Do you believe in love at first sight?
I don’t know that I believe in first sight exactly, but I do think sometimes one meeting is all it takes. Here’s why:
Once upon a time there was a girl (ok, you got me. It’s me, when I qualified for girlhood in more than just the fan girl sense) who had joined a dating service. (I’m not the bar type, ok? I’ll get into that later) Now reading Harlequins since the age of eleven, I was perhaps a tad picky, and after a year (the length of the contract) I hadn’t found anyone I clicked with.
It was time to decide if I should just give up on the dating service and let the universe (if it should be so kind,) either send someone my way without my assistance or give a sign that I was destined to be a happy single.
But the women who ran the dating service were not ready to give up on me. There was a great guy, they said, who had been in the service almost as long as I, but he hadn’t clicked with anyone either. However, as great as he was, the computer didn’t see us as a match. He was a computer programmer from Mumbai who spent his free time jumping out of airplanes and scuba diving. I was an asthmatic bookworm school librarian who loved spending time with my family and showing my basenji. Still, they thought we might hit it off, so I agreed.
We met for lunch at Chi-Chi’s (God, I miss the food at that restaurant). He greeted me on the front steps with a kiss on the cheek and I thought, this won’t take long. He is way too good-looking to be interested in me. (If you ever wondered where some of my heroines get their self-esteem issues, wonder no longer)
We sat and talked, went for dessert at Abbott’s frozen custard, and talked some more. That first date lasted six hours and I saw him just about every day after that. Within weeks we were talking marriage and he proposed to me within months.
It wasn’t love at first sight, but it doesn’t come much closer.
So, I write Shifters and I use the mating bond. It isn’t love at first sight, but it breaks down the barriers characters have that stop them from admitting that they are truly worth loving.
Take one of my heroes (please), Ethan of Entity Mine. He’s a tortured, former abused kid, ex-Navy SEAL, virgin, alpha male who doesn’t know he’s a chimera shifter. His history is such that he would never believe Devon, a lawyer in town to re-group from a bad experience, could love him, but the mating bond forces the issue.
Excerpt: (My apologies, Pages takes out my tabs)
The angry woman paced, her
sandaled feet slapping the concrete, though he didn’t think it
could be summer anymore, but she didn’t seem to be talking
to the woman blocking his view. A cell phone, then.
Here was a mystery, something to take his mind off his
unending hunger, if only for a moment. He moved closer.
Her scent, fresh, with an overlay of cherry blossoms
and a hint of musk, drifted to him through the screen door
on the air current she’d stirred with her sharp movement. He
inhaled. She smelled like spring. His favorite season.
How strange was it that he could still smell? He’d spent
a lot of time when he first died pondering the hows and whys
of his condition. The oddity of seeing, smelling, feeling,
without eyes to see, a nose to smell or hands to touch. Bitter
hunger and thirst from an incorporeal gut and throat. He
supposed the illusion was some construct of his brain, but
how his brain still worked was beyond him.
The woman ended her call, clutching the phone to her
chest, and turned to the blonde on the step. “I’m sorry,”
As he’d figured, her voice stroked across his ears like
the rough caress of a warm, ocean wave on sunbaked skin.
He moved to study her through the screen. There was
something familiar about her, but he couldn’t put his finger
on how he might know her. Probably about thirty, she had
light, red hair and pale skin. Her brown eyes seemed weary
and sad. A streak of something gray banded her forehead,
but all it did was highlight her delicate beauty.
He felt the sudden urge to hunt down the person who’d
kindled the hurt he’d heard beneath her anger and tear him
a new one.
So what do you think? Do you believe in love at first sight?