Awhile back, I contended that the scene in the barn, when Kayla says she believes Steve about Britta, is the foundation of their relationship. I still maintain that’s true, but I would say that it is about their connection, their relationship, period. If we are talking specifically about their romantic relationship, I think it’s a little different.
Again, we have to look to Kayla. The attraction between them is pretty much immediate, but I think we can agree that if Kayla had not decided to pursue him, there would be no love story. So when does she decide?
Here’s a scene with Kim, where we see her thinking about it, arguably the first time we see it explicitly:
(I love these family scenes! It’s such a great way to show what characters are thinking, and showcases other kinds of relationships, not just romantic ones.)
This is when Steve is still in jail for questioning regarding Britta’s murder. Kim asks Kayla about Chris and talks about how nice it is to have “strong arms around you.” Kayla agrees about the strong arms, but denies any interest in Chris’s. Kim, obviously referring to her own (currently busted-up) relationship with Shane, goes on to say that it’s better to have loved and lost … and Kayla finishes it: than never to have loved at all.
Inspired, Kayla promptly goes to see Steve — in jail. (Not, probably, what Kim had in mind.) That doesn’t go so well.
Another key scene, perhaps the key scene, takes place in Stockholm. After Kayla has flown to Stockholm to treat Steve, she has this conversation with Hope:
I love Kayla’s simple “Yes,” when Hope asks if she cares about Steve. I love her look of vulnerability. Kayla the fighter is afraid.
It’s such a relief to hear Kayla finally get some encouragement from someone, since Bo and Roman — and Steve! — have been telling her, and will continue to tell her, that she’s out of her mind. And Hope is the perfect person to offer that encouragement. Not only because she knows Steve, and probably likes him better than anyone else in town besides Kayla and Max, but because of what she went through with Bo. I love that she says it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
When Steve wakes up, we can see Kayla already trying to take those words to heart. She goes over to him and deliberately (and a bit awkwardly) puts her hand on the bed on his other side, so she can lean a little closer. His first words are encouraging, “So I wasn’t dreaming … you’re really here.” Then his protectiveness comes out and he’s trying to get her to leave. This is going to be part of Kayla’s challenge: the more Steve cares, the more he wants to protect her — especially from him.