Sometimes, like in life, I really, really, really want to give someone a piece of my mind. Don’t you?
There are times when I want to throttle a character in a book … and there are times when I just want to hug them and kiss them and tell them how awesome they are. Today though, as I sit here with Liam Kane, Lila’s partner, for lack of a better word, in Shadowborn, I’m not quite sure which I want to do.You see … Liam’s got some explaining to do. To make ME happy. He might have won Lila over in the end, but I gotta tell ya … the words scumbag and JackA$$ came out of my mouth a few times.
Luckily, I’m giving him a chance. A shot. To redeem himself. Let’s just hope that he can.
“So, Liam … Thanks for meeting with me tonight.”
He shifts forward in his seat, one eyebrow cocked. “Hey, now wait just a damn minute. You told me I was here to talk about the Shadowborn, not all that other … stuff. Why do I suddenly feel like I should have worn body armor?”
Oh, damn. Did I say that out loud? Okay, well … can’t take that back. “You see … sir … all that stuff IS in Shadowborn and that’s why I’m SO SO SO SO SO mad at you. Maybe you should wear body armour … though I’m pretty sure you’re naked 90% of the time in the book. Why is that exactly?”
“Sir? Oh, geez, call me Liam.” He snickers and relaxes back into the chair like a lazy, sexy cat. “Honestly, I don’t get humans’ obsession with clothes. They’re itchy and bind every time I try to move.” A few tugs at his white shirt align it with the sleeves of the black pinstriped suit. “Growing up in the Black City, clothes were optional, and I opted for sweet, naked freedom.” He winks. “You should try it sometime. Whether playing or working, it’s more fun in the buff.”
“Clothing optional? Um … there are some things people just don’t need to see. But I digress … let’s get back to the real problem. You.”
“Me?” He points to himself as if I could be talking about anyone else.
I nod my head. “Nakedness aside, you were downright mean to Lila. I mean, heart tearing, mentally shaking mean. Why would you every put something through something so horrific?”
“I never …” Elbows propped on knees, Liam wrings his hands and lowers his gaze. His shoulders drop, the silence, heavy. When he speaks, his voice is low, almost hoarse. “What would you do if you were suddenly the king of a violent nation? They’re afraid, but their eyes beg you to help them, to deliver them a better world. In your soul you know … you alone can save them, because the one who’d take your place if you fail likes pain with his morning coffee. What would you do if keeping the throne to help the one you love means doing something that shreds a fundamental part of you, threatens your future with her?” He raises blue eyes, and they’re haunted. “Do you abandon your people to torture and death? Do you stand by while your lover works to fulfill a seemingly impossible prophesy on her own because you’re afraid? Or do you suck it up no matter how bad the consequences are, put your own needs aside, and try to be the one everyone needs you to be? I thought I had no choice.”
“I have to say … you’re wrong, dude. Love ALWAYS …” I can’t believe I’ve just yelled at him – that’s how passionate I am. So calming myself, I say, “… the one you love should always take precedence. Wherever did you get the idea your head that it was more important to listen to that than your heart?”
He shakes his head, runs fingers through his dark hair. “You’re telling me I should have chosen my own personal wants over the fate of six thousand fae? And you’re accusing me of having screwed up priorities? Geez, it must be nice to live in whatever fairy tale world you live in. Our reality isn’t so lollipops and kisses to believe in that love conquers all stuff. It’s a luxury indulged in by only the very fortunate. Lila and I both get that we have to make sacrifices, that as king and queen, the people always come before the one.” He shoots me a piercing look. “Why don’t you ask me the important question. If it was so simple, and only our lives were at stake and not all fae, ask me what I’d have done to save her from every hurt she’s ever suffered at the hands of this world?” Fist clenched, he presses it over his heart. “I’d endure a thousand lifetimes of torture, give my life a million different ways for the woman who is woven into the fabric of my soul, the rhythm of my heart. But life isn’t simple or perfect, and neither am I. Don’t judge what you can’t possibly understand.”
“You know people are really mad at you for that one act alone though, right? It’s like the whole reputation thing. It takes years to build and only a single moment to tear down. One single act can make or break you. Me. Anyone. Do you think … since *I* know how it all turned out … that people will think of you differently because of your decision?”
“They can be mad all they want. This is between Lila and me, and in the end, I made the right choice. Doesn’t that count for anything?”
“So do you think Lila has fully and absolutely forgiven you?”
He smiles as if living out a fantasy in that gorgeous head of his. “Oh, I know she has. There are no more secrets between us. Ever.”
And for that, *I* am eternally grateful, so for now, I’m going to let him off the hook, because if Lila can forgive him … so can I.
“Whew.” Chuckling, he unfolds into the chair again. “Forget the body armor. I think I should have worn full-out soul armor. You certainly know how to rake a guy across the coals, Aimee, though this was still pretty tame compared to what Lila did to me. Thanks for the chat. I think.”
And, tada! My interview of Liam Kane!
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