Then what is true love? she asked audaciously. Derian leaned forward, his focus powerfully fixed on her. His voice turned delicate and compelling as he spoke. Love is so much more than a feeling. True love, Eena, is something that develops over time. It’s not that initial infatuation nor the shivers and butterflies that take your breath away when you’re first attracted to someone. Those things are nice, but they are barely the beginning of what could become true love. The emotions you speak of are temporary and unreliable, elicited when two people come together. The power I speak of grows ever stronger over time until it is steadfast, even in separation. Then, reunited, it solidifies unshakably. She shook her head. I don’t quite follow. The captain inched closer, fixing her with the sincerest of gazes. His hands cupped as if he were holding his very heart within them. True love is a developed and intense appreciation for someone. It’s that perfect awareness that you are finally whole when she’s with you and that hollow incompleteness you suffer when she’s gone. True love takes time, Eena. It’s an earned comfort that tells you she’ll be right there beside you no matter what you do, not necessarily happy with your every action, but faithful to you just the same. Love is knowing someone so deeply, understanding her so completely, that you can finish her thoughts without hesitation, confident in reading her face, her body, even her slightest gesture means something to you. Love is years of devotion, sacrifice, commitment, loyalty, trust, faith and friendship all wrapped up in one. True love does more than cause your heart to flutter, Eena. It upholds your heart when the infatuation no longer makes it flutter. Wow.
Richelle E. Goodrich