Love is a very complex human emotion. It comes in many forms. Here are some examples from my novels:
From Fishing in Foreign Seas: (Jamie and Caterina are on a sightseeing excursion to Erice, Sicily. This is the kind of love that young people dream of; where two people fit together perfectly.)
He looked into a narrow gorge which was covered on the near side with vines and seemed to stretch down into infinity. “Yes, I see what you mean. I can’t even make out what’s at the bottom.”
she pleaded. She took a step backward and held out her hands to him.
He crossed over to her. “The railing is quite strong. You wouldn’t fall over,” he assured her.
She looked at him, her lips compressed: “I am afraid of heights. When I get near a place like this, I am afraid I throw myself over.”
“But you’re not going to do that!”
“I know, but I still get the feeling. . . . As if some demon inside of me will take control . . . and throw me over.”
“But you don’t have any demons inside,” he protested.
“I know of one,” she confessed. Her eyes were misty: “. . . it is called ‘self-doubt’.”
He stared at her in utter amazement, then he felt her vulnerability, and he drew her close to him. “Let’s get a bite to eat,” he suggested.
They sat at a table in an almost-deserted patisserie. She would look at him for a moment and then she would look around her. The corners of her mouth were turned down and her head was inclined to one side.
“Caterina . . .” She looked at him, her face full of disappointment in herself. He took her hands: “I love you!”
She took a deep breath, not believing what she heard. Then the dam burst inside her. “Oh, Jamie, I love you so much! I never believed I could love anyone like this!” Her face was streaming with tears.
“You beautiful, wild, wonderful girl!” He got up and hugged her. “. . . Do you suppose they have any champagne here?”
She wiped her eyes with a napkin. “I doubt it, but they probably have some prosecco – which might be good.”
Jamie got up, ordered a bottle of prosecco and pointed out some assorted sweets to the waitress. She came to their table carrying an unopened bottle and the tray of sweets; then she showed them the bottle.
Caterina frowned. “Haven’t you got anything better than that?”
“Yes, Miss, we have champagne.”
“What champagne is it?”
“We have one bottle of Moet in the refrigerator.”
“Excellent! We’d like that, please!”
They sat gazing at each other while the waitress went for the champagne. “Jamie, are you sure you love me?”
“Yes, I love you because you’re clever, you have a sense of humor, you’re a little wild, because you’re the part of me that’s missing, you’re beautiful, and because you’re a bit lonely!”
Wordlessly, she got up from the table, knelt down and hugged him.
From Sin & Contrition: (Where Josie is swept off here feet by Dr. Bill Thompson, and while they love each other, there’s a major obstacle.)
Josie and Dr. Thompson were lying naked in her bed that Sunday evening. He was nuzzling her breasts.
“Bill, have you ever been married?”
He looked up at her suddenly: “Why do you ask, my love?”
“Because I want to know.”
Dr. Thompson rolled over onto his back. “I was married once – it didn’t work out too well.”
“When was that?”
“About eight years ago.”
“Did you get a divorce?”
“She doesn’t want to give me one.”
“It’s possible to get one in Pennsylvania, even if one person objects.”
“I know, but I haven’t had any reason to – until now.”
“What do you mean?”
“I love you, Josie.”
It was the first time he had said it, and she felt elation. “I love you, Bill. . . . Would you get a divorce for me?”
“It’s complicated, Josie. There are kids involved.”
“There are kids?”
“Yeah, four kids.”
Josie began to feel a knot in her stomach. “How old are they?”
“Seven, five, four and two.”
“And you’re still living with your wife and the children?”
“Well, yeah, but it’s not what you’re thinking. I’m just staying for the children.”
“Do you and your wife still have sex?”
“No. . . . Now, Josie, you’ve just got to be patient with me. We’ll work something out.”
Josie slept very little that night. She kept turning over in her mind her questions: could they work something out? That would be absolutely heaven! Could she convince him to spend more time with her? If he got a divorce, could she handle four kids – even part time? She thought so.
Finally, and reluctantly, she decided to do a little investigating.
From Efraim’s Eye: (Paul confesses his affection for Naomi, knowing perhaps that their relationship is not meant to be.)
The wind rattled the green canvas awning that covered the roof restaurant. They were sitting side-by-side so that they could look out to sea. A waiter had cleared away their breakfast plates of fruit and pastries. Naomi was sipping her coffee pensively. She turned slightly to face him. “Do you love me, Paul?”
Unprepared as he was for that question, Paul knew that there could be only one answer. “Yes, yes, of course I love you.”
Naomi’s head tilted, and her gaze fell to the table cloth. Uncertainly, she asked, “Why do you love me?”
Instinctively, Paul knew that his answer must not include the word ‘beautiful’ or one of its synonyms. He said, “You’re a very sweet idealist, Naomi. You are a woman with great talents as a linguist, as a musician, and in dealing with people. But for me, best of all, is your joie de vie. Life is a great, pleasing adventure for you, and it’s delightful to be with you.”
For some moments, Naomi gazed at him, apparently repeating his words in her mind. She asked, “So you think I’m a sweet, talented, adventurous woman?” She pronounced the word ‘woman’ awkwardly, as if it were a term unfamiliar to her.
He smiled. “For a four word summary, that will do.”
Paul knew the answer to the reciprocal question. She loved him as a daughter loves, and he had awakened her latent brilliance as a lover. But, for her part, she had wanted to know whether she, herself, was a person who could be loved.
She took his hand in hers, and they sat, quietly gazing out to sea, each lost for some time in his or her own sunny thoughts.
From The Iranian Scorpion: (Robert invites Kate to come to Dubai with him; they are lovers, but actually they are friends.)
“Kate, James has proposed that I come to Dubai for a couple of weeks R & R. Would you like to come along?”
“But what would I do in Dubai?”
“Well, you could lie on the beach, or by the pool, in your bikini.”
“I don’t have a bikini.”
“Well, you can wear your designer one-piece, then.”
“What else is there?”
“Well, we would be staying at the five-star Jumeirah Hotel.”
“I am sick of hotels.”
“We could stay in one of their tropical garden residences.”
“We could go shopping in the Mall of the Emirates.”
“I hate shopping malls.”
“Well, there are some nice little shops in the hotel.”
”What else is there?”
“Well, I see that Beyoncé is playing at one of the clubs.”
“I don’t like Beyoncé.”
“How about Randy Travis?”
“I see that the Amala restaurant has fresh oysters.”
Kate made a face.
“They also have fresh Maine lobster.”
“What else, Rob?”
“Well, there are a couple of new positions we could try.”
She looked away.
“Are you not coming then, Kate?” When he moved to look at her face, he saw that she was giggling.
“Of course I’m coming!”
And this from Sable Shadow and The Presence: (Henry reflects on his relationship with Suzannne.)
After that, we just couldn’t get enough of each other. We didn’t move in together, but we might as well have. I kept some of my business clothes at Suzanne’s place, and she kept some of hers at my apartment. That way, we could always have dinner together, make love, sleep and have breakfast together. My world revolved around Suzanne, and hers around me. Anybody else was superfluous. While we were at work, we spoke to each other two or three times a day.
I was really in love for the first time in my life: I would have done absolutely anything for Suzanne. The miracle of it was that she felt the same about me. It didn’t seem possible that anyone could love me so much. This one, magical woman had wiped away all my self-doubts and my Angst.