Have you noticed that fairy tales almost always have an outdoor or wilderness type scene? In Cinderella it is when the maiden is fleeing the palace and loses her shoe on the steps. In Snow White, well, let’s just say it is pretty much the entire story. The same is true for Rapunzel.
It might not be a fairy tale but I will never forget the scene in Jayne Eyre when the heroine meets Rochester on the road to his home. Although she spooks him, he is smitten with her and begins his pursuit.
Fairy tales intrigue us with Happily Ever Afters that allows us to go on the journey of discovery of new love. That experience usually eliminates all of the pain of life that comes after settling down. But, as much as we get to experience the journey in fairy tales, until such stories hit the big screen we seldom get to see what is going on in the head and heart of the heroine at the first encounter. Yes, Harlequin Romances and other books in the love genre gives us that but it gives us everything else, too.
In this month’s Snap, I decided to live solely in the moment of a female character having a chance encounter with a potential love interest. She’s not at her best and they meet outside, on a trail while running. I wanted to explore that few minutes of euphoria when budding attraction presents itself.
The Moment after Hello
He is hot! Donna raised the water bottle to her mouth with her left hand so the handsome man she’d just plowed into on the trail would know that she was single and available. The cool water trickled down her throat, quenching the thirst evoked by the three-mile run she’d completed in record time. Twenty-six minutes. Had it taken one minute longer Mr. Tall Dark and Muscles on Top of Muscles wouldn’t have been there to catch her when she tripped over a tree limb that had fallen on the path.
“Are you okay?” he asked, his hands held out toward her as if he were bracing himself to catch her again.
He smelled good, too—even after sweating. His face, arms and chest were covered in perspiration. Not the kind of glean that shone on a woman’s skin during exercise but full on masculine drips and streams of water that trickled down his face, prompting him to use the back of his hand to wipe it away. Every movement was a symphony of muscular distraction that nearly made Donna forget she was standing in front of a man in real life, and not just looking at an Adonis on the pages of some bachelor of the month calendar. Mr. July. Steaming hot!