THE TIGHTER YOU HOLD, THE MORE IT SLIPS AWAY

“He would move on. Because he would not be like the ancient kings in the song and keep her for himself. She deserved a loyal, brave knight who saw her for what she was and did not fear her. And he deserved someone who would look at him like that, even if the love wouldn’t be the same, even if the girl wouldn’t be her. So Dorian closed his eyes, and took another long breath. And when he opened his eyes, he let her go.”

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass) by Maas, Sarah J. Maas

TO AMARANTHA, THAT SHE WOULD DISHEVEL HER HAIR

“Amarantha sweet and fair
Ah braid no more that shining hair!
      As my curious hand or eye
Hovering round thee let it fly.

      Let it fly as unconfin’d
As its calm ravisher, the wind,
      Who hath left his darling th’East,
To wanton o’er that spicy nest.

      Ev’ry tress must be confest
But neatly tangled at the best;
      Like a clue of golden thread,
Most excellently ravelled.

      Do not then wind up that light
In ribands, and o’er-cloud in night;
      Like the sun in’s early ray,
But shake your head and scatter day.

      See ’tis broke! Within this grove
The bower, and the walks of love,
      Weary lie we down and rest,
And fan each other’s panting breast.

      Here we’ll strip and cool our fire
In cream below, in milk-baths higher:
      And when all wells are drawn dry,
I’ll drink a tear out of thine eye,

      Which our very joys shall leave
That sorrows thus we can deceive;
      Or our very sorrows weep,
That joys so ripe, so little keep.”
 
– Richard Lovelace (1618-1656)
 

SHE HELD ON

“The girl watched, helpless, as the world turned red beneath her.
She clung—first to the walls above, where few could even have attempted to climb, and then to the rafters—terrified to move, to breathe, to think, lest she accidentally attract a murderous eye. No matter how she tried, no matter how hard she bit her own hand in a desperate attempt at silence, she couldn’t entirely suppress her sobs. Her body shook with them; her face glistened. But any sounds she made were lost in the carnage below; any tears that fell vanished in the sheen of blood that covered the floor. Blood that, minutes before, had pumped from the hearts of men and women she knew. Men and women she loved.
Long after the slaughter had ended, long after silence had fallen, Adrienne Satti could only clutch the rafters with both arms and legs, her eyes squeezed tight, and pray.”

Thief’s Covenant by Ari Marmell

 

THE QUALITIES IN A SARCASTIC MAN

“As I would have explained to the Darkling had he bothered to ask— which, thankfully, he didn’t— the problem with hiring a man who sells his honor is that you can always be outbid.”

I gaped at him. “You betrayed the Darkling for money?”

“‘ Betrayed’ seems a strong word. I hardly know the fellow.”

“You’re mad,” I said. “You know what he can do. No prize is worth that.”

Sturmhond grinned. “That remains to be seen.”

“The Darkling will hunt you for the rest of your days.”

“Then you and I will have something in common, won’t we? Besides, I like to have powerful enemies. Makes me feel important.”

Mal crossed his arms and considered the privateer. “I can’t decide if you’re crazy or stupid.”

“I have so many good qualities,” Sturmhond said. “It can be hard to choose.”

Siege and Storm (The Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo

 

COMPARTMENTALIZATION

“But for now, for just for this moment, I let myself be a seventeen-year-old girl in a strong guy’s arms. I even let some of the what-ifs seep in, the kind of possibilities that might have blossomed between us in the World Before. Just for a little while. Before I carefully fold my dreams away into the vault in my head.”

World After (Penryn & the End of Days, Book 2) by Susan Ee