Ugly, ugly subject. Unfortunately it’s necessary to the plot at the moment. I’d like to think I redeem it some because it’s not actually occurring. It’s more of a dream, and it happens at a point in the story where the reader would probably figure that out, even if the heroine hasn’t. The hero certainly does, anyway.
But then, I have to wonder, does it need to be there at all? Is the act cheapened, in a way, *because* it’s a dream? Or really more of a nightmare. It’s a bit complicated to explain – it’s not quite a dream, not quite reality, but in either case it’s not actually happening except in her own mind. Although, does that lessen the impact for her? Should it?
The hero isn’t a rapist, after all. In her heart of hearts, the heroine knows this as well, but still, I needed something to drive them apart for a bit, and this has certainly done it. I hadn’t really planned it out this way- it just sort of happened. And the hero isn’t pulling any punches about it. It’s not who he is and he’s picking up his ball and going home, so to speak. He is gravely hurt, in fact, that the heroine’s perception of him should be so base, given everything he’s given up for her. Hopefully I haven’t screwed things up too badly by putting it in here…and hopefully it won’t all wrap up too nice and neatly either. Life is messy. Romance is messy. The truth is somewhere in between, I suppose.
And let me be perfectly honest here – this is not a “bodice-ripper” rape/love scene of old, where no means yes. (And that’s not to excuse those either…as a friend and I talked about the other night, there really is no way to make a rape gentle…and there shouldn’t be.) It’s blunt and vicious and ugly and I can only hope I’ve done it justice.
Given the people I’ve talked to that have actually been raped, I don’t think I could do any less.