Guest Post + Giveaway: The Interrogation by M.R. Merrick
Last week I got to
interview interrogate author M.R. Merrick here on the blog. In case you didn’t get a chance to read it and learn all about the author and his books, it’s HERE.
This week his characters – Rayna and Chase – have been invited to the blog. And this time it’s Rayna who gets to do the interrogating. And she chose to let her creator off the hook and instead put Chase Williams in the hot seat.
And while last week I offered up for giveaway a set of the author’s unsigned books to two winners, this week the author is offering up a signed set of his books to one winner.
But first, here’s the exclusive “interview.”
Rayna vs. Chase – The Interrogation
I faced the door, six panels of embossed white maple stared back at me, and my hand hovered over the knob. Why did I agree to this? Oh right, because it got me out of training today. That probably wasn’t a good thing, but I was still feeling yesterday’s session. I needed a break. My hand looked healthy, but it was tender. The fire was getting more powerful. If it wasn’t for my water element’s ability to heal, I’d be a pile of ash by now.
My fingers traced the dull chrome knob when it was torn from my hand. A gust of air washed over my face and the door was gone. Bright green cat eyes stared back at me. A single strand of red hair fell over one, while the rest of her black locks were pinned up in a silver claw-like clip, red gems lining the handle.
Red fabric hugged her body in the form of a halter top. Red straps criss-crossed over her chest and around her neck, disappearing over her shoulder. Dark blue jeans wrapped around her legs, and disappeared into knee high leather boots. Long fingernails tapped along her hip while her eyes stared right through me.
“Were you ever going to come in?” Rayna asked. “Or had you planned on delaying this as much as possible?”
“Look, I gave you your options. Training or interrogation. You wanted a day off, so here it is.”
“Is it too late to change my mind?”
“Yes, get in here.”
I sighed and walked into the room. The blue training mats had all been rolled up and two chairs sat in the center of the room. A notepad covered in blue ink sat beside one, and a pen lay on top of it.
“Sit,” Rayna said.
I did as she asked, or rather, ordered, and wished I’d given this more thought. I was far too eager to skip a day of training, but I knew this was the only way she’d cut me some slack.
“So, Chase, tell me about yourself.”
“Are you kidding? You know all about me.”
“This is my interview, you play by my rules.”
I didn’t respond, I met her green gaze with my own and let silence fill the void between us.
“Fine. Question one.In all your time with the Circle, you were brought up to hate demons. I’m curious, after seventeen years of this, what made you stop and consider trusting one?”
“I didn’t want to,” I said.
“Care to elaborate?” Rayna asked, rolling her pen back and forth over her bottom lip.
“Well let’s pretend you do.”
I ran a hand through my blonde hair and looked at the floor. “I didn’t want to believe anything you or Marcus told me, but I didn’t have much of a choice. After my run-in with Willy and the hunters, I realized I needed answers that you two had. I didn’t trust either of you right away, especially after you stole my kill, but-”
“Whoa! I did not steal your kill and you know it. That was a straight up hunt that you got in the way of.”
“Anyways…the fact that you kind of helped me out after I attacked you was a bit of an ice breaker to at least get me to hear you out.”
“Kind of helped you? Are you talking about the demon attack we encountered after you assaulted me? The one where I saved your life?”
“Okay then. How much did it hurt when I punched you in the face?”
“Can we be serious here?”
“I am being serious. How did it feel? What was your initial reaction?”
“It hurt a little. But that’s mostly because I wasn’t expecting it.”
“In my defense, you did call me a filthy demon, you got what you deserved.”
“Thanks for reminding me.”
“So when you say you weren’t expecting me to hit you, what you’re saying is I caught you off guard?”
“I agreed to sit down for this on the condition I didn’t have to answer-”
“-any questions you didn’t want to. Uh-huh. I knew you would play that card the first chance you had. Fine. What was your turning point to actually trusting me? When did it happen?”
“I don’t know why, but something inside me changed when were in the sanctuary,” I said. I pictured the demons that the goddess’ spirit had summoned, and I shuddered. “We were trying to get the scroll, the demons attacked, and I was outnumbered. You were forbidden to enter the fight, but you went against the spirit’s command, saving me yet again. If there was any doubt whether or not I could trust you, it vanished in that moment.”
“So you admit I saved you. Good.” Rayna scribbled something on her pad of paper, but before I could argue, she had another question ready. “After you heard what we had to say, you thought you were being followed. You ended up putting a knife to Willy’s throat, who you now consider a friend. What stopped you then?”
“Willy’s like my little brother now, but back then, there was something about him…he had an innocence I’d never seen. That’s not a quality found in any demon, or any hunter for that matter. At least not one I’d ever met. He stuttered, and quivered…he was terrified of me. Normally that would make me happy, but in that moment I couldn’t see him as any kind of threat. After everything Marcus had just told me – even though I wasn’t sure I believed it – I couldn’t fathom being the reason that innocence was gone from the world. It was the purest thing I’d ever seen.”
I was staring at the wall now. Answering these questions and looking at Rayna seemed like an impossible task. I waited a few moments, first for a response, than awaiting another question, but it never came.
I pulled my blue eyes up to her and she was staring back at me. A glassy film covered her eyes, but as I opened my mouth to speak, she shook it away and looked at her paper.
“Okay, we’re kind of killing the vibe here. New topic. Out of all my outfits, what’s your favorite?”
The energy change caught me off guard and I did double take. “What? I’m not answering that.”
“Why not? It’s fun. Besides, you can’t cop out on every other question.”
“What does that even have to do with anything?”
“Because this is my interview, it has everything to do with what I want to know. Would you prefer we train and I toss you around the room?”
I laughed. “Actually, I’d kind of like to see you try.”
“Just answer it. Please?” Rayna’s head canted to the side and she smiled.
“Fine,” I said, shaking my head. “There’s a black skirt you have, the one with the slit on the side. You wear it with a green top that only has one shoulder. That one’s alright, I guess.”
I sighed. “Yes, I like that one.”
“Okay seriously, I’m not doing this.”
“Is that it, or do you have anything else you want to know?”
“You’re no fun. I hope you know that.”
“Your constant reminders make it difficult to forget.”
“Okay then…in the past few months you’ve undergone more of a change than a lot of people see in a lifetime. You’ve received the elements you sought after for years, more so than you ever expected. How did that affect you?”
“It changed everything. I was in a life I didn’t want. With the exception of my mother, I hated everything. Then out of nowhere I get these powers that eluded me for so long. At first I thought maybe they could get me back into that life I missed, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that was a life I didn’t want anymore. I ended up hating the very thing I had craved.”
I thought that was enough, but Rayna’s eyes were piercing into me, and a manicured brow arched above her left eye.
“After that,” I said, and Rayna smiled. “I tried to get used to the idea, but I just couldn’t control them. They were hurting both me and the people around me, including you. Just when I thought I was getting a handle on them, more elements showed up. I’m a one-of-a-kind abomination to the hunters and I wanted nothing to do with them. They’d caused me nothing but problems, but I wasn’t given a choice. I couldn’t make them go away. It’s taken a few months, but now that I’m learning some level of control with them, I’m starting to find a new appreciation for what they can do.”
“Well you’ve got to admit, they’ve saved your ass more than once. Almost as many times as I have.”
I overlooked the latter comment and nodded. “I’m not complaining anymore. I just said thanks to training I’m starting to find a new appreciation for them. Speaking of which, maybe we should cut this short and spend the rest of our time working with these elements.”
“What else did I have?” Rayna scanned her paper, ignoring me completely. “Oh right! One last question. You’re in a locked room with nowhere to go. You have a choice between kissing a part demon, part hunter, part werecat – a demon you were trained to kill – right now, or having her beat you around the room and embarrass you. Which do you choose?”
Rayna’s lips pursed as she tried to contain a smile. Her eyes watched me closely and she tucked a red strand of hair behind her ear.
“Training, or kissing you? That’s the kind of question I can answer,” I said, standing from my chair.
Rayna stepped towards me. Her hands moved up my chest, and her nails traced the side of my neck. I could feel her warm breath rolling over my skin, and her lips shone with a light coat of gloss. “And?”
“Do you want to wear the pads first, or should I?” I grinned.
About the Author
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