Interview with Key DeMicca
I’m meeting Key in his studio, which is the bottom floor of his loft in Glassbreakers, California. He’s being surprisingly cooperative compared to the other witch hunters so far.
“Thanks for talking with me today.” I glance around the studio with brick walls and cement floors. One wall has large sheets of paper mounted to the wall. Framed comic books are on another wall. He has a U-shaped desk with high end electronic pad and stylus that he sometimes uses for his drawings. Other times, he works free hand and scans it into the computer. We’re both sitting in roller chairs about three feet apart from each other.
Key smiles, flashing his dimples. “No problem. What’s on your mind?”
I’m not fooled. Kieran DeMicca is famous for his comic book series, Dyfyr: Dragon of Vengeance. He’s the smallest of the hunters, arguably the cutest. Think of the hottest surfer ever, and that’s Key. Blond spiky hair, tanned skin, gray eyes and a killer smile. He has a gorgeous dragon tattoo on his chest. But Key also has a dark side, and when provoked, he is vicious and deadly.
I really don’t want to tangle with his dark side, so I start with an easy question. “Your career is going well. How long do you think you’ll draw Dyfyr?”
He leans back in the chair, crossing an ankle over his knee. “As long as the dragon wishes.” He reaches over, picks up a pad of paper off his desk and flips past several pages. Then he settles the pad against his leg, grabs a colored pencil and begins to sketch.
I watch him and decide to throw out my first trick question. “Which one? Dyfyr in the comics, or Dyfyr that lives in the tat on your chest?”
He doesn’t even blink. “I’ll draw as long as I have a story to tell. As long as there’s a victim that needs a dragon to rescue them.”
“You danced around that,” I muse out loud as I watch the way he sketches with his fluid motion, the muscles beneath his black T-shirt moving with a sensual grace. Key is about six foot one in height with every one of his two hundred and ten pounds honed into a lethal strength. “But Dyfyr is real to you, isn’t he?”
“He pays the bills.”
I laugh, I can’t help it. Pays the bills is a massive understatement. “How rich are you?” No one really knows. But he seems to have made a lot of money off his comics.
He keeps sketching. “Ask Phoenix, he seems more interested in my finances than I am.”
“You know he’s proud of you. He just can’t say it, so he has to brag in his backhanded way.” Phoenix and Key are closer than brothers. They met around twelve years old, and finished growing up on the streets together. They protect each other’s back and I believe they will do that until death.
“If you say so,” Key replies good-naturedly.
I shift around on the chair and cross money off my list of questions. Key’s not going to tell me. Switching topics, I begin, “So your family…” and trail off to see what he’ll say.
He tosses down his pencil, selects another color and returns to drawing. “Mostly dead.”
I take a risk. “You killed your father.”
The shadow of a cold smile barely touches his mouth. “No comment.”
He had killed his father, and the rogue bastard deserved it. “Your mother…”
His fingers tighten slightly around the pencil, but otherwise his movements are smooth. “She died when I was twelve from a lingering illness.”
Key spreads these half truths with ease. It had been a lingering malady but not exactly an illness. He called the dragon on his chest a “she” when he’s always known Dryfy is a male. He says all his family had been trying to kill him, but that was also a shade of the truth. They’d actually been trying to beat him into revealing the location of what they wanted. I know why he does this, what he’s protecting. But still…I needed to get him to reveal himself to me more completely so I can write his story. I probe deeper with, “Your half brother, Liam, is still alive. I know you’re looking for him.”
Key switches pencils again and asks, “You know where he is, don’t you?”
I falter and pretend I’m writing notes while really just scribbling geometric designs on my pad of paper. “Uh, not precisely. I know he’s alive, killing him isn’t in your backstory…”
He snorts, cutting me off. “Backstory? More like a demonic soap opera.” While still looking at the pad, he lifts a single eyebrow. “And they say I’m twisted?”
I go on the defensive. “The readers like dark and tormented heroes. Sheesh, don’t I get credit for making you sexy? Women throw themselves at you everywhere you go.” Regaining the upper hand, I gloat a little. “I notice you’re not complaining about that.”
His hand is moving so fast now all I see is a blur. He answers, “Not talking about my sex life. Those women are a lifeline for me, help me keep the bloodlust banked, and…” His jaw twitched. “They help. Leave them out of this.”
Damn, slapped down and deservedly so. Sex, drawing and violence are what keep him under control. It isn’t only the curse that lives inside Key…
“Where is Liam?” his voice is intense.
I take a breath. “You’ll find him.” He has to because if he doesn’t, Liam will destroy Key’s world, and get a hold of—
“What are you planning, Lyon? Do you know what’s at stake? Just tell me where he is and stay out of my way.”
I’m getting a little frustrated. “I’m the writer here! Of course I know what’s at stake! But I’m trying to find a way to give you a happy ending!”
He lifts his gaze and I see the flat gray menace in his eyes. “You made that impossible. You destroyed any chance I have at love or a soul mirror with the Dragon Tear.”
He stood up, dropping his hands holding the sketch book and pencil to his sides. “Where is Liam?”
Chills slide down my spine. I stand up, but he still towers over me. I know Key won’t hurt me, but I can’t be sure about his dragon. Quickly I say, “I don’t know. I swear! All I do know is he’s coming after you. And he’s dangerous. Not just to you, but to her.”
He steps closer, so close that I feel the heat of his rage. “Her? I will not risk another woman, Lyon. Ever. If you try your soul mirror match making with me, you know she’ll die.”
I stare at him, trying to think of a way to reach him, to get him to trust me. I’m pretty sure I can make this work. Probably.
He must see my internal struggle and says, “Don’t believe me?” He lifts the sketch pad and shows me what he’d been drawing.
“Oh!” I slap my hand over my mouth, feeling horror slither through my stomach. A beautiful woman butchered, blood everywhere… I can’t look anymore and raise my eyes to his grim face.
“This is what Liam does to anyone I love.” Then he turns and storms up the metal stairs to the second floor where he lives.
I have to hurry back to my computer. Because while everything Key said is true, what I also know to be true is that Kieran DeMicca deserves love and I am going to find a way to give it to him.