Before I dive in and give you a sneak peek into the development Jess goes through in We Fit, I have some fantastic news.
PRE-ORDERS are open.
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The first book WE THREE is also specially priced at 99 cents here.
We Fit: Jess Davies
Jess Davies is the most skittish character in We Three and the sequel We Fit. She has a lot of reason to be doubtful about making connections, commitments, and hearing someone profess emotional attachment. She absolutely views her interactions with Elena and Eric in We Three as fun sexual playtimes. And she’s not expecting more. When their connection grows, and she’s getting vibes of something much stronger building, she’s afraid to have anything change – because change so often means she’s the one shuffling on to someplace else.
At the end of We Three, she hears the unfathomable: move in with us. What the fuck is she supposed to do? How does she answer that? What will happen in one week, six weeks, six months, a year, when the relationship is a bust and she’s inevitably told it’s over?
When Jess doesn’t know, she does not put herself out there to be hurt, by outright asking questions. She bottles it up, buries it, leaves before they can leave her.
She never counts on anyone coming after her. She never counted on Elena coming to her.
And that is where We Fit starts.
Inspiration and Characterization
Jess Davies was inspired by the character of Emma Swan, the character Jennifer Morrison played on Once Upon a Time, which aired on ABC from 2011-2018. For Jess Davies’ back history, I began with the transient life Emma led long before her son Henry came into her life. I wanted to explore how a person who was that much of a loner, with that much history of abandonment and lack of family, would react to real offers of intimacy and connection.
There were hints of the extreme self-protective behaviors she might use in the show’s first season. But the fantasy of OUAT’s overall storyline took the opportunity to explore that part of her character off the table very quickly. Placing her in a much more realistic setting gave me the chance to explore what sort of person (or persons) could really break through that sort of self-protective shell.
We Fit: Jess’s Plot
Jess is the skeptic in We Fit. Due to a scare, and due to her issues disbelieving that someone could just want her because she is who she is, and not expect, demand, or even require, reciprocation, she struggles with each overture that Elena and then Eric offer. She thinks she’s protecting herself and her heart if she keeps the relationships sex-only. No attachment means no pain.
The fact that she was already hurting shows that she was already attached, but trust isn’t something she gives easily, so she’s slow to trust that with the Tanners what she sees (and what they say) is exactly what they mean.
Here’s a part of the opening of We Fit where Jess tries to figure out what to do when Elena texts her.
“It’s… no–Well…” She sat back down. Could she talk about this with him? He’d been helpful other times. She asked, “Could I talk to you about something?”
He pursed his lips, then shrugged his shoulders. “Shoot.”
“It’s about swinging.” She dropped her voice a bit. For all that they were in a swingers club, it still felt like a weird thing to be discussing out loud.
“You and that couple?” She nodded. He shrugged again. “Haven’t seen ‘em ‘round. Something changed?”
“That’s…well, that’s…I think I changed it.” She hugged her hands between her knees, which rounded her shoulders.
“You broke up?” He sounded surprised. “I thought it was just the holiday busy-ness that you’d hadn’t seen them?”
“No. Well, maybe? I don’t know. We had a really, really great date just before Christmas. I mean it was this incredible…really…. Dinner, dancing, and everything…sex,” she finished. “At the end of it they asked me to move in.”
“Wow.” His eyebrows went up.
Jess frowned and exhaled before replying, “I said no.” His expression turned almost comical–a mix of disbelief and amusement. She rushed to defend her thoughts, her words stumbling out. “I mean, of course I said no. It’s crazy, right? That’s insane. We were close, yeah, but… it’s all playtime. They’re married and I’m just…not. It’s not… Was I wrong? Oh, god, I was wrong, wasn’t I? What’s the right answer? We were getting together a lot, yeah, and it was fun, sexy. I really lo-liked all the things we did. I had fun even when we weren’t, but…It’s…moving in, that’s like…bigger. Calling it a relationship. They can’t… that’s not supposed to happen, right?”
“It can,” he replied so calmly she was stunned into just staring at him as she caught her breath. He added, “There’s seldom sex with no feelings at all, y’know.”
“There aren’t supposed to be those kinds of feelings, right?”
“Are you sure that’s why they asked?”
Jess hesitated. Elena and Eric had shown they cared about her in a lot of different ways. But was the proposal to move in because they wanted more? She shook her head. “I don’t know.”
“Did you ask?”
She opened her mouth to reply when she felt her phone buzz again. She exhaled. Reading the screen, she hesitated with her fingers poised, but then pulled it up to show the screen to Gus. “Elena,” she said. The message was simple: Can you talk?
Gus asked her, “So, can you?”
Tossing the phone aside on her chair, Jess asked, “What am I going to say?”
“Maybe start with why you said no.”
She gestured around herself and then gestured outward from her face with both hands. “You mean that word vomit that just came out? I’ll sound like an idiot.”
Gus leaned back and set his plate aside, looking up at her with his hands calmly on his knees. “Jess, you’ll sound like what it is… processing. Talk it out. It certainly appears like they want to listen,” he finished, pointing at her phone.
Many readers of We Three picked up on the animosity Hector and Maya, the Caliente club owners, had toward Jess. In We Fit, their feelings come out and knock everything out from under Jess. Now she might have to leave Miami whether she wants to or not.
This subplot gave me a chance to see if the emotional shifts Jess was making were growing her beyond her need to be alone and simply run away to start over. Was she growing in a way that allowed her to consider different options and make different decisions?
Because it’s so integral to the overall plot of We Fit, I’m not going to tell you what happens. I’ll only tell you that the story is labeled a romance because it is a romance.