My WIP has a problem. It's based loosely on Disney's version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which is a pretty standard Disney story even in spite of the dark subject matter: boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, some obstacle gets in the way of their relationship, the villain dies and love conquers all. About the only thing that differs from standard Disney fare is that the hero of the story doesn't get the girl. It sets up and resolves the romance, both failed and successful, within not more than three days, as follows (spoiler alert!):
Day 1 - Quasimodo goes to the Feast of Fools, meets Esmeralda and is lovestruck, as is Phoebus. Esmeralda is trapped in the cathedral; Quasi helps her escape. Frollo wrestles with his lust for her.
Day 2 - Frollo finds out Esmeralda has escaped the cathedral, and goes on a mad hunt through Paris, burning the place down to find her. Esmeralda brings an injured Phoebus to Quasi's tower to hide him, and their love is evident. That night Phoebus and Quasi go to the Court of Miracles, where Esmeralda finds them. Frollo arrives and takes the gypsies captive.
Day 3 - Esmeralda is sentenced to burn at the stake; Quasimodo rescues her while Phoebus rallies the people against Frollo. Frollo falls to a fiery death, Esmeralda lives and finds Phoebus again, and Quasi blesses their relationship.
Now with that in mind, I'm looking at my WIP. It has the same basic formula with some of the details changed -- Diana and Vincent end up together in the end, the gypsies are not gypsies but werewolves, and the jury's still out on whether there will be an equivalent Phoebus character.
I want the romance to build up believably, over a longer period of time than just three days. I was thinking it could take months just for Vincent to learn Diana's language enough to communicate with her easily when he sneaks into the tower to be with her. All well and good, but then I need to keep their relationship secret from Martin until the equivalent time to Day 2 in the above example, and that could be tricky to pull off for a matter of months. Any ideas on that?