Jennifer Lyon

Interview with Phoenix Torq

Jennifer Lyon

Author photo by Michele Cwiertny

I haven’t planned to do an interview with Phoenix. It’s just after seven in the morning, and I’m on the treadmill at the gym. I like to think that I’m disciplined, but the truth is—

“You’re avoiding me.”

I trip and almost fly off the back of the treadmill. Grabbing the safety bars, I recover and look around. But all I see are the early risers going through their exercise routines.

But I know that voice—Phoenix Torq. Wing Slayer Witch Hunter, mean-ass bounty hunter, and all-around bad boy. Crap. I am so busted. Witch hunters can shield themselves to appear invisible. But I know he’s there. Probably standing behind me and thinking how little good the treadmill is doing me. Which is so not fair because I spend most of my days trapped in a chair, trying to tame these witch hunters on my keyboard!

There’s a sudden bush along my left arm. Shivers that shouldn’t be legal this early in the morning travel along my skin and wrap around my insides.

“If you want to sweat and get your heart rate up, I can help you with that.” His voice is pitched low with just a touch of gravel.

“Stop that!” I say and look around. Did anyone see me talking to the invisible man looming on my left side? The one with sexy pheromones and are jacking my heart rate and making me a little…loose? “We’ll talk later!” I stop the treadmill and hurry into the weight machine area.

I feel him striding alongside me, but he’s still not visible. Slinging my towel over the bicep curl machine, I adjust the weights to my usual “weak and flabby” setting, grab the handles and pull up.

Nothing happens.

So I pull harder.

Laughter. “Problem there, Lyon?”

“Shh!!!” I say, looking around once more. Fortunately most people have ear buds in to listen to their music or downloaded books. “And stop holding the weights down,” I add in a fierce whisper.

“What? You don’t like hearing voices?” Pause, then right by my ear, he whispers, “Voices that only you can hear?”

His warm breath caresses my ear and neck. There goes my heart rate again. I know why he’s pissed. And I know I’m trapped. I stand, gather up my stuff and walk out of the gym. Arriving at my car, I pull open the door, sort of hoping I can make another escape.

“Running again?” he asks from behind me.

I’ve been avoiding him for weeks. Standing in the opening of my car door, I turn to make some excuse and forget what I was going to stay.

Phoenix has dropped his invisible-shield. He stands there, all two hundred and forty pounds packed into a six foot, four inch frame. His black hair is a shade too long, his death dark eyes pin me in place. He’s wearing his black leathers, the vest leaving his arms naked. Each bicep has the tattooed wing of the mythical phoenix bird.

Holy hormones, the man is smokin’ hot. And dangerous as a cottonmouth. Which is why I don’t want to tangle just yet until after his book is finished. “Look, I get that you’re not happy about the voice.”

He leans forward, his eyes furious. “Make it stop. Now.”

I resist the urge to bite my lip. I can’t let him think he has the upper hand or that he frightens me. Besides, he’d never hurt me, or any woman mortal woman. Or earth witch. A demon witch is a different story—actually part of his story in NIGHT MAGIC. I take a breath and say, “Stop whining. I have a plan.”

He narrows his eyes. “I don’t whine. And I don’t trust you. I saw what you did to Axel, and then Sutton. Lady, you have a mean streak.”

I roll my eyes. “Oh grow up. If you want a soul mirror, you have to earn the right. Soul mirrors are very special witches…”

He reaches out and touches his finger to my shoulder, then draws a slow line down my arm. “Maybe I don’t want a soul mirror. Maybe I love all women, and don’t want to be limited to just one.”

His touch is doing wicked things to me. Catching myself leaning toward him, I slap away his hand. “Knock that off!” It’s embarrassing to lust after him! In the parking lot of the gym!

He grins. “I will when you stop the voice-shit. Until then, I’m your seduction shadow, Wordsmith. I’ll follow you to the grocery store, the post office, the doctors, whispering in your ear all the sex games we’re going to play. And when you sleep at night, you’ll never know when I’ll show up. In your dark bedroom…what do you wear to bed?”

Damn it! I reach into my car, pull out a pad of paper and start scribbling.

“What are you doing?” Phoenix asks, his voice going edgy with worry.

Without looking up, I say, “There’s a kidnapped witch three blocks over. Two rogues cutting her…”

He stiffens, his leathers whispering softly. “Well played. You know I can’t resist a woman in trouble.”

“I know.” Then I look up. “By the way, your soul mirror?”

His death dark eyes flash a flicker of hope. “Yeah?”

Crap, that little glimmer in his eyes makes my heart ache for Phoenix. I know what he’s suffered, I know what drives him. And in spite of his boorish behavior, he’s one of my favorite hunters. Softly, I answer, “She’s in trouble. More trouble than you can imagine.”

A ripple of tension goes through him. “But I can save her, right?”

Worry gnaws at my stomach and this time, I bite my lower lip before answering, “I hope so.”

“What do you mean, hope so? See this is exactly the mean ass shit I’m talking about! I can’t fail a woman, you know that!”

I can’t be weak so I lift my chin and say, “Then you’d been start paying attention to the voice in your head.” Then I drop my attention back to the pad and write, “The witch screamed.”

Phoenix tilts his head, clearly hearing it. He looks back at me. “Don’t screw with me, Lyon. You’ll regret it.” Then he races to where he parked his Yamaha R6, straddles the big machine, revs the machine and roars out of the parking lot.

I know he will save the witch screaming right now, but will he be able to save his soul mirror?

I better get to work and find out!