Her name had the likeness of a name. She had the likeness of a woman, with hands but no face at all, since she never let herself see it. She had the likeness of a life, because she was all alone in it. She lived in the likeness of a house, with walls and a roof and a door that kept nothing in and nothing out.
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Her name had the likeness of a name. She had the likeness of a woman, with hands but no face at all, since she never let herself see it. She had the likeness of a life, because she was all alone in it. She lived in the likeness of a house, with walls and a roof and a door that kept nothing in and nothing out.

-Marilynne Robinson

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-Sarah Dessen

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Lucinda might sneak from her own house at midnight to place a wager somewhere else, but she dared not touch the pack that lay in her own sideboard. She knew how passionate he had become about his 'weakness.' She dared not even ask him how it was he had reversed his opinions on the matter. But, oh, how she yearned to discuss it with him, how much she wished to deal a hand on a grey wool blanket. There would be no headaches then, only this sweet consummation of their comradeship.But she said not a word. And although she might have her 'dainty' shoes tossed to the floor, have her bare toes quite visible through her stockings, have a draught of sherry in her hand, in short appear quite radical, she was too timid, she thought, too much a mouse, to reveal her gambler's heart to him. She did not like this mouselike quality. As usual, she found herself too careful, too held in.Once she said: 'I wish I had ten sisters and a big kitchen to laugh in.'Her lodger frowned and dusted his knees.She thought: He is as near to a sister as I am likely to get, but he does not understand.She would have had a woman friend so they could brush each other's hair, and just, please God, put aside this great clanking suit of ugly armor.She kept her glass dreams from him, even whilst she appeared to talk about them. He was an admiring listener, but she only showed him the opaque skin of her dreams--window glass, the price of transporting it, the difficulties with builders who would not pay their bills inside six months. He imagined this was her business, and of course it was, but all the things she spoke of were a fog across its landscape which was filled with such soaring mountains she would be embarrassed to lay claim to them. Her true ambition, the one she would not confess to him, was to build something Extraordinary and Fine from glass and cast iron. A conservatory, but not a conservatory. Glass laced with steel, spun like a spider web--the idea danced around the periphery of her vision, never long enough to be clear. When she attempted to make a sketch, it became diminished, wooden, inelegant. Sometimes, in her dreams, she felt she had discovered its form, but if she had, it was like an improperly fixed photograph which fades when exposed to daylight. She was wise enough, or foolish enough, to believe this did not matter, that the form would present itself to her in the end.

-Peter Carey

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No,” she breathes. The smell of her turns to spice, sharp and warm, and I know I’m sensing her now, even through the block in the house.We stand like that for an eternity, still as statues on the outside, but inside I’m running, running toward a place I’ve never been. I should be terrified. But all I feel is strength. Rightness.And then Kara moves, her hands skimming up my chest, testing the boundaries. Her palms slide to my shoulders, her fingers tracing the line of the muscles in my arms, down to my waist. She grips my shirt, stretching it a little, waiting for me to tell her to stop. But I watch her lift it, let her pull it up, raising my arms, and I even take the last of it off myself, dropping it to the floor.We breathe, staring at each other.The vibrations move between us. My left arm buzzes with them. I think she’s doing it. Whatever’s happening, it’s her.I reach up and brush my marked knuckles across her cheek, amazed at the feel of her, the way her eyes seem to see everything, the way she pulls me into her. I can’t seem to remember why I shouldn’t kiss her. And kiss her. And . . .I kiss her, taking her face in both hands, skimming my thumb over her jaw as she leans into the touch, reaching out to curl her fingers around the back of my neck. I have to remind myself to breathe. I need more of her. The emotions roll over me in a rush, a tangle of sensation and movement, heat and sugar and heady aromas.I grip her tighter.Her nails dig into my shoulders. My hands slide down her spine. The kiss deepens, goes on forever, until I can barely see sense. I explore her shape, the feel of her ribs, the textures and taste of her skin on my tongue as I kiss her neck, her shoulders, her chest. As I draw trembling gasps from her lips, she grips me so hard it hurts.Our bodies mesh. Our breath mingles in frenzied desperation. Nothing else exists except her. Her warmth. Her spice. Her.

-Rachel A.

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Cabal. Cabal. Cabal. I summon you to me. Now."Simi and Kody exchanged a look that said he was as crazy as he suddenly felt when nothing happened.Great, Dad. I can look stupid on my own. Didn't really need you to help out on that front.That was his thought until he heard a curse and something slammed into him, knocking him against the wall. Nick shoved his attacker away, then froze as he looked into a pair of familiar, startled brown eyes.Now this was the giant badass-tough demon that Nick was used to."Malphas?"Tense and braced to fight, Caleb turned around slowly, surveying every aspect of his new surroundings. He paused as he faced Kody and Simi. "Where the heck am I? And how did I get here?"Kody pointed to Nick. "Apparently, Nick summoned you.""Nick?" Caleb glanced right past Nick and kept searching the room with his gaze. "Our Nick? Where is the little booger?"She gestured even more exaggeratedly at Nick's position. "Right there."Caleb's jaw went slack as he faced him."Nick?""Caleb?"The word had barely left his lips before Caleb grabbed him into a bear hug and held him tight. Which was extremely awkward and gross. Completely weirded out by it, Nick tried to disentangle himself from the demon. It wasn't like Caleb to show any emotion toward him other than irritation or frustration. Sometimes anger."Stop C! If you're going to hug me like this, you got to buy me dinner first, boy. And it's got to be someplace nice, like Antoine's or Brennan's. I ain't easy or cheap."Laughing, Caleb stepped back and narrowed his eyes on Nick as he held him by his arms. "Dude . . . did you lose a bet with a sorcerer or something?"Nick gave him a droll smirk. "Don't taunt me now that I know your real name. I'm told I can do some damage to you with that. Make you fetch my slippers and stuff.

-Sherrilyn Kenyon

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Men, Kellhus had once told her, were like coins: they had two sides. Where one side of them saw, the other side of them was seen, and though all men were both at once, men could only truly know the side of themselves that saw and the side of others that was seen—they could only truly know the inner half of themselves and the outer half of others.At first Esmenet thought this foolish. Was not the inner half the whole, what was only imperfectly apprehended by others? But Kellhus bid her to think of everything she’d witnessed in others. How many unwitting mistakes? How many flaws of character? Conceits couched in passing remarks. Fears posed as judgements …The shortcomings of men—their limits—were written in the eyes of those who watched them. And this was why everyone seemed so desperate to secure the good opinion of others—why everyone played the mummer. They knew without knowing that what they saw of themselves was only half of who they were. And they were desperate to be whole.The measure of wisdom, Kellhus had said, was found in the distance between these two selves.Only afterward had she thought of Kellhus in these terms. With a kind of surpriseless shock, she realized that not once—not once!—had she glimpsed shortcomings in his words or actions. And this, she understood, was why he seemed limitless, like the ground, which extended from the small circle about her feet to the great circle about the sky. He had become her horizon.For Kellhus, there was no distance between seeing and being seen. He alone was whole. And what was more, he somehow stood from without and saw from within. He made whole …

-R. Scott

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