Well, Chris’s main arc is finally finished (though there are some “post-finish stories written later). What started in Bent is now complete in the 15th story in the arc (and that doesn’t count side stories or the comic The Last Hurrah). It’s kind of mind-blowing to realize how many words I’ve written on what ultimately started as a whim.

Of course, a lot of time has passed during the writing of this arc and where I was going has changed a few times as I went. Originally, it was just for fun and Chris was going to resist Leah’s advances. Then I realized he wasn’t, but I wanted a realistic change of heart. That took time and several stories. Both the characters had to grow, slowly and surely, to make it at all realistic.

Chris is not like Elizabeth or David (or even to an extent, Erin) for whom sex is purely physical. Yeah, it’s largely physical, but he likes it a lot more when there’s more of a connection. You can see that in his interactions with Beth throughout the arc. They’re friends with benefits, and the friendship is important.

Which meant Chris would have no problem resisting a “just for fun” encounter. He wasn’t going to get drunk and give in and decide it was okay after the fact. He needed a greater connection with Leah, which I hope I showed.

Now–as for some of the specific behind the scenes details for this story.

I picked Paris early on as my end point, in part because the law is different there than in the USA. I also thought it would be a fun romantic spot where Chris would more naturally let his hair down. I also decided he was there deliberately instead of by happenstance.

I also commissioned the website art well before I wrote the story. So the scene with Leah and Erin looking out at The Eiffel Tower was “hard coded” some time ago.

The other thing I wanted to capture in this story was the banter. One of the bonds between Leah and Chris, in contrast to Elizabeth and others, is going to be the way they playfully tease each other. I love some of the passages that resulted.

Finally, the last line is all Nick’s fault. I’d originally had a few extra lines with Leah’s reaction to his joking quote of Casablanca, but Nick thought the mic drop approach would be a lot more fun. If you don’t recognize the quote, you must immediately find a copy of Casablanca and watch it.

I hope y’all enjoyed.