Mrs. Dorset was pale with temper, and her antagonist felt a certain pleasure in prolonging her distress.
Lily’s visit to the Dorsets had resulted, for both, in the discovery that they could be of use to each other; and the civilized instinct finds a subtler pleasure in making use of its antagonist than in confounding him.
The faint disdain of her smile seemed to lift her high above her antagonist’s reach, and it was not till she had given Mrs. Dorset the full measure of the distance between them that she turned and extended her hand to her hostess.
These last were the two antagonistic forces which fought out their battle in her breast during the long watches of the night; and when she rose the next morning she hardly knew where the victory lay.
Though she and her hostess had not met since the latter’s tentative discussion of her future, Lily knew that the acuteness which enabled Mrs. Fisher to lay a safe and pleasant course through a world of antagonistic forces was not infrequently exercised for the benefit of her friends.
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She is my forever antagonist.
Gillian Flynn -- Gone Girl
They could have done him no real harm, of course, but the shock and pain of having a number of his toes nipped simultaneously by an unknown antagonist must have been considerable.