I am definitely a fan of the slow-build romance. Long before the first “I love you” is spoken, the main characters usually show in several ways, how deeply they are beginning to care for the other. Previously, I’ve shared an excerpt from We Three featuring cuddling after discussing the 5 love languages. But these are moments that might not actually accompany any physical contact. These are gestures of care and unspoken love.
The sources for my first lines (or the title if the I find the first line doesn’t fit in the character’s mouth) is a list of 100 ways to say I love you, found on tumblr.
Today’s randomly selected choice line is: “You can borrow mine.” The actual line doesn’t appear in the selection, but in this scene from my first novel Turning Point, Brenna offers to get something that belongs to her for Cassidy to use. It’s basically the first gesture she’s extended to this woman she has previously worked hard at not associating with at all.
To Brenna’s surprise, Cassidy sighed and rubbed her feet, releasing them from a pair of dress heels as soon as she sat down in a nearby canvas chair. “I wish I had a longer dinner break. I could really use my foot bath. But I’m first up for the C.U.s.”
Brenna could not recall Cassidy expressing any discomfort before and wondered if it was because she had not bothered to notice or if the woman was in an atypical amount of pain. Cassidy continued massaging her stocking-covered foot. Well, there’s time enough to correct that now. Brenna rolled up her script and patted it against her own thigh, snapping her gaze up to Cassidy’s face. “I might have something to help there. Why don’t you come to my trailer to sit for a few minutes? Besides, I forgot to leave Ryan’s present on Saturday, so I can give you that, too.”
“You don’t have to.”
“I do. I had it with me, but in…I left it in the car.”
“Oh.” After another brief hesitation, Cassidy nodded. “All right.” She bent over to put the heels back on. With a sigh, she stopped. “Forget it. I’ll walk in stockings.”
“I think I have a spare pair of slippers.”
Cassidy’s head snapped up in surprise. “I…thanks.”
Brenna realized where Cassidy’s eyes were staring — at the casual hand she had put on the other woman’s arm, which she quickly withdrew. She covered her quandary about why she had done something so intimate with a quipped, “Sure.”
Brenna in her boots and Cassidy in her stocking feet walked around to the back of the soundstage and out the door to a line of trailers. Each cast member had one. They walked to the second to last one on the left.
“I don’t think I’ve been in here.” Cassidy took the last step up into the cozy trailer. She eyed a refrigerator and Formica-topped folding table. Brenna’s “home away from home” was littered with photographs and books. A hand-crocheted afghan lay haphazardly over the back and arm of a small recliner. She noticed a book half-tucked under the old beige version of a script page and picked it up as Brenna disappeared into the second half of the trailer, tossing over her shoulder, “Have a seat.”
When Brenna returned, Cassidy held up the book with a questioning look. “You read this?”
Brenna laughed. “I have to know a little bit about the science of some of this stuff or I’ll never say it right.” She took the book from Cassidy’s hands and laid it aside, glancing at the star-speckled cover of Hawking’s A Brief History of Time.
Yeah, but him? Seems a little dry. I read Feynman myself.” She offered a wry smile. “You’re right, though. We’ve got to sound somewhat convincing when we do this.”
Brenna presented her with two pairs of slippers. “Go on. Blue cotton or Bullwinkle J. Moose?” Cassidy hesitated, then reached for the brown character slippers. “I figured you for a Bullwinkle fan,” Brenna added as Cassidy dropped to the couch to place them on her feet.
“You did?” She sighed in relief as the thickly padded interior hugged her aching feet.
“I just took one look at you and said, ‘Bullwinkle.’ Though as you can see, I brought the blue ones in case I was wrong.”
“Always prepared? I find it odder that you would like Bullwinkle,” Cassidy admitted.
Brenna shrugged. “I grew up watching this earnest moose that seemed to mess everything up.”
“Though things usually came out right in the end.”
“Serendipity.” Brenna smiled.
“Or his buddy Rocky.” Cassidy chuckled. The two women fell silent
Brenna and Cassidy won’t name the shifting feeling ‘love’ for at least another 100 pages, but this was the start of a shift in their awareness of each other.
If you’re a fan of slow build romances, I think you’ll enjoy Turning Point. You can pick up either print or ebook from Supposed Crimes. If you’re interested in a autographed hardback copy, I have a few on hand. I’ll mail one out for $10 plus postage. Email me for details.