Carnal embrace is the practice of throwing one's arms around a side of beef.
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Carnal embrace is the practice of throwing one’s arms around a side of beef.

-Tom Stoppard

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She wanted to touch him, to throw her arms around him — but something held her back. Maybe it was the fear that her arms would pass right through him, that she would have come all this way only to find a ghost after all.As though he’d been able to read her thoughts, he slowly angled toward her. He raised his hands and held his palms out to her.Isobel lifted her own hands to mirror his.He pressed their palms together, his fingers folding down to lace through hers.She felt a rush of warmth course through her, a relief as pure and sweet as spring rain.He was real. This was real. She had found him. She could touch him. She could feel him. Finally they were together.Finally, finally, they could forget this wasted world and go home."I knew it wasn’t true", she whispered. "I knew you wouldn’t stop believing." He drew her close.Leaning into him, she felt him press his lips to her forehead in a kiss. As he spoke, the cool metal of his lip ring grazed her skin, causing a shudder to ripple through her."You..."His voice, low and breathy, reverberated through her, down to the thin soles of her slippers."You think you’re different", he said.She felt his hands tighten around hers, gripping hard, too hard.A streak of violet lightning split the sky, striking close behind them.The house, Isobel thought. It had been struck. She could hear it cracking apart. She looked for only a brief moment, long enough to watch it split open."But you’re not", Varen said, calling her attention back to him.Isobel winced, her own hands surrendering under the suddenly crushing pressure of his hold.A face she did not recognize stared down at her, one twisted with anger — with hate."You", he scarcely more than breathed, "are just like every.Body. Else."He moved so fast. Before she could register his words or the fact that she had once spoken them to him herself, he jerked her to one side.Isobel felt her feet part from the rocks.Weightlessness took hold of her as she swung out and over the ledge of the cliff.As he let her go.The wind whistled its high and lonely song in her ears.She fell away into the oblivion of the storm until she could no longer see the cliff — could no longer see him.Only the slip of the pink ribbon as it unraveled from her wrist, floating up and away from her and out of sight forever.

-Kelly Creagh

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