After a peaceful and not unpleasant sit with Mrs. Baird, I made my way upstairs, to ready myself before Frank came home. I knew his limit with sherry was two glasses, so I expected him back soon.
The wind was rising, and the very air of the bedroom was prickly with electricity. I drew the brush through my hair, making the curls snap with static and spring into knots and furious tangles.
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander (Chapter 1 – A New Beginning)
“Drink, Monsieur,” said the King. The dark eyes were hooded once more, showing nothing. “Or are you afraid?”
The Comte might have a number of things to his discredit, but cowardice wasn’t one of them. His face was pale and set, but he met the King’s eyes squarely, with a slight smile.
“No, Majesty,” he said.
He took the cup from my hand and drained it, his eyes fixed on mine. They stayed fixed, staring into my face, even as they glazed with the knowledge of death. The White Lady may turn a man’s nature to good, or to destruction.
The Comte’s body hit the floor, writhing, and a chorus of shouts and cries rose from the hooded watchers, drowning any sound he might have made. His heels drummed briefly, silent on the flowered carpet; his body arched, then subsided into limpness. The snake, thoroughly disgruntled, struggled free of the disordered folds of white satin and slithered rapidly away, heading for the sanctuary of Louis’s feet.
All was pandemonium.
Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber (Chapter 27 – An Audience with His Majesty)
“It’s true!” She whirled toward Jamie, fists clenched against the cloak she still wore. “It’s true! It’s the Sassenach witch! How could ye do such a thing to me, Jamie Fraser?”
“Be still, Laoghaire!” he snapped. “I’ve done nothing to ye!”
I sat up against the wall, clutching the quilt to my bosom and staring. It was only when he spoke her name that I recognized her. Twenty-odd years, ago, Laoghaire MacKenzie had been a slender sixteen-year-old, with rose-petal skin, moonbeam hair and a violent — and unrequited — passion for Jamie Fraser. Evidently, a few things had changed.
She was nearing forty and no longer slender, having thickened considerably. The skin was still fair, but weathered, and stretched plumply over cheeks flushed with anger. Strands of ashy hair straggled out from under her respectable white kertch. The pale blue eyes were the same, though — they turned on me again, with the same expression of hatred I had seen in them long ago.
“He’s mine!” she hissed. She stamped her foot. “Get ye back to the hell that ye came from, and leave him to me! Go, I say!”
Diana Gabaldon, Voyager (Chapter 34 – Daddy)
A sudden roar from the roof above startled me out of my thoughts.
I walked out into the dooryard and looked up, shading my eyes against the morning sun. Jamie was sitting astride the rooftree, rocking to and fro over one hand, which he held curled into his belly.
“What’s going on up there?” I called.
“I’ve got a splinter,” came the terse answer,obviously spoken through clenched teeth.
I wanted to laugh, if only as small escape from tension, but didn’t.
“Well, come down, then. I’ll pull it out.”
“I’m no finished!”
“I don’t care!” I said, suddenly impatient with him. “Come down this minute. I want to talk to you.”
A bag of nails hit the grass with a sudden clank, followed instantly by the hammer.
First things first, then.
Diana Gabaldon, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, Chapter 30 – The Captive
I dipped automatically, struggling to keep my eyes on the floor and wondering where I would look when I bobbed up again. Madame Nesle de la Tourelle was standing just behind Louis, watching the introduction with a slightly bored look on her face. Gossip said that “Nesle” was Louis’s current favorite. She was, in current vogue, wearing a gown cut below both breasts, with a bit of supercedent gauze which was clearly meant for the sake of fashion, as it couldn’t possibly function for either warmth or concealment.
It was neither the gown nor the prospect it revealed that had rattled me, though. The breasts of “Nesle,” while reasonably adequate in size, pleasant in proportion, and tipped with large brownish areolae, were further adorned with a pair of nipple jewels that caused their setting to recede into insignificance. A pair of diamond-encrusted swans with ruby eyes stretched their necks toward each other, swinging precariously in their gold-hooped perches. The workmanship was superb and the material stunning, but it was the fact that each gold hoop passed through her nipple that made me feel rather faint. The nipples themselves were rather seriously inverted, but this fact was disguised by the large pearl that covered each one, dangling on a thin gold chain that looped from side to side of the main hoop.
Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber (Chapter 9)