Right. So, in one of the two books I'm writing at the moment, I'm worried that the relationship of two of the characters is taking a horribly unrealistic turn. My setting is dark, medieval fantasy. My female character, lets call her Sarah, just for the sake of this description, meets my male protagonist (lets call him Nathaniel) very early in the book, when he's fourteen, and she's fifteen. They are both mages- and in this story, mages are hunted and sometimes murdered by the powers that be. There's an immediate friendship. Nathaniel hates himself for his "curse". Sarah is proud of magic. She changes his mind somewhat, teaches him some magic, and instills in him some pride. Part way into the book, circumstances pull them apart for several years, and they don't meet again until the protagonist is seventeen. When they do meet later, political situations have changed. There's talk of mage rebellions and such. Whereas before compliant mages were only heavily regulated, there is a growing push to execute or outright imprison the whole lot of them. Both characters have changed. Sarah started out normal enough, but has now taken a very radical pro-mage, ruthlessly logical and elitist stance, and has delved into all kinds of black magic. She wants to create an mage empire of sorts, and crush ordinary humans. Nathaniel has continued to practice magic in secret since they were separated, but he's no fan of the magic she now uses, or her plans. (Necromancy, mind control, among other things.) Not only that, but Nathaniel is from a wealthy family- and he's destined to inherit a great deal of power. He favors peace and co-existence. He's also betrothed, not that he entirely wants to be. There are a million things dividing them. Still, he trusts Sarah, given their past. Then, Sarah kidnaps Nathaniel for reasons related to power, ransom, and dark magic that are pretty much irrelevant for now. Nathaniel's fate is uncertain, as Sarah doesn't go around blabbing about her plans at random. I intended to show off the corrupting power of dark magic and use Sarah as a bittersweet, sad warning of what too much ambition and power can do to a person. She was supposed to be tragically evil, in a gray kind of way. Kind to Nathaniel, but his captor, and evil all the same. But as the book goes on, and I've examined the factions in the book, I find the mages to be actually more correct than their opposition, and Sarah, for all her (mostly subjective- no murders or physical torture) evil, is actually a complex, relatable character. She's not a friendly character by any means- she'd likely unnerve, anger, and disgust many people. But then, Nathaniel is antisocial, and has had few friends and the only other woman who has ever expressed interest in him is more after his money than anything else (at least at first). People tend to despise him for his status and moral views. Even after the kidnapping, Sarah's relative civility and rational mind keep them on speaking terms. Her relationship with Nathaniel is tilting towards romance, which will wreak havoc with my existing romance sub-plot and the rest of my plot. Nathaniel, after all, can't exactly be motivated to stop her evil plans and thus redeem mages in the eyes of society if he's in love with her. And if Sarah reciprocates, how can she really follow through with her plans for him? Plus, without stockholm syndrome coming into play, it may be horribly unrealistic for Nathaniel to fall in love with Sarah in the first place, especially since his soon-to-be-wife makes every effort to find and save him, with the help of his brother. Any opinions? Should I continue with Sarah and Nathaniel's romance, or cut it off somehow?