An interview of a vampire from The Fateful Trilogy by Cheri Schmidt. Oh wait, I mean an interview of a werewolf. Oh wait, I mean an interview of a villain…
(Told from Max’s point of view.)
“Welcome, lovely ladies and dashing gents, whatever the case may be…” Max winks as he sketches a bow, his waves of brown hair tumbling down over his forehead. The knight shoves fingers through his hair to push it back into place as he settles into his chair. “Today, I have Lucas from The Fateful Trilogy here for an interview.” Max twists in his seat to face Lucas who is sitting in a comfortable chair in Beon’s drawing room at Order headquarters. “Welcome, villain.”
Lucas stares, or rather, scowls at Max before he says with a heavy note of annoyance in his tone, “Were you expecting me to cackle evilly, because it’s just not going to happen.”
Max shrugs his big shoulders and props one booted foot on his opposite knee, the picture of ease. Clearly not intimidated by the murdering rogue. “Shall we begin?” Max drops his gaze quickly to his notes.
“If you would get on with it, I’d appreciate it. I do have better things to do than sit here with you answering ridiculous questions.”
“Like what, exactly?” asks Max.
Muscles jump along Lucas’ jaw. His dark eyes narrow on the knight. His nostrils flare. “Are you talking about stupid questions you’d like to ask me, or what I’d rather be doing?”
“The latter, obviously,” responds Max.
“Proper mischief and mayhem…obviously,” answers Lucas smugly.
“What sort of mischief and mayhem? Be specific. Our audience is curious to know,” Max asks with an annoyed lift of one eyebrow.
Smirking evilly, Lucas locks his dark gaze onto Max’s in a threatening way. “I could be seeking time alone with Nadia so that I may get to know her better. She and I haven’t…chatted much.” The smirk turns to a leer as it seems Lucas imagines what harm he’d like to be inflicting upon Nadia.
Max comes back with a threat of his own. His lips thin, his fingers slip into his boot, and in the blink of any eye, he sends a knife at Lucas. The six-inch blade sinks into the back cushion of the chair Lucas is seated in, right next to his ear, barely missing the draw of blood by a thread.
The villain doesn’t even flinch. “Not bad for an old rusty knight,” Lucas says in a silky voice.
“I’ve spent most of my life dispatching miscreants like you.”
“We’ve digressed,” says Lucas dryly.
Max draws a measured breath and releases it slowly, apparently in agreement. “Do you have any hobbies the readers might not know about? Something uncommon, please, so don’t say rowing or shooting or steeplechase.”
Lucas pauses for a long time while scratching at his knee a bit nervously.
“Well?” Max presses. “You promised to be honest for the readers.”
“Fine. Crossword puzzles,” Lucas finally mutters angrily.
A mocking laugh escapes Max. “Do you also knit?”
Lucas frowns. “You insult me.”
“Every chance I can get.”
“You’re digressing again,” Lucas says. “Did you have any other questions for me? Perhaps something more relevant than what I do with my spare time, like what I do with my victims instead? I can promise you, the readers would be much more interested in what I could be, or rather, will be doing to Nadia.”
“Threaten my wife again, and next time I won’t intentionally miss.” Lucas doesn’t seem to have an answer to that, so Max goes on, “What made you like this, Lucas? What event in your life darkened your soul so much?”
“I think I was always like this, to be honest. ’Tis one of my best attributes.” Lucas says with a note of pride.
“Always evil, you say? Surely as a child—”
“I don’t remember much from my childhood. But what I do recall, it wasn’t exactly pleasant.”
“Was not the nicest chap there ever was.”
“So you’re blaming your evilness on him, then?”
Lucas shrugs his shoulders. “I wouldn’t be the first.”
“Now you’ve made me curious. Tell me more about your father, would you? What was it about him that turned you to a life of disruptive and violent behavior?”
“This is a massively insipid line of questioning. Next please,” Lucas says with an air of superiority.
Max rolls his jaw in an apparent effort to keep his anger tamped down. “Fine. Let’s just cut to the chase, hmm? First a vampire, and now a werewolf… What is it about being a monster that appeals to you so much?”
“It’s a bit cliché, but there is a great deal of power in fear.”
“So this is all about power?”
Lucas sighs. “Actually, no. It’s all about revenge.”
“Against Ethan,” says Max.
“Did I just hear my name?” Ethan asks as he enters with service for tea.
Max draws in a breath of air and his eyes land on the hot scones on a plate next to the teapot. Despite the fact that he was hungry, he eyes Ethan with unmasked curiosity. “What are you doing?”
“I don’t need help.”
“Then I’m simply here to offer refreshment.” Ethan’s gaze touches on Lucas and it was easy for Max to mark the lie.
“Really?” Max asks doubtfully.
“Of course.” Ethan starts pouring out. “I’ll be mother,” he said with a bright smile and a twinkle of mischief in his blue eyes. Intrigued, Max leans back into the cushion and watches to see how this is going to play out. “Fancy a cuppa?” Ethan asks Lucas pleasantly.
Lucas eyes the cup wearily. “Is it poisoned?”
A chuckle rumbles out of Ethan. “Would I poison you?”
“Yes. I believe you would.”
“What reason exactly would I have to poison you?” When Lucas doesn’t answer right away, Ethan asks, “One lump or two?”
Lucas folds his arms. The corners of his mouth slide downward. “Where’s Danielle? Isn’t she going to join our quaint little tea party?”
“No,” Ethan practically growls, straightening, the food forgotten…apparently. Ethan removes his glasses and sets them carefully on the table next to the tea tray.
The action was clearly not lost on Lucas as he also rises to his feet and pushes up his sleeves while muttering something that sounds quite a bit like, “Bloody twit is dead from the neck up…” but not loud enough for Max to be completely sure about it.
“Ethan, what are you doing now?” Max asks.
“Nothing,” Ethan shoves up his sleeves as well.
“Why did you take off your glasses then?”
“No particular reason worth mentioning, Max.”
Max rolls his eyes when Ethan throws the first punch and the two men brawl, spilling the tea, smashing the teacups, and breaking the table.
Max hadn’t noticed at first, but Ethan had ropes and a gag hanging out of his back pocket. As a bruise develops around Ethan’s left eye, and a trickle of blood oozes from his bottom lip, Ethan tightens the knot on the ropes now securing Lucas to the floral-patterned wingback chair.
Clearing his throat, Max folds his arms over his chest and shoots a curious gaze at Ethan. “Exactly how am I supposed to interview the villain with him bound and gagged like that?”
Ethan shrugs his shoulders. “Scone?”
Casting his gaze to the ruined food on the floor, he lifts an eyebrow.
Ethan’s face splits into a smile. “I’ve got fresh ones in the kitchen; this was poisoned, of course.”
“And you need a new pair of spectacles,” Max points out, trying not to laugh.
“Hmm,” mutters Ethan a bit sheepishly while spying his crunched eyewear in the mess littering the decorative rug. “Unfortunate indeed, since that was my spare.”
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