The first time she saw Jag Silvertree she was watering the garden, and her clematis got soaked as she dreamt of melting into his face. The second time she saw Jag she knew she would never feel his angular jaw against her thighs. For Jag Silvertree carried around with him a hurt that she figured would stand out in a field of wounded soldiers.
There is a code of behavior, she knew, whose seventh article (it may be) says that on occasions of this sort it behooves the woman, whatever her own occupation may be, to go to the help of the young man opposite so that he may expose and relieve the thigh bones, the ribs, of his vanity, of his urgent desire to assert himself; as indeed it is their duty, she reflected, in her old maidenly fairness, to help us, suppose the Tube were to burst into flames. Then, she thought, I should certainly expect Mr. Tansley to get me out. But how would it be, she thought, if neither of us did either of these things? So she sat there smiling.
Far rather would she that he were dead! She could not sit beside him when he stared so and did not see her and made everything terrible; sky and tree, children playing, dragging carts, blowing whistles, falling down; all were terrible. And he would not kill himself; and she could tell no one. "Septimus has been working too hard"––that was all she could say to her own mother. To love makes one solitary, she thought. She could tell nobody, not even Septimus now, and looking back, she saw him sitting in his shabby overcoat alone, on the seat, hunched up, staring. And it was cowardly for a man to say he would kill himself, but Septimus had fought; he was brave; he was not Septimus now. She put on her lace collar. She put on her new hat and he never noticed; and he was happy without her. Nothing could make her happy without him! Nothing! He was selfish. So men are.
The death of her father and mother and the rich acres of and that had come down to her had set a train of suitors on her heels. For two years she saw suitors almost every evening. Except two they were all alike. They talked to her of passion and there was a strained eager quality in their voices and in their eyes when they looked at her. The two who were different were much unlike each other. One of them, a slender young man with white hands, the son of a jeweler in Winesburg, talked continually of virginity. When he was with her he was never off the subject. The other, a black-haired boy with large ears, said nothing at all but always managed to get her into the darkness, where he began to kiss her.For a time the tall dark girl thought she would marry the jeweler's son. For hours she sat in silence listening as he talked to her and then she began to be afraid of something. Beneath his talk of virginity she began to think there was a lust greater than in all the others. At times it seemed to her that as he talked he was holding her body in his hands. She imagined him turning it slowly about in the white hands and staring at it. At night she dreamed that he had bitten into her body and that his jaws were dripping. She had the dream three times, then she became in the family way to the one who said nothing at all but who in the moment of his passion actually did bite her shoulder so that for days the marks of his teeth showed.
Percy, let me go" she croaked. "You can't pull me up."His face was white with effort. She could see in his eyes that he knew it was hopeless."Never," he said. He looked up at Nico, fifteen feet above. "The other side, Nico! We'll see you there. Understand?"Nico's eyes widened. "But-""Lead them!" Percy shouted. "Promise me!""I-I will."Below them, the voice laughed in the darkness. Sacrifices. Beautiful sacrifices to wake the goddess. Percy tightened his grip on Annabeth's wrist. His face was gaunt, scraped and bloody, his hair dusted with cobwebs, but when he locked eyes with her, she thought he had never looked more handsome."We're staying together," he promised. "You're not getting away from me. Never again."Only then did she understand what would happen. A one-way trip. A very hard fall."As long as we're together," she said.She heard Nico and Hazel still screaming for help. She saw sunlight far, far above- maybe the last sunlight she would ever see.Then Percy let go of his ledge, and together, holding hands, he and Annabeth fell into the endless darkness.
When she came to her senses again she cut off all contact with him. It had not been easy, but she had steeled herself. The last time she saw him she was standing on a platform in the tunnelbana at Gamla Stan and he was sitting in the train on his way downtown. She had stared at him for a whole minute and decided that she did not have a grain of feeling left, because it would have been the same as bleeding to death. Fuck you.
I,uh..." Her face was so hot she thought it would melt onto the floor. Oh you idiot. "My monthly cycles finally came back!"His face suddenly matched hers and he stepped away, dragging his hand through his short hair. "I-if...Then I'll take my leave," he stammered, and bowed. Celaena raised an eyebrow, and then, despite herself, smiled as he left the room as quick as his feet could go without running, tripping slightly in the doorway as he staggered into the rooms beyond.
She realized that Rowan saw each of those thoughts and more as he reached into his tunic and pulled out a dagger. Her dagger. He extended it to her, it's long blade gleaming as if he'd been secretly polishing and caring for it these months.And when she grasped the dagger, it's weight lighter than she remembered, Rowan looked into her eyes, into her very core of her, and said, 'Fireheart'.
The first time she carved something into her skin, she used the sharp tip of an X-Acto knife. She lifted up her shirt to show me after the cuts had scabbed over. She had scrawled F*** YOU on her stomach. I stood quiet for a moment, feeling the breath get knocked out of me. I should have grabbed her arm and taken her straight to the nurse's office, into that small room with two cots covered in paper sheets and the sweet, stale medicinal smell.I should have lifted Ingrid's shirt to show the cuts. Look, I would've said to the nurse at her little desk, eyeglasses perched on her pointed nose. Help her.Instead, I reached my hand out and traced the words. The cuts were shallow, so the scabs only stood out a little bit. They were rough and brown. I knew that a lot of girls at our school cut themselves. They wore their long sleeves pulled down past their wrists and made slits for their thumbs so that the scars on their arms wouldn't show. I wanted to ask Ingrid if it hurt to do that to herself, but I felt stupid, like I must have been missing something, so what I said was, F*** you too, b****. Ingrid giggled, and I tried to ignore the feeling that something good between us was changing.
Did you have any yourself?" she said."Just one."Harold thought of David, but it was too much to explain. He saw the boy as a toddler and how his face darkened in sunshine like a ripe nut. He wanted to describe the soft dimples of flesh at his knees, and the way he walked in his first pair of shoes, staring down, as if unable to credit they were still attached to his feet. He thought of him lying in hit cot, his fingers so appallingly small and perfect over his wool blanket. You could look at them and fear they might dissolve beneath your touch.Mothering had come so naturally to Maureen. It was as if another woman had been waiting inside her all along, ready to slip out. She knew how to swing her body so that a baby slept; how to soften her voice; how to curl her hand to support his head. She knew what temperature the water should be in his bath, and when he needed to nap, and how to knit him blue wool socks. He had no idea she knew these things and he had watched with awe, like a spectator from the shadows. It both deepened his love for her and lifted her apart, so that just at the moment when he thought their marriage would intensify, it seemed to lose its way, or at least set them in different places. He peered at his baby son, with his solemn eyes, and felt consumed with fear. What if he was hungry? What if he was unhappy? What if other boys hit him when he went to school? There was so much to protect him from, Harold was overwhelmed. He wondered if other men had found the new responsibility of parenting as terrifying, or whether it had been a fault that was only in himself. It was different these days. You saw men pushing buggies and feeding babies with no worries at all.
For a long time, she sat and saw.She had seen her brother die with one eye open, on still in a dream. She had said goodbye to her mother and imagined her lonely wait for a train back home to oblivion. A woman of wire had laid herself down, her scream traveling the street, till it fell sideways like a rolling coin starved of momentum. A young man was hung by a rope made of Stalingrad snow. She had watched a bomber pilot die in a metal case. She had seen a Jewish man who had twice given her the most beautiful pages of her life marched to a concentration camp. And at the center of all of it, she saw the Fuhrer shouting his words and passing them around.Those images were the world, and it stewed in her as she sat with the lovely books and their manicured titles. It brewed in her as she eyed the pages full to the brims of their bellies with paragraphs and words.
She walked down the basement steps. She saw an imaginary framed photo seep into the wall - a quiet-smiled secret. No more than a few meters, it was a long walk to the drop sheets and the assortment of paint cans that shielded Max Vandenburg. She removed the sheets closest to the wall until there was a small corridor to look through. The first part of him she saw was his shoulder, and through the slender gap, she slowly, painfully, inched her hand in until it rested there. His clothing was cool. He did not wake.She could feel his breathing and his shoulder moving up and down ever so slightly. For a while, she watched him. Then she sat and leaned back.Sleepy air seemed to have followed her.The scrawled words of practice stood magnificently on the wall by the stairs, jagged and childlike and sweet. They looked on as both the hidden Jew and the girl slept, hand to shoulder.They breathed.German and Jewish lungs.
Skye said when she looked at Lise, she saw a black mark, an aura. Just like the mark on Lise’s thigh, it was a warming. Deenie thought of it now, of Lise and the stretch mark on her thigh. And how the fevered mind of her fevered friend might believe anything. But also, somewhere inside, it felt the smallest bit true. That the stretch mark was a kind of witch’s mark, the blot of Lise’s body that reminded you of what she had been -a plump, awkward girl- before the lithesome beauty took her place. It was a kind of witchcraft, that transformation.
She’d ceased spying upon him, that was true, but the damage was done. Every time he sat at his desk, he could feel her eyes upon him, even though he knew very well she’d shut her curtains tight. But clearly, reality had very little to do with the matter, because all he had to do, it seemed, was glance at her window, and he lost an entire hour’s work.It happened thus: He looked at the window, because it was there, and he couldn’t very well never happen to glance upon it unless he also shut his curtains tight, which he was not willing to do, given the amount of time he spent in his office. So he saw the window, and he thought of her, because, really, what else would he think of upon seeing her bedroom window? At that point, annoyance set in, because A) she wasn’t worth the energy, B) she wasn’t even there, and C) he wasn’t getting any work done because of her.C always led into a bout of even deeper irritation, this time directed at himself, because D) he really ought to have better powers of concentration, E) it was just a stupid window, and F) if he was going to get agitated about a female, it ought to be one he at least liked.F was where he generally let out a loud growl and forced himself to get back to his translation. It usually worked for a minute or two, and then he’d look back up, and happen to see the window, and the whole bloody nonsense cycled back to the beginning.
She saw Bran step through the heavy gate. A big smile spread across her face at the sight of him.Unable to stop herself she drank in the way his broad shoulders stretched out his long-sleeved shirt and the way his thick thigh muscles flexed and strained under his cargo pants. The male was walking, talking sex and he was all hers.
Dev?" This time, she got a grunt. Smiling, she pressed her lips to his jaw, loving the roughness under her lips. "I like sex."She saw the edge of a smile, and it made her own lips curve. "I really like it." Rubbing her heel over the back of his leg, she ran her hand down his muscled arm, wanting only to touch him. "When can we do it again?"He sounded like he was chocking as he said, "You're not acting like a Psy.""Maybe if they tried sex with you, the others would change their minds, too.
Maybe the first time you saw her you were ten. She was standing in the sun scratching her legs. Or tracing letters in the dirt with a stick. Her hair was being pulled. Or she was pulling someone's hair. And a part of you was drawn to her, and a part of you resisted--wanting to ride off on your bicycle, kick a stone, remain uncomplicated. In the same breath you felt the strength of a man, and a self-pity that made you feel small and hurt. Part of you thought: Please don't look at me. If you don't, I can still turn away. And part of you thought: Look at me.
Ian saw the tears shimmering in her magnificent eyes and one of them traced unheeded down her smooth cheek.With a raw ache in his voice he said, "If you would take one step forward, darling, you could cry in my arms. And while you do, I'll tell you how sorry I am for everything I've done - " Unable to wait, Ian caught her, pulling her tightly against him. "And when I'm finished," he whispered hoarsely as she wrapped her arms around him and wept brokenly, "you can help me find a way to forgive myself."Tortured by her tears, he clasped her tighter and rubbed his jaw against her temple, his voice a ravaged whisper: "I'm sorry," he told her. He cupped her face between his palms, tipping it up and gazing into her eyes, his thumbs moving over her wet cheeks. "I'm sorry." Slowly, he bent his head, covering her mouth with his. "I'm so damned sorry.
Or she would look at him with a sullen expression, once again he would see before him a face worthy of figuring in Botticelli's Life of Moses, he would place her in it, he would give her neck the necessary inclination; and when he had well and truly painted her in distemper, in the fifteenth century, on the wall of the Sistine Chapel, the idea that she had nevertheless remained here, by the piano, in the present moment, ready to be kissed and possessed, the idea of her materiality and her life would intoxicate him with such force that, his eyes distracted, his jaw tensed as though to devour her, he would swoop down upon that Botticelli virgin and begin pinching her cheeks.
Murmuring soothing noises, Dallas settled himself between her thighs and pressed a soft kiss to her clit. "You're all right." He eased the second sphere out of her. "I've got you." She laughed and covered her face with her hands. "No, you don't. I can't stop spinning." He dropped another kiss, this time to her inner thigh. "Nothing wrong with spinning." One final tug and another full-body shudder from Lex, and he tossed the toy aside. "I'll catch you, love. I'll always catch you." "Will you?" She traced his jaw. "Even when you're spinning with me?" "Especially then.
She blinked, sat up, and saw Chris in the bathroom doorway. He'd just gotten out the shower. His hair was damp, and he was dressed only in his briefs. The sight of his thin, boyish body - all ribs and elbows and knees - pulled at her heart, for he looked so innocent and vulnerable. He was so small adn fragile that she wondered how she could ever protect him, and renewed fear rose in her.
She wanted to remind him, whether his family was there or not. She wanted. And wanted. And endured in her wanting: the damp seat, the dry chicken, more champagne, the headache the champagne brought, the midges, the chat, his failure, no refusal, to look, look at me, I caused a thunderstorm with my passion and I sit here shaking under my skin and you don't notice because you're trying so hard not to notice, but all the people at the table there are really only you and me and you know it, the air is charged with it, it's a heat, a hot wind, and Marina and Seely are a sham next to it, Annabel ceases to exist, is simply obliterated in the gale of it, this isn't a fantasy, not my imagination, I can tell by the way you lift your fork, by the set of your jaw, by that sixth cigarette you are smoking me, or would if you could; but how long can we sustain it, how long till eruption, till the storm returns again and they can all see what it is, what it really is?