Hayden and Tenley both express fear that the big reveals they’re still hiding will change how the other views them. At this point do you think those fears are valid? Discuss…
Tamie: I think the fear is valid for them because neither of them is really sure of what the relationship means to the other at this point. It’s more than physical for both of them but they haven’t expressed it really out loud. I think the actions of both speak pretty clearly in this regard, but I understand why they still aren’t able to articulate it yet. We have the advantage of being in both of their heads tho. I also think the last parts of their secrets feed the fear. Hayden is worried about the whole Sienna conversation, and Tenley still has to reveal Connor.
Elena: I agree, Tamie, and yes, I think these fears are pretty valid. They both are not ready to reveal everything of their pasts, because they don’t know how the other person would react. Sometimes this happens even when people know each other for ages. So it doesn’t surprise me. Fearing what the other might think of you is human and I believe all of us have experienced the same fear at some point of our lives. Furthermore, Hayden and Tenley’s relationship is still new on so many ways, so it’s understandable that they both are afraid of what this relationship could transform into, if those secrets were revealed…
Partially as a diversion Hayden takes Tenley out on a real date so to speak which is very different for him. What did you think while reading Hayden’s thoughts on this?
Elena: I loved their date and everything that came with it. I think it was about time 😉
Tamie: It’s a fairly typical and normal progression for most people, but since it’s out of the norm for Hayden I was really glad to see it. I think it’s overdue that they step out of their bubble.
In chapter 22 Hayden says “I don’t know if the pain ever really goes away. I think you just learn how to deal with it.” What do you think of Hayden’s statement? Do you think it’s a pessimistic or a realistic kind of approach?
Elena: I tend to think along Hayden’s lines on this. I believe we’ll always carry the scars of pain, but there are ways through which we can deal with them. The important thing is that we learn how to deal and not let pain swallow us.
Tamie: Perfectly said Elena! Emotional pain can take a lot longer to heal than physical pain does, and it can color our world and how we react to it for our entire lives. I completely agree with Hayden’s statement.
In chapter 24 there’s a confrontation between Hayden and Officer Cross. What were your thoughts on how both men reacted?
Tamie: Whoa! Clearly I’m on Hayden’s side. Officer Cross is unprofessional at best, pushing Hayden’s buttons and making the kinds of statements he does is actually pretty sickening. While I understand why this man represents failure and all kinds of bad feelings for Hayden I was definitely shushing him as I was reading. Antagonizing a cop is probably not in his best interests and I hope it doesn’t come back to bite him in the ass.
Elena: I didn’t like Cross’s statements at all. Like Tamie said, it was highly unprofessional of him. He shouldn’t judge Hayden just because of his appearance and his childhood. This was immature of Officer Cross. People have many layers, and I believe it’s not right to judge a person when you don’t know them or know very little of them.
After Officer Cross finally leaves, Hayden needs Tenley in a very NOW kind of physical way and she wants to be what he needs. Thoughts?
Tamie: What I liked beyond the hot sex scene we got was that Tenley understood exactly what Hayden needed and why. He needed the intimate physical connection for his emotional turmoil. She gets that because she’s experienced the same thing but for different reasons. Now…getting back to the sex itself. Holy crap!!! I admit it…I loved the whole possessiveness attitude from Hayden. “Tell me,” Hayden demanded, but it sounded like a plea. “tell me I’m the only one.” YOWZA! YES, YES…you’re the only one Hayden! O…sorry…got a bit caught up in the moment 😉
Elena: I loved the scene and especially because both Hayden and Tenley wanted to connect that way.
In chapter 25 Trey calls Tenley and he threatens her even more violently. When Hayden asks Tenley about who was on the phone, she lies to him. What do you think of her not telling Hayden?
Elena: I think she should have told him, especially now that Hayden has repeatedly asked her not to hide things from him. In the previous discussions I said that I understood Tenley not wanting to say things to Hayden, and that pushing a person brings only damage, but this time it’s different. This is serious business, and Trey isn’t joking. Hayden needs to know what’s happening, because Trey’s actions could compromise everything.
Tamie: O boy! The time to tell Hayden about the rest of the secret has come because she can’t talk about Trey without revealing the rest of it. This isn’t something she should have to be dealing with alone, but she’s made it that way because she’s being ruled by her fear of losing Hayden. It’s an awful situation to be in and I feel so badly for her.
“Oh, right. Because pussy-flavored icing is only really appealing to me.”
“I told him you were mine.”
“I told him you were mine.”
“Tell me I’m the only one.”
Elena: The date.
The end of chapter 24 and the beginning of chapter 25
Bonus points for Hayden for not caving sooner than he did after the first tattoo session 😉
Here is this week’s q and a with Helena:
If you could pick a theme song each and together (so three songs total) for Hayden and Tenley what would the songs be?
Tenley’s theme song would be The Lonely by Christina Perri. The tone of the song and the lyrics are perfect for her. It’s an emotionally charged song, and very fitting for where Tenley is when we meet her in Clipped Wings.
Hayden is a little more difficult to pin down with one song, but Afraid by The Neighbourhood is a pretty good indicator of how Hayden’s exterior doesn’t really match who he is inside, and how his relationship with Tenley transcends far beyond anything he ever anticipated.
For the two of them, I’d choose either, Undisclosed Desires by Muse or Demons by Imagine Dragon. Demons is about wanting something good to overshadow the bad inside, and the perception that what the person is hiding is reason enough for them to let the other go. We all have demons; pieces of ourselves or our pasts that weigh us down, and Tenley and Hayden’s are so heavy and difficult to share.
Undisclosed Desires has a similar message, but there’s a focus on what’s under the mask, and really getting to the person under the facade. I think that’s a fairly accurate representation of Tenley and Hayden’s relationship.
Besides Tenley and Hayden, which was the character you enjoyed writing the most and why?
I loved writing them all for a variety of reasons, even Trey surprisingly, enough. Villains, who are problematic for the hero and heroine in the story, are quite fun to develop, even though their purpose is to create dissension.
However, if I had to pick one of the supporting cast, it would definitely be Chris. He’s genuinely a good guy, even though he doesn’t always do or say the right thing. His past, while not as damaging as Hayden’s, is still unpleasant. But he’s loyal to his friends and the people he cares about, and he tries to make good decisions. He’s at a disadvantage, though, because he hasn’t had much in the way of support or direction; not from the people who should have provided it. Like Hayden, his Inked Armor crew are very much his family and he holds them in the highest regard.
Have you ever cried while writing a scene? If so can you share about it?
I sure have. Some of the scenes were hard to write not because I couldn’t get the words down, but because of what was going on internally for the characters. The scene where Tenley finally tells Sarah about the crash was one instance. Tenley’s breakdown after the first tattoo session was another. Although those weren’t the only ones, they definitely stand out in my mind.
I’m an emotional person; it’s how I’m wired. When I was writing those scenes I needed to be in the character’s head, which isn’t always pleasant. Anyone who’s experienced even a fraction of the trauma Hayden and Tenley have will understand how much guilt and fear clouds their judgement and perception of events and situations.
In those specific scenes, Tenley and Hayden are emotionally vulnerable and stagnated by a past they can’t move forward from. It throws them into emotional chaos, and I find it impossible not to internalize the intensity of those feelings.
Thanks Helena. The q and a’s with you have really been a highlight for us!! ❤
If you’d like to ask Helena a question for next week which will also be the last week of discussions you can leave it in the comments. Thanks!
Tamie and Elena