Why is it that love makes us into fools, anyway? I submit that love launches us into a new reality, and thus skews our internal logic compared to the rest of the universe. Here are two excerpts to prove that love doesn't have to mean we've lost all our marbles!
“Wow,” Anne finally said. Andrés laughed soft and low, voice muffled in the pillow, and moved just enough to snuggle up beside her and caress her breast. “Now I know why people make fools of themselves over love.”
“Mmmm.” He nibbled her ear. “I am your fool, that’s for sure.”
“I don’t want a fool. Just a....”
When she didn’t continue, he propped himself up on his elbow to search her face. “Starts with an H?”
She couldn’t suppress the bleakness in her voice. “How would we arrange ourselves, though? You are so often in the Encino Duchy, and I’m positive Mother wouldn’t want any of the stargate work done outside the Palace lab. Plus the weeks of travel, although there probably wouldn’t be more than two stargates a year.”
He kissed her temple and snuggled in, head sharing her pillow. “Well, most of my work should be done by Father and Emilio. They do a lot of politicking together under the guise of ‘training’ Emilio. I always figured I could turn it back over to them someday.
“Grandfather has been generous with me, and since I don’t have a lot of personal expenses, I’ve saved almost all that money. Then there’s my design business, which supplies me with three times as much money as Grandfather’s stipends and bonuses. I’m certain money will be no problem, unless you plan to throw extravagant parties… why are you laughing?”
Anne turned to face him. “Darling, if I do one stargate a year, I am looking at five billion dollars. Each year. It would be $6.4 billion, except Mother lays claim to the difference as her so-called licensing fee, which she uses to pay for the Palace staff and maintenance. Money isn’t the problem.”
As Andrés’ look of awe grew, she continued, “I must admit, Josef has this idea. The four of us are thinking of forming a corporation, and there will be years of experiments before we have a marketable product, but when we do, it will leave us set for life, even if we never produce another stargate again.”
She toyed with his hair. “The problem I was thinking about was children. How do we raise children if we are constantly being separated by circumstances?”
Andrés gripped her tightly. “No. No separation. I would return my duties to Emilio and stay here with you, or wherever you choose to live. I assume you would want it to be here, given your mother’s laboratory is so secure.
“And our children would grow up with all their cousins, to the delight of your parents.” He kissed her with a loud, firm smooch. “There. Sealed with a kiss.”
Anne sighed. “I’m going to miss you this week.”
“Yes, but two weeks after, just for us? We can pretend we’re already married,” he crooned, groping her firmly as she giggled.
And from Daring Decisions, the Easter egg of Morality, final book of the To Be Sinclair series, in which confusion over the nuances of language as used on two planets results in a fight, and Jenna Johnston Sinclair discovers in Lord Vic Bradley her true love:
Vic choked. Heaving a few heavy breaths for self-control, he moaned, “I don’t understand. You know I love you and that I would never use you. Why would you even think that is possible?”
“Because of the way you phrased it. You said you had to convince people you mattered in the lives of the Imperial Family.” She turned to see his utter confusion.
“Could you explain, please?” he asked cautiously.
Jenna tilted her head. “I’m not sure what you need me to explain.”
“The part where convincing people means using you.”
“As an excuse.” His expression grew even more puzzled. “If you are doing what you want and love to do, why would you need excuses? An excuse is a rationalization for behavior, correct?”
Vic’s lips twisted. “Correct.”
“So, if you are doing what you want to be doing, why would you rationalize it to anyone? If you love me and want to be with me, you’re with me. You don’t need any excuse.
“Whereas if you need an excuse to convince people of your importance, and I’m the most convenient excuse, I can accept that. But then you make me feel like you really love me, and then you make me feel as if I’m just an excuse. I’m so confused, I figured I had to do something drastic to figure it out,” she offered apologetically.
He made a strangling noise. “I’m sorry, I’m trying not to laugh, but I can’t figure out exactly what you're saying.”
Settling back against the couch, she looked him over. “Let’s say I have an apple, and I enjoy eating apples. Would I have to convince you of that? No, I simply eat my apples, perhaps sharing them with you.
“So if you love me, why would you have to convince anyone of anything? If you are my lover and Matthieu’s best friend, what exactly are you trying to convince people about?”
Face growing enlightened, Vic’s tentative smile grew firmer. “Ah, convince as in influence or persuade, not as in changing someone’s belief system, although there is that element to it. After all, they have to believe a new truth before they will act upon it.” He suddenly burst out laughing.
“What?” Although she felt she understood better than before, she still felt she didn't understand the full meaning of the words they were using with each other.
Vic swept her up into his lap with a huge grin. “If I show Harold the ripped-up bank notes and clipped credit chip, he will understand to his bones just how pissed off you were that my duties made me neglect you. And to see my identification cut in half will definitely convince him not to assign me to the duchy unless it's a critical issue.”
“So, that’s good, right? That's what you wanted all along, right?”
“Yes.” He gave her a silly smooch on the lips.
“So, do you forgive me?” That was all Jenna cared about.
Breaking into peals of laughter, Vic rocked her back and forth, arms crushing her to his chest. “Yes, I forgive you.”
As he smiled beatifically into her face, Jenna recalled the first night they were together. Talking in her suite, she had mentioned she still felt uncomfortable in the dance. He had turned on some music and taught her some informal dances.
She had nearly tripped over her own feet at one point, and had burst out laughing. He stopped, staring at her with the most dumbfounded expression she had ever seen before admitting that he had never seen anyone laugh so beautifully. That adorable smile then wreathed his face as he leaned in for the most romantic kiss of her life....
“Oh,” she said.
“What?” His eyebrows drew together in immediate concern.
Astonishingly, she felt no cavorting butterflies, careening giddiness, or bright fireworks, just a clear, calm sense of rightness, utterly unafraid to pronounce the words that had always given her grief before. “I’ve gone and fallen in love with you.”
That earned her more beautiful laughter before Vic twined his fingers in her hair. “And I love you. Penniless, nameless old me has found the love of his life.” He punctuated that statement with a kiss. “After years of searching, I’ve finally found an honest woman who doesn’t care about anything but the real me, the one beyond all definitions.”
“Yes. ‘Beyond all definitions’. I like that.” Jenna kissed him back.
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