"...This was a longing she had never permitted herself to acknowledge.
She faced it now. She thought: If emotion is one's response to the things the world has to offer, if she loved the rails, the building, and more: if she loved her love for them-there was still one response, the greatest, that she had missed.
She thought: To find a feeling that would hold, as their sum, as their final expression, the purpose of all the things she loved on earth... To find a consciousness like her own, who would be the meaning of her world, as she would be of his... No, not Francisco d'Anconia, not Hank Rearden, not any man she had ever met or admired... A man who existed only in her knowledge of her capacity for an emotion she had never felt, but would have given her life to experience...
She twisted herself in a slow, faint movement, her breasts pressed to the desk; she felt the longing in her muscles, in the nerves of her body.
Is that what you want? Is it as simple as that?-she thought, but knew that it was not simple. There was some unbreakable link between her love for her work and the desire of her body; as if one gave her the right to the other, the right and the meaning; as if one were the completion of the other-and the desire would never be satisfied, except by a being of equal greatness.
Her face pressed to her arm, she moved her head, shaking it slowly in negation. She would never find it. Her own thought of what life could be like, was all she would ever have of the world she had wanted. Only the thought of it-and a few rare moments, like a few lights reflected from it on her way-to know, to hold, to follow to the end..."