It's been awhile since he's truly let his feelings be known, even though I repeatedly ask him and sit there, finger tapping on the keypad, waiting for more than a word or two.
"Don't you love the heroine?"
"Don't you want the heroine?"
"How much do you love her and want her, Paulo? You're going to have to do better than that."
This has been our conversation for weeks now. I know what the problem is; I don't have any experience writing a hero for a short story. I'm used to having time to get to know the characters inside and out, and that just isn't the case here. But I can't let that stop me. This is a fantastic learning experience, so every day I set the heroine up in a new light and I ask Paulo what he is thinking.
Today, Paulo spoke to me. He chose the perfect moment, as any man would. I was face down on the chiropractor's table, covered in heating pads. No paper, no pen, and I have the short term memory capabilities of that forgetful fish in Finding Nemo.
"But I am ready," Paulo argued. "Is this not what you have wanted? The woman of my dreams is posing nude for me, and I know now that I love her. I wish to tell her and show her using every adjective and verb in the dictionary. Except 'gifting her with my purple-headed throbbing tumescence'. If you use that, I am going back to Italy and never showing my face in America again."
There was only one thing I could say. "Si."
Then I took the heating pads off, walked over to the counter, and started writing everything else Paulo had to say on the chiropractor's sticky notepad. The doc came in while I was flipping to the 3rd sheet, but she didn't say a word. She's known me for ten years. I finished up there and came home, finally got to flip on my laptop, and began to type from my notes.
Paulo spoke to me today, and it felt damned good.