"You're adorable," he told me this morning, standing there in his underwear, looking down at me, blushing.
"So are you," I said, stepping up on my tippy-toes to kiss him.
"I mean it," he said, nudging me back to being flat on my feet. "I say you're adorable, but I really do adore you."
"And I adore *you*," I said for hopefully the first of many times, running my hands gently over his cheeks--surprised but pleased to hear whispers in my head, the soft sounds of two characters stirring as they, too, began to wake up...
* * * * *
Characters are melting pots. As the original idea for a character bubbles in its base form on the stove, I start adding things. A cup of that him, the original concept. A few spoonfuls of this him, to make that him seem more likable, more deserving of being cared about. A dash of my natural reaction to each him. A pinch of my feelings for each. A shot of my own imagination, for that fiction factor. But we know that fictional characters are often anything but fiction--or at least anything but complete fiction. They're this strange brew of people we've known, things we've seen, feelings we've felt.