LW: Would you both mind introducing yourselves and letting the readers know a little bit about your background?
Jez leaned closer to Aisha. “You don’t have to say anything. LW can’t make us talk.”
“Really? Ladies, work with me here. I’m the author. It’s not like I don’t know your story, so please, for the sake of the readers?” I asked. “I promise, I’ll remember your efforts the next time you want to change my mind on your scene.”
“Deal, ” snapped Jez.
The smirk that followed confirmed I’d been duped. “Well?”
“People that know me call me, Jez. I’m a pre-immortal.”
“Pre as in?”
She released a long exaggerated breath. “As in no powers. Well none to that really count. Until I turn twenty-three, I’m as vulnerable as anyone else.”
“How did you end up with Sol?” I hated asking her. The laughter left her brown eyes and her black bob failed to hide the raw expression on her face as she bowed her head.
“He came for me. After my family was…murdered.” She took a deep breath and raised her gaze to mine. “They took my family, every last person I cared for. Some days, I want the Consortium to pay more than I want to breathe.”
“I imagine Kane would have issues with that kind of thinking.”
She rolled her eyes and shrugged, a slight bit of life coming back into her. With a half-hearted laugh, she elbowed Aisha. “Kane has this stubborn male habit of wanting us to survive. Whether we want to or not.”
We both waited for several minutes for Aisha to speak. To offer her answer. I wasn’t about to push her and Jez had already tried to get the sixteen year old to come out of her shell.
“My name is Aisha, but I’m not anybody special.”
“Don’t.” Jez grabbed her hand even as Aisha flinched and tried to pull back. “Don’t you ever give in like that.”
For some reason the physical confrontation pushed Aisha out of her reticence and she shoved Jez away. Her hands flailed as she lashed out. “I’m not like you. I don’t have some great destiny. I’ve lost everyone too, but it was my fault that my brother is gone. You can’t say that. You don’t know what it feels like. You trust people. You trust Kane.”
Jez retreated from the onslaught, but me, I’m the writer. It’s my job to rein in the pain. This is an interview, not an intervention. “Aisha, you trust Kane, too. Even if you don’t want to admit it? You know he won’t just leave you.”
She froze. Her eyes flickered between us like a timid bird, but she sank back into her chair. “No.” She shook her head. The tight clench of her jaw was visible beneath the shoulder length waves of hair. For a second. Then she closed her eyes. “He promised me.”
Her eyes opened again, a little colder and harder than before. “And you’re right. I believe he won’t let me finish what I need to do alone.”
LW: Okay, so how did you meet Kane?
“Um. You want me to follow that?” A slight blush covered her cheeks as she glanced at Aisha. We were both surprised when Aisha covered Jez’s hand with her own. “I don’t have a glorious answer here. I tracked him to his home and was prepared to kill him.”
“Well, things aren’t always as they seem.” She bit her lip and squeezed Aisha’s hand. “He wasn’t quite as awful as I’d thought.”
“That sounds an awful lot like respect.”
She tilted her head slightly with the hint of levity lightening the tension around her mouth. “Nobody’s perfect.”
She slowly pulled her hand from Jez’s and rubbed her palms against her pant’s leg as if she could remove a layer of skin. “He found us. I didn’t think anyone could. I tried so hard to keep us safe. But he found me, and Marco. It was right before the others tried to take us.”
LW: Those examples sound more like you both were scared. But you are still in Kane’s life. Still loyal to him. What would make you walk that line for him?
“I was being trained to be suspicious of everyone, but you have to give some credit when someone puts you first. I get that. I’m not saying it came instantaneously, but I get it now.”
“I’ve trusted people and they…he didn’t make me promises about safety or how he’d fix everything.” She lifted her chin. “I can always go back to the streets. For now, I’ll give his way a shot.”
LW: Any final thoughts on Kane’s future?
“His future? I don’t have a clue. What I do know—I’m better prepared. I’m safe for the moment. He’s here now, and I’ll take advantage of that.”
Aisha’s head had bobbed slowly during Jez’s answer. “I’m not who I was before. I don’t have any feeling about that, good or bad. But I am safe, for the moment. And if they get me, I know he’ll come.”
Copyright © 2011-12 by L.W. Herndon. All rights reserved.
The copyright for this document is owned by L.W. Herndon.