Since this is a Valentine's Hop, I've traveled in time and met up with the characters from my m/m novels to ask them one question:
What is love to you?
The Mercenary Slave- Izz-Sarava (Melassar) & Wybert- Medieval Era
"You have come here to ask us only this?
Abruptly, he grins and lets out a sharp barking laugh. I look at Wybert. The giant of a man sitting on a nearby stool is also smiling. Melassar clears his voice, making me turn my attention back to him.
"Love is when the mere thought of losing someone causes such agony in your heart that death would be preferable."
Wybert nods. "After the incident with Zshanti, I thought I'd never see Melassar again." His brow creases and a pained look crosses his face. "The thought that I might never be able to touch him, hold him and tell him how much he means to me, was like a bleeding wound in my heart that knew no end."
Blind Beauty- James & Richard- Regency era
"Richard carved most of it," James says. I look up and can't help smiling at the glint of pride that dances in his blue eyes. After a few minutes of small talk, I ask them the question.
James smiles. The gesture gives him an almost boyish air that makes my heart flutter. Unlike Richard, he doesn't exude raw masculine power, but there's something about him that makes my legs go weak. Perhaps, it's his dark, melodious voice.
"Love is knowing that the person you're with loves you inside and out. They don't care if you have scars on your face, if you're ugly or overweight. They love you the way you are."
Softly, Richard kisses the top of James's head. The blonde leans his head on the larger's man shoulder, clearly at ease.
"Love is knowing that you can be yourself in every way and the other person won't judge you for it, to the contrary, they care for you because of it. Love is being accepted by your partner."
Spanish Diversion- Alejandro & Shane- Contemporary
"We're not celebrating it," Shane says. "We believe that celebrating love is a daily thing. If I want to give him a gift, I just do. I don't have to wait until the 14th of February to tell him how much I love him."
Alejandro nods and takes a sip of his black coffee.
"It's a very, what do they call it in English, a very commercial holiday. It's lost meaning." He looks at Shane and a slow, sensual smile spreads across his lips. To my surprise, Shane blushes. Alejandro laughs. "When you love someone, you love them all year long."
"But, what is love?"
"Ah, la eterna cuestión," Alejandro says. He folds his hands on the table in front of him and pierces me with a gaze. "El amor no tiene definición."
"In English, Jandro, or the readers won't understand you." Shane places his hands over Alejandro's, catching his attention. Quickly, Alejandro inverts the position, taking Shane's hand into his and squeezing.
"Love has no definition," he plunges on. "When you love someone you are their friend and their partner. You wish to know more about them, you wish to be better for them. You want to be with that person at all times. You want to see them smile, laugh, be happy." He glances at Shane and a sort of silent communication seems to pass between them. "You desire them in every way possible." Shane blushes and tries to pull his hand away but Alejandro keeps him in place. "It's all that but it's also more. There are components in love that can't be explained. Love just is. When it happens, you know it."
"You can fight it all you want," Shane adds, "but in the end, it gets you."
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Now go and Hop some more!