I know what it feels like to miss everything about him--the way he smells, the way his mouth curls up when he laughs, his voice.
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I know what it feels like to miss everything about him–the way he smells, the way his mouth curls up when he laughs, his voice.

-Travis Neighbor

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I am in Love with you, it’s me who is in love with you not you,I am in love with you.Not in a way i wanted to but yeah the way I am fond toHey i am in love with you,not treating you like i wanted to but just being the one that thought of toyeah I am in love with you,Loving you was the secrete i wanted to keepand buried deep inside my emotional heap,Doing everything possible what i had toBut baby it hurts as it hurts you too,but yeah still i am in love with you,Pulled myself million times coz i got the wrong vibe all the time,but the truth remains the samebaby hear me as i am in love with you,Waiting on you I could see people were laughing on meI knew all the while you weren't near me.But you should know that I am in love with youThere were some days I missed you a lot and scared to tell you how i feel cold and hotfor you as i am in love with you is the only dreamAnd then I am in love with youi remember i have cried to sleepand bagged myself to keep you awayfrom the highest steepthe voice that said from within me I am in love with youJust I LOVE YOU was the only words I wanna hear from youeven while knowing, you don’t mean tocoz simply I feel the way I wanted toLoving to say i am in love with you.wake up in the morning with only you in my mind till i sleep at deep way in the nightI know its all silly things for your kindbut its perfect to me as clearly - deeply in love with youWhen you being nice to me that scares me sometimesbut bottom in my heart it feels so nice coz during that timei am in love with you,Doesn't matter whatever i do with you even things i have never done beforeand i enjoyed them all coz simply as I am in love with you.In the first waiting on you was the favorite thing in my dayweather it s a call or just a look from you from the farthest bayI asked myself why and the voice within me said that i am in love with you.

-Trushti

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It’s funny, how for an entire lifetime we keep thinking ‘How’ will our life-partner look like, how will he be? How will he react to a particular situation? How will he get angry, and how will we love and pamper him? We have so many questions like if he will accept me the way I am? Or if I have to change for him? We all have made plans for our future, subconsciously. We don’t exactly plan out everything with a pen and paper, it’s something that happens automatically, just like an involuntary action. Whenever we are alone and our mood is good, we usually think about our life with our partner. The days and nights in his arms, and the time that we will reserve for him.But when all that turns into reality, it’s strikingly different. Everything that you thought, seems to be a joke, and life laughs at you from a distance! You are helpless and can’t do anything about it, but have to accept it the way it is. You are totally caught into a web of dilemmas and problems before you realize that this is the time you waited for, and that this is the time you dreamt about! You have to make efforts, compromises, sacrifices and you have to change yourselves too sometimes to make things work.You can never expect to get a partner exactly the way you thought or dreamt about. It’s always different in reality and it’s always tough to make both ends meet for a relationship to work, but you have to! It’s your relationship, if you won’t work for it, who else will?

-Mehek Bassi

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It made me shiver. And I about made up my mind to pray, and see if I couldn't try to quit being the kind of a boy I was and be better. So I kneeled down. But the words wouldn't come. Why wouldn't they? It warn't no use to try and hide it from Him. Nor from ME, neither. I knowed very well why they wouldn't come. It was because my heart warn't right; it was because I warn't square; it was because I was playing double. I was letting ON to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all. I was trying to make my mouth SAY I would do the right thing and the clean thing, and go and write to that nigger's owner and tell where he was; but deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie--I found that out. So I was full of trouble, full as I could be; and didn't know what to do. At last I had an idea; and I says, I'll go and write the letter--and then see if I can pray. Why, it was astonishing, the way I felt as light as a feather right straight off, and my troubles all gone. So I got a piece of paper and a pencil, all glad and excited, and set down and wrote:Miss Watson, your runaway nigger Jim is down here two mile below Pikesville, and Mr. Phelps has got him and he will give him up for the reward if you send.HUCK FINN.I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now. But I didn't do it straight off, but laid the paper down and set there thinking--thinking how good it was all this happened so, and how near I come to being lost and going to hell. And went on thinking. And got to thinking over our trip down the river; and I see Jim before me all the time: in the day and in the night-time, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms, and we a-floating along, talking and singing and laughing. But somehow I couldn't seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I'd see him standing my watch on top of his'n, 'stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey, and pet me and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had small-pox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the ONLY one he's got now; and then I happened to look around and see that paper.It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself:"All right, then, I'll GO to hell"--and tore it up.

-Mark Twain

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It's like Romeo & Juliet,' I say. 'You can't separate them. Otherwise, there would be no Shakespeare.' Silence. 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

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When you got captured, I didn't know..." He trailed off, had to chug whiskey before he could continue. "If it'd be like...""What?""Like it was with Clotile.""Oh, Jackson, no. I was okay. I'm unharmed.""Didn't know if I'd get there too late," he said with a shudder. Then he crossed over to me, until we stood toe-to-toe. "Evie, if you ever get taken from me again, you better know that I'll be coming for you." He cupped my face with a bloodstained hand. "So you stay the hell alive! You don't do like Clotile, you doan take that way out. You and me can get through anything, just give me a chance."--his voice broke lower "just give me a chance to get to you." He buried his face in my hair, inhaling deeply. "There is nothing that can happen to you that we can't get past."..."When you say we...?"He pulled back, gazing down at me, his eyes blazing. "I'm goan to lay it all out there for you. Laugh in my face--I don't care. But I'm goan to get this off my chest.""I won't laugh. I'm listening.""Evie, I've wanted you from the first time I saw you. Even when I hated you, I wanted you." He raked his fingers through his hair. "I got it bad, me." My heart felt like it'd stopped--so that I could hear him better."For as long as you've been looking down your nose at me, I've been craving you, an envie like I've never known.""I don't look down at you! I'm too busy looking up to you."..."The corners of his lips curled for an instant before he grew serious again. "You asked me if I had that phone with your pictures, if I'd looked at it. Damn right, I did! I saw you playing with a dog at the beach, and doing a crazy-ass flip off a high dive, and making faces for the camera. I learned about you"- his voice grew hoarse -"and I wanted more of you. To see you every day." With a humourless laugh, he admitted, "After the Flash, I was constantly sourcing ways to charge a goddamned phone--that would never make a call."I murmured, "I didn't know...I couldn't be sure.""It's you for me, peekon.

-Kresley Cole

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Jenks and I stood there like statues watching him twitch, his eyes rolling up in his head. He clutched at his clothes pulling the wooden pole they hung from down on top of him. Slowly his right hand came scrambling out away from his body to clutch at my left leg. Without thinking I shoved my crucifix at him and he pulled his hand back with a hiss, shielding his face again. As quickly as I could, I dug my tubes of Holy Water out of my coat pocket and emptied them on his head. He shrieked again and clawed at his face. Jenks followed suit, pouring his two vials on Skorzeny's body and legs. Skorzeny started to foam and bubble before our eyes.I was paralyzed. I couldn't quite believe what was happening. Those books hadn't described any of this. I was feeling dizzy and sick. The shrieks turned to groans and a gurgling deep in his throat. He pulled his hands away from his face and it looked like the disintegrating Portrait of Dorian Gray. I looked over to Jenks who had an odd expression on his face.I looked over to Jenks who had on odd expression on his face. He motioned to me and reached for my left hand which, I noticed, was still clutching the airline hag with the stake and hammer in it. I dropped it and he grabbed it off the floor, moving over to the smoking form still squirming in the closet which smelled even more foul than before, and oozing a greenish yellow pus from the crumpled clothing on his scarecrow frame.Jenks looked back at me and handed me the stake and hammer. 'Go ahead. This was your idea. Finish it.' I declined, turning away.Jenks spun me around violently and thrust the stake into my left hand. He pushed me toward what was left of Skorzeny and forced me to my knees. He forced my hand toward Skorzeny, positioning the stake over the man's chest. Then he stuck the hammer in my right hand.'Do it, you gutless sonofabitch. Finish it... now!' And he stepped away.I looked at him and back at Skorzeny. Then I gave one vicious swing and hit the stake dead center. The thing made a gurgling grunt, like a pig snuffling for food, and started to regurgitate a blackish fluid from its mouth. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and hit the stake three more times. Then I fell back and threw up.When I looked back, Skorzeny's hands, or what was left of them, clutched at the stake trying to pull it out. Suddenly, he emitted a kind of moaning, sucking sound, gagged and more bile-colored liquid flecked with black and red came coiling up in a viscous rope like some evil worm from his mouth. And he stopped moving, his hands still clutching the stake.Then a sort of gaseous mist started to rise from his body and it was so much worse than the original smell that I pushed Jenks aside and ran from the house. I ran all the way to a patrol car where I slumped against the left front wheel as Jenks slowly strolled toward me. He walked past me, ignoring me, and opened his trunk, taking out a couple of small gas cans, and headed back to the house. I wasn't paying much attention until he left the house again and I saw it was aflame.

-Jeff Rice

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I know that everyone in this room, Bernie Fain included, thinks I'm some kind of a nut with my so-called fixation on this vampire thing. OK, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe he only thinks he is. But there are things here that can't be explained away by so-called common sense. Not even Bernie's report can explain some of them.'I was at the hospital yesterday.' I looked directly at Butcher. 'Your own people fired maybe fifty or sixty rounds at him, some at point-blank range. How come this man never even slowed down? How come a man seventy years old can outrun police cars for more than fifteen blocks? How come when he gets clubbed on the head he doesn't bleed like other people? Look at these photos! There's a gash on his forehead... and whatever is trickling down from the cut is clear... it isn't blood.'How come three great, big, burly hospital orderlies weighing an estimated total of nearly seven-hundred fifty pounds couldn't bring one, skinny one-hundred sixty pound man to his knees? How come an ex-boxer, a light-heavyweight not long out of the ring, couldn't even faze him with his best punch, a right hook that should have broken his jaw?'Face it. Whether it's science, witchcraft or black magic, this character has got something going for him you don't know anything about. He doesn't seem to feel pain. Or get winded. And he doesn't seem to be very frightened by guns, or discouraged by your efforts to trap him.'Look at these photos! Look at that face! That isn't fear there. It's hate. Pure hate! This man is evil incarnate. He is insane and he may be something even worse although you'd laugh at me because I have no scientific documentation to back me up. Hell, even Regenhaus and Mokurji have all but confirmed that he sucks blood.'Whatever he is, he's been around a long time and this seems to be the closest any police force has come to putting the finger on him. If you want to go on operating the way you've been doing by treating him like an ordinary man, go ahead. But, I'll bet you any amount of money you come up empty handed again. If you try to catch him at night he'll get away just like he did last night. He'll...''Jesus Christ!' bellowed Butcher. 'This son of a bitch has diarrhea of the mouth. Can't one of you people shut him up?

-Jeff Rice

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ah yes I know them well who was the first person in the universe before there was anybody that made it all who ah that they dont know neither do I so there you are they might as well try to stop the sun from rising tomorrow the sun shines for you he said the day we were lying among the rhododendrons on Howth head in the grey tweed suit and his straw hat the day I got him to propose to me yes first I gave him the bit of seedcake out of my mouth and it was leapyear like now yes 16 years ago my God after that long kiss I nearlost my breath yes he said I was a flower of the mountain yes so we areflowers all a womans body yes that was one true thing he said in his lifeand the sun shines for you today yes that was why I liked him because Isaw he understood or felt what a woman is and I knew I could always getround him and I gave him all the pleasure I could leading him on till heasked me to say yes and I wouldnt answer first only looked out over thesea and the sky I was thinking of so many things he didnt know of Mulveyand Mr Stanhope and Hester and father and old captain Groves and thesailors playing all birds fly and I say stoop and washing up dishes theycalled it on the pier and the sentry in front of the governors house withthe thing round his white helmet poor devil half roasted and the Spanishgirls laughing in their shawls and their tall combs and the auctions inthe morning the Greeks and the jews and the Arabs and the devil knows whoelse from all the ends of Europe and Duke street and the fowl market allclucking outside Larby Sharons and the poor donkeys slipping half asleepand the vague fellows in the cloaks asleep in the shade on the steps andthe big wheels of the carts of the bulls and the old castle thousands ofyears old yes and those handsome Moors all in white and turbans likekings asking you to sit down in their little bit of a shop and Ronda withthe old windows of the posadas glancing eyes a lattice hid for herlover to kiss the iron and the wineshops half open at night and thecastanets and the night we missed the boat at Algeciras the watchmangoing about serene with his lamp and O that awful deepdown torrent O andthe sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets andthe figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streetsand the pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and thejessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I wasa Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like theAndalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed meunder the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and thenI asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would Iyes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yesand drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes andhis heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

-James Joyce

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But what I would like to know," says Albert, "is whether there would not have been a war if the Kaiser had said No.""I'm sure there would," I interject, "he was against it from the first.""Well, if not him alone, then perhaps if twenty or thirty people in the world had said No.""That's probable," I agree, "but they damned well said Yes.""It's queer, when one thinks about it," goes on Kropp, "we are here to protect our fatherland. And the French are over there to protect their fatherland. Now who's in the right?""Perhaps both," say I without believing it."Yes, well now," pursues Albert, and I see that he means to drive me into a corner, "but our professors and parsons and newspapers say that we are the only ones that are right, and let's hope so;--but the French professors and parsons and newspapers say that the right is on their side, now what about that?""That I don't know," I say, "but whichever way it is there's war all the same and every month more countries coming in."Tjaden reappears. He is still quite excited and again joins the conversation, wondering just how a war gets started."Mostly by one country badly offending another," answers Albert with a slight air of superiority.Then Tjaden pretends to be obtuse. "A country? I don't follow. A mountain in Germany cannot offend a mountain in France. Or a river, or a wood, or a field of wheat.""Are you really as stupid as that, or are you just pulling my leg?" growls Kropp, "I don't mean that at all. One people offends the other--""Then I haven't any business here at all," replies Tjaden, "I don't feel myself offended.""Well, let me tell you," says Albert sourly, "it doesn't apply to tramps like you.""Then I can be going home right away," retorts Tjaden, and we all laugh, "Ach, man! he means the people as a whole, the State--" exclaims Mller."State, State"--Tjaden snaps his fingers contemptuously, "Gendarmes, police, taxes, that's your State;--if that's what you are talking about, no, thank you.""That's right," says Kat, "you've said something for once, Tjaden. State and home-country, there's a big difference.""But they go together," insists Kropp, "without the State there wouldn't be any home-country.""True, but just you consider, almost all of us are simple folk. And in France, too, the majority of men are labourers, workmen, or poor clerks. Now just why would a French blacksmith or a French shoemaker want to attack us? No, it is merely the rulers. I had never seen a Frenchman before I came here, and it will be just the same with the majority of Frenchmen as regards us. They weren't asked about it any more than we were.""Then what exactly is the war for?" asks Tjaden.Kat shrugs his shoulders. "There must be some people to whom the war is useful.""Well, I'm not one of them," grins Tjaden."Not you, nor anybody else here.""Who are they then?" persists Tjaden. "It isn't any use to the Kaiser either. He has everything he can want already.""I'm not so sure about that," contradicts Kat, "he has not had a war up till now. And every full-grown emperor requires at least one war, otherwise he would not become famous. You look in your school books.""And generals too," adds Detering, "they become famous through war.""Even more famous than emperors," adds Kat."There are other people back behind there who profit by the war, that's certain," growls Detering."I think it is more of a kind of fever," says Albert. "No one in particular wants it, and then all at once there it is. We didn't want the war, the others say the same thing--and yet half the world is in it all the same.

-Erich Maria

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She loved him. But he didn’t know how to love.He could talk about love. He could see love and feel love. But he couldn’t give love.He could make love. But he couldn’t make promises.She had desperately wanted his promises.She wanted his heart, knew she couldn’t have it so she took what she could get.Temporary bliss. Passionate highs and lows. Withdrawal and manipulation.He only stayed long enough to take what he needed and keep moving.If he stopped moving, he would self-destruct.If he stopped wandering, he would have to face himself.He chose to stay in the dark where he couldn’t see.If he exposed himself and the sun came out, he’d see his shadow.He was deathly afraid of his shadow.She saw his shadow, loved it, understood it. Saw potential in it.She thought her love would change him.He pushed and he pulled, tested boundaries, thinking she would never leave.He knew he was hurting her, but didn’t know how to share anything but pain.He was only comfortable in chaos. Claiming souls before they could claim him.Her love, her body, she had given to him and he’d taken with such feigned sincerity, absorbing every drop of her.His dark heart concealed.She’d let him enter her spirit and stroke her soul where everything is love and sensation and surrender.Wide open, exposed to deception.It had never occurred to her that this desire was not love.It was blinding the way she wanted him.She couldn’t see what was really happening, only what she wanted to happen.She suspected that he would always seek to minimize the risk of being split open, his secrets revealed.He valued his soul’s privacy far more than he valued the intimacy of sincere connection so he kept his distance at any and all costs.Intimacy would lead to his undoing—in his mind, an irrational and indulgent mistake.When she discovered his indiscretions, she threw love in his face and beat him with it.Somewhere deep down, in her labyrinth, her intricacy, the darkest part of her soul, she relished the mayhem.She felt a sense of privilege for having such passion in her life.He stirred her core.The place she dared not enter.The place she could not stir for herself.But something wasn’t right.His eyes were cold and dark.His energy, unaffected.He laughed at her and her antics, told her she was a mess.Frantic, she looked for love hiding in his eyes, in his face, in his stance, and she found nothing but disdain.And her heart stopped.

-G.G. Renee

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I know I want you," he heard himself say, all his vows and his honor all forgotten. She stood before him naked as her name day, and he was as hard as the rock around them. He had been in her half a hundred times by now, but always beneath furs, with others all around them. He had never seeen how beautiful she was. Her legs were skinny and well muscled, the hair at the juncture of her thighs a brighter red than that on her head. Does that make it even luckier? He pulled her close. "I love the smell of you," he said. "I love your red hair. I love your mouth, and the way you kiss me. I love your smile. I love your teats." He kissed them, one and then the other. "I love your skinny legs, and what's between them." He knelt to kiss her there, lightly on her mound at first, but Ygritte moved her legs apart a little, and he saw the pink inside and kissed that as well, and tasted her. She gave a little gasp. "If you love me all so much, why are you still dressed?" she whispered. "You know nothing, Jon Snow. Noth---oh. Oh. OHHH."Afterward, she was almost shy, or as shy as Ygritte ever got. "The thing you did," she said, when they lay together on their piled clothes. "With your...mouth." She hesistated. "Is that...is it what lordss do to their ladies, down in the south?""I don't think so." No one had ever told Jon just what lords did with their ladies. "I only...wanted to kiss you there, that's all. You seemed to like it.""Aye. I...I liked it some. No one taught you such?""There's been no one," he confessed. "Only you.

-George R.R.

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I'd like you to see that we are interfering too drastically. WE can't just assume so completely that Azerbaijan is in the hands of dangerous men and vicious Bolsheviks. I suppose it's all in the way you see Iran. I'd like you to see that Iranians are just as serious about their politics as we are: perhaps more so. The Iranian is a vigorous individual with definite ideas about the right and wrong done to him. It's easy for these journalists to laugh at the idea of political spontaneity among the Iranians because they look on these people as dirty, stupid, childlike natives who stare open-mouthed while the wonders of the west are offered to them.…...They are not like that at all. They want proper government, the same as anybody else. They have certainly tried hard enough to get it, but they haven't had a chance. We have done a great deal to prevent them getting real government. It may shock you, but we have always wanted corrupt administrations. Since the Reuter concessions sixty years ago we have begaved like American gangsters using threats, money, and even war to extort privileges and concessions which amounted to owning the country. At one time we had complete control over the administration, over the entire wealth of the land, the banks, and the army. It's rather silly to say the Iranians are un-political when you realize how quickly we had to hand back those concessions. This country rose to a man against us. We gave in hastily, but we managed to cling desperately to our oil concessions. [MacGregor]I think you are worrying yourself unduly [Essex]. We can't be too bad an influence. We may not be reformers ourselves... but we do not fight people who are really trying to improve the country. You must admit that we did not resist the last Shah, and he certainly reformed the place as best as it could be reformed.[MacGregor] It has become a habit to pass all compliments to Reza Shah,...even though we dethroned him. All reforms and modernizations are supposed to be his idea. Yet he simply took over the power of a popular revolution which we resisted at the time. He took power as a despot and he was little better than his predecessors. These people are getting fed up with despots. They obviously want to achieve some kind of better government, particularly in Azerbaijan.… That revolt in Azerbaijan doesn't have to be a Russian idea. It is really the continuation of five or six revolutions, all of them trying to get rid of corrupt governments. This time they seen to be succeeding. Our idea is to stop it.... Every level of government in Iran is corrupt from top to bottom, including the court, the police, and the parliament. Government is organized corruption. The ministers prey on the population like buzzards; they arragne taxes, laws, finances, famines; everything to the purpose of making money. The last Shah might have wiped out some of it; but that meant he became the biggest grafter of them all. He controlled the little fellows, and took the best of everything for himself. By the end of his rule he owned about a fifth of this entire country. He is not the hero we think he is, and his police regime was as brutal as anything the Germans had. Though we co-operated with him, he was a little tougher than the others and he always held out for more. Once, he threatened to wipe out our oil concession but we brought him off. He could always be bought off, like all the other grafters.

-James Aldridge

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Except fang. I glared at him. "Go on, try to stop me, I dare you." It was like the old days when we used to wrestle, each trying to get the better of the other. I was ready to take him down, my hands curled into fist. "I was just going to say be careful," Fang told me. He stepped closer and brushed some hair out of my eyes. "And I've got your back." He motioned with his head toward the torpedo chamber. Oh my God. It hit me like a tsunami then, how perfect he was for me, how no one else would ever, could ever, be so perfect for me, how he was everything I could possibly hope for, as a friend, boyfriend, maybe even more. He was it for me. There would be no more looking. I really, really loved him, with a whole new kind of love I'd never felt before, something that made every other kind of love I'd ever felt feel washed out and wimpy in comparison. I loved him with every cell in my body, every thought in my head, every feather in my wings, every breathe in my lungs. and air sacs. Too bad I was going out to face almost certain death. Right there in front of everyone, I threw my arms around his neck and smashed my mouth against his. He was startled for a second, then his strong arms wrapped around me so tightly I could hardly breathe. "ZOMG," I heard Nudge whisper, but still fang and I kissed slanting our heads this way and that to get closer. I could have stood there and kissed him happily for the next millennium, but Angel, or what was left of her was still out there in the could dark ocean. Reluctantly, I ended the kiss, took a step back. Fang's obsidian eyes were glittering brightly and his stoic face had a look of wonder on it."Gotta go," I said quietly. A half smile quirked his mouth. "Yeah. Hurry back." I nodded and he stepped out of the air lock chamber, keeping his eyes fixed on me, memorizing me as he hit the switch that sealed the chamber. The doors hissed shut with a kind of finality, and I realized that my heart was beating so hard it felt like it was going to start snapping ribs. I was scared. I was crazily, deeply, incredibly, joyously, terrifyingly in love. I was on a death mission. Before my head simply exploded from so much emotion, I hit the large button that pressurized the air lock enough for the doors to open to the ocean outside. I really, really hoped that I would prove somewhat uncrushable, like Angel did. The door cracked open below me and I saw the first dark glint of frigid water.

-James Patterson

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What do you know about me, Isabeau?" He leaned forward, and I forced myself to stay still instead of shying away. He was so close that I could smell the subtle notes of his cologne: musk and wood with a hint of leather. What did he want me to say? That everyone said he was an ogre? Or that they all wanted to sleep with him anyway?"I...""Go on. You won't hurt my feelings." He was still smiling, slight dimples visible in both cheeks. The sight was destracting, to say the least."I know that you're the youngest CEO and partner in the company's history, and I know that you earned the spot by working your way up after graduate school instead of using your inheritance as a crutch.""Everyone knows that. What do you know about me? The real stuff. None of this press release bullshit."I looked down at my hands, anything not to have to look up at his face so close to me. "Um. People say... they say that you're scary. And that your assistants don't last long."He laughed, a deep, warm sound that seemed to fill up the office. I glanced up to see him smirking at me. I relaxed my grip on the desk a little. Maybe I wasn't being fired after all."What else do they say?"Oh, God. He can't possibly want me to tell him everything. Does he? The look on his face confirmed that he did. It was clear by the way he looked at me that I wasn't leaving this office until I gave him exactly what he wanted."They say. Um... They say that you're very, uh, good looking... and impossible to please.""Oh they do, do they?" He sat back, and tented his fingers beneath his chin. "Well, do you agree with them? Do you think I'm scary, handsome and woefully unsatisfied?"My mouth dropped open, and I quickly closed it with a snap. "Yes. I mean, no! I mean, I don't know..."He stood, then, and leaned in close, towering over me. "You were right the first time."Anxiety coursed through me, but I have to admit, being this close to him, smelling his scent and feeling the heat radiating off his body, it made me wonder what it would be like to be in his arms. To be his. To be owned by him...His face was almost touching mine when he whispered to me. "I am unsatisfied, Isabeau. I want you to be my new assistant. Will you do that for me? Will you be at my beck and call?"My breath left me as his words sunk in. When I finally regained it, I felt like I was trembling from head to toe. His beck and call."Wh-what about your old assistant?"Mr. Drake leaned back again and took my chin in his hand, forcing my eyes to his. "What about her? I want you."His touch on my skin was electric. Are we still talking about business? "Yes, Mr. Drake."His thumb stroked my cheek for the briefest of moments, and then he released me, breathless, and wondering what I'd just agreed to.

-Delilah Fawkes

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