The familiar sense of anger, confoundment, and betrayal rose up in him again, but he forced himself to focus on his goal.
A Gift for You
If only she could go up to that idealist, so much like her and yet so different, and scream in her face:
At first, he felt nothing. It was peculiar. Usually, he felt so many things that he couldn’t number or contain them.
Not about to give up an opportunity to show off his excellent dance moves, he tugged on Lilah until she came with him.
One More Hit
Ben barely touched her anymore, looking at her like she was made of exquisite glass, with a mixture of awe and trepidation. The few times they’d had sex since he found out about the pregnancy, she was certain he was holding back tears.
The Meaning of Love
For weeks, she’d been tamping down her panic, telling herself that she wasn’t going to let anything ruin this for her. This was the one. This baby was the one she had prayed for when she was a child. And she wasn’t going to take a moment for granted.
An Unexpected Visitor
It was quiet now. Holding her breath, she peered around the corner, and despite her best efforts and preparation for the worst, she was so wired and strung out from all that had happened yesterday that she couldn’t help but scream when she saw the hulking mass of man on her couch. Without thinking any further, she fired.
It was the one question she hadn’t dared to ask. Whether he had stayed with her because he felt he owed her some sort of debt of gratitude. She thought she couldn’t bare the answer to that one, even if her motives had originally stemmed from that guilt.
Angel of Music
And before Ben knew it, he had all the cables set up, all of the inputs patched into the soundboard, and was equalizing the audio while the band did a soundcheck.
She looked up, and he saw the glistening sheen in her dark eyes. “You saved me.” She hugged him, reached around to stroke his rough, naked back.
We Interrupt this Program
He tried to come toward her, and she stepped back, watching him carefully to make sure he didn’t try to pounce. Though she had gotten better under his tutelage, she couldn’t match his litheness and speed in a dress.
He couldn’t quite see the colour in Fletcher’s eyes, but he could see the path they took from his hands and then back up to his face. Quite without meaning to, he touched the side of Fletcher’s jaw, intrigued by the stubble there. And then, also without meaning to, he leaned forward and brushed his lips there, until he found the spot he was looking for.
Let’s Give ’em something to talk about
She could feel her resistance crumbling, her will bending toward his, her heart absorbing his words. She fought harder, not knowing why she didn’t just leave. Walk away. Then there would be nothing to argue about.
Red Light, Green Light
“It’s about fun. Safety. Becoming someone else, for a little bit, using the darkness and pain to bring someone else pleasure. It’s like, the ultimate middle finger to everything I grew up with. Letting out the darkness without being seen as a monster…well, except that one time.”
Focusing on the irritated part of her brain helps to drown out the part that can’t keep from smiling at the sight of a man happily playing with a little girl. She wishes she could send a picture of it to hell for her own father. The only problem will be finding out which circle to find him in.
Can Canned Can Can ?
But that familiar old feeling was so strong. Like she was running on a treadmill and giving it everything she had, and still going nowhere. Figuratively, anyone. Beyond the fact that she had come home and since then had literally gone nowhere. It didn’t seem to matter how many hospitals she built, how many orphanages, how many schools. They were drops in a bottomless bucket.
When we all Work together
From a mental distance, she felt herself actively rejecting any implications surrounding Ben’s cardiac arrest. The look in Wallstead’s eyes could only precede the suggestion of one course of action. Logic dictated that the fatal inevitable was going to win here.
he rubbed his chin, and thought of Tynan, one of his rowdy kindergarteners, and Kwasi, the sweet, brilliant boy in the hospital who’d wanted Ben to adopt him. He could picture the orphanage on the compound – all the beautiful kids who needed a home. Seeing them, he’d been so close to giving up on his dreams.
Going for A Walk
She couldn’t hold it in anymore. A laugh escaped. At his startled expression, another one flew from her mouth. And then she was bent over double, holding her stomach and chortling so hard she could barely breathe. In only one second, he was joining her, the deep melody the most beautiful music she’d ever heard.
He still doesn’t seem to understand that he’s playing with fire, though, and the mischievous glint remains in his eyes. “Have you ever killed anyone?” he asks conspiratorially.
The One Rule
Ever the gentleman, Jake followed her lead, closely watching her and adjusting his manner accordingly. They ate their fill of snacks, watching each other across the table. It had been so long since she’d had company.
All those people. Hundreds? Yet none of them were here. He didn’t get any visitors other than her and Jake. He was making friends with all the staff at the hospital, charming them with his good looks and charisma, but Lanie had the feeling that he would walk through the smoke of those casual relationships too.
Love. Love had taken a hold of him like a vice, just for that one moment, and he hadn’t been able to breathe. He didn’t know whether it was God, and if so, which one. He’d vowed to make amends, and do whatever it took to make himself worthy of that box of dreams. On pain of hell or bad karma or whatever cosmic consequences would hold him accountable, he was determined to change.
Blessings in Disguise
hose huge eyes narrowed, and he realized they looked particularly big because of the goop applied so expertly to them that it naturally enhanced her eyelashes. She caught her lip, the same candy-pink as her high heels, between her bottom teeth, and regarded him with a look so unlike her usual haughty poutiness, that he suspected she’d entered a new phase in her emotional development – self-actualization.
It’s Not Your Story To Tell
It was always predictable, the death of hope. To hope was to fall, after all. To love was to kill, and to trust was to die. It started in the eyes, when the attempt to be brave or laugh it off or remain stoic gave way to the tiniest crack of doubt. And then, that glass box of hope would bust wide open, unable to contain the mortal terror that burst forth. Sometimes, when the torrent had slowed to a trickle, there would be acceptance.
When it All Comes Out
“If that’s what God wants me to do, then I’m definitely not going. If God really doesn’t let anyone be lost, then that means that Sean and my grandfather and my father are up there. And I really can’t stomach that, because they deserve to rot in hell more than anyone else. “
She sank her fingers deeper, closing her eyes, imagining the feel of his thick, black hair, his impossibly warm arms. She pressed her ear to the ground near the head of the grave, where she thought his heart might be. She listened, and she waited, but just like in the garden when he’d had that white guitar, she heard nothing. It was just one of a million quiet summer days.
The Saviour’s Tower
She didn’t remember how she got there, but she knocked on the open door of room 245. Only one bed was occupied. The woman was covered in bandages, and the places that didn’t have bandages were bruised and swollen. She was plugged into almost every wire and tube in existence. Lanie was still staring when Susan’s eyes slit open.
Not a Casserole in Sight
She glared at him, fighting the tears that spilled into her eyes. He looked just like his father. That’s what was different. He looked so much like Ben now that it cut her to the center of her being.
“If you loved him, then don’t do this to him. Don’t throw away the four people he loved more than anything in the world.”