By Candice Gilmer On May 29 2011, 7:09 am
Yeah, we’ve all done it, the long distance romance. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. For me, it’s not ever worked out quite well. So when I started writing The Reluctant Prince, there was a part of the story where I knew it would be a long distance romance, and frankly, the idea terrified me.
Sydney and Hadrian, separated by continents, would have to have, for a good portion of the second act, a long distance relationship. And I wasn’t exactly sure how that would work. I mean, long distance, even just a few hours, could be absolute torture on a relationship.
Continents? Really? Of course, what were they going to do? Sydney lived in the Midwest. Hadrian was Prince of an island in the Mediterranean. Their worlds were separated by an ocean. How was that going to work?
And I remembered this little thing we have.
But could it work? I mean, it’s just a bit of text on a screen that my characters were reading from each other, as they lived out their lives. Could that really bind two people together over great distances? Especially in a book. I mean, did people really do that?
I had my doubts.
So imagine my surprise when I started talking to real-life acquaintances who texted. A lot. To people who were in other states, far away from the ones they loved, and while they couldn’t always pick up the phone and call, a text is there, ready and waiting, for that special someone to read. How amazingly relationships could develop over a simple thing like a text. I loved this idea so much, I had to use in The Reluctant Prince, to help bind Hadrian and Sydney together, even though they’re separated by an ocean and a lot of land.
It’s amazing what a little bit of technology can do to bring people together. In this world with such instant access to people, is a long distance relationship really that far away? I don’t think so, at least not anymore. Sydney and Hadrian helped me see that, and it made me love this story all the more.
And since I love this story, I must share one of my favorite scenes with Hadrian and Sydney:
"So what time is your first class in the morning?" Hadrian asked
"Nine. There’s a, uh, registration starting at eight, with donuts and stuff and uh, where I get my papers and promo material." As I spoke, he ran his fingers up my back, one hand sliding up to the back of my head into my hair.
"You really should get to bed soon." He didn’t release me as he spoke. Instead, he stared at me with those amber-whiskey-sexy eyes of his.
He leaned closer, his lips mere millimeters from mine.
"It’s, uh, been a, uh, long day." I went up on my toes, holding onto his shoulders.
"Yes, I should let you go to bed." His breath grazed my cheek, and my insides screamed with desire.
Hadrian leaned down, his lips meeting mine. And I have to give him credit—the fire burning between the two of us was powerful. Heck, the energy burned my skin. He had to be feeling it as well.
So when he kissed me with a restrained, soft kiss, I was impressed. I was ready to throw him down and have my way with him. His lips grazed mine, a slight part, more like he was tasting me rather than kissing me.
Or he was waiting for permission to do more.
Which I gave.
I opened my mouth wider. He answered in kind, his lips opening enough so his tongue flicked out, grazing me.
That was about all we both needed.
Whatever he was holding back, he released, and the soft, tentative kiss was gone, replaced with fire, passion, and those things found in the pages of romance novels. I ran my hands up and down his back, lacing in his hair. Our tongues danced with each other, mating in primal ways that made no logical sense.
One of his hands slid down my side, caressing the edge of my breast, and I moaned, arching forward to bring his hand in contact with my ever-so-needy nipple.
Our lips didn’t part as he started guiding me backwards to the bed.
My heart rammed harder and harder, like it could explode in any second.
Wait a minute, what the Hell was I doing?
I didn’t know this guy.
And I was about to go to bed with him?
Had I lost my ever-lovin’ mind?
I was beginning to think so.
When my knees hit the bed, I landed with a thump. My worry must have shown on my face, because Hadrian paused.
"Are you okay?"
"I don’t know."
He knelt in front of me. "I don’t want to do anything you’re not comfortable with." He stroked my legs. "I can go, if you’d like."
I bit my lip, reaching up to feel his soft hair. "I don’t know." Everything inside me was torn. In my head, I had every logical reason why I should have him leave. And my body was screaming for release from the sex tension building between us both all night.
He tipped his head to the side, and I ran my hand over his cheek. "You feel amazing, Sydney." His eyes shut, and he tilted his head into my hand, placing a soft kiss on my palm.
"So do you."
He let out a sigh. "I hear a ‘but’ coming."
I tried to paint on a nice smile. "As much as I want you—and I know you can tell I want you—I’m afraid. It’s been a long time since I was with someone besides my husband…" my words trailed off. There was more within me, but I didn’t have the words to articulate it.
Surprisingly, he smiled back at me. I half expected him to call me some kind of name, a dick tease or something to that effect.
"I understand." He glanced around the room. "We could watch television. Talk a little more."
I felt guilty. I couldn’t help it. I felt like I was leading him on in the worst way. "I wouldn’t want you to feel like you—I don’t want you thinking…"
"This isn’t your only night here, is it?"
"When they make wines, the wine has to age in order to get that perfect flavor. They let it simmer, if you will. I have no problem letting you simmer for a bit, to make sure your wine—" he glanced down my body, "—is ready to savor."
Candice Gilmer's novel The Reluctant Prince is her second contemporary romance with Samhain