Good to finally have boots on the ground here in Georgia for production of #RAMPAGE. I
head up an anti poaching unit out of Rwanda. My best friend is a rare
albino gorilla named, George. Very bad people infect George, an
alligator and a wolf with a serum. All three animals grow at an
unprecedented rate. Their size, speed, agility and violent aggression is
off the charts. They go on a deadly rampage and want to destroy the
world. George not happy. Me not happy. When animals like you, they lick you. When they don’t like you, they kill you. I will hunt down the bad people who did this to my best friend. And when I find them, I will not lick them. We
have the best VFX monster making team (WETA) on the planet. Our actors
and crew have been working very hard to raise the monster genre bar. As always, let’s have some fun. Let’s shoot. 🤙🏾 #PrimalDNA#George#Lizzy#Ralph#RAMPAGE
You were nursing your third (or was it
your fourth) drink when you saw him walk up to the bar. He was absolutely
gorgeous. Everything about him, from his broad shoulders to the way his dimples
dug into his cheeks, appealed to you. You downed the rest of your drink in one
sip, ignoring the burn of alcohol as the cool liquid went down your throat, and
got out of your chair. You walked right up to him and smiled before introducing
yourself. He looked at you, his eyes widening and chucking nervously.
“Hi. I’m Hongbin.” He said. His voice
was surprisingly deep. You pretended that you hadn’t heard him and leaned in
“What is it?” you asked as you placed
your hand on his forearm and dragged it down until your fingertips brushed
against his. Hongbin’s tongue ran along his lips quickly and a smirk began to
etch into his face.
“Hongbin, Lee Hongbin.” He murmured
into your ear, his breath on your ear sending goose bumps down your back.
“Dance with me.” you said rather than
asked. He took a big gulp of his drink and followed you to the crowded dance
floor. He was a little stiff and you were a little drunk but eventually the two
of you found a rhythm. You weren’t normally one to go out and dance (or walk
right up to the most handsome guy at the bar for that matter), but the alcohol
made you bold. You were enjoying the effects, swaying your hips to the music
and letting loose. Hongbin’s hands rested on your hips respectfully, but his
eyes were dark as he watched you dance. You grabbed his hands and slid them
down so that he was almost gripping your ass. “It’s okay. You can touch me.”
you said to him. Hongbin laughed apprehensively as his hands timidly began exploring
the curves of your body. He was slowly gaining some of your confidence and, once
he let go, he was actually a very good dancer. He took your hand and twirled
you so that your back was facing his front. His hands came around your waist
with more urgency than before while your hand came up to cup the back of his
head. You could feel his hardening member pressing against your butt and grinded
against him. A deep moan came from him as his hands begin to play with the hem
of your shirt. You tilted your head, moving all of your hair to one side and
giving him access to your neck. Hongbin’s lips immediately found the exposed
part of your neck and latched on. You let out a loud moan at the contact and
tightened your grip on the hair at the nape of his neck.
“I want you so bad.” He said before
licking the shell of your ear. You smiled to yourself. Who were you to deny
such a beautiful person?
“How bad do you want me?” you teased,
turning your face to look at him. His lips came down and caught yours in a soft
kiss. He deepened this kiss to the point that you were feeling drunk off the
taste of him and your different alcohols mixing.
“Take me home” he whispered your ear. You
turned to face him and looked him in the eye to decipher if he was serious. The
dark, lustful look in his eye told you he was far from joking. You grabbed his
hand and snaked through the club hand in hand. Once outside, Hongbin hailed a
cab fairly quickly. He opened the door for you and climbed in after you.
“Where to?” the driver asked. Hongbin
looked at you. You looked back at him then at the taxi driver, opening your
mouth to speak yet unable to get anything except a hiccup out.
“Take us to the closest hotel.”
Hongbin said. “Is that okay?” he asked looking at you.
“That’s fine with me.” You said before
he leaned in to kiss you again, his hands cupping your face and holding you
close. You kissed him back, the weight of taking a stranger home off your
shoulders. Your hand traveled down his chest and over his clothed six pack
before palming on the tent in his pants. Hongbin growled lowly and kissed you
hard. You could feel his desperation and you’d be lying if you said you weren’t
just as desperate for him. The cab stopped in front of a nice hotel. Hongbin
paid the driver and got a room at an unprecedented speed. You back hugged
Hongbin while he fumbled with the room key. Your hand ventured down the front
of his hands when Hongbin flung the door open. He all but yanked you inside and
slammed the door behind him. He pushed you against the wall and kissed you
passionately, pressing his hips into yours. You began snatching each other’s clothes
off, buttons flying in every direction. You quickly unbuckled Hongbin’s belt
and let his pants drop to the floor. He put his hands on wall, enclosing you
between himself and the door. You kissed his lower abs, your fingers hooking
onto his boxers, and looked him in the eyes as you licked over his clothed
“Don’t tease me, baby” He warned
softly. “If you tease me you won’t be coming tonight.” He added. You liked the
change from the shy boy to this daddy. You freed his pulsating cock and took it
in your hand. You flattened your tongue and licked him from the base to the top,
swirling your tongue around his leaking tip before licking back down to the
base. Hongbin’s groans and moans guided you as you took him in your mouth. When
you hollowed your cheeks and bobbed your head up and down, Hongbin let out a
less-than-manly cry and gripped your hair. “Fuck, your mouth is so good, baby.”
He said. You hummed around him, the vibrations causing Hongbin to spew unintelligible
moans under his breath. You came up, the vulgar pop as your lips left his cock
giving you a satisfied smile. You started to pump him in your hand, your saliva
acting as a lube, until Hongbin grabbed your chin and made you look up at you. “I
want to taste you.” He said pulling you up and picking you up. He set you on
the table and yanked your panties down. He spread your legs and draped one of
your thighs over his shoulders. He wasted no time pleasing you, dipping his
tongue into your dripping entrance. You moaned and threw your head back,
hitting the wall at the feeling of his warm tongue on you. He lapped at the
arousal at your entrance and licked up and down your lips, carefully avoiding
your sensitive clit. His slowly fucked you with his tongue, the wet muscle
causing you to moan out in frustration. You wanted him so bad and he was
drawing this out as long as he could. Hongbin flattened his tongue out and ran
it against your clit harshly. You screamed out at the assault, your aching clit
sending sparks through your body. Hongbin’s tongue flicked against your clit
relentlessly, only stopping to tongue fuck you occasionally. You could feel
yourself getting close to your orgasm, Hongbin having found the perfect combination of
flicking your clit with his tongue, when he suddenly and without warning pulled
“Hongbin!!!” you whined, lifting your
hips up into thin air searching for any contact. Hongbin laughed and kissed the
inside of your thigh.
“I don’t want you coming just yet, baby”
he said, his lips covered in your juices. He reached over to his pants lying on
the floor and pulled out a condom. “I want you to come around my cock while I
fuck you.” He said. If looks could kill, you were sure he’d have been dead
where he stood. You snatched the condom from his hand and stood up (a little
wobbly) and pushed him towards the bed. Hongbin was taken aback by the change
in power, but went with it. You took his cock in your hand and rolled the
condom on before straddling him. Hongbin grabbed your hips expectantly as you
lined yourself up with him. You leaned forward and kissed him before slowly
sliding down onto him.
“Oh my god.” He huffed, his grip on
your hips tightening. You moaned deeply, savoring the feeling of his fullness
stretching you, before you began to ride him. Hongbin sat up, holding you
tightly, and took one of your nipples in his mouth. You moaned out at him,
holding onto his broad shoulders while he worshipped your body. You pushed him
back down onto the bed and slammed your hips down on him again and again. Hongbin
arched his hips up into you, meeting you thrust for thrust. You felt yourself
getting dizzy as your whole body focused on your impending orgasm. You let out
several broken moans as you came hard on him. You collapsed forward, barely
holding yourself above Hongbin. He reached up and moved some of your hair out
of your face. He gripped your hips and held you in place as he pumped into you
erratically. You bit into his shoulder and held onto him as he fucked you. His
thrusts became jerkier until one well-placed thrust had him coming undone.
Hongbin’s grip gradually became softer until he was rubbing soothing circles
into your skin. You rolled over and slammed into the pillow ungracefully but
contentedly. You almost fell asleep, but sat up and ran a hand through your
hair, mumbling to yourself about the whereabouts of your clothes as you got out
of bed. Hongbin, who was struggling to keep his eyes open, reached out for you.
“Don’t leave.” He said.
“You want me to stay?” you asked.
“Yeah.” He said bashfully. “We can
order room service.” You tried to hide your smile. Even with his hair a mess,
all sweaty and fucked out, he still managed to be cute. “Stay with me.” he
said, reaching out for you. You took his hand and got back in bed, figuring
what the hell. Hongbin smiled his dimpled smile and wrapped his arm around you
comfortably. You snuggled up to him, enjoying the warmth from his body, before
dosing off into a peaceful sleep.
Characters: Hanji Zoe x Levi Genre: Action / Humor / Romance Rating: T
Levihan 1920’s gangster AU
Levi is second-in-command of the infamous Ackerman gang. Hanji is a
journalist determined to unearth the sordid truths of the city’s most
powerful men. In return for timely tips that help the Ackermans stay
ahead of the law, Levi gives Hanji information straight from the city’s
criminal underbelly. Between them, they have too many enemies to count.
Their relationship complicates things.
I originally wrote this for the levihan au week a while back. I’m posting it again without the terrible art I included last time lmao
Five hours until publication and she still didn’t have her
story straight. Hanji glared down at the offending articles. With her
glasses sliding down her nose, her fingers stained black with ink, and
the words beneath her beginning to meld into one massive blur, she was
forced to admit she may have once again gone too long without sleep.
The conference table below her was a mess of discarded newspaper
drafts. She drummed her fingertips over mottled wood as she skimmed the
latest edit. She read through it twice before sighing and dropping the
article in favor of the telegram that awaited her attention.
It was from Moblit. Stationed in the heart of the city, he
was privy to the latest information on the election for the office of
Mayor. It was a race growing more heated by the day. Between Billy “The
Boss” O’Malley, who was backed by the notoriously violent Lower East
and Ricky Jemson, favorite of gangster Kenny Ackerman and his posse, it
shaping up to be the city’s most volatile election in years.
Pressing the telegram flat, Hanji leaned over it, scouring
the short message for the information she needed. She read through it
once, then twice, before straightening with a sigh. Nothing.
Her story was on the upcoming
election; specifically, on Billy “The Boss” and his immoral – not to mention,
illegal – exploits. Mr. O’Malley’s crimes ranged from blackmail and bribery to
For the past month she’d been working to gather concrete
evidence of Billy’s illicit dealings. But as of yet, all she’d managed was a
handful of shady, second-hand accounts of the tycoon’s alleged misdeeds. It seemed few
were eager to cross a man who had a hand in forty percent of the city’s
businesses and close ties with the Lower East Side Mob.
Desire, Duty, & Transformative Self-Love: How Revan Saved Bastila
The thing I’ve thought most about since finishing KOTOR a few days ago (I’ve yet to play KOTOR II but I will when I get home for winter break and have access to a PC) is why Bastila turned to the Dark Side, and why she returned to the Light (or in my interpretation, the Gray, although KOTOR I doesn’t really make this clear).
In-game, there are a number of factors alluded to as being decisive in her choice - her headstrong, wilful tendencies are twice brought up by Jolee in his reasoning as to why she turned despite being strong, and I think it was also he who mentioned that Bastila exposed herself to Revan’s “dark taint” when she touched his mind. The dark influence of the Star Forge on those in its presence is mentioned too - it drove the entire race of the Rakata mad with power and jealousy, after all - and even though the connection is never made explicit, this, too, probably had some impact on Bastila as it was the facility in which she was tortured. It’s easy to think of this dark influence functioning in a way similar to that of the One Ring in the Lord of the Rings series - it preys upon one’s weaknesses, as Jolee explained Malak did upon Bastila’s.
In addition to all the nebulous yet substantive reasons given in-game, I believe a few other influential factors can reasonably be inferred from Bastila’s upbringing. It seems likely to me that Bastila was raised to be a weapon but never fully understood for whom she was meant to pull the trigger. Like all jedi-in-training, she was purposely isolated from the world she was meant to protect for much of her childhood, but I imagine her isolation was even more complete than that of other younglings and Padawan. The moment her affinity for Battle Meditation was discovered, I think she was probably further isolated from her peers in order that it might be honed as quickly and effectively as possible - she had the potential to be an extremely powerful weapon, exactly what the Republic needed in the Jedi Civil War. Bastila’s fierce strength of will probably lent itself well to the unprecedented speed with which she developed her Battle Meditation ability, and in her isolation she probably came to believe that it was the end all, be all of her existence. She was a weapon for the Republic’s use before she was anything else, and indeed, as a Jedi, there was little opportunity for her to be anything else. She was meant to live a life of non-attachment and stifled emotions, and on top of that, she was meant to serve as a tool. With no other substantive worldly connections besides her connection to the abstract good of the Republic, she likely felt very alone, and consequently based her self-worth on her ability to serve as an effective tool to the Republic. How else was she to value herself, with no other metric of human connection and no real understanding of her own self-worth beyond her efficacy as a tool?
While this would have been hard on anyone, it was especially hard on Bastila, whose capacity and need for love is singularly acute. It’s clear from her actions prior to falling to the Dark Side that she valued the connections she formed with others deeply - why else would she so willingly sacrifice herself for Revan and Carth’s sake without a second thought? How ironic that the first connection she’s ever truly allowed to have with someone is with a former Dark Lord of the Sith! It really speaks to her isolation that the only reason she is allowed to foster this bond is because of a technicality - she must probe Revan’s mind for the coordinates to the pieces of the star map to the Star Forge in order that she might, once again, serve as an effective tool for the Republic. And in the course of that mission, she can’t help but become attached to this bond, the first she’s ever been allowed to share, even though she knows of the dangers that come with valuing bonds in such a deep and abiding way. They lead to love, the form of attachment most offensive to the Jedi code, and love leads to the Dark Side (or so she has been taught). It’s not surprising that Bastila formed a Force Bond with Revan in particular - canonically, both of them have stubborn, headstrong natures conducive to an independent-minded strength of will that flies in the face of the Jedi Code.
Her lonely subconscious fed on that unorthodoxy - that potential “dark taint” that colored Revan’s memories - because in him, it had unwittingly found a kindred spirit. Bastila was given to self-loathing because she could not purge herself of that unorthodoxy - that fierce, strident spirit so discouraged by the Jedi Order. I believe that the Jedi Order saw it as an inappropriate reliance on self-love and hubris, but their mistake was in assuming that a prideful spirit will inevitably meet its end in this way. Their attempt to stifle and eradicate it did nothing but suppress it instead of dealing with it in a healthy way by looking at it as a means for self-improvement and self-preservation that has its own rewards both for oneself and others. Pride can be a folly, but you cannot divorce the sense of self, no matter how disproportionate, from the quest for self-improvement. It would have been better to acknowledge Bastila’s self-love (which they only encouraged by reminding her daily that the entire Republic relied on her abilities) and teach her to deal with it in a healthy way and use it as a means to help others by way of the confidence and conviction required for effective leadership. Instead, they expected her to subjugate her fierce spirit (a spirit that likely developed at least in part as a defense mechanism when she was asked to become the only thing standing between the Republic and total annihilation) to complete humility instead of a healthy degree of self-regard that still made room for compassion.
When she was tortured by Malak, she was alone again - she’d lost the one connection in her life that she’d ever been allowed to have - her connection with Revan. Bastila was once again just a weapon - it was all she was and all that mattered. Alone and vulnerable and in constant pain, she was open to suggestion. And as she explains when you fight her at the Star Forge, the Dark Side gave her free rein to rely on the passions she’d kept so tightly coiled for so many years. In unimaginable pain, it’s no wonder that she gave in to the way her proud spirit cried out at the injustice of it all. As a weapon with no connection to anyone, what did it matter for whom she pulled the trigger? What really mattered was whether or not she was in control - that she was the one pulling it, at her whim. That she wasn’t being used and that her personhood was respected. Even if Malak, too, only saw her as a tool, one day she could surpass him. For years, she’d been denied her passions and the need for connection they’d entailed so that she could fulfil her sole purpose as the Republic’s trump card. With no connection to those the Republic sought to protect, in her despair, she could see no inherent value in their protection. She could only see the value of self-love when self-love was all she’d ever been able to develop as it was all she was allowed to have, even though it, too, was discouraged. And her upbringing had encouraged her to view the world in binaries, so she chose the Dark Side instead of some third way that harmonized her desires with her duties. She’d only ever been allowed to love the good of the Republic in the abstract and had not been allowed to witness love with a human face.
Until she met Revan. She was encouraged to connect with him, even though that connection was meant only to be instrumental to the Republic’s cause. But in forging that first connection, he gave her something to hold on to and that’s why, canonically, he is able to pull her back. He was able to find some value in the Light Side not in spite of his passions, but because of them. He was able to channel his fierce love of the world into a desire to protect it with as much compassion as he can muster, and he is living proof that she can do the same, and that non-attachment and emotional repression are nowhere near as conducive to strength against the Dark Side as well-grounded love and compassionate fervor. And it is her recognition of this as the foundation of their bond - that this is what she loves about him - that leads her to realize that she, too, can become the best version of herself by following his path because she sees herself in him. She’s openly loved by him as a person, not because she’s a potent tool. To me, it’s as if they’re two sides of the same coin (and that is likely why they were Force-Bound) - Bastila’s will to resist the Dark Side was weakened by her having lived too little within the world and too much in the abstract without anything to which she might tether herself, while Revan’s fall was linked to cynicism - to having seen too much of the world and being sickened by it (like the destruction of the Cathar homeworld by the Mandalorians that lead to his acquiring his mask) and desiring to rectify it by any means possible. They are each others’ obverse, and together they are completed by love. It’s as Jolee said - “Love doesn’t lead to the dark side. Passion can lead to rage and fear, and can be controlled… but passion is not the same thing as love. Controlling your passions while being in love… that’s what they should teach you to beware. But love itself will save you… not condemn you."
1920’s gangster AU Levi is second-in-command of the infamous Ackerman gang. Hanji is a journalist determined to unearth the sordid truths of the city’s most powerful men. In return for timely tips that help the Ackermans stay ahead of the law, Levi gives Hanji information straight from the city’s criminal underbelly. Between them, they have too many enemies to count.
Their relationship complicates things.
A Dangerous Game
Five hours until publication and she still didn’t have her
story straight. Hanji glared down at the offending articles. With her glasses sliding down her nose, her fingers stained black with ink, and the words beneath her beginning to meld into one massive blur, she was forced to admit she may have once again gone too long without sleep.
“The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will start smashing particles together at unprecedented speed on Wednesday, churning out data for the first time in more than two years that scientists hope might help crack the mystery of ‘dark matter’.”
On Thursday, a new study published by the journal Science announced not only that the Earth was on the brink of another extinction, but that plants and animals are dying at an unprecedented speed — at least 1,000 times faster than they did before humans arrived. The current rate of extinction is 10 times faster than what biologists previously believed.
“We are on the verge of the sixth extinction,” Stuart Pimm, a Duke Univeristy biologist who led the research. “Whether we avoid it or not will depend on our actions.”
Dozens of Genes Associated with Autism in New Research
Two major genetic studies of autism, led in part by UC San Francisco scientists and involving more than 50 laboratories worldwide, have newly implicated dozens of genes in the disorder. The research shows that rare mutations in these genes affect communication networks in the brain and compromise fundamental biological mechanisms that govern whether, when, and how genes are activated overall.
The two new studies, published in the advance online edition of Nature (1, 2) on October 29, 2014, tied mutations in more than 100 genes to autism. Sixty of these genes met a “high-confidence” threshold indicating that there is a greater than 90 percent chance that mutations in those genes contribute to autism risk.
The majority of the mutations identified in the new studies are de novo (Latin for “afresh”) mutations, meaning they are not present in unaffected parents’ genomes but arise spontaneously in a single sperm or egg cell just prior to conception of a child.
The genes implicated in the new studies fall into three broad classes: they are involved in the formation and function of synapses, which are sites of nerve-cell communication in the brain; they regulate, via a process called transcription, how the instructions in other genes are relayed to the protein-making machinery in cells; and they affect how DNA is wound up and packed into cells in a structure known as chromatin. Because modifications of chromatin structure are known to lead to changes in how genes are expressed, mutations that alter chromatin, like those that affect transcription, would be expected to affect the activity of many genes.
One of the new Nature studies made use of data from the Simons Simplex Collection (SSC), a permanent repository of DNA samples from nearly 3,000 families created by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative. Each SSC family has one child affected with autism, parents unaffected by the disorder and, in a large proportion, unaffected siblings. The second study was conducted under the auspices of the Autism Sequencing Consortium (ASC), an initiative supported by the National Institute of Mental Health that allows scientists from around the world to collaborate on large genomic studies that couldn’t be done by individual labs.
“Before these studies, only 11 autism genes had been identified with high confidence, and we have now more than quadrupled that number,” said Stephan Sanders, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at UCSF, co-first author on the SSC study, and co-author on the ASC study. Based on recent trends, Sanders estimates that gene discovery will continue at a quickening pace, with as many as 1,000 genes ultimately associated with autism risk.
“There has been a lot of concern that 1,000 genes means 1,000 different treatments, but I think the news is much brighter than that,” said Matthew W. State, MD, PhD, chair and Oberndorf Family Distinguished Professor in Psychiatry at UCSF. State was co-leader of the Nature study focusing on the SSC and a senior participant in the study organized by the ASC, of which he is a co-founder. ”There is already strong evidence that these mutations converge on a much smaller number key biological functions. We now need to focus on these points of convergence to begin to develop novel treatments.
Autism, which is marked by deficits in social interaction and language development, as well as by repetitive behaviors and restricted interests, is known to have a strong genetic component. But until a few years ago, genomic research had failed to decisively associate individual genes with the disorder.
The two new studies highlight the factors that have radically changed that picture, State said. One is the advent of next-generation sequencing (NGS), which allows researchers to read each of the “letters” in the DNA code at unprecedented speed. Another is the establishment of the SSC; a 2007 study had suggested that de novo mutations would play a significant role in autism risk, and the SSC was specifically designed to help test that idea by allowing for close comparisons between children with autism and their unaffected parents and siblings. Lastly, collaborative initiatives such as the ASC are enabling teams of researchers around the world to work closely together, pooling their resources to create large datasets with sufficient statistical power to draw valid conclusions.
The large research teams behind each of the two new studies used a form of NGS known as “whole-exome” sequencing, a letter-by-letter analysis of just the portion of the genome that encodes proteins.
In November 2013, a study led by A. Jeremy Willsey, a graduate student in State’s lab, showed that the functional roles of the nine high-confidence autism risk genes that had then been discovered all converged on a single cell type in a particular place in the brain at a particular time during fetal development. Willsey is a co-author on both of the new Nature studies, which State believes will further accelerate our understanding of how the myriad of genes involved in autism affect basic biological pathways in the brain.
“These genes carry really large effects,” State said. “That we now have a bounty of dozens of genes, and a clear path forward to find perhaps hundreds more, provides an incredible foundation for understanding the biology of autism and finding new treatments.”
Giveaway fic for l0chn3ss ! Sorry it doesn’t fit your prompt exactly. This is my take on the ubiquitous fake relationship AU. Canonverse, slightly inspired by my fav sitcom. Enjoy!
Maka had only met Soul’s parents once when she received an invitation on weighty cardstock to their 25th wedding anniversary celebration. Soul normally eschewed all Evans family gatherings, but they were in the area for a mission anyway and couldn’t stay away.
The event took place in a grand ballroom ablaze with gold and dark red. Party goers were mostly the old and the wealthy, making Maka and Soul among the youngest in attendance. Soul’s father was remarkably absent at his own party, which, according to her weapon, was pretty usual behavior. Knowing no one, the partners said hello to Soul’s mother the moment they arrived.
Their exchange of niceties with Soul’s mother was interrupted by a rotund man in a gold waistcoat and blazer clapping her weapon on the back. The sudden contact clearly surprised Soul, who flinched.
“Congratulations!” the man boomed. Soul stared, clearly confused. Why would this man, who Maka took to be one of Soul’s more eccentric family members, congratulate them? The battle on the moon occurred almost four years ago. “Ariana and I are very happy for you. Best of wishes! Find me a bit later, and I might have a little,” he leaned in and shot Soul an obvious wink, “gift for you.”
They watched the man stride away and towards a waiter bearing champagne flutes. “Hem, hem.” Soul’s mother wore a tight smile. “Can I quickly talk to you to over here?” Cressida linked her arm with her son’s and pulled him to the side of the ballroom. Her beautiful face was mired with stress and anxiety.
lapidot where peridot’s tryna not to totally freak out in front of her crush???
“Lapis clasped her hands together. Peridot paused for a moment, trying to keep down the rage she felt, and feeling it melt away without trying. She was used to losing herself in tomes of work, but never before had she felt herself being pulled in to someone’s eyes. “