Interview with Ram Virtos
I walk into the Axel of Evil nightclub, clutching my all-important pastry box. At night the club vibrates with a potent, dark and dangerous sexual energy. In the day, it looks like almost any other club.
I look around, seeing the caged fire pits ringed by seating, the two wickedly curved bars and the twin dances floors surrounded by tables and chairs.
Where is he? I wonder as I set the box down on a table. Ram agreed to meet me for this interview.
“Looking for someone, Lyon?”
Crap! I jump, slapping my hand on my chest. Once I can breathe again, I turn and look up.
Ram Virtos looms two feet from me. He’s packing two hundred and forty pounds of military-honed killing machine in to his six-foot-five frame. His blue eyes burn as he studies me. I blurt out, “You almost gave me a heart attack.”
He holds up his hands. “Want me to shock your heart for you?”
I step back and my legs hit the table behind me. “Uh, no. I’m good.”
“Who said you have a choice?” he asks. “I didn’t have a choice when you decided to turn me into a human lightning rod.” He moves closer until I can feel the heat coming off him. “Lady, I don’t like the choices you’re making.”
Panic floods through me. “I gave you Ginny!” Sort of. Okay, there are a few problems.
His jaw tightens. “You should have left Ginny alone. What you did to her in that novella…” He turns away, running his hand over his short blond hair. I can see the muscles in his back bunching beneath his t-shirt.
“It’s your story. Yours and Ginny.”
He shakes his head. “You left us hanging. You left your readers hanging.” Finally he stops and crosses his arms over his chest. “Why? The other hunters, their stories are covered one book. Why the hell are you torturing me and Ginny? Why didn’t you just hook me up with Shayla and call it a day?”
I stare at him. “That’s your fault, and you damn well know it. You crossed paths with Shayla and didn’t even realize she was there.”
“So?” he snaps, but I see the wariness creep into his eyes.
“You know when Ginny’s near you. Every. Single. Time. You love her.” I draw in a breath and add, “You and Shayla aren’t meant to be together.” But there’s a deeper reason. Ram is the most controlled and discipline hunter I’ve ever seen. Almost nothing can crack him.
Except Ginny. Only she can bring him to his knees. Only she can reach his heart.
Ram drops his arms, lowers his chin and aims a stare of command at me. “Then tell me how to save her from her father.”
That stare has made hardened witch hunters cower. But I know now that Ram won’t hurt me. He doesn’t dare, because I have to write the rest of his and Ginny’s story. “I’m working on it.”
For a brief second, just one flash of time, I see an edge of uncertainty cross his features. Then it vanishes, and pure menace hardens every line. “You don’t know. You left us, and your readers hanging, and you don’t know how to fix it.”
Not true. I know…okay I hope I know. Because if this doesn’t work… I put a lid on my worries, stiffen my spine and say, “You’ll just have to trust me.” Then I change the subject. “You agreed to five questions from readers.” I reach into my purse and pull out the list of questions I printed off.
Ram drops into a nearby chair, stretches out his legs, raises his arms and laces his fingers behind his head. “Fine. Go.”
I…what? Staring at him, I see his t-shirt stretched tight over his chest, his biceps bulging. The man is a work of art. Lethal art to be sure, but still…he’s hot.
“Quit wasting time gawking, Lyon.”
A flush rolls over me and I sink down into a chair, trying to regain my composure. Glancing at my list, I begin with, “If you were an ordinary human being, what do you think your occupation would be?”
“If I were mortal, I’d have stayed in the SEALs. I was damn good at the job.”
Modest too. But okay, he’s right, he was good. “Next question, do you drive a car or motorcycle?”
He lifts his eyebrows. “I can drive anything, but I own a Range Rover. Motorcycles are okay, but I don’t need the flash like Phoenix.”
Seeing the glint of amusement in his eyes, I figure I’m safe to push for more. “Anything else you want to add to that?”
He shrugs. “I can pilot any helo or boat out there.” With a sly look he adds, “I have a boat, you know.”
He has a boat? Seriously? Shouldn’t I know that? Where is the boat? I look back at my notes to cover my confusion. “Uh, coffee or tea?”
“Coffee. But I’m not addicted like some people in this room. I have more self control than that.”
I ignore that swipe at me. Mostly because it’s true. “Why did you choose a thunderbird tattoo?”
His face darkens and he grinds his jaw.
Too late, I realize I was stomping all over dangerous territory.
“The bird has thunder and lighting,” he finally says. “Thunder is loud, obnoxious bragging. But the real danger? It’s the lightning you never see coming. By the time you do see it—
Chill bumps scatter over my arms, and I shiver. Ram is exactly that kind of killer. He doesn’t threaten or warn, he strikes.
“Last question, Lyon.”
“Uh, yeah.” I scan the page, looking for something light and settle on, “Boxers or briefs?”
Ram rolls his eyes, then unlaces his fingers from behind his head, and in a fluid movement, rises from the chair. He reaches for the snap on his pants.
And undoes it.
My heart hammers, and I jump up. “What are you doing?”
He drags down the zipper. “Answering your question.” He begins to slide his pants lower. “You like to show everything in your books, right?”
“No! I mean yes, but—”
“Then I’m showing.” The pants slide a bit farther.
He can’t just drop his pants! An idea hits me. I grab the pastry box and shove it into his stomach. “Your favorite treats! Snickerdoodle cookies! From the Cooke Witch!” I’m screeching like a fourteen-year-old girl, damn it.
Then I realize what he’s doing, what Ram always does. He takes control, one way or another. He’s a very dominant man.
No! Don’t think about Ram as a lover! I have to regain control of the situation or I’ll never be able to write his story the way it’s meant to be told.
I let go of the pastry box I have pressed against his stomach.
Ram catches it with one hand, the other hand keeping his pants on.
I refuse to look, turn and rush out of the club. I have to write, and write fast.
And not think about Ram’s pants sliding down his hips….