“A stunning conclusion to a breathtaking series.”
I thought I’d finally met the man of my dreams…
Bringing someone new into my private life is not something I do lightly, having learned the hard way over the years that celebrity has a dark downside that I go out of my way to avoid whenever possible.
But he’s different.
We’ve been together for months, and the time is right to take the next step with him. I’ve planned this night for weeks, but it doesn’t take long for me to know I’ve made a huge mistake trusting this man. Before things go from bad to worse, I have the presence of mind to know I’m in big trouble, and I hope that one of my friends realizes that before it’s too late.
It turns out I had my eye on the wrong man, while the right one has been right in front of me all along, waiting for me to find my way to him.
Marlowe Sloane’s story, Famous, is the thrilling conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Quantum Series.
Narrated by Sebastian York, Emma Wilder. Featuring Cooper North and Joe Arden.
(Quantum Series, Book 8)
By Marie Force
I’ve planned this night for weeks, down to the last detail. I want it to be perfect. Bringing someone new into my private life is not something I do lightly, having learned the hard way over the years that celebrity has a dark downside that I go out of my way to avoid whenever possible. But Rafe is different. We’ve been together for months now, and I feel ready to take this next step with him. In the dungeon that’s accessible only to Quantum partners and our guests, I take a careful look at the items I’ve set out—a blindfold, a flogger, the smallest plug, a bottle of lubricant and a cock ring. I’m starting him off easy until I can get a sense of whether he shares my appreciation for the lifestyle.
I have a feeling he will, if our “vanilla” sex life is anything to go by. He’s endlessly creative and sensual in bed. When he whispers to me in French, I can nearly come from that alone. It’s been a very long time since anything vanilla appealed to me, but then again, the lifestyle hasn’t been doing it for me lately either. While I’m satisfied by the sex I have with Rafe, I feel like it could be “more,” and thus the reason I’m trying to add a little spice to an already satisfying relationship.
Before I met Rafe, I had confessed to my closest friends and business partners that I was feeling out of sorts and off-kilter. Spending time at the clubs we own here in LA and in New York City had become boring, especially since my buddies found love and more or less gave up the clubs. Getting naked in public lost its luster for each of them after they found “the one.” In our world, we’re always one tabloid photo away from disaster, so I get that they feel the need to protect their significant others from that kind of exposure.
We go to enormous lengths to protect the members of our clubs, including the requirement of a one-million-dollar entrance fee for new members and airtight nondisclosure agreements. But that didn’t stop someone in Devon Black’s equally exclusive club from taking photos of our partner Jasper Autry that were later used to blackmail him. We’re all a little gun-shy after that episode.
Rafe understands the celebrity culture because he works in our industry. As an executive for the company that distributes Quantum films—and many others—in France, he travels frequently between Paris and Los Angeles, hobnobbing with celebrities and working deep inside the business. From the beginning, I’ve felt comfortable being myself around him, because he understands the pressures I face. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this way about a guy, and even though I can tell my friends don’t love him, I do, and that’s all that matters.
Or so I tell myself.
Truth is, their opinions matter to me, even if I wish they didn’t.
Especially Flynn and Hayden, who have been my closest friends for years. It’s so rare for me to be out of sync with either of them, let alone both, but from the outset, they’ve been rather obvious in their dislike of Rafe. I wish I knew why, but they won’t even give him a chance. Flynn’s wife, Natalie, and I talked about it over the holidays when we were all together for four memorable days in St. George, Utah, of all places.
As I light the candles in the dungeon, I think about that conversation as I have so many times since then.
“It’s not that he doesn’t like Rafe,” Natalie had said. “It’s more that he doesn’t like him for you.”
“Why?” I’d asked and immediately hated myself for the question as well as the desperate-sounding tone in which it was asked. I’m Marlowe fucking Sloane. What do I care if Flynn Godfrey or anyone else doesn’t like my boyfriend? Except… I care, and I hate that I care.
I could tell Nat chose her words carefully. “It’s just that he thinks you can do…better.” She cringed as she said that last word, and I realized I’d put her in a terrible position by bringing it up at all. The guys had gone off to find a Christmas tree for Aileen’s kids and had grudgingly invited Rafe to join them. That’s what had led me to ask her what the fuck Flynn’s problem was with him.
Be careful what you wish for. Flynn thinks he’s not good enough for me, which means Hayden, Jasper, Kristian, Emmett and Sebastian probably agree with him.
“Does everyone feel that way?” I’d asked Nat.
“I’m not sure.” She’d rolled her bottom lip between her teeth, which is a “tell” for her. She knows but doesn’t want to say. Fair enough. None of them like him.
“Does it matter to anyone that I like him?”
“Yes! Of course it does. That’s all that matters. If he makes you happy, we’re happy. You know that.”
I’d eyed her skeptically. “I’m happy with him.”
We’d changed the subject, but the uncomfortable conversation had stayed with me ever since. Natalie had tried to be diplomatic, walking a fine line between not betraying Flynn and trying not to hurt my feelings. She’d failed in the latter account. My feelings were hurt, and they still are. It’s been five freaking years since I dated anyone seriously, so I sort of feel like the guys could at least try to give me a break with Rafe.
I glance at the ornate clock on the wall. He’s going to be here in fifteen minutes. Time to get changed and stop thinking about why my friends don’t like him. They can go fuck themselves.
I remind myself again that they’re not in this relationship. Only Rafe and I are, and we’re the only two who matter. I’m the only who needs to like him and trust him and love him. It’s my life, and no one else is going to live it for me, no matter how much I love my friends. They’re wrong this time, and I am going to prove it to them by making this relationship work.
I’ve decided it’s time to bring Rafe into my lifestyle because I know we can’t succeed long term unless I let him all the way in. Each of the guys has had to do the same with their significant others and did so with stunning success if their happy, dopey grins are any indication.
That’s what tonight is all about for Rafe and me. Taking that next step. Depending on how this goes, I might be ready for what comes next, whatever that may be for a couple juggling a transatlantic relationship.
I’m nervous about tonight because I’m not entirely sure how he’ll react to my desire to dominate him. But I won’t know until I broach the topic with him. He already knows that I’m adventuresome in bed, but he has no idea just how adventuresome I can be. Tonight, he’s going to find out, and I’m excited as well as nervous.
I dart into the women’s changing room, take a quick shower and dress in one of my favorite outfits—a red leather bustier with a matching thong and sexy stockings with a flower pattern running through them. I’ve cut myself short on time, so I put my hair up in a bun and go with a smoky cat eye for my makeup. By the time my phone buzzes with the text I’m expecting from him, I’m ready.
After donning a red silk robe and black stiletto Louboutins with the fabulous red bottoms, I give myself a quick once-over in the full-length mirror and take a deep breath, letting it out slowly. Here goes nothing…
In the lobby, I press the button for the elevator and take it up one floor to the main entrance to the Quantum office building. Most of the people who work here have no idea what’s in the basement. When the doors open, Rafe is facing away from me, looking out at the parking lot.
“Why’d you want to meet here?” He turns to face me, his eyes widening when he sees me in the silky robe and heels. “Is this some sort of office fantasy or something?”
“Not quite.” I extend my hand to him. “Will you come with me and keep an open mind?” He’s absolutely beautiful, with thick wavy dark hair and brilliant blue eyes that crinkle at the corners when he smiles, which is often when we’re together.
He seems hesitant, but he takes my hand, links our fingers and kisses the back of my hand. “I shall happily follow wherever you lead, darling.”
Now imagine that said in a sexy French accent. I’m not one to swoon, but that accent does it for me.
He watches as I place my palm on the scanner that opens the elevator to the basement. “This all very cloak and dagger,” he says as we descend.
We step out of the elevator, and the first thing we encounter is a reception desk. “This is where I have to ask you to sign a nondisclosure agreement that says you won’t disclose anything you see here.”
“Very seriously. If you need a minute to review it, I’m happy to wait.”
Giving me an odd look, he takes the pen I hand him, scans the NDA that spells out the lengths the Quantum partners will go to in order to defend the privacy of everyone who steps foot in our clubs and then scrawls his signature on the line provided. “What’s this all about, Marlowe?”
“Come with me, and I’ll show you.”
Taking him by the hand, I lead him through the double doors with our distinctive Q logo etched into the glass. To the casual observer, the big room we enter might be mistaken for a nightclub, especially now, when there’s no one else here. On a regular night, the place would be pulsing with people, energy and sexual tension. Scenes would be unfolding on the three stages, and potential partners would be negotiating hard and soft limits in the various seating areas and at the bar.
“What is this place?”
“How have I never heard of it?” Before we met, he’d been active in the LA club scene when he was in town.
“Because it’s private.”
“Still, with you and your illustrious partners involved, how does it stay a secret?”
“You read the NDA. That’s how.”
The face he makes indicates his skepticism that even an airtight NDA can keep the lid on anything in this day and age, and perhaps he’s right. Didn’t we learn that when Jasper was blackmailed?
On the far side of the big room, I place my hand on another scanner that opens the door to the dungeon. As we descend the stairs, I begin to feel seriously nervous. Am I doing the right thing? Will he understand? What if he doesn’t? Can I stay with him if he doesn’t get this or doesn’t even try to get it?
Don’t get ahead of yourself. One step at a time. You’ve done this before, and it’s been fine.
Rafe stops short at the entrance to the dungeon. “Holy shit. Are you fucking kidding me?”
“You promised to keep an open mind.” A trickle of unease travels down my backbone as I begin to wonder if I’ve seriously miscalculated.
He strides over to the table where I set out the implements of my craft and picks up the flogger, turning to me, his brow lifted and his mouth set in an expression I haven’t seen before. “What the hell is this, Marlowe?”
I normally love the melodic way he says my name, but there’s no melody to it now. There’s something that frightens me as I realize that no one except for him knows where I am or what I had planned for tonight. Not even my assistant, Leah, who always knows where I am. As he stalks toward me, his blue eyes blazing with anger, I take a step back, furious with myself for being so stupid. I’m thirty-five years old. I should know better by now than to ever put myself at the mercy of a man.
Ugh, they’re usually at my mercy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Stop.” I hold up my hand to keep him from coming any closer to me. He doesn’t stop. “Rafe, I mean it. Take a pause.”
“Don’t tell me what to do when you’re springing this kinky bullshit on me months into our relationship.” A vein in his forehead bulges as he spews harsh words at me. “Why didn’t you tell me before now that you want to be tied up and flogged and whatever else?”
He’s spitting mad, and I’m trying to figure out why as I think about what I should say.
“Marlowe! What the fuck? You owe me an explanation!”
This is why Flynn and the others don’t like him. They could see he had this in him while I was too busy being besotted to see beyond the glossy surface, the French words of love and the romance of it all.
He’s played me for a fool, and the only thing I want now is to get as far away from him as I possibly can. Immediately.
“I’m sorry, Rafe. Obviously, I’ve made a mistake, and I’ll understand if you’d rather not see me again.”
“Not see you again? Is that what you think is going to happen here?”
“I’m not comfortable with the way you’re behaving.”
He doesn’t like that, and I quickly realize I’ve only made him angrier.
“Isn’t that rich, darling? You’re not comfortable with the way I’m behaving. After spending months together, you decide to show me you’re a kinky whore and you don’t like the way I’m behaving?” He lowers his voice. “You want me to beat you before I fuck you, is that it?”
“No,” I whisper. “That’s not it at all.”
“Then please illuminate me, because I don’t get it.”
The rebellious part of me, the part that fought and clawed her way to success in one of the toughest businesses in the world, rears up inside me. Fuck this shit. “I’m a Dominatrix. I wanted to beat you before I let you fuck me, but that’s not what I want anymore. What I really want now is for you to get the fuck out of here and never contact me again.”
His shock is apparent in the way his face loses all color and his lips go tight before he speaks again in a much lower tone. “That’s it? After everything we’ve shared, you’re going to dismiss me like I’m some kind of servant?”
“I’m asking you to leave.”
“Fuck you if you think you’re going to treat me like I’m nothing.” He moves so quickly, I don’t see it coming until my head snaps back and hits the wall behind me and my face explodes in pain that rattles my teeth. Then he grabs my hair and drags me across the room. I fight him with everything I’ve got, but I’m no match against him physically. He outweighs me by seventy pounds.
Before things go from bad to worse, I have the presence of mind to realize I’m in big, big trouble.
I love Mondays at the club, one of the two days a week we’re closed. I usually take care of a week’s worth of paperwork, inventory and cleaning in one day so I can take Tuesday completely off. My friends tell me I’m weird because I’m the only person in the world who looks forward to Mondays, but whatever. That’s just one of many ways they think I’m weird.
I’m okay with that, because thanks to those same friends, I have the world’s most unbelievable life, and I’m thankful to them for making me part of the Quantum family.
As I cut in and out of rush-hour LA traffic, dodging slow-moving vehicles and people who’d rather text than drive, I think—as I do almost every day—about how my life should’ve ended up versus where I am today. I was heading for trouble with gangs when my best friend from childhood, Hayden Roth, intervened and offered me a job with his fledgling production company.
At first, I turned him down. Then he ratted me out to my mother, Graciela, who also helped to raise Hayden while she worked as his father’s housekeeper. Once she got ahold of me, I had no choice but to take Hayden’s job offer or risk my mother’s hot Mexican temper. My madre is a doll, but you don’t ever want to piss her off. Hayden and I learned that lesson early on.
I took the fucking job, in which Hayden basically made me his bitch on the West Virginia location of his first film. Going from the mean streets of LA to the rolling hills of West Virginia was a shock to my system, to say the least, and I hated the job with a passion, almost as much as I hated him for tattling on me.
I grunt out a laugh as I think about how young and stupid I was. Of course I couldn’t have known then that Hayden would grow up to be one of the hottest and most celebrated directors of our time. Back then, he was just the son of washed-up stars trying to make his mark on an unforgiving business, and he’d made up his mind to bring me along with him, kicking and screaming.
Thank God for Hayden. Without him, I’d probably be dead or in prison. I was heading nowhere fast when he intervened, and as much as I resented him for it at the time, now I have nothing but the kind of gratitude that comes with age and maturity.
I have that same thought just about every day as I drive from my condo outside Malibu to the Quantum office building that houses the exclusive club I manage on behalf of the partners. Though I’m not in any way as successful as they are, they never treat me like anything other than a full-fledged member of their family, and for that, I count myself as one of the luckiest guys who’s ever lived.
There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for any of them—or their partners. Watching them fall in love, one right after the other, has been incredible. First Flynn met Natalie, then Hayden finally admitted he’d been in love with Addison for years—duh, we all knew that—and then Jasper and Ellie decided to make a baby together. Aileen and her kids moved to LA to live closer to Kristian, and now they’re one big happy family. The one that surprised me the most, though, was Quantum’s chief legal counsel, Emmett, falling for Marlowe’s sassy, mouthy assistant, Leah. Got to admit, I didn’t see that one coming, but the two of them are as happy as two pigs in shit, and all they do is laugh.
The only one of us besides me who’s still single is Marlowe, and she’s face-first into something with the prissy Frenchman. Can’t stand that guy. None of us can. He’s fucking pretentious and has a stick jammed so far up his ass that I’m surprised you can’t see it when he opens his mouth. He’s no fun to be around, that’s for sure, and I suspect he’s got a dark side, not that I have proof of that. Just a sixth sense I have from my years of running the streets, which is something I’ve kept to myself. I can’t go around accusing the guy of something without proof, but I keep my eye on him.
Flynn and Hayden can barely stand to be in the same room with him, but they try to pretend otherwise for Marlowe’s sake. For all his formidable acting skills, Flynn sucks at hiding his disdain for the Frenchman.
Marlowe doesn’t seem to care what they think, which I find somewhat remarkable. The group of them are tight, and it’s unusual for them to be so far out of sync with each other. Love does funny things to people. I reminded Flynn of that over Christmas, when we were stuck in Utah for a few days due to a blizzard. I pointed out that he was so intent on marrying Natalie last year that he hadn’t wanted anyone telling him he needed a prenup. None of us could believe he’d marry anyone—even a sweetheart like Nat—without protecting his sizable fortune.
Flynn conceded the point, but he said his and Nat’s relationship had nothing in common with Marlowe and Rafe’s. I didn’t disagree with him or point out that Marlowe feels for Rafe the same thing he does for Nat. Although how she feels that way about him is hard to fathom. But who am I to tell someone else how they should feel? That’s so not my style. I’m a live-and-let-live kind of guy, and as such, I keep my opinions to myself, even when I see my friend making a questionable decision.
She’s a grown-ass woman who clawed her way to the top of her profession. She doesn’t need me or anyone else telling her how to live her life. If, however, she were to look my way for once, I might be tempted to… No, forget I said that. It’s never going to happen, and I gave up on that possibility years ago.
Like I said, love makes fools of people, which is one reason why I’ve studiously avoided the kind of commitments my friends have been making lately. The thought of being shackled to one woman for life, even the most spectacular woman I’ve ever known, makes me break out in hives. Variety is truly the spice of life, and through my role as the manager of the club, I have a regular buffet of variety laid out before me on a nightly basis. I’d be crazy to give that up to have one woman in my bed forever.
No, thank you. Monogamy is not for me. Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled for my friends. I can see how happy they are with their partners and how excited they are about a future that includes kids for most of them.
I shudder at the thought of bringing kids into this fucked-up world. I barely knew my own father when I was growing up and had Hayden’s disaster of a father around to give me a front-row example of what not to do. I’ve spent a lot of time in the company of Flynn’s dad, Max Godfrey, and have benefitted from the fatherly wisdom he hands out to anyone who needs it, but it’s not like I pretend that’s enough to make me worthy of being anyone’s father.
Why am I even thinking about things that’re never going to happen? I ask myself that question as I take a right turn into the Quantum parking lot, where I see that, for once, I’m not the first one to arrive on a Monday morning. Marlowe’s white Bentley is the only car in the lot, although she’s the last person I’d expect to see there at seven o’clock on a Monday. Marlowe jokes about needing her beauty sleep, and we rarely hear from her before ten when we’re on vacation together.
She texted me yesterday that she was planning a private party and wanted to let me know she’d be using the club. I reminded her that she owns the joint and doesn’t need my permission to use her own club. What’s she doing here so early? Maybe she went home with Rafe.
I park my black Ford F-150 next to her Bentley and head toward the main door. When I insert my key, I’m shocked to find the main door unlocked. Marlowe wouldn’t forget to lock up, or was she so caught up in her douche of a boyfriend that she overlooked basic security? If so, I’ll need to remind her. Flynn and Hayden would lose their collective shit if they knew the door was unlocked all night. They’re freaks about security, and with good reason.
None of us will ever get over Flynn being stabbed on a rope line in London a couple of years ago. People are crazy, especially when it comes to celebrities of any kind, and after the incident in London, Flynn and Hayden ramped up security big-time.
I place my palm on the scanner to summon the elevator to the basement. While I wait, I dash off a text to Marlowe. You left the door unlocked last night. I note that the text was delivered as I step onto the elevator.
In the downstairs lobby, I walk through the double doors into the club, where the lights are on. What the fuck? Was she so swept off her feet that she couldn’t even turn off the lights?
I cringe at that possibility and then freeze when I see the door to the dungeon is open. There’s no way in hell Marlowe would ever leave that door open—or the main door unlocked, for that matter.
I start running before I’m even aware of what I’m doing. Adrenaline pumps through me as I cross the expansive main room of the club and dash through the door that leads down one more level, to the private area available only to the Quantum principals. I pound down the stairs and stop short at the sight of horror. That’s the only word to describe it, and even that may not be adequate.
Marlowe, beaten and bloody, suspended from the ceiling in ropes tied in such a way that if she so much as breathes too deeply, she’ll be strangled, if she hasn’t been already. I can’t tell at first if she’s alive. Her chest doesn’t appear to move, but I can’t be certain with the way she’s trussed up.
“Oh my God,” I whisper as I move toward her, fear pounding through me and making me lightheaded. I’m going to kill that son of a bitch, and after he’s dead, I’m going to kill him again.
My mouth is dry and my hands are shaking as I try to decide what I should do first—free her from the ropes or call for help. “Marlowe. Sweetheart…” Tears fill my eyes, and my heart beats so fast, I have to force myself to breathe so I don’t pass out or break down. She needs me to keep it together.
I sweep my fingers over her forehead, noting she has a big bruise on her left cheek. “Marlowe.”
Her low moan is the best sound I’ve ever heard.
She’s not dead.
“Let me get some help.”
“No.” The word is softly spoken but emphatic.
“Marlowe, you’re seriously hurt.”
With fumbling fingers, I untie the knot around her neck and then, cradling her in my arms, I use my free hand to work on the other knots holding her suspended. It takes much longer than it should, but I finally release the last of the knots and gather her naked, battered body into my arms.
She trembles so violently, I fear she might be having a seizure.
“You gotta let me call someone, Mo. Please. I’m way outta my league here.”
“Call Addie.” Marlowe grits her teeth and sucks in a breath before whimpering. “She’ll get help. N-no cops or hospitals.” Her fingers dig into my arm. “Please, Seb.”
“Okay, honey. No cops or hospitals.” I take her to sit on one of the sofas and grab a blanket from a basket on the floor, gently putting it over her before withdrawing my phone and calling Addie.
“Hey,” she says, chipper as always. “What’s up?”
“Where are you?”
“Just got to the office, why?”
“Come down to the club. By yourself. And hurry, Addie. It’s an emergency.”
While we wait for her, I hold Marlowe’s trembling body as close to me as I dare, fearful of adding in any way to her pain. “Did he do this to you, love?”
She doesn’t reply, which says it all. I’m going to kill him, and I’m going to enjoy it. I’m going to do exactly what he did to her first, every last thing. When Flynn and Hayden hear about this…
The single word is filled with pain, so much I can barely stand it.
“Whatever you’re thinking, just don’t.” Each word seems to cost her.
“Shhh, just breathe, sweetheart.”
I hear Addie calling for me upstairs.
Her heels click on the stairs as she comes down quickly. “What’s wrong, Sebastian?”
She walks across the room, unable to make out much in the low lighting until she sees the distinctive color of Marlowe’s hair and gasps. “What happened?”
“She was beaten and left suspended from the ropes all night.”
“Did you call for rescue?”
“No.” Marlowe keeps her eyes closed. “No rescue. No press.”
“She told me to call you. She said you’d know what to do.”
“Marlowe.” Addie bites back her shock and dismay to take charge. “What hurts?”
“Do you have broken bones?”
Addie looks up at me. “We need to be very careful with her until we know that for sure.” She caresses Marlowe’s hair. “Can I call Dr. Breslow to come see you?”
“Let’s get her upstairs to one of the private rooms.” I can hear how upset and worried she is with every word she says. Marlowe is one of Addie’s closest friends.
I’m trembling like a newborn, but I hold Marlowe close to me as I stand to walk upstairs.
She cries out in pain that guts me. I hope that son of a bitch is on the run, because I want to track him down and make him pay for what he’s done to her. I want to make him hurt the same way she does.
“I’m sorry, sweetheart.”
“Not your fault.” Her words are garbled.
Not once, in all my life, have I ever wanted to actually murder someone the way I do now. I can’t imagine how Flynn and Hayden will feel. They go all the way back with Marlowe, the three of them as close as siblings. Following Addie, I carry Marlowe up two flights of stairs to one of the private rooms. I’m thankful for the cleaning team that was here over the weekend, leaving the room smelling like lemons and fabric softener.
Addie pulls the quilt and sheet down and makes a pile of the pillows.
I place Marlowe, carefully, on the bed and get my first look at the bruises on her torso.
Sucking in a deep breath to calm myself, I glance at Addie, whose face has gone white with shock. “Call the doc, Addie.”
She shakes off the horror and pulls out the iPhone that runs her life—and Flynn’s.
I gently place the covers over Marlowe, sit on the edge of the bed and brush the hair back from her face. “What do you need?”
“I’ll get it.”
She stops me when I would’ve gotten up. “Seb.”
“Don’t tell Flynn or Hayden. They’ll kill him.”
“They won’t kill him. He’ll already be dead if he comes near me—or you.”
Her eyes fill with tears that break me. “Please.”
I can’t bear to see our strong, powerful Marlowe hurt this way. I want to go outside and howl from the rage that grips me. “I won’t tell them.”
“She’s on her way,” Addie reports when she ends the call with the doctor. She sits gingerly on the other side of the bed and places her hand on top of Marlowe’s.
“I’m going to get her some water.” I leave the room and rush downstairs to the bar, where I pour her a tall glass of ice water. It’s been years since I’ve felt the way I do now—out of control, enraged, thirsty for vengeance. I love every member of the Quantum family as much as I love my own mother.
But Marlowe… I love her like I’ve never loved anyone, and I’m the only one in the entire world who knows that.
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
~ Calvin Coolidge