“I had to keep my hands clenched at my sides to avoid wiping my sweaty palms on the skirts of my gown as I reached the dining room, and immediately contemplated bolting upstairs and changing into a tunic and pants. But I knew they’d already heard me, or smelled me, or used whatever heightened senses they had to detect my presence, and since fleeing would only make it worse, I found it in myself to push open the double doors.Whatever discussion Tamlin and Lucien had been having stopped, and I tried not to look at their wide eyes as I strode to my usual place at the end of the table.“Well, I’m late for something incredibly important,” Lucien said, and before I could call him on his outright lie or beg him to stay, the fox-masked faerie vanished.I could feel the full weight of Tamlin’s undivided attention on me—on every breath and movement I took. I studied the candelabras atop the mantel beside the table. I had nothing to say that didn’t sound absurd—yet for some reason, my mouth decided to start moving.“You’re so far away.” I gestured to the expanse of table between us. “It’s like you’re in another room.”The quarters of the table vanished, leaving Tamlin not two feet away, sitting at an infinitely more intimate table. I yelped and almost tipped over in my chair. He laughed as I gaped at the small table that now stood between us. “Better?” he asked.I ignored the metallic tang of magic as I said, “How … how did you do that? Where did it go?”He cocked his head. “Between. Think of it as … a broom closet tucked between pockets of the world.” He flexed his hands and rolled his neck, as if shaking off some pain.“Does it tax you?” Sweat seemed to gleam on the strong column of his neck.He stopped flexing his hands and set them flat on the table. “Once, it was as easy as breathing. But now … it requires concentration.”Because of the blight on Prythian and the toll it had taken on him. “You could have just taken a closer seat,” I said.Tamlin gave me a lazy grin. “And miss a chance to show off to a beautiful woman? Never.” ― Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Thorns and Roses

“He swallowed nervously, but in a schoolboy crush kind of way. She was so beautiful. He had been admiring her beauty for the past few days, but it never seemed right to act on it. Somehow, things felt more normal being in his home. It was like the past few days were just a crazy nightmare that had finally ended, except it didn’t. It was only on hold for a while, but it was long enough to act on his feelings. He wanted this woman badly. Everything about her was absolutely perfect!” ― Jason Medina, The Manhattanville Incident: An Undead Novel