in my life. I’ve been in bloody battles. I’ve been with friends who were killed. I’ve seen terrible things done to man and beast, but I’ve never felt afraid.
“I’ve been troubled. I’ve also been uneasy and tense. I’ve been in mortal danger, but I’ve never experienced that cold-sweat kind of fear, the kind that eats a man alive, brings him to his knees, and makes him beg. In fact, I always prided myself on being above that. I thought that I’d suffered through and seen so much that nothing could scare me anymore. That nothing could bring me to that point.”
He brushed a brief kiss on my neck. “I was wrong. When I found you and saw that…that thing trying to kill you, I was enraged. I destroyed it without hesitation.”
“The Kappa were terrifying.”
“I wasn’t afraid of the Kappa. I was afraid…that I’d lost you. I felt an unquenchable, gut-wrenching, corrosive fear. It was unbearable. The most agonizing part was realizing that I didn’t want to live anymore if you were gone and knowing there was nothing I could do about it. I would be stuck forever in this miserable existence without you.”
I heard every word he said. It pierced through me, and I knew I would have felt the same way if our places had been reversed. But I told myself that his heartfelt declaration was just a reflection of the tense pressure we’d been under. The little love plant in my heart was grasping at each wispy thought, absorbing his words like sweet drops of morning dew. But I chastised my heart and shoved the tender expressions of affection elsewhere, determined to be unaffected by them.
“It’s okay. I’m here. You don’t need to be afraid. I’m still around to help you break the curse,” I said, trying to keep my voice even.
He squeezed my waist and whispered softly, “Breaking the curse didn’t matter to me anymore. I thought you were dying.”
I swallowed and tried to be flippant. “Well, I didn’t. See? I lived to argue with you another day. Now don’t you wish it had gone the other way?”
His arms stiffened and he threatened, “Don’t ever say that, Kells.”
After a second of hesitation, I said, “Well, thank you. Thank you for saving me.”
He pulled me close, and I allowed myself a minute, just a minute, to lie back against him and enjoy it.
I had almost died after all. I deserved some kind of reward for surviving, didn’t I?
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
~Ben Reynolds, Reslient
“I mean it Jade. I’d be in the hospital too if someone went after you like that asshole did Isi. I can’t believe Silas has been able to handle it all as well as he has. I’m in awe of him. You should’ve seen him when Isi got to the hospital. It was like someone told him he could breathe again. His need for her is soul defining. It’s nothing like what he had with Shae, what he had with her was amateur in comparison. This thing he has with Isi is real, unconditional, all encompassing and completely unfathomable. It’s how I feel about you.” He says without compromise.
Criss Copp (Resilient (A Pretty Pill, #3))
Bella Swan: Jasper? Are you sure there's nothing I can do to help?
Jasper Hale: Well just your presence alone, your scent, will distract the newborns. Their hunting instinct will take over, and drive 'em crazy.
Bella Swan: Good, I'm glad.
[Jasper nods and begins to walk away]
Bella Swan: .
Bella Swan: Hey,
[Jasper turns around]
Bella Swan: how do you know so much about this?
Jasper Hale: I didn't have quite the same upbringing as my adopted siblings.
[Rolls up sleeves and shows Bella his arms, which have bite marks on them]
Jasper Hale: .
Bella Swan: [Hops off Jeep] Those bites are like mine.
Jasper Hale: Battle scars
Jasper Hale: . All the training the Confederate Army gave me was useless against the newborns, but still, I never lost a fight.
Bella Swan: Hey, this - this happened during the Civil War?
Jasper Hale: I was the youngest major in the Texas Calvary, all without having seen any real battle.
Bella Swan: Until...?
Jasper Hale: Till I met a certain immortal... Maria
You big ugly. You too empty. You desert with your nothing nothing nothing. You scorched suntanned. Old too quickly. Acres of suburbs watching the telly. You bore me. Freckle silly children. You nothing much. With your big sea. Beach beach beach. I’ve seen enough already. You dumb dirty city with bar stools. You’re ugly. You silly shopping town. You copy. You too far everywhere. You laugh at me. When I came this woman gave me a box of biscuits. You try to be friendly but you’re not very friendly. You never ask me to your house. You insult me. You don’t know how to be with me. Road road tree tree. I came from crowded and many. I came from rich. You have nothing to offer. You’re poor and spread thin. You big. So what. I’m small. It’s what’s in. You silent on Sunday. Nobody on your streets. You dead at night. You go to sleep too early. You don’t excite me. You scare me with your hopeless. Asleep when you walk. Too hot to think. You big awful. You don’t match me. You burnt out. You too big sky. You make me a dot in the nowhere. You laugh with your big healthy. You want everyone to be the same. You’re dumb. You do like anybody else. You engaged Doreen. You big cow. You average average. Cold day at school playing around at lunchtime. Running around for nothing. You never accept me. For your own. You always ask me where I’m from. You always ask me. You tell me I look strange. Different. You don’t adopt me. You laugh at the way I speak. You think you’re better than me. You don’t like me. You don’t have any interest in another country. Idiot centre of your own self. You think the rest of the world walks around without shoes or electric light. You don’t go anywhere. You stay at home. You like one another. You go crazy on Saturday night. You get drunk. You don’t like me and you don’t like women. You put your arm around men in bars. You’re rough. I can’t speak to you. You burly burly. You’re just silly to me. You big man. Poor with all your money. You ugly furniture. You ugly house. You relaxed in your summer stupor. All year. Never fully awake. Dull at school. Wait for other people to tell you what to do. Follow the leader. Can’t imagine. Workhorse. Thick legs. You go to work in the morning. You shiver on a tram.
Hey, did you hear about Brad Miller?” he asked, already forgetting about the Lissie conversation. “He got his car taken away for getting another speeding ticket. Of course he tried to tell his parents it was a setup.”
Violet laughed. “Yeah, because the police have nothing better to do than to plan a sting operation targeting eleventh-grade idiots.” She was more than willing to go along with this diversion from conversations about Jay and his many admirers.
Jay laughed too, shaking his head. “You’re so cold-hearted,” he said to Violet, shoving her a little but playing along. “How’s he supposed to go cruising for unsuspecting freshmen and sophomores without a car? What willing girl is going to ride on the handlebars of his ten-speed?”
“I don’t see you driving anything but your mom’s car yet. At least he has a bike,” she said, turning on him now.
He pushed her again. “Hey!” he tried to defend himself. “I’m still saving! Not all of us are born with a silver spoon in our mouths.”
They were both laughing, hard now. The silver spoon joke had been used before, whenever one of them had something the other didn’t.
“Right!” Violet protested. “Have you seen my car?” This time she shoved him, and a full-scale war broke out on the couch.
“Poor little rich girl!” Jay accused, grabbing her arm and pulling her down.
She giggled and tried to give him the dreaded “dead leg” by hitting him with her knuckle in the thigh. But he was too strong, and what used to be a fairly even matchup was now more like an annihilation of Violet’s side.
“Oh, yeah. Weren’t you the one”—she gasped, still giggling and thrashing to break free from his suddenly way-too-strong grip on her, just as his hand was almost at the sensitive spot along the side of her rib cage—“who got to go to Hawaii . . .” She bucked beneath him, trying to knock him off her. “. . . for spring break . . . last . . .” And then he startled to tickle her while she was pinned beneath him, and her last word came out in a scream: “YEAR?!”
That was how her aunt and uncle found them.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
Indians look very puzzled, surprised and offended to be shot but they go to the wall with noble mien I must allow. You can’t have nothing good in war without you punishing the guilty, the sergeant says with a savage air and no one says nothing against that. John Cole whispers to me that most times that sergeant he just wrong but just now and then he’s right and he’s right this time. I guess I’m thinking this is true. We get drunk then and the sergeant is clutching his belly all evening and then everything is blotted out till you awake in the bright early morning needing a piss and then it all floods back into your brain what happened and it makes your heart yelp like a dog.
Sebastian Barry (Days Without End)
During the whole of the fucking Middle Ages, the place where they had it off most of all was the cemeteries!...people don't face up these odd little sides of things, leave a lot of naughty little facts in the dark out of human decency! A mistake! wrong!...human decency never holds up!...with me it's my enemas! the toilet! after two weeks without an enema I have nothing against dying...and they give it to me so hot that I scream...
--And in Claunau? [i.e. Dachau]
--You're right, you're right! I whimper, but I'm spoiled! but were you there, in Claunau?...My ass you were! doesn't stop you from screeching your fucking lungs out as if you were the first one in and the last one out!
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Fable for Another Time)
Put it on record
--I am an Arab
And the number of my card is fifty thousand
I have eight children
And the ninth is due after summer.
What's there to be angry about?
Put it on record.
--I am an Arab
Working with comrades of toil in a quarry.
I have eight childern
For them I wrest the loaf of bread,
The clothes and exercise books
From the rocks
And beg for no alms at your doors,
--Lower not myself at your doorstep.
--What's there to be angry about?
Put it on record.
--I am an Arab.
I am a name without a tide,
Patient in a country where everything
Lives in a whirlpool of anger.
--Took hold before the birth of time
--Before the burgeoning of the ages,
--Before cypess and olive trees,
--Before the proliferation of weeds.
My father is from the family of the plough
--Not from highborn nobles.
And my grandfather was a peasant
--Without line or genealogy.
My house is a watchman's hut
--Made of sticks and reeds.
Does my status satisfy you?
--I am a name without a surname.
Put it on Record.
--I am an Arab.
Color of hair: jet black.
Color of eyes: brown.
My distinguishing features:
--On my head the 'iqal cords over a keffiyeh
--Scratching him who touches it.
--I'm from a village, remote, forgotten,
--Its streets without name
--And all its men in the fields and quarry.
--What's there to be angry about?
Put it on record.
--I am an Arab.
You stole my forefathers' vineyards
--And land I used to till,
--I and all my childern,
--And you left us and all my grandchildren
--Nothing but these rocks.
--Will your government be taking them too
--As is being said?
--Put it on record at the top of page one:
--I don't hate people,
--I trespass on no one's property.
And yet, if I were to become starved
--I shall eat the flesh of my usurper.
--Beware, beware of my starvation.
--And of my anger!
This was not going the way I wanted it to. I felt a desperate need to escape before I said something that would screw up my plans. Ren was the dark side, the forbidden fruit, my personal Delilah-the ultimate temptation. The question was…could I resist?
I gave his knee a friendly pat and played my trump card…”I’m leaving.”
“I’m going home to Oregon. Mr. Kadam thinks it will be safer for me anyway, with Lokesh out there looking to kill us and all. Besides, you need time to figure out…stuff.”
“If you’re leaving, then I’m going with you!”
I smiled at him wryly. “That kind of defeats the purpose of me leaving. Don’t you think?”
He slicked back his hair, let out a deep breath, then took my hand and looked intently into my eyes. “Kells, when are you going to accept the fact that we belong together?”
I felt sick, like I was kicking a faithful puppy who only wanted to be loved. I looked out at the pool.
After a moment, he sat back scowling and said menacingly, “I won’t let you leave.”
Inside, I desperately wanted to take his hand and beg him to forgive me, to love me, but I steeled myself, dropped my hands in my lap, then implored, “Ren, please. You have to let me go. I need…I’m afraid…look, I just can’t be here, near you, when you change your mind.”
“It’s not going to happen.”
“it might. There’s a good chance.”
He growled angrily. “There’s no chance!”
“Well, my heart can’t take that risk, and I don’t want to put you in what can only be an awkward position. I’m sorry, Ren. I really am. I do want to be your friend, but I understand if you don’t want that. Of course, I’ll return when you need me, if you need me, to help you find the other three gifts. I wouldn’t abandon you or Kishan in that way. I just can’t stay here with you feeling obligated to pity-date me because you need me. But I’d never abandon your cause. I’ll always be there for you both, no matter what.”
He spat out, “Pity-date! You? Kelsey, you can’t be serious!”
“I am. Very, very serious. I’ll ask Mr. Kadam to make arrangements to send me back in the next few days.”
He didn’t say another word. He just sat back in his chair. I could tell he was fuming mad, but I felt that, after a week or two, when he started getting back out in the world, he would come to appreciate my gesture.
I looked away from him. “I’m very tired now. I’d like to go to bed.” I got up and headed to my room. Before I closed the sliding door, I asked, “Can I make one last request?”
He sat there tight-lipped, his arms folded over his chest, with a tense, angry face.
I sighed. Even infuriated he was beautiful.
He said nothing so I went on, “It would be a lot easier on me if I didn’t see you, I mean as a man. I’ll try to avoid most of the house. It is yours after all, so I’ll stay in my room. If you see Mr. Kadam, please tell him I’d like to speak with him.”
He didn’t respond.
“Well, good-bye, Ren. Take care of yourself.” I tore my eyes away from him, shut the door, and drew the curtains.
Take care of yourself? That was a lame goodbye. Tears welled in my eyes and blurred my vision. I was proud that I’d gotten through it without showing emotion. But, now, I felt like a steamroller had come along and flattened me.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
I want to take away your sunshine, Lukas. Not because I'm evil but because the sun can't exist without shadows. I want to examine the lie that keeps you afloat--the idea that it's wonderful to be Lukas, that it's splendid to be the tsar's favorite dwarf, that there's nothing better to do than bring crackers to Menshikov like some kind of dog. When does it hurt the most, Lukas? That's what I'd like to know. What hurts you more than anything else? Is it when the tsar mocks you? Or is it when he can't remember your name? Is it when he forgets all about your for a year or two? When are you going to curse Peter Alexeyevich to Hell, Lukas? That's what I'd like to know. I want to get behind that smile of yours, and your clown's heart. And then I'll console you when you fall apart--I'll console you when you realize that you are infinitely unloved.
At that moment I'll be at your side, but no before.
Not a moment before.
Peter H. Fogtdal (The Tsar's Dwarf)
But Amarantha rolled her eyes and slouched in her throne. “Shatter him, Rhysand.” She flicked a hand at the High Lord of the Summer Court. “You may do what you want with the body afterward.”
The High Lord of the Summer Court bowed—as if he’d been given a gift—and looked to his subject, who had gone still and calm on the floor, hugging his knees. The male faerie was ready—relieved.
Rhys slipped a hand out of his pocket, and it dangled at his side. I could have sworn phantom talons flickered there as his fingers curled slightly.
“I’m growing bored, Rhysand,” Amarantha said with a sigh, again fiddling with that bone. She hadn’t looked at me once, too focused on her current prey.
Rhysand’s fingers curled into a fist.
The faerie male’s eyes went wide—then glazed as he slumped to the side in the puddle of his own waste. Blood leaked from his nose, from his ears, pooling on the floor.
That fast—that easily, that irrevocably … he was dead.
“I said shatter his mind, not his brain,” Amarantha snapped.
The crowd murmured around me, stirring. I wanted nothing more than to fade back into it—to crawl back into my cell and burn this from my mind. Tamlin hadn’t flinched—not a muscle. What horrors had he witnessed in his long life if this hadn’t broken that distant expression, that control?
Rhysand shrugged, his hand sliding back into his pocket. “Apologies, my queen.” He turned away without being dismissed, and didn’t look at me as he strode for the back of the throne room. I fell into step beside him, reining in my trembling, trying not to think about the body sprawled behind us, or about Clare—still nailed to the wall.
The crowd stayed far, far back as we walked through it. “Whore,” some of them softly hissed at him, out of her earshot; “Amarantha’s whore.” But many offered tentative, appreciative smiles and words—“Good that you killed him; good that you killed the traitor.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
Bryn,” he said. “Do you know how much I love you?”
I smiled and answered with a hint of sarcasm in my tone, “Well, I’m not quite sure.”
“No, I’m serious,” Tyler said, turning over onto his side so that he was facing me. His eyes were serious, something that I only saw when he really had something to say.
“Yeah, I do. It’s the kind that hurts so good, right? Almost like you can’t breathe without the other person and the only thing that keeps you sane throughout the day is knowing that you’ll see that person soon enough. Nothing can come between you and that person. You would do anything for them. Be anyone they need you to be. Without thinking twice, you know you will be there, no matter what. That’s what loving you is to me.
Alexandria Rhodes (More Than You Know)
And we were in our thirties. Well into the Age of Boredom, when nothing is new. Now, I’m not being self-pitying; it’s simply true. Newness, or whatever you want to call it, becomes a very scarce commodity after thirty. I think that’s unfair. If I were in charge of the human life span, I’d make sure to budget newness much more selectively, to ration it out. As it is now, it’s almost used up in the first three years of life. By then you’ve seen for the first time, tasted for the first time, held something for the first time. Learned to walk, talk, go to the bathroom. What have you got to look forward to that can compare with that? Sure, there’s school. Making friends. Falling in love. Learning to drive. Sex. Learning to trade. That has to carry you for the next twenty-five years. But after that? What’s the new excitement? Mastering your home computer? Figuring out how to work CompuServe? “Now, if it were up to me, I’d parcel out. So that, say, at thirty-five we just learned how to go on the potty. Imagine the feeling of accomplishment! They’d have office parties. "Did you hear? The vice president in charge of overseas development just went a whole week without his diaper. We’re buying him a gift." It’d be beautiful.
Phoef Sutton (Fifteen Minutes to Live)
I keeled over sideways.
The world turned fluffy, bleached of all color. Nothing hurt anymore.
I was dimly aware of Diana’s face hovering over me, Meg and Hazel peering over the goddess’s shoulders.
“He’s almost gone,” Diana said.
Then I was gone. My mind slipped into a pool of cold, slimy darkness.
“Oh, no, you don’t.” My sister’s voice woke me rudely.
I’d been so comfortable, so nonexistent.
Life surged back into me—cold, sharp, and unfairly painful. Diana’s face came into focus. She looked annoyed, which seemed on-brand for her.
As for me, I felt surprisingly good. The pain in my gut was gone. My muscles didn’t burn. I could breathe without difficulty. I must have slept for decades.
“H-how long was I out?” I croaked.
“Roughly three seconds,” she said. “Now, get up, drama queen.”
She helped me to my feet. I felt a bit unsteady, but I was delighted to find that my legs had any strength at all. My skin was no longer gray. The lines of infection were gone. The Arrow of Dodona was still in my hand, though he had gone silent, perhaps in awe of the goddess’s presence. Or perhaps he was still trying to get the taste of “Sweet Caroline” out of his imaginary mouth.
I beamed at my sister. It was so good to see her disapproving I-can’t-believe-you’re-my-brother frown again. “I love you,” I said, my voice hoarse with emotion.
She blinked, clearly unsure what to do with this information. “You really have changed.”
“I missed you!”
“Y-yes, well. I’m here now. Even Dad couldn’t argue with a Sibylline invocation from Temple Hill.”
“It worked, then!” I grinned at Hazel and Meg. “It worked!”
“Yeah,” Meg said wearily. “Hi, Artemis.”
“Diana,” my sister corrected. “But hello, Meg.” For her, my sister had a smile. “You’ve done well, young warrior.”
Meg blushed. She kicked at the scattered zombie dust on the floor and shrugged. “Eh.”
I checked my stomach, which was easy, since my shirt was in tatters. The bandages had vanished, along with the festering wound. Only a thin white scar remained. “So…I’m healed?” My flab told me she hadn’t restored me to my godly self. Nah, that would have been too much to expect.
Diana raised an eyebrow. “Well, I’m not the goddess of healing, but I’m still a goddess. I think I can take care of my little brother’s boo-boos.”
Rick Riordan (The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo, #4))
HAZEL WASN’T PROUD OF CRYING. After the tunnel collapsed, she wept and screamed like a two-year-old throwing a tantrum. She couldn’t move the debris that separated her and Leo from the others. If the earth shifted any more, the entire complex might collapse on their heads. Still, she pounded her fists against the stones and yelled curses that would’ve earned her a mouth-washing with lye soap back at St. Agnes Academy. Leo stared at her, wide-eyed and speechless. She wasn’t being fair to him. The last time the two of them had been together, she’d zapped him into her past and shown him Sammy, his great-grandfather—Hazel’s first boyfriend. She’d burdened him with emotional baggage he didn’t need, and left him so dazed they had almost gotten killed by a giant shrimp monster. Now here they were, alone again, while their friends might be dying at the hands of a monster army, and she was throwing a fit. “Sorry.” She wiped her face. “Hey, you know…” Leo shrugged. “I’ve attacked a few rocks in my day.” She swallowed with difficulty. “Frank is…he’s—” “Listen,” Leo said. “Frank Zhang has moves. He’s probably gonna turn into a kangaroo and do some marsupial jujitsu on their ugly faces.” He helped her to her feet. Despite the panic simmering inside her, she knew Leo was right. Frank and the others weren’t helpless. They would find a way to survive. The best thing she and Leo could do was carry on. She studied Leo. His hair had grown out longer and shaggier, and his face was leaner, so he looked less like an imp and more like one of those willowy elves in the fairy tales. The biggest difference was his eyes. They constantly drifted, as if Leo was trying to spot something over the horizon. “Leo, I’m sorry,” she said. He raised an eyebrow. “Okay. For what?” “For…” She gestured around her helplessly. “Everything. For thinking you were Sammy, for leading you on. I mean, I didn’t mean to, but if I did—” “Hey.” He squeezed her hand, though Hazel sensed nothing romantic in the gesture. “Machines are designed to work.” “Uh, what?” “I figure the universe is basically like a machine. I don’t know who made it, if it was the Fates, or the gods, or capital-G God, or whatever. But it chugs along the way it’s supposed to most of the time. Sure, little pieces break and stuff goes haywire once in a while, but mostly…things happen for a reason. Like you and me meeting.” “Leo Valdez,” Hazel marveled, “you’re a philosopher.” “Nah,” he said. “I’m just a mechanic. But I figure my bisabuelo Sammy knew what was what. He let you go, Hazel. My job is to tell you that it’s okay. You and Frank—you’re good together. We’re all going to get through this. I hope you guys get a chance to be happy. Besides, Zhang couldn’t tie his shoes without your help.” “That’s mean,” Hazel chided, but she felt like something was untangling inside her—a knot of tension she’d been carrying for weeks. Leo really had changed. Hazel was starting to think she’d found a good friend. “What happened to you when you were on your own?” she asked. “Who did you meet?” Leo’s eye twitched. “Long story. I’ll tell you sometime, but I’m still waiting to see how it shakes out.” “The universe is a machine,” Hazel said, “so it’ll be fine.” “Hopefully.” “As long as it’s not one of your machines,” Hazel added. “Because your machines never do what they’re supposed to.” “Yeah, ha-ha.” Leo summoned fire into his hand. “Now, which way, Miss Underground?” Hazel scanned the path in front of them. About thirty feet down, the tunnel split into four smaller arteries, each one identical, but the one on the left radiated cold. “That way,” she decided. “It feels the most dangerous.” “I’m sold,” said Leo. They began their descent.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
I know this may be a disappointment for some of you, but I don’t believe there is only one right person for you. I think I fell in love with my wife, Harriet, from the first moment I saw her. Nevertheless, had she decided to marry someone else, I believe I would have met and fallen in love with someone else. I am eternally grateful that this didn’t happen, but I don’t believe she was my one chance at happiness in this life, nor was I hers.
Another error you might easily make in dating is expecting to find perfection in the person you are with. The truth is, the only perfect people you might know are those you don’t know very well. Everyone has imperfections. Now, I’m not suggesting you lower your standards and marry someone with whom you can’t be happy. But one of the things I’ve realized as I’ve matured in life is that if someone is willing to accept me—imperfect as I am—then I should be willing to be patient with others’ imperfections as well. Since you won’t find perfection in your partner, and your partner won’t find it in you, your only chance at perfection is in creating perfection together.
There are those who do not marry because they feel a lack of “magic” in the relationship. By “magic” I assume they mean sparks of attraction. Falling in love is a wonderful feeling, and I would never counsel you to marry someone you do not love. Nevertheless—and here is another thing that is sometimes hard to accept—that magic sparkle needs continuous polishing. When the magic endures in a relationship, it’s because the couple made it happen, not because it mystically appeared due to some cosmic force.
Frankly, it takes work. For any relationship to survive, both parties bring their own magic with them and use that to sustain their love. Although I have said that I do not believe in a one-and-only soul mate for anyone, I do know this: once you commit to being married, your spouse becomes your soul mate, and it is your duty and responsibility to work every day to keep it that way. Once you have committed, the search for a soul mate is over. Our thoughts and actions turn from looking to creating. . . .
Now, sisters, be gentle. It’s all right if you turn down requests for dates or proposals for marriage. But please do it gently. And brethren, please start asking! There are too many of our young women who never go on dates. Don’t suppose that certain girls would never go out with you. Sometimes they are wondering why no one asks them out. Just ask, and be prepared to move on if the answer is no.
One of the trends we see in some parts of the world is our young people only “hanging out” in large groups rather than dating. While there is nothing wrong with getting together often with others your own age, I don’t know if you can really get to know individuals when you’re always in a group. One of the things you need to learn is how to have a conversation with a member of the opposite sex. A great way to learn this is by being alone with someone—talking without a net, so to speak.
Dates don’t have to be—and in most cases shouldn’t be—expensive and over-planned affairs. When my wife and I moved from Germany to Salt Lake City, one of the things that most surprised us was the elaborate and sometimes stressful process young people had developed of asking for and accepting dates.
Relax. Find simple ways to be together. One of my favorite things to do when I was young and looking for a date was to walk a young lady home after a Church meeting. Remember, your goal should not be to have a video of your date get a million views on YouTube. The goal is to get to know one individual person and learn how to develop a meaningful relationship with the opposite sex.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it: a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and talking over its head. 'Very uncomfortable for the Dormouse,' thought Alice; 'only, as it's asleep, I suppose it doesn't mind.' The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it: 'No room! No room!' they cried out when they saw Alice coming. 'There's plenty of room!' said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table. 'Have some wine,' the March Hare said in an encouraging tone. Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. 'I don't see any wine,' she remarked. 'There isn't any,' said the March Hare. 'Then it wasn't very civil of you to offer it,' said Alice angrily. 'It wasn't very civil of you to sit down without being invited,' said the March Hare. 'I didn't know it was your table,' said Alice; 'it's laid for a great many more than three.' 'Your hair wants cutting,' said the Hatter. He had been looking at Alice for some time with great curiosity, and this was his first speech. 'You should learn not to make personal remarks,' Alice said with some severity; 'it's very rude.' The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; but all he said was, 'Why is a raven like a writing-desk?' 'Come, we shall have some fun now!' thought Alice. 'I'm glad they've begun asking riddles.--I believe I can guess that,' she added aloud. 'Do you mean that you think you can find out the answer to it?' said the March Hare. 'Exactly so,' said Alice. 'Then you should say what you mean,' the March Hare went on. 'I do,' Alice hastily replied; 'at least--at least I mean what I say--that's the same thing, you know.' 'Not the same thing a bit!' said
Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, #1))
Take this. When you’re ready, I want to put it on your finger. I want you to meet my son. I want you to let me bring you into my world – because I need you there. The media crap is just PR. Piece of cake for you, trust me. There are a hundred people ready to help us nail it. Let me help you rebuild your faith, because that’s who you are, and I love who you are.
‘Remember last fall, when you needed to be reckless, and I told you to use me? Well, now, it’s time to be fearless. I can’t promise that you won’t be hurt again, because life can suck. And, sometimes, it hurts like hell. I’m asking you to have faith in one thing, for now: the fact that when we’re alone, I’m just Reid, and you’re just Dori, and we’re going to love each other for the rest of our lives.’
She’s staring at me, the velvet-covered box clutched in her hand. I lean forward and kiss her, tasting her tears or my own, I don’t know which. ‘Come to me when you’re ready to be fearless. Unless you can look me in the eye right now and tell me you don’t love me.’
Lower lip trembling, she says nothing, and I kiss her again before I leave.
Tammara Webber (Here Without You (Between the Lines, #4))
It's like Romeo & Juliet,' I say. 'You can't separate them. Otherwise, there would be no Shakespeare.'
I decide to be more straightforward. I tell him, 'Nothing frightens me anymore. I am not even afraid to die.'
Bussey's eyes, already wide open, grow even wider. My death is the last thing he needs.
I have the strange feeling that there are two of me. One observes the conversation while the other does the talking. Everything is abnormal, especially this extreme calm that has taken me over. I try to explain to Bussey that if I decide to die, it will be without bitterness. I know I did everything I possibly could, so it will be respectful farewell. I will bow to life like an actor, who, having delivered his lines, bends deeply to his audience & retires. I tell Bussey that this decision has nothing to do with him, that it is entirely mine. I will choose either to live or to die, but I cannot allow myself to live in the in-between. I do not want to go through life like a ghost.
'Do you think you'll find Danny this way?' Bussey asks.
My mind sifts through all available theories on the afterlife. It is as if this metaphysical question has become as real as the air we breathe. Buddhism teaches that life is an eternal cycle without beginning or end. I recall the metaphor: "Our individual lives are like waves produced from the great ocean that is the universe. The emergence of a wave is life, and its abatement is death. This rhythm repeats eternally."
Finally I answer Bussey, 'No, I don't think so.'
Bussey seems relieved, but I'm more panicky, because I had never thought that I could wind up alone. In my mind, whatever the odds, Danny & I were & would be together forever.
Mariane Pearl (A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband Danny Pearl)
The porpoises and whale themselves, in their quests for entertainment, often created problems. One summer a fashion developed in the training tanks (I think Keiki started it) for leaning out over the tank wall and seeing how far you could balance without falling out. Several animals might be teetering on the tank edge at one time, and sometimes one or another did fall out. Nothing much happened to them, except maybe a cut or a scrape from the gravel around the tanks; but of course we had to run and pick them up and put them back in. Not a serious problem, if the animal that fell out was small, but if it was a 400-pound adult bottlenose, you had to find four strong people to get him back, and when it happened over and over again, the people got cross. We feared too, that some animal would fall out at night or when no one was around and dry out, overheat, and die. We yelled at the porpoises, and rushed over and pushed them back in when we saw them teetering, but that just seemed to add to the enjoyment of what I'm sure the porpoises thoguht of as a hilariously funny game. Fortunately they eventually tired of it by themselves.
Karen Pryor (Lads Before the Wind: Diary of a Dolphin Trainer)
You guys could handle this on your own. Why risk getting kicked out of your He-Man-Monster-Haters Club?"
"Because we can't handle this on our own. At least I don't think we can."
"You said yourself you already have some Prodigium working with you. Why not go to them?"
"We have a handful," he said, frustration creeping into his voice. "And most of them suck. Look, just consider it a peace offering, okay? My way of saying I'm sorry for lying to you. And pulling a knife in your presence, even if it was just to open a damn window to get out before you vaporized me."
Most girls got flowers. I got a dirt put used for demon raising. Nice.
"Thanks," I replied. "But don't you want in on this?"
He looked at me, and not for the first time, I wished his eyes weren't so dark. It would have been nice to have some idea of what was going on in his head. "That's up to you," he said.
Mom always liked to say that we hardly ever know the decisions we make that change our lives,mostly because they're little ones. You take this bus instead of that one and end up meeting your soul mate, that kind of thing. But there was no doubt in my mind that this was one of those life-changing moments. Tell Archer no,and I'd never see him again. And Dad and Jenna wouldn't be mad at me, and Cal...Tell Archer yes, and everything suddenly got twistier and more complicated than Mrs. Casnoff's hairdo.
And even though I'm a twisty and complicated girl, I knew what my answer had to be.
"It's too much of a risk, Cross. Maybe one day when I'm head of the Council, and you're...well, whatever you're going to be for L'Occhio di Dio, we could work on some kind of collaboration." That brought up depressig images of me and Archer sittig across a boardroom table, sketching out battle plans on a whiteboard, so my voice was a little shaky when I continued. "But for now, it's too dangerous." And not just because basically everyone in our lives would want to kill us if they found out, I thought. But because I was pretty sure I was still in love with him, and I thought he might feel something similar for me, and there was no way we could work together preventing the Monster Apocalypse/World War III without that becoming an issue.
Not that I could say any of that.
Archer's face was blank as he said, "Cool. Got it."
"Cross," I started to say, but then his eyes slid past me and went wide with horror. At the same time, I became aware of a slithering noice behind me. That just could not be good; in my experience, nothing pleasant slithers.
Still, I was not prepared for the nightmares climbing out of the crater.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
The work I do is not exactly respectable. But I want to explain how it works without any of the negatives associated with my infamous clients. I’ll show how I manipulated the media for a good cause. A friend of mine recently used some of my advice on trading up the chain for the benefit of the charity he runs. This friend needed to raise money to cover the costs of a community art project, and chose to do it through Kickstarter, the crowdsourced fund-raising platform. With just a few days’ work, he turned an obscure cause into a popular Internet meme and raised nearly ten thousand dollars to expand the charity internationally. Following my instructions, he made a YouTube video for the Kickstarter page showing off his charity’s work. Not a video of the charity’s best work, or even its most important work, but the work that exaggerated certain elements aimed at helping the video spread. (In this case, two or three examples in exotic locations that actually had the least amount of community benefit.) Next, he wrote a short article for a small local blog in Brooklyn and embedded the video. This site was chosen because its stories were often used or picked up by the New York section of the Huffington Post. As expected, the Huffington Post did bite, and ultimately featured the story as local news in both New York City and Los Angeles. Following my advice, he sent an e-mail from a fake address with these links to a reporter at CBS in Los Angeles, who then did a television piece on it—using mostly clips from my friend’s heavily edited video. In anticipation of all of this he’d been active on a channel of the social news site Reddit (where users vote on stories and topics they like) during the weeks leading up to his campaign launch in order to build up some connections on the site. When the CBS News piece came out and the video was up, he was ready to post it all on Reddit. It made the front page almost immediately. This score on Reddit (now bolstered by other press as well) put the story on the radar of what I call the major “cool stuff” blogs—sites like BoingBoing, Laughing Squid, FFFFOUND!, and others—since they get post ideas from Reddit. From this final burst of coverage, money began pouring in, as did volunteers, recognition, and new ideas. With no advertising budget, no publicist, and no experience, his little video did nearly a half million views, and funded his project for the next two years. It went from nothing to something. This may have all been for charity, but it still raises a critical question: What exactly happened? How was it so easy for him to manipulate the media, even for a good cause? He turned one exaggerated amateur video into a news story that was written about independently by dozens of outlets in dozens of markets and did millions of media impressions. It even registered nationally. He had created and then manipulated this attention entirely by himself.
Ryan Holiday (Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator)
Nothing will hurt you that much despite how you feel
the stress on your back shapes your insight
this splendid November rain Toussaint. I find
you by your marks, he says
But when I summon you, I talk to—I say—
my memory of your face. It’s kind of crazy
to others. They’re not very interesting he says.
When I first came to this country, and now
I know the language I say, but I had in a dream
spoken it many years previously. That is,
not the language of the dead the language
of France. I took one year of French in 1964
and then nothing but once, in 1977 I spoke French
in a dream all night: I was in the future I
moved here in 1992. Country of the more
logical than I? though the people of my quartier
know and like me, even as I a foreigner remain strange
You do everything alone a woman said to me.
There are ways to care without interfering
but the French speak of anguish frequently
they are conscious of emotional extremity
a terrible gift. It’s all a gift, he says . . .
some haven’t been opened. I’m not sure
he said that it’s nearly my sixty-seventh birthday
today though it’s the day of the dead hello
we love you they say.
Dear Jessa, I’ve started this letter so many times and I’ve never been able to finish it. So here goes again . . . I’m sorry. I’m sorry that Riley is dead. I’m sorry for ignoring your emails and for not being there for you. I’m sorry I’ve hurt you. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish it had been me that died and not Riley. If I could go back in time and change everything I would. I’m sorry I left without a word. There’s no excuse for my behaviour but please know that it had nothing to do with you. I was a mess. I haven’t been able to talk to anyone for months. And I felt too guilty and didn’t know how to tell you the truth about what happened. I couldn’t bear the thought of you knowing. I got all your emails but I didn’t read them until last week. I couldn’t face it and I guess that makes me the biggest coward you’ll ever meet. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I never replied. You needed me and I wasn’t there for you. I don’t even know how to ask your forgiveness because I don’t deserve it. I’m just glad you’re doing better. I’m better too. I’ve started seeing a therapist – twice a week – you’d like her. She reminds me of Didi. I never thought I’d be the kind of guy who needed therapy, but they made it a condition of me keeping my job. She’s helped me a lot with getting the panic attacks under control. Working in a room the size of a janitor’s closet helps too – there aren’t too many surprises, only the occasional rogue paperclip. I asked for the posting. I have to thank your dad ironically. The demotion worked out. Kind of funny that I totally get where your father was coming from all those years. Looks like I’ll be spending the remainder of my marine career behind a desk, but I’m OK with that. I don’t know what else to say, Jessa. My therapist says I should just write down whatever comes into my head. So here goes. Here’s what’s in my head . . . I miss you. I love you. Even though I long ago gave up the right to any sort of claim over you, I can’t stop loving you. I won’t ever stop. You’re in my blood. You’re the only thing that got me through this, Jessa. Because even during the bad times, the worst times, the times I’d wake up in a cold sweat, my heart thumping, the times I’d think the only way out was by killing myself and just having it all go away, I’d think of you and it would pull me back out of whatever dark place I’d fallen into. You’re my light, Jessa. My north star. You asked me once to come back to you and I told you I always would. I’m working on it. It might take me a little while, and I know I have no right to ask you to wait for me after everything I’ve done, but I’m going to anyway because the truth is I don’t know how to live without you. I’ve tried and I can’t do it. So please, I’m asking you to wait for me. I’m going to come back to you. I promise. And I’m going to make things right. I’ll do whatever it takes. I’ll never stop trying for the rest of my life to make things right between us. I love you. Always. Kit
Mila Gray (Come Back to Me (Come Back to Me, #1))
The nine in our list are based on a longer list in Robert Leahy, Stephen Holland, and Lata McGinn’s book, Treatment Plans and Interventions for Depression and Anxiety Disorders. For more on CBT—how it works, and how to practice it—please see Appendix 1.) EMOTIONAL REASONING: Letting your feelings guide your interpretation of reality. “I feel depressed; therefore, my marriage is not working out.” CATASTROPHIZING: Focusing on the worst possible outcome and seeing it as most likely. “It would be terrible if I failed.” OVERGENERALIZING: Perceiving a global pattern of negatives on the basis of a single incident. “This generally happens to me. I seem to fail at a lot of things.” DICHOTOMOUS THINKING (also known variously as “black-and-white thinking,” “all-or-nothing thinking,” and “binary thinking”): Viewing events or people in all-or-nothing terms. “I get rejected by everyone,” or “It was a complete waste of time.” MIND READING: Assuming that you know what people think without having sufficient evidence of their thoughts. “He thinks I’m a loser.” LABELING: Assigning global negative traits to yourself or others (often in the service of dichotomous thinking). “I’m undesirable,” or “He’s a rotten person.” NEGATIVE FILTERING: You focus almost exclusively on the negatives and seldom notice the positives. “Look at all of the people who don’t like me.” DISCOUNTING POSITIVES: Claiming that the positive things you or others do are trivial, so that you can maintain a negative judgment. “That’s what wives are supposed to do—so it doesn’t count when she’s nice to me,” or “Those successes were easy, so they don’t matter.” BLAMING: Focusing on the other person as the source of your negative feelings; you refuse to take responsibility for changing yourself. “She’s to blame for the way I feel now,” or “My parents caused all my problems.”11
Greg Lukianoff (The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure)
Hi, Commander. On the anniversary of what you did, I just wanted to say thank you. This is my daughter, Dalycia. I don’t know if you remember me or not, but I’m the woman you saved from that psycho, and this is the daughter I had six weeks later. Say hi, Dalycia. (Woman)
Hi, Commander. Thank you for saving my mommy and me. I drew this for you to say thank you. See, it’s you saving us, and we’re all happy ‘cause we’re alive and the bad man isn’t. (Dalycia)
(All of a sudden, he snarled in outrage and threw the frame against the wall, shattering it into a thousand pieces.)
What? Did you think showing me that shit would make all of this okay? Did you think I’d look at them, then cry and say how grateful I am they live while I’m trapped like this? What about the children I wanted to have, Livia? I can’t even have sex without spending a month in the hospital, or dying from it. All I want is five fucking seconds where I’m not trying to breathe through absolute agony. Five seconds where I can move and not ache to the marrow of my bones. I’m only thirty-five years old, and all I have to look forward to is a future where I’ll slowly, painfully disintegrate into an invalid who can’t even wipe his own ass. Do you really think I’m okay with being dependent on you or anyone else? I was an assassin, and now I have less mobility than a withered-up hundred-year-old man. I’m nothing but a worthless piece of shit who should have died that night. And them telling me how grateful they are doesn’t make this okay with me. It never will. (Adron)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (In Other Worlds (The League: Nemesis Rising #3.5, Were-Hunter #0.5, The League: Nemesis Legacy #2))
Why are you here?" My voice sounded breathless.
As if it should've been obvious, Cole said, "I came here to offer you eternal life.Again."
I pushed him away from him. "I already made my choice."
"Yes,but it's obviously the wrong choice. Return with me. To the Everneath. And we'll live in the High Court. And you won't be a battery in the Tunnels. You could be a queen."
"The Everneath has a High Court?"
"Of course.It's where Osiris and Isis ruled.Hades and Persephone.Every realm in every dimension has people who give orders and people who take orders. And I'm tired of taking orders,Nick."
I grimaced. "That has nothing to do with me."
He paused and let out a little sigh. "Then I'm saying it wrong,beause it has everything to do with you. I want what Hades and Persephone had, and I can't do it without you.The only time the queen of the Everneath has been overthrown is when an Everliving has found his perfect match. I've spent my whole life-and it's a long one,trust me-looking for my perfect match,and it's you. I knew you were different from the first moment I met you.The first moment you placed your hands on mine.You remember?"
I nodded. It had been the night we first met.
"Your cheeks turned red,and I was gone for you." He shook his head,and his lips quirked up in a smile. "I know you felt it too.The connection between us. It started even before the Feed."
I looked away,because my cheeks were getting warm thinking about it, and I couldn't let him see it.Remembering that night was pointless. I was a different person now. "It doesn't matter what I felt then.I didn't know who you really were."
I glanced up.He raised his eyebrows and said, "It wouldn't have made a difference."
He held my gaze with eyes so intense I couldn't look away. He was probably right. From the moment we met, I had been drawn to him.At the time, nothing would've changed my decision to go with him.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
In the wars it had been different. Men dropped from the columns all the time on the long marches, in the cold months. First they fell to the back, then they fell behind, then they fell over. The cold, the sick, the wounded. Logen shivered and hunched his shoulders. At first he’d tried to help them. Then he became grateful he wasn’t one of them. Then he stepped over the corpses and hardly noticed them. You learn to tell when someone isn’t getting up again. He looked at Malacus Quai. One more death in the wild was nothing to remark upon. You have to be realistic, after all.
The apprentice started from his fitful sleep and tried to push himself up. His hands were shaking bad. He looked up at Logen, eyes glittering bright. “I can’t get up,” he croaked.
“I know. I’m surprised you made it this far.” It didn’t matter so much now. Logen knew the way. If he could find that track he might make twenty miles a day.
“If you leave me some of the food… perhaps… after you get to the library… someone…”
“No,” said Logen, setting his jaw. “I need the food.”
Quai made a strange sound, somewhere between a cough and a sob.
Logen leaned down and set his right shoulder in Quai’s stomach, pushed his arm under his back. “I can’t carry you forty miles without it.
Joe Abercrombie (The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1))
Imagine what it's like to be (untouchable)
Better not take a chance on me (untouchable)
I'm the bad boy your mama told you about
I'm dangerous, without a doubt
Even coming off a ten-year drought
I'm the rose with hidden thorns (untouchable)
Don't tell me that you haven't been warned (untouchable)
I'm pretty poison under the skin,
The bite of the apple that's a mortal sin
In a game of love you'll never win
My reputation's fairly earned (untouchable)
If you play with fire, you will get burned (untouchable)
Stay out of the kitchen if you can't take the heat,
My kisses are deadly as they are sweet,
I'm a runaway bus on a dead-end street
Fools rush in, that's what they say(untouchable)
But angels fall, too, most every day (untouchable)
I'm the snake in the garden, the siren on the reef
I have the face of a saint and the heart of a thief
I'll promise you love! And bring you nothing but grief
Hearing Jonah sing like this was like watching him slice himself open and show off his insides. Why would he do that? Why would be write such a song?
And then Emma answered her own question. Because good music always tells the truth, no matter how much it hurts.
Emma couldn't be the only one who felt the bite of the blade, but everyone else seemed to take it in stride. Did they know? Did they all know about Jonah?
Of course they did. They were there when it happened. They'd allow Jonah to keep the secrets that were most important to him. She knew she shouldn't resent that, but she still did. They must have known she was falling for him. They must have.
Cinda Williams Chima (The Sorcerer Heir (The Heir Chronicles, #5))
I realized a few days ago I didn't know what love was. To me love was helpless, suffocating, painful. It wasn't until [she] came that I realized that love was strong, that it meant standing up for yourself, saying things nobody wanted to hear. I also know it means giving of yourself because it makes somebody else happy. I don't know if I love [her]. For a while I was sure I didn't, but now I'm not sure. I know I need her, that I can't imagine living the rest of my life without her. Is that love? I think it's part of it. I know I want her. She comforts my spirit and body as nothing ever has. That's a part of love, too. I also know I'm never as happy as I am when I'm with her."
"You sound like you're obsessed."
"Maybe that's also part of love. I don't know, but I'm going to learn. It's embarrassing sometimes. I feel like a child. But I learn a little somethign every day. It's like a whole new way of living. It's a willingness to give up control. To make a commitment and have faith it'll work out."
"It sounds like you've gone crazy" [. . .]
"Maybe that's part of it, too. Whatever it is, it's something I want more than I ever thought possible. And [she] is the only one who can teach me. I'm not giving her up, no matter what it costs me."
"Hell [. . .] You are in love with her.
Leigh Greenwood (Rose (Seven Brides, #1))
Sorcery, Karsa Orlong, that is the heart of the problem.’ ‘What problem now, woman?’ ‘Magic obviates the need for invention, beyond certain basic requirements, of course. And so we remain eternally stifled—’ ‘To the Faces with stifled, witch. There is nothing wrong with where we are, how we are. You spit on satisfaction, leaving you always unsettled and miserable. I am a Teblor – we live simply enough, and we see the cruelty of your so-called progress. Slaves, children in chains, a thousand lies to make one person better than the next, a thousand lies telling you this is how things should be, and there’s no stopping it. Madness called sanity, slavery called freedom. I am done talking now.’ ‘Well, I’m not. You’re no different, calling ignorance wisdom, savagery noble. Without striving to make things better, we’re doomed to repeat our litany of injustices—’ Karsa reached the summit and turned to face her, his expression twisting. ‘Better is never what you think it is, Samar Dev.’ ‘What does that mean?
Steven Erikson (The Bonehunters (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6))
We had to sit there for an hour doing nothing. After about three days of sitting there, I said, “Screw this. I’m going to West Monroe High.” I realized I wanted to be in town anyway, so I just transferred schools during the first week of school.
After about a month, the principal from West Ouachita called our house.
“Willie hasn’t been to school for twenty-seven days,” the principal told Phil.
“Well, he leaves for school every morning,” Phil told him. “I don’t know where he’s going. I thought he was going to school.”
When I got home that day, Phil asked me where I had been.
“School,” I told him.
“Uh-uh,” Phil said. “The school called and said you haven’t been there in a month.”
“Oh, yeah,” I told him. “I transferred to West Monroe. I don’t go to that school anymore.”
“Okay,” Phil said. “I figured something was up.”
Korie: Can you imagine a tenth-grader transferring schools without even notifying his parents? Willie just showed up at West Monroe High School and said, “Hey, I’m here.” He didn’t even think about telling Kay and Phil about transferring.
Willie Robertson (The Duck Commander Family)
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.”
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))
Love is what you are already. Love doesn’t seek anything. It’s already complete. It doesn’t want, doesn’t need, has no shoulds. It already has everything it wants, it already is everything it wants, just the way it wants it. So when I hear people say that they love someone and want to be loved in return, I know they’re not talking about love. They’re talking about something else. Sometimes you may seem to trade love for the stressful thought appearing in the moment. It’s a little trip out into illusion. Seeking love is how you lose the awareness of love. But you can only lose the awareness of it, not the state. That’s not an option, because love is what we all are. That’s immovable. When you investigate your stressful thinking and your mind becomes clear, love pours into your life, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Love joins everything, without condition. It doesn’t avoid the nightmare; it looks forward to it and then inquires. There is no way to join except to get free of your belief that you want something from your partner. That’s true joining. It’s like “Bingo! You just won the lottery!” If I want something from my partner, I simply ask. If he says no and I have a problem with that, I need to take a look at my thinking. Because I already have everything. We all do. That’s how I can sit here so comfortably: I don’t want anything from you that you don’t want to give. I don’t even want your freedom if you don’t. I don’t even want your peace. The truth that you experience is how I’m able to join with you. That’s how you touch me, and you touch me so intimately that it brings tears to my eyes. I’ve joined you, and you don’t have a choice. And I do this over and over and over, endlessly, effortlessly. It’s called making love. Love wouldn’t deny a breath. It wouldn’t deny a grain of sand or a speck of dust. It is totally in love with itself, and it delights in acknowledging itself through its own presence, in every way, without limit. It embraces it all, everything from the murderer and the rapist to the saint to the dog and cat. Love is so vast within itself that it will burn you up. It’s so vast that there’s nothing you can do with it. All you can do is be it.
Byron Katie (I Need Your Love - Is That True?: How to Stop Seeking Love, Approval, and Appreciation and Start Finding Them Instead)
Speaking of chocolate, what kind of cake are we having for the shower?”
“I don’t know.”
Sincerely shocked, Peabody jerked around in her seat. “You didn’t get cake?”
“I don’t know. Probably.” Because the idea of the shower, what she had to do, hadn’t done, should do, made her stomach jitter, Eve squirmed. “Look, I called the caterer, okay? I did it myself. I didn’t dump it on Roarke, I didn’t ask—God forbid—Summerset to handle it.”
“Well, what did you ask for? What’s the theme?”
The jitters escalated into a roiling. “What do you mean, theme?”
“You don’t have a theme? How can you have a baby shower without a theme?”
“Jesus Christ, I need a theme? I don’t even know what that means. I called the caterer. I did my job. I told her it was a baby shower. I told her how many people, more or less. I told her when and where. She started asking me all kinds of questions, which gives me a fucking headache, and I told her not to ask me all kinds of questions or she was fired. Just to do whatever needed doing. Why isn’t that enough?”
Peabody’s sigh was long and heartfelt. “Give me the caterer’s info, and I’ll check in with her. Does she do the decorations, too?”
“Oh, my God. I need decorations?”
“I’m going to help you, Dallas. I’m going to run interference with the caterer. I’m going to come over early on the day and help get it set up.”
Eve narrowed her eyes and tried to ignore the joy and relief bubbling in her breast. “And what’s this going to cost me?”
“Nothing. I like baby showers.”
“You’re a sick, sick woman.
Bring Cecily home,” he said curtly. “I won’t have her at risk, even in the slightest way.”
“I’ll take care of Cecily,” came the terse reply. “She’s better off without you in her life.”
Tate’s eyes widened. “I beg your pardon?” he asked, affronted.
“You know what I mean,” Holden said. “Let her heal. She’s too young to consign herself to spinsterhood over a man who doesn’t even see her.”
“Infatuation dies,” Tate said.
Holden nodded. “Yes, it does. Goodbye.”
“So does hero worship,” he continued, laboring the point.
“And that’s why after eight years, Cecily has had one raging affair after the other,” he said facetiously.
The words had power. They wounded.
“You fool,” Holden said in a soft tone. “Do you really think she’d let any man touch her except you?” He went to his office door and gestured toward the desk. “Don’t forget your gadget,” he added quietly.
Holden paused with his hand on the doorknob and turned. “What?”
Tate held the device in his hands, watching the lights flicker on it. “Mixing two cultures when one of them is all but extinct is a selfish thing,” he said after a minute. “It has nothing to do with personal feelings. It’s a matter of necessity.”
Holden let go of the doorknob and moved to stand directly in front of Tate. “If I had a son,” he said, almost choking on the word, “I’d tell him that there are things even more important than lofty principles. I’d tell him…that love is a rare and precious thing, and that substitutes are notoriously unfulfilling.”
Tate searched the older man’s eyes. “You’re a fine one to talk.”
Holden’s face fell. “Yes, that’s true.” He turned away.
Why should he feel guilty? But he did. “I didn’t mean to say that,” Tate said, irritated by his remorse and the other man’s defeated posture. “I can’t help the way I feel about my culture.”
“If it weren’t for the cultural difference, how would you feel about Cecily?”
Tate hesitated. “It wouldn’t change anything. She’s been my responsibility. I’ve taken care of her. It would be gratitude on her part, even a little hero worship, nothing more. I couldn’t take advantage of that. Besides, she’s involved with Colby.”
“And you couldn’t live with being the second man.”
Tate’s face hardened. His eyes flashed.
Holden shook his head. “You’re just brimming over with excuses, aren’t you? It isn’t the race thing, it isn’t the culture thing, it isn’t even the guardian-ward thing. You’re afraid.”
Tate’s mouth made a thin line. He didn’t reply.
“When you love someone, you give up control of yourself,” he continued quietly. “You have to consider the other person’s needs, wants, fears. What you do affects the other person. There’s a certain loss of freedom as well.” He moved a step closer. “The point I’m making is that Cecily already fills that place in your life. You’re still protecting her, and it doesn’t matter that there’s another man. Because you can’t stop looking out for her. Everything you said in this office proves that.” He searched Tate’s turbulent eyes. “You don’t like Colby Lane, and it isn’t because you think Cecily’s involved with him. It’s because he’s been tied to one woman so tight that he can’t struggle free of his love for her, even after years of divorce. That’s how you feel, isn’t it, Tate? You can’t get free of Cecily, either. But Colby’s always around and she indulges him. She might marry him in an act of desperation. And then what will you do? Will your noble excuses matter a damn then?
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Loftus grew up with a cold father who taught her nothing about love but everything about angles. A mathematician, he showed her the beauty of the triangle's strong tip, the circumference of the circle, the rigorous mission of calculus. Her mother was softer, more dramatic, prone to deep depressions. Loftus tells all this to me with little feeling "I have no feelings about this right now," she says, "but when I'm in the right space I could cry." I somehow don't believe her; she seems so far from real tears, from the original griefs, so immersed in the immersed in the operas of others. Loftus recalls her father asking her out to see a play, and in the car, coming home at night, the moon hanging above them like a stopwatch, tick tick, her father saying to her, "You know, there's something wrong with your mother. She'll never be well again. Her father was right. When Loftus was fourteen, her mother drowned in the family swimming pool. She was found floating face down in the deep end, in the summer. The sun was just coming up, the sky a mess of reds and bruise. Loftus recalls the shock, the siren, an oxygen mask clamped over her mouth as she screamed, "Mother mother mother," hysteria. That is a kind of drowning. "I loved her," Loftus says. "Was it suicide?" I ask. She says, "My father thinks so.
Every year when I go home for Christmas, my brothers and I think about it, but we'll never know," she says. Then she says, "It doesn't matter." "What doesn't matter?" I ask. "Whether it was or it wasn't," she says. "It doesn't matter because it's all going to be okay." Then I hear nothing on the line but some static. on the line but some static. "You there?" I say. "Oh I'm here," she says. "Tomorrow I'm going to Chicago, some guy on death row, I'm gonna save him. I gotta go testify. Thank God I have my work," she says. "You've always had your work," I say. "Without it," she says, "Where would I be?
Lauren Slater (Opening Skinner's Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century)
I'm not sure when it began, that descent into the depths of falling without realizing I was doing so. Could it have been when you asked if you could keep me? Could it have been the moment that you said you wanted me to be yours? Was it the moment that you said I had never left, because in some way I'd always been with you? Was it when you said abruptly that I couldn't leave, or that you teased that I hated you because I was leaving you? I'm not sure.
All I know, I became aware that i loved you when you kissed my nose, and my heart stopped. I knew then that I had to get away from you, because if I didn't it would be you, and only you. I became aware of it, when you dipped down to kiss me, and teasingly kissed my cheek instead. In that moment, my heart stopped and I thought, kiss me. I breathed fireworks, and you hadn't even touched me.
I realized, it was already too late. You were in my heart, and I could never get away. It was like I'd stepped into quicksand, and my only lifeline was your hand held out to me, and in that moment I was afraid, but you apologized and said, "Na. I'm sorry, you are stuck with me."
That is the moment, if nothing else were to qualify, that I was irrevocably yours.
Jennifer Megan Varnadore
Étienne sighed. “You may as well drop the formality. One, I’ve heard your thoughts and know your concern for her extends beyond that of a work colleague. And two, I’ve seen your thoughts and keep coming across her naked.”
Richart tried without success to choke back a laugh. “Nothing to say?”
A muscle in Bastien’s cheek jumped. “I’m debating over whether or not I should kick Étienne’s ass for seeing Melanie naked.”
Richart burst into laughter.
“It wasn’t real! It was fantasy!” his brother protested.
“I don’t care. She was naked.”
Melanie felt heat bloom in her cheeks and didn’t know why the hell she should feel embarrassed. It wasn’t as if she really were naked. As Étienne had said, they were talking about fantasies he had seen in Bastien’s head.
How hot was it that Bastien was picturing her naked?
I was naked in his thoughts? she asked, unsure if Étienne was still tuning in.
And we were doing . . . ?
Things that would make you blush even more than you are now.
I don’t suppose you could show me, could you?
It doesn’t work that way.
His lips twitched.
Bastien tugged her hand. “I can’t hear what he’s saying to you. Should I kick his ass?”
“As if you could,” Étienne murmured.
Dianne Duvall (Phantom Shadows (Immortal Guardians, #3))
As beautiful as you are my lady,
You sick answers to why love is never by your side
Your heart wonders around trying to find your ideal love
But yet nothing is completing your need.
You’re a women of strength and resemble power within,
Filled with joy on your angelic face, yet no good man appreciates it
A laughter that one can capture for a lifetime, too bad that all the men you seem to meet erase it all
You display Emotions that one can wish to dwell in and feel the energy you hold within.
Take a stand my lady, no rose ever dies without growing back again,
You need no tears to fall for a man who sees less in you
You need no sad feeling to crush that happy self, he’ll never be worth the joy in you
Show him no sad emotions, you’re too strong to give in now.
As a flower you bloomed gracefully and a beautiful lady rose up from that seed the Lord God planted
As a pillar you balanced yourself against all negative forces of life and that was your strength
As an ocean you cried your tears out but that never hindered the ocean from being full again
As a beautiful picture frame you lit up the room and no soul will ever take that away from you.
Let yourself love you, is the greatest love one can ever behold,
I’m done seeing you cry!!!
The first time you asked me to marry you was three years ago. You told me it didn’t have to be that day, or the next day, or even that year. You just wanted me to swear I would when I was ready. I said yes, of course, and I meant it with everything in me. We were young and maybe we were naïve, thinking we had it all figured out, but one thing I never doubted was that we were meant to be.” Haven paused to wipe her cheeks as more tears spilled from her eyes. “When I first met you I wasn’t sure what to think. You were nothing like anyone I’d ever met before. The things you made me feel were scary, and I wanted nothing more than to stay away from you, but I couldn’t. I was drawn to you. You gave me hope. You believed in me and helped me, and most of all, you loved me. Me. Out of all the people in the world, you picked me. I was used to being overlooked, used to being invisible, but you saw me. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without you. I love you, Carmine Marcello DeMarco, and I want you to know I’m ready now. I’m ready to spend the rest of my life with you.” “Sempre,” he whispered, choking on the word. He was trying to keep his composure, not wanting to crack in front of so many people. “Sempre.” Haven meant it with every fiber of her being. He was hers forever.
J.M. Darhower (Redemption (Sempre, #2))
You heard me. Let someone else send you to your blaze of glory. You're a speck, man. You're nothing. You're not worth the bullet or the mark on my soul for taking you out."
You trying to piss me off again, Patrick?" He removed Campbell Rawson from his shoulder and held him aloft.
I tilted my wrist so the cylinder fell into my palm, shrugged. "You're a joke, Gerry. I'm just calling it like I see it."
Absolutely." I met his hard eyes with my own. "And you'll be replaced, just like everything else, in maybe a week, tops. Some other dumb, sick shit will come along and kill some people and he'll be all over the papers, and all over Hard Copy and you'll be yesterday's news. Your fifteen minutes are up, Gerry. And they've passed without impact."
They'll remember this," Gerry said. "Believe me."
Gerry clamped back on the trigger. When he met my finger, he looked at me and then clamped down so hard that my finger broke.
I depressed the trigger on the one-shot and nothing happened.
Gerry shrieked louder, and the razor came out of my flesh, then swung back immediately, and I clenched my eyes shut and depressed the trigger frantically three times.
And Gerry's hand exploded.
And so did mine.
The razor hit the ice by my knee as I dropped the one shot and fire roared up the electrical tape and gasoline on Gerry's arm and caught the wisps of Danielle's hair.
Gerry threw his head back and opened his mouth wide and bellowed in ecstasy.
I grabbed the razor, could barely feel it because the nerves in my hand seemed to have stopped working.
I slashed into the electric tape at the end of the shotgun barrel, and Danielle dropped away toward the ice and rolled her head into the frozen sand.
My broken finger came back out of the shotgun and Gerry swung the barrels toward my head.
The twin shotgun bores arced through the darkness like eyes without mercy or soul, and I raised my head to meet them, and Gerry's wail filled my ears as the fire licked at his neck.
Good-bye, I thought. Everyone. It's been nice.
Oscar's first two shots entered the back of Gerry's head and exited through the center of his forehead and a third punched into his back.
The shotgun jerked upward in Gerry's flaming arm and then the shots came from the front, several at once, and Gerry spun like a marionette and pitched toward the ground. The shotgun boomed twice and punched holes through the ice in front of him as he fell.
He landed on his knees and, for a moment, I wasn't sure if he was dead or not. His rusty hair was afire and his head lolled to the left as one eye disappeared in flames but the other shimmered at me through waves of heat, and an amused derision shone in the pupil.
Patrick, the eye said through the gathering smoke, you still know nothing.
Oscar rose up on the other side of Gerry's corpse, Campbell Rawson clutched tight to his massive chest as it rose and fell with great heaving breaths. The sight of it-something so soft and gentle in the arms of something so thick and mountaineous-made me laugh.
Oscar came out of the darkness toward me, stepped around Gerry's burning body, and I felt the waves of heat rise toward me as the circle of gasoline around Gerry caught fire.
Burn, I thought. Burn. God help me, but burn.
Just after Oscar stepped over the outer edge of the circle, it erupted in yellow flame, and I found myself laughing harder as he looked at it, not remotely impressed.
I felt cool lips smack against my ear, and by the time I looked her way, Danielle was already past me, rushing to take her child from Oscar.
His huge shadow loomed over me as he approached, and I looked up at him and he held the look for a long moment.
How you doing, Patrick?" he said and smiled broadly.
And, behind him, Gerry burned on the ice.
And everything was so goddamned funny for some reason, even though I knew it wasn't. I knew it wasn't. I did. But I was still laughing when they put me in the ambulance.
When Ash said nothing, Lila growled, “You broke her heart, you know. The least you can do is talk to her.”
“I have talked to her. I tried, anyway. I told her up front that I wasn’t looking for a long-term sweetheart. I thought we both agreed to that.”
“Did you make her sign a bloody contract?” Lila laughed, but there was a bitter edge to it. “‘I promise that I won’t fall in love with the moody, mysterious Ash Hanson. I will enjoy his rangy body, his broad shoulders, and shapely leg, all the while knowing it’s a lease, not a buy.’”
“Shapely leg?” Ash thrust out his leg, pretending to examine it, hoping to interrupt the litany of his physical gifts.
But Lila was on a roll. “‘I will not fall into those blue-green eyes, deep as twin mountain pools, nor succumb to the lure of his full lips. Well, I will succumb, but for a limited time only. And the stubble—have I mentioned the stubble?’”
Ash’s patience had run out. Lila was far too fluent in Fellsian for his liking. “Shut up, Lila.”
“Isn’t there anyone who meets your standards?”
“At least I have standards.” He raised an eyebrow.
“Ouch!” Lila clutched her shoulder. “A fair hit, sir. A fair hit.” Her smile faded. “The problem is, hope is the thing that can’t be reined in by rules or pinned down by bitter experience. It’s a blessing and curse.”
For a long moment, Ash stared at her. He would have been less surprised to hear his pony reciting poetry.
“Who knew you were a philosopher?” he said finally. “Now. If you’re staying, let’s talk about something else. Where’s your posting this term?”
“I’m going back to the Shivering Fens,” Lila said, “where the taverns are as rare as a day without rain. Where you have to keep moving or grow a crop of moss on your ass.”
Good-bye, poetry, Ash thought. “Sounds lovely.
Cinda Williams Chima (Flamecaster (Shattered Realms, #1))
the six of us are supposed to drive to the diner in Hastings for lunch. But the moment we enter the cavernous auditorium where the girls told us to meet them, my jaw drops and our plans change.
“Holy shit—is that a red velvet chaise lounge?”
The guys exchange a WTF look. “Um…sure?” Justin says. “Why—”
I’m already sprinting toward the stage. The girls aren’t here yet, which means I have to act fast. “For fuck’s sake, get over here,” I call over my shoulder.
Their footsteps echo behind me, and by the time they climb on the stage, I’ve already whipped my shirt off and am reaching for my belt buckle. I stop to fish my phone from my back pocket and toss it at Garrett, who catches it without missing a beat.
“What is happening right now?” Justin bursts out.
I drop trou, kick my jeans away, and dive onto the plush chair wearing nothing but my black boxer-briefs. “Quick. Take a picture.”
Justin doesn’t stop shaking his head. Over and over again, and he’s blinking like an owl, as if he can’t fathom what he’s seeing.
Garrett, on the other hand, knows better than to ask questions. Hell, he and Hannah spent two hours constructing origami hearts with me the other day. His lips twitch uncontrollably as he gets the phone in position.
“Wait.” I pause in thought. “What do you think? Double guns, or double thumbs up?”
“What is happening?”
We both ignore Justin’s baffled exclamation.
“Show me the thumbs up,” Garrett says.
I give the camera a wolfish grin and stick up my thumbs.
My best friend’s snort bounces off the auditorium walls. “Veto. Do the guns. Definitely the guns.”
He takes two shots—one with flash, one without—and just like that, another romantic gesture is in the bag.
As I hastily put my clothes back on, Justin rubs his temples with so much vigor it’s as if his brain has imploded. He gapes as I tug my jeans up to my hips. Gapes harder when I walk over to Garrett so I can study the pictures.
I nod in approval. “Damn. I should go into modeling.”
“You photograph really well,” Garrett agrees in a serious voice. “And dude, your package looks huge.”
Fuck, it totally does.
Justin drags both hands through his dark hair. “I swear on all that is holy—if one of you doesn’t tell me what the hell just went down here, I’m going to lose my shit.”
I chuckle. “My girl wanted me to send her a boudoir shot of me on a red velvet chaise lounge, but you have no idea how hard it is to find a goddamn red velvet chaise lounge.”
“You say this as if it’s an explanation. It is not.” Justin sighs like the weight of the world rests on his shoulders. “You hockey players are fucked up.”
“Naah, we’re just not pussies like you and your football crowd,” Garrett says sweetly. “We own our sex appeal, dude.”
“Sex appeal? That was the cheesiest thing I’ve ever—no, you know what? I’m not gonna engage,” Justin grumbles. “Let’s find the girls and grab some lunch
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
Why may you not kiss me?” she had demanded. “Am I a corpse?”
“Of course not.”
“Do you find me less attractive now that weather and wind have scoured the bloom from my cheeks?”
“Skaytha, it’s nothing like that. If anything you are more beautiful now than when we lived on Skyrl. Often enough I have no breath when I look at you. You rob me of any other thoughts.”
“So you’re afraid my kisses will take what little brain you have left?”
“I’m afraid the angels will do something I don’t want them to do if I fly in the face of their commands, commands I can only assume are divine as well as angelic.”
“Did you ever think to ask them the reasons behind their demands?”
“When it is an angel I just want to get out of the conversation alive or at least without being struck dumb. So I don’t prolong the chat.”
“You might have wanted my kisses more than that. If you had any romance in you you’d have told them you were ready to fight ten legions of angels for my love.”
Hawk had reached out to hold her. “If I’d told them that they might have taken me up on it. Angels are not just useful for gallant flourishes the moment you declare your intention to battle all comers for the woman you love. Angels burn like fire and blaze like a hundred suns – they strike fear in my heart.”
She had pulled away from his embrace and jumped to her feet. “Oh, no, you don’t. If I’m not good enough to kiss I’m not good enough to take in your arms either. It’s angels or me. Make up your mind whom you fear more. Or love more.”
“I don’t love the angels.”
“Clearly you don’t love me either.”
They had been in a tipi. She’d gone to the opening, lifted the flap, bent, and stalked away, passing by warriors of the tribe with her head as high as a goddess and her back as straight as the shaft of the spear. The chief had poked his head in.
“All is well, Hawk?’ he had asked.
Hawk had learned their tongue.
“It couldn’t be better,” Hawk had responded. “Only being slain in battle would be greater than this.”
The chief had thought this over and laughed. "That would bring you great honor."
"I am in short supply of honor right now and such short supply never pleases a woman like her. Better to die at the end of a spear and have it for a few moments and win her back."
The chief had nodded. "Sound wisdom. Would you like to join a raiding party against our enemy tonight?"
"I couldn't be happier."
(from The Name of the Hawk, Book 2)
Murray Pura (Legion (The Name of the Hawk, #1))
His thumb rubbed over her knee, and Priss wondered if he was aware of doing it, if he did it on purpose to turn her on, or if it was extension of the thoughts she saw flickering across his face.
“Trace . . .”
“It occurs to me that I didn’t see a single freckle on you. Not on your face.” He gave her a quick, level look. “And not on your body.”
“That’s kind of curious, don’t you think, given the color of your hair?”
Priss lifted his hand and dropped it over next to him. “Okay, first off, hands to yourself. Got it?”
He said nothing, but she saw the corner of his mouth tilt up in the slightest of smiles.
“Secondly, did you happen to notice that my brows and lashes are a darker brown without a hint of red?”
“Meaning I’m not like other redheads who are . . .” Her face heated. “Red all over.”
“Yeah?” He glanced at her lap meaningfully. “Do tell.”
Priss punched him in the shoulder. “I don’t like what you’re thinking.”
“You don’t know what I’m thinking.” And with another provoking grin, “Do you?”
Like she’d say it out loud? No way. Priss crossed her arms. “If you were hinting that you think I dye my hair, I don’t. Everything on me is natural.”
“No, we will not see a damn thing!”
Under his breath, Trace said, “I damn near saw today. If I’d moved a foot closer for a better look—”
“Stop it!” Priss felt heat throbbing in her face, and she hated it. “And that reminds me. I want you to delete that damned picture.”
“Not a chance. Seeing you in that getup was a trophy moment for me.
Lori Foster (Trace of Fever (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor, #2))
. . . I bet I'm beginning to make some parents nervous - here I am, bragging of being a dropout, and unemployable, and about to make a pitch for you to follow your creative dreams, when what parents want is for their children to do well in their field, to make them look good, and maybe also to assemble a tasteful fortune . . .
But that is not your problem. Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued. Whether you're going to live it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it, and find out the truth about who you are . . .
I do know you are not what you look like, or how much you weigh, or how you did in school, or whether you start a job next Monday or not. Spirit isn't what you do, it's . . . well, again, I don't actually know. They probably taught this junior year at Goucher; I should've stuck around. But I know that you feel best when you're not doing much - when you're in nature, when you're very quiet or, paradoxically, listening to music . . .
We can see Spirit made visible when people are kind to one another, especially when it's a really busy person, like you, taking care of the needy, annoying, neurotic person, like you. In fact, that's often when we see Spirit most brightly . . .
In my twenties I devised a school of relaxation that has unfortunately fallen out of favor in the ensuing years - it was called Prone Yoga. You just lay around as much as possible. You could read, listen to music, you could space out or sleep. But you had to be lying down. Maintaining the prone.
You've graduated. You have nothing left to prove, and besides, it's a fool's game. If you agree to play, you've already lost. It's Charlie Brown and Lucy, with the football. If you keep getting back on the field, they win. There are so many great things to do right now. Write. Sing. Rest. Eat cherries. Register voters. And - oh my God - I nearly forgot the most important thing: refuse to wear uncomfortable pants, even if they make you look really thin. Promise me you'll never wear pants that bind or tug or hurt, pants that have an opinion about how much you've just eaten. The pants may be lying! There is way too much lying and scolding going on politically right now without having your pants get in on the act, too.
So bless you. You've done an amazing thing. And you are loved; you're capable of lives of great joy and meaning. It's what you are made of. And it's what you're here for. Take care of yourselves; take care of one another.
And give thanks, like this: Thank you.
Anne Lamott (Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith)
For months beforehand, I fielded calls from British media. A couple of the reporters asked me to name some British chefs who had inspired me. I mentioned the Roux brothers, Albert and Michel, and I named Marco Pierre White, not as much for his food as for how—by virtue of becoming an apron-wearing rock-star bad boy—he had broken the mold of whom a chef could be, which was something I could relate to. I got to London to find the Lanesborough dining room packed each night, a general excitement shared by everyone involved, and incredibly posh digs from which I could step out each morning into Hyde Park and take a good long run around Buckingham Palace. On my second day, I was cooking when a phone call came into the kitchen. The executive chef answered and, with a puzzled look, handed me the receiver. Trouble at Aquavit, I figured.
I put the phone up to my ear, expecting to hear Håkan’s familiar “Hej, Marcus.” Instead, there was screaming. “How the fuck can you come to my fucking city and think you are going to be able to cook without even fucking referring to me?” This went on for what seemed like five minutes; I was too stunned to hang up. “I’m going to make sure you have a fucking miserable time here. This is my city, you hear? Good luck, you fucking black bastard.” And then he hung up.
I had cooked with Gordon Ramsay once, a couple of years earlier, when we did a promotion with Charlie Trotter in Chicago. There were a handful of chefs there, including Daniel Boulud and Ferran Adrià, and Gordon was rude and obnoxious to all of them. As a group we were interviewed by the Chicago newspaper; Gordon interrupted everyone who tried to answer a question, craving the limelight. I was almost embarrassed for him. So when I was giving interviews in the lead-up to the Lanesborough event, and was asked who inspired me, I thought the best way to handle it was to say nothing about him at all. Nothing good, nothing bad. I guess he was offended at being left out. To be honest, though, only one phrase in his juvenile tirade unsettled me: when he called me a black bastard. Actually, I didn’t give a fuck about the bastard part. But the black part pissed me off.
Marcus Samuelsson (Yes, Chef)
A cell phone rang from the end table to my right and Kristen bolted up straight. She put her beer on the coffee table and dove across my lap for her phone, sprawling over me.
My eyes flew wide. I’d never been that close to her before. I’d only ever touched her hand.
If I pushed her down across my knees, I could spank her ass.
She grabbed her phone and whirled off my lap. “It’s Sloan. I’ve been waiting for this call all day.” She put a finger to her lips for me to be quiet, hit the Talk button, and put her on speaker. “Hey, Sloan, what’s up?”
“Did you send me a potato?”
Kristen covered her mouth with her hand and I had to stifle a snort. “Why? Did you get an anonymous potato in the mail?”
“Something is seriously wrong with you,” Sloan said. “Congratulations, he put a ring on it. PotatoParcel.com.” She seemed to be reading a message. “You found a company that mails potatoes with messages on them? Where do you find this stuff?”
Kristen’s eyes danced. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Do you have the other thing though?”
“Yeeeess. The note says to call you before I open it. Why am I afraid?”
Kristen giggled. “Open it now. Is Brandon with you?”
“Yes, he’s with me. He’s shaking his head.”
I could picture his face, that easy smile on his lips.
“Okay, I’m opening it. It looks like a paper towel tube. There’s tape on the—AHHHHHH! Are you kidding me, Kristen?! What the hell!”
Kristen rolled forward, putting her forehead to my shoulder in laughter.
“I’m covered in glitter! You sent me a glitter bomb? Brandon has it all over him! It’s all over the sofa!”
Now I was dying. I covered my mouth, trying to keep quiet, and I leaned into Kristen, who was howling, our bodies shaking with laughter. I must not have been quiet enough though.
“Wait, who’s with you?” Sloan asked.
Kristen wiped at her eyes. “Josh is here.”
“Didn’t he have a date tonight? Brandon told me he had a date.”
“He did, but he came back over after.”
“He came back over?” Her voice changed instantly. “And what are you two doing? Remember what we talked about, Kristen…” Her tone was taunting.
Kristen glanced at me. Sloan didn’t seem to realize she was on speaker. Kristen hit the Talk button and pressed the phone to her ear. “I’ll call you tomorrow. I love you!” She hung up on her and set her phone down on the coffee table, still tittering.
“And what did you two talk about?” I asked, arching an eyebrow.
I liked that she’d talked about me. Liked it a lot.
“Just sexually objectifying you. The usual,” she said, shrugging. “Nothing a hot fireman like you can’t handle.”
A hot fireman like you.I did my best to hide my smirk.
“So do you do this to Sloan a lot?” I asked.
“All the time. I love messing with her. She’s so easily worked up.” She reached for her beer.
I chuckled. “How do you sleep at night knowing she’ll be finding glitter in her couch for the next month?”
She took a swig of her beer. “With the fan on medium.”
My laugh came so hard Stuntman Mike looked up and cocked his head at me.
She changed the channel and stopped on HBO. Some show. There was a scene with rose petals down a hallway into a bedroom full of candles. She shook her head at the TV. “See, I just don’t get why that’s romantic. You want flower petals stuck to your ass? And who’s gonna clean all that shit up? Me? Like, thanks for the flower sex, let’s spend the next half an hour sweeping?”
“Those candles are a huge fire hazard.” I tipped my beer toward the screen.
“Right? And try getting wax out of the carpet. Good luck with that.”
I looked at the side of her face. “So what do you think is romantic?”
“Common sense,” she answered without thinking about it. “My wedding wouldn’t be romantic. It would be entertaining. You know what I want at my wedding?” she said, looking at me. “I want the priest from The Princess Bride. The mawage guy.
Abby Jimenez (The Friend Zone (The Friend Zone, #1))
What did I do now?” He reluctantly pulled the car the curb.
I needed to get out of this car – like now. I couldn’t breathe.
I unbuckled and flung open the door.
“Thanks for the ride. Bye.”
I slammed the door shut and began down the sidewalk. Behind me, I heard the engine turn off and his door open and shut. I quickened my stride as James jogged up to me. I slowed down knowing I couldn’t escape his long legs anyway. Plus, I didn’t want to get home all sweaty and have to explain myself.
“What happened?” James asked, matching my pace.
“Leave me alone!” I snapped back. I felt his hand grab my elbow, halting me easily.
“Stop,” he ordered.
Damn it, he’s strong!
“What are you pissed about now?” He towered over me. I was trapped in front of him, if he tugged a bit, I’d be in his embrace.
“It’s so funny huh? I’m that bad? I’m a clown, I’m so funny!” I jerked my arm, trying to break free of his grip. “Let me go!”
“No!” He squeezed tighter, pulling me closer.
“Leave me alone!” I spit the words like venom, pulling my arm with all my might.
“What’s your problem?” James demanded loudly. His hand tightened on my arm with each attempt to pull away. My energy was dwindling and I was mentally exhausted. I stopped jerking my arm back, deciding it was pointless because he was too strong; there was no way I could pull my arm back without first kneeing him in the balls.
We were alone, standing in the dark of night in a neighborhood that didn’t see much traffic.
“Fireball?” he murmured softly.
“What?” I replied quietly, defeated.
Hesitantly, he asked, “Did I say something to make you sad?”
I wasn’t going to mention the boyfriend thing; there was no way.
“Yes,” I whimpered.
That’s just great, way to sound strong there, now he’ll have no reason not to pity you!
“I’m sorry,” came his quiet reply.
Well maybe ‘I’m sorry’ just isn’t good enough. The damage is already done!
“What can I do to make it all better?”
“There’s nothing you could–” I began but was interrupted by him pulling me against his body. His arms encircled my waist, holding me tight. My arms instinctively bent upwards, hands firmly planted against his solid chest. Any resentment I had swiftly melted away as something brand new took its place: pleasure.
“What do you think you’re doing?” I asked him softly; his face was only a few inches from mine.
“What do you think you’re doing?” James asked back, looking down at my hands on his chest. I slowly slid my arms up around his neck.
I can’t believe I just did that!
Our bodies were plastered against one another; I felt a new kind of nervousness touch every single inch of my body, it prickled electrically.
“James,” I murmured softly.
“Fireball,” he whispered back.
“What do you think you’re doing?” I repeated; my brain felt frozen. My heart had stopped beating a mile a minute instead issuing slow, heavy beats.
James uncurled one of his arms from my waist and trailed it along my back to the base of my neck, holding it firmly yet delicately. Blood rushed to the very spot he was holding, heat filled my eyes as I stared at him.
“What are you doing?” My bewilderment was audible in the hush.
I wasn’t sure I had the capacity to speak anymore. That function had fled along with the bitch. Her replacement was a delicate flower that yearned to be touched and taken care of. I felt his hand shift on my neck, ever so slightly, causing my head to tilt up to him. Slowly, inch by inch, his face descended on mine, stopping just a breath away from my trembling lips.
I wanted it. Badly. My lips parted a fraction, letting a thread of air escape.
“Can I?” His breath was warm on my lips.
“Yeah,” I whispered back. He closed the distance until his lush lips covered mine.
My first kiss…damn!
His lips moved softly over mine. I felt his grip on my neck squeeze as his lips pressed deeper into
Sarah Tork (Young Annabelle (Y.A #1))
Feeling the slight tremor of his fingers against her skin, Daisy was emboldened to remark, “I’ve never been attracted to tall men before. But you make me feel—”
“If you don’t keep quiet,” he interrupted curtly, “I’m going to strangle you.”
Daisy felt silent, listening to the rhythm of his breath as it turned deeper, less controlled. By contrast his fingers became more certain in their task, working along the row of pearls until her dress gaped open and the sleeves slipped from her shoulders.
“Where is it?” he asked.
His tone was deadly. “Yes, Daisy. The key.”
“It fell inside my corset. Which means… I’ll have to take that off too.”
There was no reaction to the statement, no sound or movement. Daisy twisted to glance at Matthew.
He seemed dazed. His eyes looked unnaturally blue against the flush on his face. She realized he was occupied with a savage inner battle to keep from touching her.
Feeling hot and prickly with embarrassment, Daisy pulled her arms completely out of her sleeves. She worked the dress over her hips, wriggling out of the filmy white layers, letting them slide to the floor in a heap.
Matthew stared at the discarded dress as if it were some kind of exotic fauna he had never seen before. Slowly his eyes returned to Daisy, and an incoherent protest came from his throat as she began to unhook her corset.
She felt shy and wicked, undressing in front of him. But she was encouraged by the way he seemed unable to tear his gaze from each newly revealed inch of pale skin. When the last metal hook came apart, she tossed the web of lace and stays to the floor. All that remained over her breasts was a crumpled chemise.
The key had dropped into her lap. Closing her fingers around the metal object, she risked a cautious glance at Matthew.
His eyes were closed, his forehead scored with furrows of pained concentration. “This isn’t going to happen,” he said, more to himself than to her.
Daisy leaned forward to tuck the key into his coat pocket. Gripping the hem of her chemise, she stripped it over her head. A tingling shock chased over her naked upper body. She was so nervous that her teeth had begun to chatter. “I just took my chemise off,” she said. “Don’t you want to look?”
But his eyes had opened, and his gaze found her small, pink-tipped breasts, and the breath hissed through his clenched teeth. He sat without moving, staring at her as she untied his cravat and unbuttoned the layers of his waistcoat and shirt. She blushed everywhere but continued doggedly, rising to her knees to tug the coat from his shoulders.
He moved like a dreamer, slowly pulling his arms from the coat sleeves and waistcoat.
Daisy pushed his shirt open with awkward determination, her gaze drinking in the sight of his chest and torso. His skin gleamed like heavy satin, stretched taut over broad expanses of muscle. She touched the powerful vault of his ribs, trailing her fingertips to the rippled tautness of his midriff.
Suddenly Matthew caught her hand, seemingly undecided whether to push it away or press it closer.
Her fingers curled over his. She stared into his dilated blue eyes. “Matthew,” she whispered. “I’m here. I’m yours. I want to do everything you’ve ever imagined doing with me.”
He stopped breathing. His will foundered and collapsed, and suddenly nothing mattered except the demands of a desire that had been denied too long. With a rough groan of surrender, he lifted her onto his lap.
Lisa Kleypas (Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4))
You die because you think the gods are looking after you. That's ok for animals, but you should know better."
"We should not trust the gods with our lives?"
"Definitely not. You should trust *yourselves* with your lives. That's the human way to live."
Ishmael shook his head ponderously. "This is sorry news indeed. From time out of mind we've lived in the hands of the gods, and it seemed to us we lived well. We left to the gods all the labor of sowing and growing and lived a carefree life, and it seemed there was always enough in the world for us, because--behold!--*we are here!*"
"Yes," I told him sternly. "You are here, and look at you. You have nothing. You live without security, without comfort, without opportunity."
"And this is because we live in the hands of the gods?"
"Absolutely. In the hands of the gods you're no more important than lions or lizards or fleas--you're nothing special.... As I say, you've got to begin planting your own food.... The gods plant only what you *need*. You will plant *more* than you need."
"To what end? What's the good of having more food than we need?"
"That is the whole goddamned point! When you have more food than you need, then *the gods have no power over you!*"
"We can thumb our noses at them."
"All the same, what are we to *do* with this food if we don't need it?"
"You *save* it! You save it to thwart the gods when they decide it's your turn to go hungry. You save it so that when they send a drought, you can say, 'Not *me* goddamn it! *I'm* not going hungry, and there's nothing you can do about it, because my life is in my own hands now!"
... "So this is what's at the root of your revolution. You wanted and still want to have your lives in your own hands."
"Yes. Absolutely. To me, living any other way is almost inconceivable. I can only think that hunter-gatherers live in a state of utter and unending anxiety over what tomorrow's going to bring."
"Yet they don't. Any anthropologist will tell you that. They are far less anxiety-ridden than you are. They have no jobs to lose. No one can say to them, 'Show me your money or you don't get fed, don't get clothed, don't get sheltered.' "
"I believe you. Rationally speaking, I believe you. But I'm talking about my feelings, about my conditioning. My conditioning tells me -- Mother Culture tells me -- that living in the hands of the gods has got to be a never-ending nightmare of terror and anxiety.
Daniel Quinn (Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Ishmael, #1))
I drummed my fingers on the steering wheel as I looked around the empty lot. I wavered on getting out when a giant lightning bolt painted a jagged streak across the rainy lavender-gray sky. Minutes passed and still he didn’t come out of the Three Hundreds’ building.
Damn it. Before I could talk myself out of it, I jumped out of the car, cursing at myself for not carrying an umbrella for about the billionth time and for not having waterproof shoes, and ran through the parking lot, straight through the double doors. As I stomped my feet on the mat, I looked around the lobby for the big guy. A woman behind the front desk raised her eyebrows at me curiously. “Can I help you with something?” she asked.
“Have you seen Aiden?”
Were there really that many Aidens? “Graves.”
“Can I ask what you need him for?”
I bit the inside of my cheek and smiled at the woman who didn’t know me and, therefore, didn’t have an idea that I knew Aiden. “I’m here to pick him up.”
It was obvious she didn’t know what to make of me. I didn’t exactly look like pro-football player girlfriend material in that moment, much less anything else. I’d opted not to put on any makeup since I hadn’t planned on leaving the house. Or real pants. Or even a shirt with the sleeves intact. I had cut-off shorts and a baggy T-shirt with sleeves that I’d taken scissors to. Plus the rain outside hadn’t done my hair any justice. It looked like a cloud of teal.
Then there was the whole we-don’t-look-anything-alike thing going on, so there was no way we could pass as siblings. Just as I opened my mouth, the doors that connected the front area with the rest of the training facility swung open. The man I was looking for came out with his bag over his shoulder, imposing, massive, and sweaty. Definitely surly too, which really only meant he looked the way he always did.
I couldn’t help but crack a little smile at his grumpiness. “Ready?”
He did his form of a nod, a tip of his chin.
I could feel the receptionist’s eyes on us as he approached, but I was too busy taking in Grumpy Pants to bother looking at anyone else. Those brown eyes shifted to me for a second, and that time, I smirked uncontrollably.
He glared down at me. “What are you smiling at?”
I shrugged my shoulders and shook my head, trying to give him an innocent look. “Oh, nothing, sunshine.”
He mouthed ‘sunshine’ as his gaze strayed to the ceiling.
We ran out of the building side by side toward my car. Throwing the doors open, I pretty much jumped inside and shivered, turning the car and the heater on. Aiden slid in a lot more gracefully than I had, wet but not nearly as soaked.
He eyed me as he buckled in, and I slanted him a look. “What?”
With a shake of his head, he unzipped his duffel, which was sitting on his lap, and pulled out that infamous off-black hoodie he always wore. Then he held it out.
All I could do was stare at it for a second. His beloved, no-name brand, extra-extra-large hoodie. He was offering it to me.
When I first started working for Aiden, I remembered him specifically giving me instructions on how he wanted it washed and dried. On gentle and hung to dry. He loved that thing. He could own a thousand just like it, but he didn’t. He had one black hoodie that he wore all the time and a blue one he occasionally donned.
“For me?” I asked like an idiot.
He shook it, rolling his eyes. “Yes for you. Put it on before you get sick. I would rather not have to take care of you if you get pneumonia.”
Yeah, I was going to ignore his put-out tone and focus on the ‘rather not’ as I took it from him and slipped it on without another word. His hoodie was like holding a gold medal in my hands. Like being given something cherished, a family relic. Aiden’s precious.
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
Do you know what day it is?” she asked, peering at him.
“Here in Spindle Cove, we ladies have a schedule. Mondays are country walks. Tuesdays, sea bathing. Wednesdays, you’d find us in the garden.” She touched the back of her hand to his forehead. “What is it we do on Mondays?”
“We didn’t get to Thursdays.”
“Thursdays are irrelevant. I’m testing your ability to recall information. Do you remember Mondays?”
He stifled a laugh. God, her touch felt good. If she kept petting and stroking him like this, he might very well go mad.
“Tell me your name,” he said. “I promise to recall it.” A bit forward, perhaps. But any chance for formal introductions had already fallen casualty to the powder charge.
Speaking of the powder charge, here came the brilliant mastermind of the sheep siege. Damn his eyes.
“Are you well, miss?” Colin asked.
“I’m well,” she answered. “I’m afraid I can’t say the same for your friend.”
“Bram?” Colin prodded him with a boot. “You look all of a piece.”
No thanks to you.
“He’s completely addled, the poor soul.” The girl patted his cheek. “Was it the war? How long has he been like this?”
“Like this?” Colin smirked down at him. “Oh, all his life.”
“All his life?”
“He’s my cousin. I should know.”
A flush pressed to her cheeks, overwhelming her freckles. “If you’re his cousin, you should take better care of him. What are you thinking, allowing him to wander the countryside, waging war on flocks of sheep?”
Ah, that was sweet. The lass cared. She would see him settled in a very comfortable asylum, she would. Perhaps Thursdays would be her day to visit and lay cool cloths to his brow.
“I know, I know,” Colin replied gravely. “He’s a certifiable fool. Completely unstable. Sometimes the poor bastard even drools. But the hell of it is, he controls my fortune. Every last penny. I can’t tell him what to do.”
“That’ll be enough,” Bram said. Time to put a stop to this nonsense. It was one thing to enjoy a moment’s rest and a woman’s touch, and another to surrender all pride.
He gained his feet without too much struggle and helped her to a standing position, too. He managed a slight bow. “Lieutenant Colonel Victor Bramwell. I assure you, I’m in possession of perfect health, a sound mind, and one good-for-nothing cousin.”
“I don’t understand,” she said. “Those blasts…”
“Just powder charges. We embedded them in the road, to scare off the sheep.”
“You laid black powder charges. To move a flock of sheep.” Pulling her hand from his grip, she studied the craters in the road. “Sir, I remain unconvinced of your sanity. But there’s no question you are male.”
He raised a brow. “That much was never in doubt.”
Her only answer was a faint deepening of her blush.
“I assure you, all the lunacy is my cousin’s. Lord Payne was merely teasing, having a bit of sport at my expense.”
“I see. And you were having a bit of sport at my expense, pretending to be injured.”
“Come, now.” He leaned forward her and murmured, “Are you going to pretend you didn’t enjoy it?”
Her eyebrows lifted. And lifted, until they formed perfect twin archer’s bows, ready to dispatch poison-tipped darts. “I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.
Tessa Dare (A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1))
Do I get to come in?” he asked.
She shrugged and stood aside. “I’m just packing.”
“Moving again?” he asked with faint sarcasm. “You used to be easier to keep track of.”
“Because I was living in a nest of spies!” she threw at him, having only recently gleaned that bit of information from Colby. “You got me an apartment surrounded by government agents!”
“It was the safest place for you,” he said simply. “Someone was always watching you when I couldn’t.”
“I didn’t need watching!”
“You did,” he returned, perching on the arm of her big easy chair to stare at her intently. “You never realized it, but you were a constant target for anyone who had a grudge against me. In the end, it was why I gave up government work and got a job in the private sector.” He folded his arms over his broad chest, watching surprise claim her features. “There was a communist agent with a high-powered rifle one day, and a South American gentlemen with an automatic pistol the following week. You were never told about them. But you had two close calls. If you hadn’t been living in a ‘nest of spies,’ I’d have buried you. Funerals are expensive,” he added with a cold smile.
She stared at him blankly. “Why didn’t you just send me back to South Dakota?” she asked.
“To your stepfather?” he drawled.
That was still a sore spot with her, and she was certain that he knew it. But she wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of arguing. He seemed to be spoiling for a fight. She turned away to the kitchen. “Want a cup of coffee?”
He got up and took her by the shoulders. “I’m sorry,” he said. “That was a low blow.”
“Another in a long line of them lately,” she said without meeting his eyes. “I seem to do nothing except rub you the wrong way.”
“And you don’t know why?” he asked curtly, letting her go.
She moved one shoulder as she went about the business of getting down a cup and saucer. “At a guess, you’re mad at somebody you can’t get to, and I’m the stand-in.”
He chuckled. “How do you see through me so easily? Even my mother can’t do that.”
If he thought about it, he’d know, she thought miserably.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
This is textbook Bad Idea. We're driving with a stranger, no one knows where we are, and we have no way of getting in touch with anyone. This is exactly how people become statistics."
"Exactly?" I asked, thinking of all the bizarre twists and turns that had led us to this place.
Ben ceded the point with a sideways shrug. "Maybe not exactly. But still..."
He let it go, and the cab eventually stopped at the edge of a remote, forested area. Sage got out and paid. "Everybody out!"
Ben looked at me, one eyebrow raised. He was leaving the choice to me. I gave his knee a quick squeeze before I opened the door and we piled out of the car.
Sage waited for the cab to drive away, then ducked onto a forest path, clearly assuming we'd follow.
The path through the thick foliage was stunning in the moonlight, and I automatically released my camera from its bag.
"I wish you wouldn't," Sage said without turning around. "You know I'm not one for visitors."
"I'll refrain from selling the pictures to Travel and Leisure, then," I said, already snapping away. "Besides, I need something to take my mind off my feet." My shoes were still on the beach, where I'd kicked them off to dance.
"Hey, I offered to carry you," Sage offered.
"No, thank you."
I suppose I should have been able to move swiftly and silently without my shoes, but I only managed to stab myself on something with every other footfall, giving me a sideways, hopping gait. Every few minutes Sage would hold out his arms, offering to carry me again. I grimaced and denied him each time.
After what felt like about ten miles, even the photos weren't distracting enough. "How much farther?" I asked.
There was nothing in front of us but more trees.
"Wow," Ben said, and I followed his eyes upward to see that several of the tree trunks were actually stilts supporting a beautifully hidden wood-and-glass cabin, set high among the branches. I was immediately charmed.
"You live in a tree house," I said. I aimed my camera the façade, answering Sage's objection before he even said it. "For me, not for Architectural Digest."
"Thank you," Sage said.
Hilary Duff (Elixir (Elixir, #1))
Or I can stay with Colby when he comes back,” she added deliberately. She even smiled. “He’ll take care of me.”
His black eyes narrowed. “He can barely take care of himself,” he said flatly. “He’s a lost soul. He can’t escape the past or face the future without Maureen. He isn’t ready for a relationship with anyone else, even if he thinks he is”
She didn’t rise to the bait. “I can count on Colby. He’ll help me if I need it.”
He looked frustrated. “But you won’t let me help you.”
“Colby isn’t involved with anyone who’d be jealous of the time he spent looking out for me. That’s the difference.”
He let out an angry breath and his eyes began to glitter. “You have to beat the subject to death, I guess.”
She managed to look indifferent. “You have your own life to live, Tate. I’m not part of it anymore. You’ve made that quite clear.”
His teeth clenched. “Is it really that easy for you to throw the past away?” he asked.
“That’s what you want,” she reminded him. There was a perverse pleasure in watching his eyes narrow. “You said you’d never forget or forgive me,” she added evenly. “I took you at your word. I’ll always have fond memories of you and Leta. But I’m a grown woman. I have a career, a future. I’ve dragged you down financially for years, without knowing it. Now that I do…”
“For God’s sake!” he burst out, rising to pace with his hands clenched in his pockets. “I could have sent you to Harvard if you’d wanted to go there, and never felt the cost!
“You’re missing the point,” she said, feeling nausea rise in her throat and praying it wouldn’t overflow. “I could have worked my way through school, paid for my own apartment and expenses. I wouldn’t have minded. But you made me beholden to you in a way I can never repay.”
He stopped pacing and glared at her. “Have I asked for repayment?”
She smiled in spite of herself. “You look just like Matt when you glower that way.”
The glare got worse.
She held up a hand. “I know. You don’t want to talk about that. Sorry.”
“Everyone else wants to talk about it,” he said irritably. “I’ve done nothing but dodge reporters ever since the story broke. What a hell of a way to do it, on national television!
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
He twirled her around a few more times before he said offhandedly, "Aren't you tired of fighting yet? I'm beginning to find it quite tedious m'self. I've even given you the benefit of the doubt-"
"Don't do me any favor."
He cocked his head to the side because she'd turned away to mumble that. "Are you challenging me to make you sweet and lovable again? I believe you are!"
Her eyes flew back to his, but she could't do anything more than sputter over the absurdity. His pale eyes were twinkling, holding back laughter no doubt. What the devil as he doing! Je couldn't be serious.Yet he rubbed his cheek against hers right there on the dance floor!
She should never have turned in toward that unexpected caress. Was she destined to bump lips with him by accident? She drew back instantly while she had the presence of mine to do so. But he didn't.In fact, he moved closer, his mouth actually persuing hers until there was nothing accidental about it! She stumbled as her sensed whirled. That just encouraged him to hold her closer and kiss her more deeply. She was fast approaching the point of not caring!
Desperately, she tore her mouth away to gasp out, "You're going to cause a scandal!"
"I do believe it would be worth it," he said softly by her ear. "But it's only a minor infraction and quite overlooked, since everyone here knows we're married."
"No,they don't.I didn't have it announced."
He stopped abruptly. Several other couples even bumped into them. "Why not?"
She looked away from his frown, which make her feel distinctly uneasy. How to explain her earlier hesitancy without him seeing it for what it was, a full-blown panic? But he didn't wait for her answer.
Suddenly he was leading her off the dance floor. He began a social circuit around the room, missing no one who wasn't currently dancing. From group to group he stopped to introduce Rebecca as his wife,the Marchioness of Rochwood. He did it curtly,as if here completing a task assigned to him, which gave her the odd feeling he was punishing her.She was mortified. Most of those people thought he was joking! They knew him.They knew his reputation. And he wasn't behaving the least bit normally.
Johanna Lindsey (A Rogue of My Own (Reid Family, #3))
I wish I could answer your question. All I can say is that all of us, humans, witches, bears, are engaged in a war already, although not all of us know it. Whether you find danger on Svalbard or whether you fly off unharmed, you are a recruit, under arms, a soldier."
"Well, that seems kinda precipitate. Seems to me a man should have a choice whether to take up arms or not."
"We have no more choice in that than in whether or not to be born."
"Oh, I like choice, though," he said. "I like choosing the jobs I take and the places I go and the food I eat and the companions I sit and yarn with. Don't you wish for a choice once in a while ?"
She considered, and then said, "Perhaps we don't mean the same thing by choice, Mr. Scoresby. Witches own nothing, so we're not interested in preserving value or making profits, and as for the choice between one thing and another, when you live for many hundreds of years, you know that every opportunity will come again. We have different needs. You have to repair your balloon and keep it in good condition, and that takes time and trouble, I see that; but for us to fly, all we have to do is tear off a branch of cloud-pine; any will do, and there are plenty more. We don't feel cold, so we need no warm clothes. We have no means of exchange apart from mutual aid. If a witch needs something, another witch will give it to her. If there is a war to be fought, we don't consider cost one of the factors in deciding whether or not it is right to fight. Nor do we have any notion of honor, as bears do, for instance. An insult to a bear is a deadly thing. To us... inconceivable. How could you insult a witch? What would it matter if you did?"
"Well, I'm kinda with you on that. Sticks and stones, I'll break yer bones, but names ain't worth a quarrel. But ma'am, you see my dilemma, I hope. I'm a simple aeronaut, and I'd like to end my days in comfort. Buy a little farm, a few head of cattle, some horses...Nothing grand, you notice. No palace or slaves or heaps of gold. Just the evening wind over the sage, and a ceegar, and a glass of bourbon whiskey. Now the trouble is, that costs money. So I do my flying in exchange for cash, and after every job I send some gold back to the Wells Fargo Bank, and when I've got enough, ma'am, I'm gonna sell this balloon and book me a passage on a steamer to Port Galveston, and I'll never leave the ground again."
"There's another difference between us, Mr. Scoresby. A witch would no sooner give up flying than give up breathing. To fly is to be perfectly ourselves."
"I see that, ma'am, and I envy you; but I ain't got your sources of satisfaction. Flying is just a job to me, and I'm just a technician. I might as well be adjusting valves in a gas engine or wiring up anbaric circuits. But I chose it, you see. It was my own free choice. Which is why I find this notion of a war I ain't been told nothing about kinda troubling."
"lorek Byrnison's quarrel with his king is part of it too," said the witch. "This child is destined to play a part in that."
"You speak of destiny," he said, "as if it was fixed. And I ain't sure I like that any more than a war I'm enlisted in without knowing about it. Where's my free will, if you please? And this child seems to me to have more free will than anyone I ever met. Are you telling me that she's just some kind of clockwork toy wound up and set going on a course she can't change?"
"We are all subject to the fates. But we must all act as if we are not, or die of despair. There is a curious prophecy about this child: she is destined to bring about the end of destiny. But she must do so without knowing what she is doing, as if it were her nature and not her destiny to do it. If she's told what she must do, it will all fail; death will sweep through all the worlds; it will be the triumph of despair, forever. The universes will all become nothing more than interlocking machines, blind and empty of thought, feeling, life...
Philip Pullman (The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1))
My, my,” Chloe murmured, studying the chocolate she held. “I do believe this one’s gone off. It stinks like a cesspit.” Her eyes lifted. “Oh, wait. It’s only the guttersnipe.”
“Or perhaps it’s your perfume,” I said cordially. “You always smell like a whore.”
“It’s French,” retorted Runny-Nose, before Chloe could speak.
“Then she smells like a French whore.”
“Aren’t you the eloquent young miss.” Chloe’s gaze cut to Sophia, standing close behind me. “Slumming, little sister? I can’t confess I’m surprised.”
“I’m merely here for the show,” Sophia said breezily. “Something tells me it’s going to be good.”
I took the brooch from my pocket and let it slide down my index finger, giving it a playful twirl. “A fine try. But, alas, no winner’s prize for you, Chloe. I’m sure you’ve been waiting here for Westcliffe to raise the alarm about her missing ring, ready with some well-rehearsed story about how you saw me sneaking into her office and sneaking out again, and oh, look isn’t that Eleanore’s brooch there on the floor? But I’ve news for you, dearie. You’re sloppy. You’re stupid. And the next time you go into my room and steal from me, I’ll make certain you regret it for the rest of your days.”
“How dare you threaten me, you little tart!”
“I’m not threatening. You have no idea how easy it would be to, say, pour glue on your hair while you sleep. Cut up all your pretty dresses into ribbons.”
Chloe dropped her half-eaten chocolate back into its box, turning to her toadies. “You heard her! You all head her! When Westcliffe finds out about this-“
“I didn’t hear a thing,” piped up Sophia. “In fact, I do believe that Eleanore and I aren’t even here right now. We’re both off in my room, diligently studying.” She sauntered to my side, smiling. “And I’ll swear to that, sister. Without hesitation. I have no misgivings about calling you all liars right to Westcliffe’s face.”
“What fun,” I said softly, into the hush. “Shall we give it a go? What d’you say, girls? Up for a bit of blood sport?”
Chloe pushed to her feet, kicking the chocolates out of her way. All the toadies cringed.
“You,” she sneered, her gaze scouring me. “You with your ridiculous clothing and that preposterous bracelet, acting as if you actually belong here! Really, Eleanore, I wonder that you’ve learned nothing of real use yet. Allow me to explain matters to you. You may have duped Sophia into vouching for you, but your word means nothing. You’re no one. No matter what you do here or who you may somehow manage to impress, you’ll always be no one. How perfectly sad that you’re allowed to pretend otherwise.”
“I’m the one he wants,” I said evenly. “No one’s pretending that.”
I didn’t have to say who.
She stared at me, silent, her color high. I saw with interest that real tears began to well in her eyes.
“That’s right.” I gave the barest smile. “Me, not you. Think about that tomorrow, when I’m with him on the yacht. Think about how he watches me. How he listens to me. Another stunt like this”-I held up the circlet-“and you’ll be shocked at what I’m able to convince him about you.”
“As if you could,” she scoffed, but there was apprehension behind those tears.
I brought my foot down on one of the chocolates, grinding it into a deep, greasy smear along the rug.
“Cheerio,” I said to them all, and turned around and left.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
Before he could say my name, I closed the space between us. Quickly, my lips moved against his. The mental and emotional emptiness took over instantly, but physically, I was more alert than ever. Wesley’s surprise didn’t last as long as it had before, and his hands were on me in seconds. My fingers tangled in his soft hair, and Wesley’s tongue darted into my mouth and became a new weapon in our war.
Once again, my body took complete control of everything. Nothing existed at the corners of my mind; no irritating thoughts harassed me. Even the sounds of Wesley’s stereo, which had been playing some piano rock I didn’t recognize, faded away as my sense of touch heightened.
I was fully conscious of Wesley’s hand as it slid up my torso and moved to cup my breast. With an effort, I pushed him away from me. His eyes were wide as he leaned back. “Please don’t slap me again,” he said.
I could have stopped there. I could have stood up and left the room. I could have let that kiss be the end of it. But I didn’t. The mind-numbing sensation I got from kissing him was so euphoric-such a high-that I couldn’t stand to give it up that fast. I might have hated Wesley Rush, but he held the key to my escape, and at that moment I wanted him… I needed him.
Without speaking, without hesitating, I pulled my T-shirt over my head and threw it onto Wesley’s bedroom floor. He didn’t have a chance to say anything before I put my hands on his shoulders and shoved him onto his back. A second later, I was straddling him and we were kissing again. His fingers undid the clasp on my bra, and it joined my shirt on the floor.
I didn’t care. I didn’t feel self-conscious or shy. I mean, he already knew I was the Duff, and it wasn’t like I had to impress him.
I unbuttoned his shirt as he pulled the alligator clip from my hair and let the auburn waves fall around us. Casey had been right. Wesley had a great body. The skin pulled tight over his sculpted chest, and my hands drifted down his muscular arms with amazement.
His lips moved to my neck, giving me a moment to breathe. I could only smell his cologne this close to him. As his mouth traveled down my shoulder, a thought pushed through the exhilaration. I wondered why he hadn’t shoved me-Duffy-away in disgust.
Then again, I realized, Wesley wasn’t known for rejecting girls. And I was the one who should have been disgusted.
But his mouth pressed into mine again, and that tiny, fleeting thought died. Acting on instinct, I pulled on Wesley’s lower lip with my teeth, and he moaned quietly. His hands moved over my ribs, sending chills up my spine. Bliss. Pure, unadulterated bliss.
Only once, as Wesley flipped me onto my back, did I seriously consider stopping. He looked down at me, and his skilled hand grasped the zipper on my jeans. My dormant brain stirred, and I asked myself if things had gone too far. I thought about pushing him away, ending it right where we were. But why would I stop now? What did I stand to lose? Yet what could I possibly gain? How would I feel about this in an hour… or sooner?
Before I could come up with any answers, Wesley had my jeans and underwear off. He pulled a condom from his pocket (okay, now that I’m thinking about it, who keeps condoms in their pockets? Wallet, yes, but pocket? Pretty presumptuous, don’t you think?), and then his pants were on the floor, too. All of a sudden, we were having sex, and my thoughts were muted again.
Kody Keplinger (The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend (Hamilton High, #1))
1. Choose to love each other even in those moments when you struggle to like each other. Love is a commitment, not a feeling. 2. Always answer the phone when your husband/wife is calling and, when possible, try to keep your phone off when you’re together with your spouse. 3. Make time together a priority. Budget for a consistent date night. Time is the currency of relationships, so consistently invest time in your marriage. 4. Surround yourself with friends who will strengthen your marriage, and remove yourself from people who may tempt you to compromise your character. 5. Make laughter the soundtrack of your marriage. Share moments of joy, and even in the hard times find reasons to laugh. 6. In every argument, remember that there won’t be a winner and a loser. You are partners in everything, so you’ll either win together or lose together. Work together to find a solution. 7. Remember that a strong marriage rarely has two strong people at the same time. It’s usually a husband and wife taking turns being strong for each other in the moments when the other feels weak. 8. Prioritize what happens in the bedroom. It takes more than sex to build a strong marriage, but it’s nearly impossible to build a strong marriage without it. 9. Remember that marriage isn’t 50–50; divorce is 50–50. Marriage has to be 100–100. It’s not splitting everything in half but both partners giving everything they’ve got. 10. Give your best to each other, not your leftovers after you’ve given your best to everyone else. 11. Learn from other people, but don’t feel the need to compare your life or your marriage to anyone else’s. God’s plan for your life is masterfully unique. 12. Don’t put your marriage on hold while you’re raising your kids, or else you’ll end up with an empty nest and an empty marriage. 13. Never keep secrets from each other. Secrecy is the enemy of intimacy. 14. Never lie to each other. Lies break trust, and trust is the foundation of a strong marriage. 15. When you’ve made a mistake, admit it and humbly seek forgiveness. You should be quick to say, “I was wrong. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.” 16. When your husband/wife breaks your trust, give them your forgiveness instantly, which will promote healing and create the opportunity for trust to be rebuilt. You should be quick to say, “I love you. I forgive you. Let’s move forward.” 17. Be patient with each other. Your spouse is always more important than your schedule. 18. Model the kind of marriage that will make your sons want to grow up to be good husbands and your daughters want to grow up to be good wives. 19. Be your spouse’s biggest encourager, not his/her biggest critic. Be the one who wipes away your spouse’s tears, not the one who causes them. 20. Never talk badly about your spouse to other people or vent about them online. Protect your spouse at all times and in all places. 21. Always wear your wedding ring. It will remind you that you’re always connected to your spouse, and it will remind the rest of the world that you’re off limits. 22. Connect with a community of faith. A good church can make a world of difference in your marriage and family. 23. Pray together. Every marriage is stronger with God in the middle of it. 24. When you have to choose between saying nothing or saying something mean to your spouse, say nothing every time. 25. Never consider divorce as an option. Remember that a perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other. FINAL
Dave Willis (The Seven Laws of Love: Essential Principles for Building Stronger Relationships)
The day wore on.While yet Rycca slept, Dragon did all the things she had said he would do-paced back and forth, contemplated mayhem,and even honed his blade on the whetstone from the stable.All except being oblivious to her,for that he could never manage.
But when she awoke,sitting up heavy-lidded, her mouth so full and soft it was all he could do not to crawl back into bed with her,he put aside such pursuits and controlled himself admirably well,so he thought.
Yet in the midst of preparing a meal for them from the provisions in the pantry of the lodge,he was stopped by Rycca's hand settling upon his.
"Dragon," she said softly, "if you add any more salt to that stew, we will need a barrel of water and more to drink with it."
He looked down, saw that she was right, and cursed under his breath. Dumping out the spoiled stew, he started over. They ate late but they did eat.He was quite determined she would do so,and for once she seemed to have a decent appetite.
"I'm glad to see your stomach is better," he said as she was finishing.
She looked up,startled. "What makes you say that?"
"You haven't seemed able to eat regularly of late."
"Oh,well,you know...so many changes...travel...all that."
He nodded,reached for his goblet, and damn near knocked it over as a sudden thought roared through him.
She rose quickly,gathering up the dishes. His hand lashed out, closing on her wrist. Gently but inexorably, he returned her to her seat. Without taking his eyes from her,he asked, "Is there something you should tell me?"
"I ask myself what sort of changes may cause a woman to be afflicted with an uneasy stomach and it occurs to me I've been a damned idiot."
"Not so! You could never be that."
"Oh,really? How otherwise would I fail to notice that your courses have not come of late? Or is that also due to travel,wife?"
"Some women are not all that regular."
"Some women do not concern me.You do,Rycca. I swear,if you are with child and have not told me, I will-"
She squared her shoulders,lifted her head,and met his eyes hard on. "Will what?"
"What? Will what? Does that mean-"
"I'm sorry,Dragon." Truly repentant, Rycca sighed deeply. "I was going to tell you.I was just waiting for a calmer time.I didn't want you to worry more."
Still grappling with what she had just revealed,he stared at her in astonishment. "You mean worry that my wife and our child are bait for a murderous traitor?"
"I know you're angry and you have a right to be.But if I had told you, we wouldn't be here now."
"Damn right we wouldn't be!" He got up from the table so abruptly that his chair toppled over and crashed to the floor.Ignoring it,Dragon paced back and forth,glaring at her.
Rycca waited,trusting the storm to pass. As she did,she counted silently, curious to see just how long it would take her husband to grasp fully what he had discovered.
"We're going to have a baby."
Not long at all.
She nodded happily. "Yes,we are, and you're going to be a wonderful father."
He walked back to the table,picked her up out of her chair,held her high against his chest,and stared at her.
Rycca laughed. "You can't possibly be surprised.It's not as though we haven't been doing our best to make this happen."
"True,but still it's absolutely incredible."
Very gently,she touched his face. "Perhaps we think of miracles wrongly. They're supposed to be extraordinarily rare but in fact they're as commonplace as a bouquet of wildflowers plucked by a warrior...or a woman having a baby."
Dragon sat down with her still in his arms and held her very close.He swallowed several times and said nothing.
Both could have remained contentedly like that for a long while, but only a few minutes passed before they were interrupted. The raven lit on the sill of the open window just long enough to catch their attention,then she was gone into the bloodred glare of the dying day.
Josie Litton (Come Back to Me (Viking & Saxon, #3))
Hey, did you hear about Brad Miller?" he asked, already forgetting about the Lissie conversation. "He got his car taken away for getting another speeding ticket. Of course he tried to tell his parents that it was a setup."
Violet laughed. "Yeah, because the police have nothing better to do than to plan a sting operation targeting eleventh-grade idiots." She was more than willing to go along with this diversion from conversations about Jay and his many admirers.
Jay laughed too, shaking his head. "You're so cold-hearted," he said to Violet, shoving her a little but playing along. "How's he supposed to go cruising for unsuspecting freshman and sophomores without a car? What willing girl is going to ride on the handlebars of his ten-speed?"
"I don't see you driving anything but your mom's car yet. At least he has a bike," she said, turning on him now.
He pushed her again. "Hey!" he tried to defend himself. "I'm still saving! Not all of us are born with a silver spoon in our mouths."
They were both laughing, hard now. The silver spoon joke had been used before, whenever one of them had something the other one didn't.
"Right!" Violet protested. "Have you seen my car?" This time she shoved him, and a full-scale war broke out on the couch.
"Poor little rich girl!" Jay accused, grabbing her arm and pulling her down.
She giggled and tried to give him the dreaded "dead leg" by hitting him with her knuckle in the thigh. But he was too strong, and what used to be a fairly even matchup was now more like an annihilation of Violet's side.
"Oh, yeah. Weren't you the one"-she gasped, still giggling and thrashing to break free from his suddenly way-too-strong grip on her, just as his hand was almost at the sensitive spot along the side of her rib cage-"who got to go to Hawaii..." She bucked beneath him, trying to knock him off her. "...For spring break...last..." And then he started to tickle her while she was pinned beneath him, and her last word came out in a scream: "...YEAR?!"
That was how her aunt and uncle found them.
Violet never heard the key in the dead bolt, or the sound of the door opening up. And Jay was just as ignorant of their arrival as she was. So when they were caught like that, in a mass of tangled limbs, with Jay's face just inches from hers, as she giggled and squirmed against him, it should have meant they were going to get in trouble. And if it had been any other teenage boy and girl, they would have.
But it wasn't another couple. It was Violet and Jay...and this was business as usual for the two of them.
Even her aunt and uncle knew that there was no possibility they were doing anything they shouldn't. The only reprimand they got was her aunt shushing them to keep it down before they woke the kids.
After Jay left, Violet took the thirty dollars that her uncle gave her and headed out.
As she drove home, she tried to ignore the feelings of frustration she had about the way her aunt and uncle had reacted-or rather hadn't reaction-to finding her and Jay together on the couch. For some reason it made her feel worse to know that even the grown-ups around them didn't think there was a chance they could ever be a real couple.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
I can’t help thinking,” she confided when he finished answering her questions about women in India who covered their faces and hair in public, “that it is grossly unfair that I was born a female and so must never know such adventures, or see but a few of those places. Even if I were to journey there, I’d only be allowed to go where everything was as civilized as-as London!”
“There does seem to be a case of extreme disparity between the privileges accorded the sexes,” Ian agreed.
“Still, we each have our duty to perform,” she informed him with sham solemnity. “And there’s said to be great satisfaction in that.”
“How do you view your-er-duty?” he countered, responding to her teasing tone with a lazy white smile.
“That’s easy. It is a female’s duty to be a wife who is an asset to her husband in every way. It is a male’s duty to do whatever he wishes, whenever he wishes, so long as he is prepared to defend his country should the occasion demand it in his lifetime-which it very likely won’t. Men,” she informed him, “gain honor by sacrificing themselves on the field of battle while we sacrifice ourselves on the altar of matrimony.”
He laughed aloud then, and Elizabeth smiled back at him, enjoying herself hugely. “Which, when one considers it, only proves that our sacrifice is by far the greater and more noble.”
“How is that?” he asked, still chuckling.
“It’s perfectly obvious-battles last mere days or weeks, months at the very most. While matrimony lasts a lifetime! Which brings to mind something else I’ve often wondered about,” she continued gaily, giving full rein to her innermost thoughts.
“And that is?” he prompted, grinning, watching her as if he never wanted to stop.
“Why do you suppose, after all that, they call us the weaker sex?” Their laughing gazes held, and then Elizabeth realized how outrageous he must be finding some of her remarks. “I don’t usually go off on such tangents,” she said ruefully. “You must think I’m dreadfully ill-bred.”
“I think,” he softly said, “that you are magnificent.”
The husky sincerity in his deep voice snatched her breath away. She opened her mouth, thinking frantically for some light reply that could restore the easy camaraderie of a minute before, but instead of speaking she could only draw a long, shaky breath.
“And,” he continued quietly, “I think you know it.”
This was not, not the sort of foolish, flirtatious repartee she was accustomed to from her London beaux, and it terrified her as much as the sensual look in those golden eyes. Pressing imperceptibly back against the arm of the sofa, she told herself she was only overacting to what was nothing more than empty flattery. “I think,” she managed with a light laugh that stuck in her throat, “that you must find whatever female you’re with ‘magnificent.’”
“Why would you say a thing like that?”
Elizabeth shrugged. “Last night at supper, for one thing.” When he frowned at her as if she were speaking in a foreign language, she prodded, “You remember Lady Charise Dumont, our hostess, the same lovely brunette on whose every word you were hanging at supper last night?”
His frown became a grin. “Jealous?”
Elizabeth lifted her elegant little chin and shook her head. “No more than you were of Lord Howard.”
She felt a small bit of satisfaction as his amusement vanished. “The fellow who couldn’t seem to talk to you without touching your arm?” he inquired in a silky-soft voice. “That Lord Howard? As a matter of fact, my love, I spent most of my meal trying to decide whether I wanted to shove his nose under his right ear or his left.”
Startled, musical laughter erupted from her before she could stop it. “You did nothing of the sort,” she chuckled. “Besides, if you wouldn’t duel with Lord Everly when he called you a cheat, you certainly wouldn’t harm poor Lord Howard merely for touching my arm.”
“Wouldn’t I?” he asked softly. “Those are two very different issues.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
In the deep woods of the far North, under feathery leaves of fern, was a great fairyland of merry elves, sometimes called forest brownies.
These elves lived joyfully. They had everything at hand and did not need to worry much about living. Berries and nuts grew plentiful in the forest. Rivers and springs provided the elves with crystal water. Flowers prepared them drink from their flavorful juices, which the munchkins loved greatly.
At midnight the elves climbed into flower cups and drank drops of their sweet water with much delight. Every elf would tell a wonderful fairy tale to the flower to thank it for the treat.
Despite this abundance, the pixies did not sit back and do nothing. They tinkered with their tasks all day long. They cleaned their houses. They swung on tree branches and swam in forested streams. Together with the early birds, they welcomed the sunrise, listened to the thunder growling, the whispering of leaves and blades of grass, and the conversations of the animals.
The birds told them about warm countries, sunbeams whispered of distant seas, and the moon spoke of treasures hidden deeply in the earth.
In winter, the elves lived in abandoned nests and hollows. Every sunny day they came out of their burrows and made the forest ring with their happy shouts, throwing tiny snowballs in all directions and building snowmen as small as the pinky finger of a little girl. The munchkins thought they were giants five times as large as them.
With the first breath of spring, the elves left their winter residences and moved to the cups of the snowdrop flowers. Looking around, they watched the snow as it turned black and melted. They kept an eye on the blossoming of hazel trees while the leaves were still sleeping in their warm buds. They observed squirrels moving their last winter supplies from storage back to their homes. Gnomes welcomed the birds coming back to their old nests, where the elves lived during winters. Little by little, the forest once more grew green.
One moonlight night, elves were sitting at an old willow tree and listening to mermaids singing about their underwater kingdom.
“Brothers! Where is Murzilka? He has not been around for a long time!” said one of the elves, Father Beardie, who had a long white beard. He was older than others and well respected in his striped stocking cap.
“I’m here,” a snotty voice arose, and Murzilka himself, nicknamed Feather Head, jumped from the top of the tree. All the brothers loved Murzilka, but thought he was lazy, as he actually was. Also, he loved to dress in a tailcoat, tall black hat, boots with narrow toes, a cane and a single eyeglass, being very proud of that look.
“Do you know where I’m coming from? The very Arctic Ocean!” roared he.
Usually, his words were hard to believe. That time, though, his announcement sounded so marvelous that all elves around him were agape with wonder.
“You were there, really? Were you? How did you get there?” asked the sprites.
“As easy as ABC! I came by the fox one day and caught her packing her things to visit her cousin, a silver fox who lives by the Arctic Ocean.
“Take me with you,” I said to the fox.
“Oh, no, you’ll freeze there! You know, it’s cold there!” she said.
“Come on.” I said. “What are you talking about? What cold? Summer is here.”
“Here we have summer, but there they have winter,” she answered.
“No,” I thought. “She must be lying because she does not want to give me a ride.”
Without telling her a word, I jumped upon her back and hid in her bushy fur, so even Father Frost could not find me.
Like it or not, she had to take me with her.
We ran for a long time. Another forest followed our woods, and then a boundless plain opened, a swamp covered with lichen and moss. Despite the intense heat, it had not entirely thawed.
“This is tundra,” said my fellow traveler.
“Tundra? What is tundra?” asked I.
“Tundra is a huge, forever frozen wetland covering the entire coast of the Arctic Ocean.
It's taken me no time to see, just how much you really mean to me. [Name], it's taken less than a week to realize i want you in my life, And not just as a friend, I don't want to watch as another guys wanders into your life and sweeps you off your feet,Call me selfish, but I'm the only boy I want to see you with, I don't want another boy to hold you in his arms, and push your hair behind your ear, and call you beautiful, I don't want another boy to kiss you gently on the forhead and tell you his feelings about you are indescribable through words. I don't want another boy to hold your hand. I want to be the boy who gets to do all of those things. I want to be the boy who gets to call you his, more than anything. I'm not perfect, I'm far from it. but i know that im going to treat you as perfect as possible, and i knowi'm never once going to let you down. I'm going to give you everything you deserve, and im going to make you the happiest girl in the world, Because, to me you're so much more than just every other girl. You're perfect. There's many girls in the world but none of them are you, And you're the only one I've fallen for so fast, and you're the only one i know for a fact i want to call mine. There's just so much about you that has pushed me off the edge, and made me fall harder than I have before. Your eyes for example those beautiful eys of yours, I have never seen anthing as beautiful in my life as your eyes. That gorgeous,color that just makes illuminates beauty, and makes my heart stop, And youre smile, I have no idea why you dont show it off to everyone. You told me you don't like your smile, but i have no idea how you couldn't, It's pefect. I could look at that smile all day long, and i mean it. I never want to see your face without it, because that smile is absolutely beautiful. There's so much about you, that's unique to you, that makes you who you are, and makes you so perfect. There's no other girl on this entire planet that has the same eyes, and smile, you do, And that's reason enough for me to want you, and no toher girl, And that's why defines you from every other girl, how beautiful you really are.I understand, any guy could tell you you're beautiful, but I'm not any guy. I'm me, and im not just telling you you're beautiful, [Name], I'm telling you you're the most beautiful girl in the whole world, and I want you to believe me when i tell you that, I want you to see youself as beautiful as I see you, I want to look you in the eyes, face to face, and tell you you're the most beautiful girl in the whole world, then hold you close to me, and never let you go, I don't want you to think I'm another guy who's going to lie to you, and break your heart. I want you to believe I really do mean all of this, because I do, with all of my heart, I want to spend nights with you in my arms, i want to kiss you on the forhead every night before bed, I want to try and put my feelings for you into words, just to see that beautiful smile of yours, I want to call you mine, and no one else's, I want you, and no one else, and I can't stress how much i really mean that. Imagine laying in the snow, on a calm winter night, looking up at a clear, starry, full moon night, holding hands, not speaking a word, just laying beside one another, listening, to a gentle breeze, taking in how beautiful stars, and the moon are, Feeling completely at peace with everything, like we're in a land far away from everything, and nothing could possibly take that away that feeling of safety , and complete inner happiness. That's howw I'd describe my feelings for you are. Absolutely perfect in every way. If I am lucky enough to see you tomorrow, I'm going to take your breath away, and prove to you I really am the boy who you deserve. I'm going to make you the happiest girl in the entire world. I feel like I may be falling for you way to fast, and way to soon, but I don't care. not one bit, I've never been so sure of anything.
Jessi (Poetry: The Inner Mind)