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Interview with a Demon Part 4

Interviewing a demon turned out not to be a straight forward thing. Absolutely nothing went according to planned, and too late, I realised walking away from it afterward, even with a vampire and a succubus protecting me, wasn’t a given. You see, the truth is, there was just way too much baggage for all parties for the interview to go by the book. I don’t know why I ever thought otherwise. Anyway, enough of my moaning. I’ve done my best to report the details honestly and without bias, but the truth is, after my experiences with Magda Gardener and her Consortium, I have more than a little baggage of my own.

 

Interview with a Demon – the interview so far:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Interview with a Demon Part 4: A Tale Interrupted

 

While the Guardian admired the moonless sky, much as I’m sure Reese and Alonso did when they were in the garden he modeled his prison after, there was no doubt his focus was still entirely on me. But then what physical illusion there was of him was just that, an illusion. To be under his subtle scrutiny made me all the more uncomfortable in a giddy sort of way, and yet it didn’t seem to distract him in the least from the task at hand.

“At the time my home, as it always had been, since before I had need to remember, was a deconsecrated chapel near the city that is now Manchester in the North of England, but you already know this. Of course it was not the chapel to which I was bound. The place itself had been considered sacred ground as long as humans walked the earth, although I don’t know why. The mortal sense of what is sacred and what is profane has always puzzled me. You see, my task was to guard holy ground. I don’t know how that became my charge, or when, only that it always had been, even after the chapel was deconsecrated and put on the market to be sold as a home or a boutique or even a pub. The latter two were not at all to my liking. While I would have enjoyed the orgy of sensation and experience such places might offer me, it would have been only a temporary glutting of my capacity for pleasure and would have most certainly drawn enough attention as to make it difficult for me to choose as best suits me. In fact it might have drawn to me those whose attention I would prefer not to have. Of course, you understand, I mean my jailor, who for the most part ignored me, seeing me as little threat at the time.” He offered a satisfied chuckle. “You see, even our incomparable Magda Gardener makes mistakes. So, after a tiresome parade of estate agents, none of whom held my attention for long, none of whom had what I needed if I were to resume making the kinds of choices I delighted in, one of them at long last succeeded in bringing to me exactly what I had been waiting for. And then the daft woman tried to discourage her from me.

“‘The place has set empty for a very long time, so it will be costly to renovate.’ Those were her words when she saw her perspective buyer’s delight.”

It was very disconcerting for me to hear the voice of a woman with a northern accent coming from the Guardian. With difficulty, I kept my eyes averted and reminded myself that even his voice, whatever voice he chose to use, was just an illusion. He continued. “Then the devious agent added, ‘of course any … human remains have long since been removed from the crypt … as far as we can tell anyway.’ Oh how I longed to throttle her then and there, but of course I could do nothing.” He laughed softly, and I swear I felt the warmth of his breath against my ear. “As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about where her dear client was concerned.

“But Annie, for that was the client’s name, as you may have already suspected, would not be put off. I will never forget her words.” I was even more disturbed to hear him speak in the voice of Annie Rivers. “‘Can you imagine?’ she said, ‘I’ll be the only one of my friends who had a genuine crypt for a wine cellar. Too bad there’s not at least one stone sarcophagus left, you know, as a conversation piece.’

“The agent was horrified and, as for me, well I was instantly enchanted. My dear Annie had laughed with delight when the agent showed her the bathroom with the large tub. ‘Oh I’m really going to enjoy this. It’s big enough for company,’ she said. Oh how that thought intrigued me. You see, an evangelical group had installed the great tub. They were the last to rent the building before it was deserted and sold for the final time. They believed in some strange ritual of baptism that demanded immersion for which it was an essential tool. They didn’t interest me much other than as a dalliance now and then brought on by boredom. In truth, there was little more I could manage, since at the time, I was imprisoned with very limited access to the pastor’s flock. But my efforts did result in several attempts at exorcism. However, when the ‘spawn of Satan’ they feared did not vacate the premises after their hocus pocus, they gave up and left claiming something evil lurked within. Once again, I waited.

“I was not happy with the way the agent rushed Annie through the nave and the sacristy, nor with how she dwelt on the overgrown mess of the back garden and how many bodies had been buried there before the deconsecration. I punished her for that later. As for my dear Annie, I gave her just enough of a sense of well-being, of euphoria that, by the time she left, I was certain she felt right at home and that there was nothing the agent could do that would keep my beautiful Annie from me.”

Without warning the hair on the backs of my arms stood at full attention, as though a bolt of electricity had passed through me, and the ground tilted sharply beneath my chair. Before I could do more than yelp and stumble to my feet, Susan appeared, looking far more wraith-like than the Guardian, and almost as terrifying wearing her rage like a heavy cloak.

“This interview is over.” Her voice made my jaws ache until my head felt like it would explode. But it wasn’t me she was speaking too, and frankly, I was glad. Suddenly the temperature in the garden plummeted and snow began to swirl on a growing fell wind. In spite of the howl of what was quickly becoming a blizzard, Susan’s voice cut through it as though it were deadly silent. “How dare you? How fucking dare you? I trusted you. I gave you your voice, I even let her come to you.” She nodded her head in my direction. “And this is how you repay me, by flaunting the sordid horrors you visited on my best friend?”

“Susan, I don’t understand.” The Guardian spoke with little emotion that I could sense, but then I was busy trying to keep from freezing to death. By this time the wind was howling and snow was falling heavily in what had, only moments ago, been the garden in high summer.

“How the fuck can you not understand? She’s not your Annie. She was never your Annie. You’re here because of what you did to her, because of what you tried to do to all of us. And don’t give me that bullshit about things being different with your kind. I don’t care if it’s different. You know exactly how it is withmy kind.” She rubbed a tight fist against her chest as though she were in pain.

“Susan, you are a vampire,” he responded as calmly as if he were telling her that her shoelace was untied. “And you are unique even among vampires. You are the only one of your kind.”

“And I wouldn’t be a vampire if you hadn’t … if it hadn’t been … How could you not know that …” Her voice drifted off and then she shouted, “Talia, pull her out.”

But Talia didn’t pull me out, instead, I stood with my teeth chattering chafing my arms watching an altercation between a demon and a vampire and wondering if I’d be collateral damage.

 

Interview with a Demon

While it has been an effort to sort through what actually happened, I have finally managed to piece together another segment of what happened during that unaccounted for stretch of time I spent with The Guardian in his prison. As the memories come back to me and as I deal with the consequences of the experience as best I can, I will share the results with you, as I promised him I would. Thank you for being patient.

 

Missed part of the interview? Follow the links

Part 1

Part 2

 

Part 3 A Demon’s Tale

The Guardian sat silently for a time, long enough for me to be tempted to look over at him, or to try and prompt the conversation. But at last he took a deep breath – no doubt for my benefit and spoke. “I won’t start at the beginning. While I may have plenty of time, you certainly do not.” The rich warmth of his chuckle made me want to scoot my chair closer to his in hopes that he might touch me. That I craved his touch made me want to scream for Talia to pull me back to the safety of the waking world. If he were aware of my feelings, he didn’t show it, but continued. “My tale is a long and often tedious one, much of it spent bound or imprisoned by meddling shamans or priests or witches, who invariably mistook my nature for evil. Those in power, after all, have need of the threat of evil if they are to maintain control. I have, more than once, provided them with the necessary excuse for the disturbing and culturally unacceptable behavior of their subjects. Would that they had only understood me better rather than attempted to use me to promote their own agendas. But then that, I suppose, is the nature of human beings.”

“And yet you let your behavior prove them right.” Damn, I have a big mouth, but you see, I already knew a good deal of his story, after all, and I wasn’t about to let him white wash it.

He only shrugged. “Do you consider a lion evil for killing a gazelle, a hawk for taking a rabbit? I am, to the best of my knowledge, as much a part of the natural order as they are. That humans chose to interact with me to begin with is less so, I would postulate. That is, unless they were drawn to me from the beginning by the very nature of who I am.” He raised a negating hand as though batting away a fly. “We’re wasting time arguing my morality when it’s such a human term. I’ve not brought you here for that purpose.”

With a sudden chill, I realized, he had indeed brought me here as surely as if I had been one of the poor souls he had possessed. Susan had allowed it. I quickly reminded myself. Talia had made it possible. But they all owed him a life — several lives, in fact. Before I could contemplate my place in his plan, he continued.

“I cannot impart to you what it’s like to be bound for an age with only my own longings and urges for company. You’re far too finite to understand how maddening such imprisonment is for one who desires nothing so much as flesh and the pleasures and pains it brings. Oh yes, I would gladly take pain to the agony of languishing in uncontained eternity with nothing to hold me to myself and no way of touching the passing of everything around me.”

“But that’s not how it is for you now, surely. I know you interact with the world, at least with Susan and Michael and the other consortium members. Some of them anyway.”

For a moment he was silent, and then he sighed. “It’s true that Susan has become a gentle jailor, kind and considerate of my needs. And yet surely you must understand that never in my long existence have I been incarcerated in a prison so complete, so without any hope of escape.”

“Would you?” I asked, “escape if you could?”

This time the silence was so complete that I thought he had left me. I turned partially toward him startled by the fact that he truly had no face. He appeared much like an unfinished painting of a man overlaid on a starless night. And from that abyss of darkness was a sense of ravenous hunger and desire like nothing I had ever felt. I was taken completely aback that it was even possible for so much hunger and need to fit into one female vampire, no matter how powerful. How in the world could Susan contain him?

Suddenly there was a roar of wind across the fells and, in an instant that hunger was so close to me that I felt it had already devoured me. But even before I could do more than draw breath to cry out, the feeling vanished and he again sat next to me in profile. “I would ask you once more, please don’t look directly at me. I am … unfinished.”

I found myself gripping the chair arms as though I feared being tossed out. Honestly if the chair didn’t toss me out, I ran the risk of dumping myself out onto the ground, I was shaking so badly.

“I am sorry,” he said. “Susan tells me that my impulse control could use a little work.”

My relieved laughter had a hysterical edge to it, then I bit my lip to make myself shut up, and looked the other way.

“You asked me if I would escape if I could.” He continued as though nothing had happened. “In truth I don’t know. Every heart longs to be free… but then I don’t have a heart.” His words drifted away and somewhere deep in the garden an owl trilled, an owl who could no more have been there than the garden itself. “Perhaps residing this close to Susan’s heart, is the closest I shall ever be to having one of my own.” There was another brief pause, and in that instant, I
wondered if the sadness I heard in his voice was only me anthropomorphizing. He continued.

“However when I have been able, when I am free enough to do so, I plan, and I scheme, and I choose wisely. I shall tell you, at least in part, the culmination of such plans, the journey that has led me here to this new prison, so different than any that have ever contained me. Of course you know some of my story, in fact you’ve written it down. But you’ve told it through Susan’s eyes and, while I would never presume to discredit her human point of view, I do wish to give voice to how it was for me, how I experienced those events which led to my strange imprisonment.”

 

Interview with a Demon: Part 2

 

 

 

While I am not a journalist, my role as scribe (with a small s) for Magda Gardener and her consortium sometimes involves the odd interview, and this one may be the oddest one I’ve done so far. While it’s uncomfortable enough working for Magda, it’s even more uncomfortable when I am shanghaied into doing an interview with a demon, which she has neither authorised nor knows anything about. I doubt she’ll be happy about it when she finds out, and she will find out. Come to think about it, I’m not overly happy about it. It’s not that easy to do an interview when you’re shaking in fear. Let the good times roll!

 

 

 

Part 2: In which I Meet the Guardian

Read Part 1 Here

 

It took me a little while to realize I was dreaming. It took me a little while longer to realize that my dream was, for lack of a better word, a lucid dream. It was no dungeon, no jail I entered. It was, instead, a topiary maze. It was night, and yet the ambient light made it easy enough for me to discern my path. There was no question of which direction I should go. I just wound my way through, not really in too much of a hurry to meet what I knew awaited me beyond. The nebulous space in which Susan imprisoned the Guardian was unassailable, though there were no bars, no high walls, no razor wire. In fact the space that contained the demon was of his own shaping. Due to his partnership of convenience with Reese Chambers during their desperate battle with Cyrus in the deserted subway tunnels of New York, he was rather fond of Reese, who is not only Alonso Darlington’s lover, but a brilliant landscaper and gardener. That being the case, the Guardian had turned his space into a garden, which became more and more elaborate as he was given more and more freedom to interact with Susan and those around her.

 

“Off you go then,” I heard Talia’s voice from far away. “Happy demon hunting, KD.”

 

“I am not fond of that woman. I find her most unpleasant.”

 

I cleared the maze into a night garden drenched in moonlight. In fact the garden, I recognized as the one Reese had created for Alonso at his Lakeland manor house. In front of me just where the edge of the fell plummeted into a deep valley with a beck, a man dressed in jeans and a plaid shirt, reminiscent of Reese’s clothing choices, paced back and forth. He neither stopped pacing, nor did he look at me. His laugh was soft and rich, self-deprecating, which I had not expected. “Of course the little succubus and I did get off on the wrong foot, and at the moment neither of us is inclined to make amends. Though I suppose I should be grateful to her for her help in settling me into such an accommodating prison as my dear Susan. And of course in bringing you to me, KD. Please, sit.”

 

Behind me the same winged back chair Talia had been sitting in appeared. When I sat, I realized I was empty-handed.

 

As though he anticipated my reaction, he said, “you are in my dream, my dear, KD. You have no need of pen and paper or Dictaphone. I promise, when you wake up, you will remember everything I need you to know.”

 

Another chair appeared next to mine, and the Guardian seated himself at such an angle that I could only make out his profile, and that not well. He kept his head turned as though he observed something at the opposite end of the beck. “I ask that you do not attempt to look at me directly. It will be … disturbing for you.”

My pulse jumped, and I could manage little more than to nod my understanding. Apparently that was enough. It seemed like ages that we sat there in what might have passed for companionable silence, but the truth was, I had no idea what to say or how to start an interview with a millennia-old demon. Of course I had rehearsed questions, written an outline, but that all vanished from my head now that I was in his presence. I needn’t have worried. He took the struggle out of my hands and began it for me.

 

“I have always chosen the ones I take. It’s never a random act. I choose them carefully and with a great deal of planning and forethought. You see I have plenty of time, and the anticipation is a delight unto itself.” It made my skin tingle and my stomach clench, his use of the present tense, as if he were not in a prison at all, as if he were free to do as he chose. He didn’t ask me if I understood what he meant by taking. I understood all right and didn’t think I was quite up to a less euphemistic description. There was a sense of him shifting in the chair, more than likely to put me at ease rather than because he had any need of it. Then he continued. “Of course I occasionally act impulsively and take when I haven’t intended – a moment of weakness, of answering a craving, of catering to an urge. I have needs, after all, just as everyone does, and sometimes my baser instincts take control.”

 

When I made no response, he added, “you must understand, when I speak of instincts or biological need, it’s only in an effort to help you comprehend my story. In truth, I have neither. My insight into what drives human nature comes only from the experiences of those I’ve chosen through the ages. It’s only through my taking of them that I’m able to share my story with you in any way your mind can grasp.”

 

“I see.” I spoke from a dry throat.

 

“Of course you don’t see,” he responded without censure or ridicule. If anything he sounded rather sad. “You can’t possibly see, but I am compelled to try and convey myself to you, an impossible task for both of us, and yet here we are.”

 

“Indeed,” I managed. “Here we are.”

 

“As I was saying, most of the time, I choose very carefully, the way I chose you.”

 

If I’d had a pen, I’d have dropped it. I remembered only too well what had happened to Annie Rivers when he had chosen her, and what he attempted to do to Susan and Michael. I don’t know if I gasped, or maybe made some other sound of distress. I do know that there is nothing comfortable about being chosen by a demon, and I was on the brink of calling Talia to get me out of the dream.

 

Then that velvety chuckle washed over me. “Relax, my darling little scribe. I’m only joking. Though I’m told,” he added as an afterthought, “that I need to work on my sense of humor.”

 

I’m sure my resulting laugh sounded a little hysterical, though well-laced with genuine relief. Then I found my voice. Whether he understood humor or not, in spite of the poor joke, he had managed to set me at ease. At least a little bit. “You’ll have to forgive me for being so jumpy. I’ve never interviewed a demon before, and especially not without Magda Gardener’s permission.”

 

“Magda Gardener, yes.” He paused as though lost in his thoughts and then said slowly. “Perhaps our clandestine
meeting is my joke on Magda Gardener. Perhaps I wish to see if she thinks I need to work on my sense of humor.”

 

This time I genuinely laughed. “I’m not sure whether I’d pay good money to see her response or pay to be in another country when she finds out.”

 

“Oh, I’m betting you won’t be able to escape her reaction even if you want to darling KD.” I could almost hear the smile in his voice. Then he shifted in his chair with a contented sigh, and the way my skin prickled and the fine hairs on the back of my neck stood at attention, I knew he was now facing me. “Shall we get on with it then, in anticipation of hastening our dear Magda Gardener’s response.”

 

The Mount Gossip Rita Holly Style

With The Mount Box Set now available for your reading enjoyment, I thought it would be a good time to share with
you an interview I had last winter with Rita Holly, whom I met in London to pick her brain about the latest gossip from Vegas with Elsa Crane and Nick Chase. I like to revisit my interviews and days out with my characters from time to time. I find it’s like time spent with good friends, and it’s always my chance to get to know them better. I never know what I’ll find about them. I hope you enjoy!
*****

Mount 3 book bundle - CopyI seldom come into London by car, but when someone else is doing the driving, in a shiny black limo sent by Rita Holly to bring me from Surrey for our interview at The Mount in style, I take time to enjoy the view along the Thames as we head in along the A3. When we arrive, I’m surprised to be met by Alex deliciously sweaty and glistening after an early morning dance lesson. He leads me back to one of the private dining rooms. The rest of the place is deserted at this our.  I find Rita waiting for me. She has ordered tea and fresh scones, which smell heavenly as she greets me with a hug and pours the tea.

Once the tea is poured and the scones are buttered, I take time to enjoy a delicious mouthful, and then I can’t hold back my curiosity any longer.

KD: Rita, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to give me the skinny on Mount Vegas. I have it on good authority that you know what Elsa Crane and her crew – especially Nick Chase — are up to. BTW, you look a little tired, are you alright?

RH: I’m fine, KD. I was just up in the wee hours Skyping with Elsa Crane. Quite a time difference between London and Vegas, you know? Elsa is taking Mount Vegas on a path that’s totally new in the history of The Mount, and it’s exciting to watch (offers a wicked little laugh) no pun intended.

KD: You mean the voyeurism thing? I noticed that the Mount Vegas business card says Where there’s always a room with a view.

RH: (Adds a big spoonful of clotted cream and some raspberry jam to her scone, and makes an orgasmic moan at her first bite) I know, I know, cream tea is not a breakfast treat, but really, who can resist? Anyway, yeah, Mount Vegas. With all those big windows in high rise hotels crammed together along the Strip, who wouldn’t want to have a little look-see at what the neighbours in the room across the street are getting up to. And how cool would it be if those neighbours are naked and writhing out your hottest fantasy, KD.

KD: With you watching through a scope?’

RH: Exactly!(She shoves the clotted cream in my direction and I indulge too. She’s such a bad influence.) Elsa and her team just take advantage of the situation. Any fantasy you want, you can view. It’s not like a porn film. It’s like you just happened to catch the couple across the way inviting the hotel maid into the action, or a couple of women sneaking into the pool after dark for a little touchy feely – whatever your fantasy, Elsa and her team can make it happen.

KD: Wow! Sounds really hot! But it also sounds complicated. How does Elsa manage it?

Holly cover FINAL9781907761270_FCRH: Her team’s very competent and sexy as hell. They go into hotel rooms, casinos, limos, whatever the client wants to watch. If clients want a dungeon scene, they can have it, if they want a pool scene, they can have it. Elsa even had a couple of her team go at it in the disappearing closet of a famous magician.

No matter what the fantasy, they can make it happen, and the result is always a satisfied customer. Plus, I think the team actually enjoy what they do. They get to have lots of sex in lots of kinky places, and most of them find it really hot being watched by strangers.

(Rita refills my teacup and I watch as Alex coaches Rita’s friend Kate in a very close tango that could very easily devolve into something a whole lot naughtier. I return my attention to Rita when she offers me the milk, along with a conspiratorial smile.)

I’ll let you in on a little secret; Elsa’s working on a fantasy for one of her regular customers – it’s one of those billionaire and virgin fantasies. She says she gets a lot of those since Fifty Shades of Grey. Anyway, she’s asked Edward and me to play the lead roles. We can’t wait! It’s a trip to Vegas and a chance to unleash our inner exhibitionists. Plus it’ll give me a chance to pump Elsa about what’s going on between her and her newest team member.

KD: I’d heard rumours that Elsa and her team had taken on a new member, though it sounds like not everyone’s convinced he can do the job.

RH: I have to admit, KD, (She waves her teaspoon at me) I’m really intrigues by what’s happening. Nick Chase is a limo driver, well he owns a limo service, actually. Elsa tells me, he picked up her girl, Tanya Povic at a bar. Apparently he’s the last person you’d ever expect to pick up a chick at a bar, but he’d had a really bad day. He had no idea that sex with Tanya would put her in breach of her contract, and he felt so bad about Tanya losing her job and the loss of the bonus she’d have had if she’d finished the last two months of her contract, that he volunteered to finish it for her.

KD: Seriously? Why would he do that? Does he have any idea what he’s getting himself into? (The dance floor erupts in Fulfilling the Contracta wave of giggles, but Rita has my full attention with this little bit of gossip)

RH: I doubt it, and frankly I’m surprised Elsa’s allowing him to fill in for Tanya. He’s a really nice guy. He’s definitely not a one-night stander. A bit conservative, if you know what I mean.

KD: Doesn’t sound like playing an exhibitionist in front of the scopes of Mount Vegas clients is the job for him then. What was Elsa thinking hiring him? What was Nick thinking? Do you suppose he’s fallen for Tanya?

RH: I think it’s actually Elsa he’s got the hots for. It surprises me that she can’t see that, but then again, a little romance would do the woman good. She can be a real hard ass.

KD: Do you think Nick Chase can do the job and fulfill the contract for Tanya?

RH: I don’t know, but I have every intention of finding out. Pagan – he’s Elsa’s resident nerd – he can hook me up electronically for virtual ringside seats of Nick Chase’s debut, and I plan to take full advantage. I really want a look at the man’s assets, if you know what I mean. (We have a laugh and pile more clotted cream and jam on fresh scones)

KD: Do you think you could get Pagan to hook me up to so I could watch? I’m dying to see Nick Chase in action.

RH: No worries! I’ll talk to him. I’ll have him to connect your readers too so they can have a peek.

KD: Thanks, Rita. That’d be great! Do you think he’ll be performing with Elsa?

RH: Oh I think there’ll be quite a performance with him and Elsa. Though I doubt if it’ll be for the eyes of the clients. (Looks down at her watch and inhales the rest of her tea) Goodness look at the time. I’ve gotta run. Edward and I are meeting Leo out at the Zoo. He has a new Pet he wants us to meet. But stay and finish your tea. Alex says he has time if you want to work in a dance lesson, than the driver will take you back home.

To Rome with LustKD: (We both stand and she gives me another hug) Thanks for breakfast, Rita. And thanks for giving us the skinny on Nick and Elsa over at Mount Vegas.

See more of Rita Holly in books one and two and three of The Mount series – The Initiation of Ms Holly and Fulfilling the Contract and To Rome with Lust

The Mount Series is not available in its entirety as a Box Set. Triple the excitement, triple the fun!

 

Excerpts from Rita Holly’s interview first appeared on Erzabet Bishop’s blog 17 February 2014.

 

Alice Raine Interviews the Steamy Nicholas Jackson from her UNTWISTED Novels

All covers in an arcFirstly I’d like to start by saying a huge thanks to KD for hosting me here today. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Alice Raine, the author of the Untwisted series, and I’m thrilled to say that I’ve actually managed to grab an interview with Nicholas Jackson today, the lead character in book 1 of my series called The Darkness Within Him.

Any of you who have heard of Nicholas will know that even though he’s a world famous concert pianist he’s also notoriously reclusive when it comes to the spotlight, and pretty much does everything he can to avoid interviews. Needless to say, I was hugely surprised when I received an email from his agent last week saying that he had requested me to do an interview with him, for publication in OK magazine. I don’t work for OK magazine (if I’m truthful I don’t even read it that regularly) but apparently they were desperate for an article on him and after persistent badgering he gave in but with the condition that it was moi doing the questions.

It’s now nine o’clock on Saturday morning and I’m standing on the doorstep to his rather lovely townhouse in Primrose Hill, London. In my hand are the 2 take away coffees in a cardboard tray from the posh deli on the corner that Nicholas requested I bring with me. To be honest I still don’t know why he requested me specifically, but OK magazine are paying me a pretty penny to freelance for them for the day, and I have to say I’m rather excited about seeing Nicholas again, because after spending the time interviewing him for the books I have developed a bit of a soft spot for him.

His rather smart front door is opened by Rebecca, and I can’t help the grin that splits my lips as I see her smiling face and sparkly green eyes. In the time I spent with Nicholas researching the books it was abundantly obvious that they have a special bond, this woman is clearly good for him, and I’m genuinely thrilled to see her again.

After being led up to Nicholas’ piano room Rebecca waves me towards the plush white armchair next to the piano and I set about getting out my Dictaphone and notepad when the door behind me opens again and the man of the hour enters.

Turning to face Nicholas I try to avoid staring at just how attractive he is, but even as a happily married woman it’s almost an impossible task, because as always he looks almost good enough to eat. Today his tall, broad frame is kitted out in a rather lovely pair of dark grey trousers and a black shirt and I only stop myself from drooling by focussing on pulling out my pen and looking down at my questions as he takes a seat on the piano stool.

Now my interview can really begin.

Alice: Good morning Nicholas. It’s been what? Three months since we last met up? How are you?

Nicholas: Hello, Alice. It’s been 4 months actually. And how am I? In need of a decent coffee, that’s how. Is that one for me? [jerks chin at the 2 cups of coffee beside me]

Alice: Oh! Yes. Sorry, here you go. [I hand a cup across to him, trying not to stare at his beautifully long, pianist fingers]

Nicholas: [pulls the lid from his cup, sniffs the brew and then looks at me with a raised eyebrow] You bought the Panama Esmeralda?

Alice: Yes. You said to bring you a good cup of coffee, so I choose the best on the menu. [it cost almost as much as my monthly mortgage payment for these 2 cups, but seeing as I’m handing the bill to OK magazine as expenses, I don’t care.]

Nicholas: [sips his coffee and moans appreciatively, a noise so inherently sexual that it then causes me to moan appreciatively.] Delicious coffee, Alice. Thank you.

[I clear my throat, trying to focus and appear professional before starting my questions]

Alice: Can I start by asking why you requested me for today, I mean I don’t even work for the magazine?

Nicholas: [shrugs] I like to keep my life as private as possible, but they magazine just kept on calling and my agent wanted me to accept. I didn’t want the hassle of explaining my fucked up childhood and dominant sexual tastes to someone new, so I decided if I was going to do an interview with anyone it should be you, at least you know a bit about my history. [he runs a hand through his hair as if embarrassed] Besides, you wrote it all out in a fair account in the books and didn’t judge me, I appreciated that a lot.

Alice: [I nod, a little lost for words] Ok. Well, thanks for thinking of me, and of course I didn’t judge you. We might not be best friends, but I know you’re a good man Nicholas. [A shy smile slips to his lips and I remember fondly just why I had liked him so much when I’d been interviewing him for the books] So, how are things with you?

Nicholas: Good. Really good. [nods briskly, apparently relieved about the topic change] Busy schedule of concerts at the moment, lots of charity events lined up for the next few months.

Alice: Which charity are you raising money for?

Nicholas: Various charities. I’d rather keep their names out of the papers though, the donations will be kept quiet; I just want to raise the money, I don’t want a big fuss. [Knowing a little of his history I suspect it’s a charity for abused children, but I don’t push it further] I’ve nearly raised the target I set now, and I still have 6 more concerts to play, so there should be a fairly hefty donation going across to them all soon.

Alice: That’s fabulous Nicholas. [I feel a sudden urge to hug him, but thankfully resist] You look a little tired today, did you have a concert last night?

Nicholas: No. [he smirks] I was up rather late with Rebecca. [His tone makes his meaning clear – he was up having wild sex with Rebecca – and I blush furiously, looking down at my pad to ease my discomfort]

Nicholas: Am I boring you, Alice?

Alice: [swallowing slightly nervously, I look back up at him] I beg your pardon?

Nicholas: Since you’ve been in here you’ve done nothing but stare at that note pad and doodle on it. [jerks his chin towards my pad] Don’t you know how rude that is? Even someone with the barest of etiquette knows that you should look someone in the eye when you’re speaking to them.

Alice: [I lick my lips nervously, feeling thoroughly chastised and instantly remembering his preference for eye contact] My apologies Nicholas, no disrespect was meant. Some of these questions are from the magazine that’s all. But I tell you what, I’ll just record the rest, no more notes.’[Nicholas nods his approval, sips his coffee and stares at me again. Crikey, I’d forgotten just how intimidating he could be.]

Alice: So…[I keep my eyes firmly on his this time] I’ve seen you in the papers a few times with Rebecca after your charity shows. Things are obviously still going well between the two of you?

Nicholas: They are. Miraculously. [gives a dry laugh] She’s moved in here full time now.

Alice: I’m so pleased for you Nicholas, you two are perfect together.

Nicholas: [fidgets slightly uncomfortably in his chair] Thanks. I think so too.

Alice: So now you’re officially off the eligible Batchelor list and settled in a relationships has your… umm… dominant streak faded at all?

Nicholas: [completely unbothered by my question] It’s still part of me, [shrugs] I suspect it always will be. Rebecca and I have adapted to fit into each other’s lives, but that doesn’t mean that I have intrinsically changed. It just means that instead of wanting a woman in my life for an hour or two for sex, I now only want Rebecca in my life. [shifting in his seat Nicholas leans forwards and rests his elbows on his knees so he can really stare me in the eye] Between you and me, the other things I discussed with you when you were researching your books; the paddles, hand cuffs and toys, are still part of our sex life, just not as central any more.

Alice: Right … and Rebecca’s happy with that too?

Nicholas: I believe she is more than happy with our set up. [looks rather smug] My brother always believed you were curious about our lifestyles Alice, would you like me to tell you her favourite toys? Or perhaps I could get Becky to bring some in for you to look at?

Alice: No! No! [my voice is panicky high pitched squeak] That’s quite all right. [I’m fairly sure he’s winding me up, but my cheeks literally couldn’t be any redder if I tried] Has Rebecca softened you up at all?

Nicholas: Things are still nice and hard where Rebecca is concerned, thank you very much. [I blush again, his face is completely blank, but I see a hint of a smile curl his top lip. He’s definitely toying with me, the bugger.]

Alice: The magazine wanted me to ask … [I pause, nervous of his response] … well, they were wondering if there were any imminent wedding bells in the air?

Nicholas: [sits back, crosses his long legs and gives me a narrow eyed look] Want to be first in with a bid for wedding pictures do they?

Alice: Umm … probably. I don’t really know, they just put it on the list of things to ask.

Nicholas: Tell them it’s none of their own business.

Alice: [I scribble on my pad, desperate to avoid the intense stare he’s giving me] Right. Will do.

[Just then we are interrupted by a knock on the door before Rebecca pops her blond head inside.]

Rebecca: Sorry to interrupt, but Darley is on the phone, he’s being impatient as ever, something to do with the arrangements for the concert on Thursday.

Nicholas: [his face noticeably softens when he sees Rebecca, and I can’t help but smile fondly at just how much he clearly loves her.] OK, thanks babe, tell him I’ll be two minutes. [turns back to me] Alice, I’m sorry, I’m going to have to take that call, as I’m sure you remember, my agent will wait for no man, not even me.

Alice: No problem, I think the magazine just wanted a short piece anyway, and you agreed they could come in tomorrow and take some photographs of your piano room I believe?

Nicholas: I did, I’ll give them five minutes, no more. [nodding reluctantly] I hate bloody journalists.

Alice: It was lovely to see you again Nicholas. If I think of any questions I missed I’ll email you.

Nicholas: Perfect. Thanks for keeping it short, Alice. It was good to see you again too. I really better get my phone before Darley blows a gasket. Show yourself out.

Nicholas leaves the room and I sit in slight shock at the encounter. Even after all the time I’m spent with him in my research he’s still an enigma to me. Mind you, it was good to see him again, even if he still is remarkably intimidating!

 

Thank you for reading!

Books 1 -3 of the Untwisted series are now available!

Untwisted series blurb:

If you enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey and Bared to You, you will love the new ‘Untwisted’ series, which follows the highly addictive relationship between devilishly dark Nicholas Jackson and book shop owner Rebecca Langley.

A dizzying, all-consuming affair with famous pianist Nicholas Jackson draws in the timid Rebecca and engulfs her with his passion and dominance, then spits her out heartbroken and bruised.

Now, Rebecca is left trying to move on from the relationship she shared with Nicholas, but just as she starts to clear her head, he reappears in her life determined to win her back.

But seeing as Nicholas has already shown once that the darkness within him is lurking just below the surface, can Rebecca really take that risk again with her heart and body?

 

As well as the Untwisted series, I also have a festive short story available in ‘Love Under the Mistletoe’, a seasonal anthology from Accent Press including stories from KD Grace, Demelza Hart, Elizabeth Coldwell and me!

Buy Links to Twisted Series:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Alice%20Raine&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank

Thanks again to KD for hosting me today, and I’d like to wish everyone Happy Holiday!

Alice xx

Alice Raine author picAlice Tells Us about Alice:

Where to start? I’m really a lot more boring and normal than my steamy books might suggest. It may disappoint some to know that I’ve never had an illicit affair with a domineering pianist, nor have I ever met or dated a man who frequented sex clubs in London… I have however, always had an overactive imagination, which may in part explain where my stories come from! My books may be fiction, but the setting of London was a deliberate choice, I was born and raised in London and as such it holds a special place in my heart which I hope comes across in my writing. Some of my best times have been spent with friends wandering the markets of Camden or sipping beers in Covent Garden.

I moved to Manchester to study, where I ended up living for over ten years. Originally I qualified as an archaeologist, but I soon realised that jobs in that sector were minimal and decided to put my enthusiasm to use by becoming a teacher. Now I split my time between teaching, and engaging my wildly over active imagination by writing. Currently I’m living abroad spending my days exploring, teaching and writing. Where ever I find myself I live with my ever suffering, but hugely supportive husband, our dog and a crazy half-wild cat who keeps the whole household on its toes.

Music is a huge influence in my writing, I listen to everything from Snow Patrol and Linkin Park to Evanescence and REM, in fact, those of you with a good memory for lyrics might even spot one or two lines popping up in my writing as you read. I enjoys writing a wide range of genres including comical real life stories and youth paranormal fantasy, but my first published novels are the adult themed trilogy series ‘Untwisted.’

Find Alice Here:

– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alice-Raine/1433662383579684

– Twitter: @AliceRaine1

– Pintrest: http://www.pinterest.com/alice3083/

 

 

 
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The Romance Reviews

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