Interview with a Vampire
By N.J. Walters
I sit quietly and stare out over the cavernous space, which is empty other than the two people working behind the long bar dominating one side of the room. With the music silent and the overhead lights on, it looks more like a warehouse than one of the most popular nightclubs in Chicago—Inhibitions. I’m thrilled that the owner of the club has agreed to see me. Just because Damek and I know one another doesn’t mean my welcome here is assured. He likes to keep to himself. Always has.
The surge of power hits me and jerks my head around. Dressed, as always, in a designer suit tailored to his lithe build, Damek strides toward me. His black, shoulder-length hair is smooth as silk and gleams in the light. The firm set of his lips bothers me and I wonder if he’ll even talk to me.
NJW: Thanks for seeing me.
He slides into the seat across from me and studies me with his dark, hypnotic eyes. I glance away.
DAMEK: You said you wished to interview me.
NJW: I’d like to ask you a few questions, to allow readers to get a better insight into you and the way you think.
DAMEK: Is that wise?
He raises one eyebrow and leans back nonchalantly against the back of the leather bench seat. Not for one second do I believe he’s relaxed. Beneath his suit, his muscles are coiled and ready to attack at a moment’s notice. I swallow hard.
NJW: I think so.
He inclines his head in a gracious nod, but I can sense his irritation. I’ve always been able to sense his moods.
DAMEK: Ask away.
I want to start with the question most asked by readers, but I hesitate, not sure how he’ll react. Still, I did promise to do this interview. I take a deep breath and plunge onward.
NJW: You’re good friends with Craig Lawton. A lot of readers wonder why you didn’t end up with him.
A deep chill fills the air around me at the first mention of Craig’s name and I wonder if I’ve gone too far. I know how protective he feels about that particular human. He frowns and then a slow smile momentarily crosses his lips, giving me the briefest glimpse of sharp, pearly fangs.
DAMEK: I’ve always found humans fascinating. After all, I used to be one. But it is hard to watch friends die out one by one as the centuries pass and it became easier to allow no one close. Craig is different, his mind agile, his loyalty unsurpassed. As for ending up with him…I am attracted to his mind, not his body. I much prefer females when it comes to sex.
Okay, so I navigated that particular minefield without having it explode. I decide it’s best to move on to the next question.
NJW: You’re a vampire, a species that usually keeps to itself. But you’re also friends with the Striker brothers and the Haven werewolf pack. How did you become friends with them?
Damek tilts his head to one side and studies me.
DAMEK: Such an inquisitive mind.
I shrug, unable to deny his claim.
NJW: If I weren’t, your story would never have been told.
DAMEK: True enough. The story is personal and not one I’m willing to get into, but let’s just say that times have changed in the past century. With the rise of technology, the paranormal bounty hunters have been able to mobilize better, which is not a good thing for either species. Joshua and Isaiah Striker passed along some information to me back in the nineteen nineties that was instrumental to my avoiding a pack of rabid vampire hunters. I owed them.
NJW: But it’s more than that.
DAMEK: It is. I find I like the damn troublesome werewolves. Plus, there is no denying their impeccable taste in women.
One corner of his mouth turns up in a smile and I can feel how much he likes the werewolves…and the women.
NJW: Yet, the wolves haven’t always extended trust to you.
I know I’ve hit a sore spot when his smile fades and his eyes tinge with red. I swallow hard and try to slow the racing of my heart.
DAMEK: Tread carefully.
NJW: Sorry, but it’s true. And it’s unfair.
I’m indignant on his behalf. Damek’s done nothing but protect and help the wolves, and when he needed their absolute trust, he didn’t get it, at least not from everyone. The red fades from his eyes and they warm slightly. I know that he’s read my thoughts and I feel my face heating under his regard.
DAMEK: Thank you.
NJW: You’re welcome.
I don’t want to push my luck and decide it’s time to wrap up this interview.
NJW: One final question. Your life has changed a lot in recent days. Are you planning on staying in Chicago or are you going to relocate anytime soon?
DAMEK: Much has changed, but I like this city. I enjoy the people who live here and have no plans to leave in the near future.
I note he doesn’t mention the Haven pack or Craig Lawton specifically. Nor does he mention Sonia Agostino, but I can see by the warning in his dark gaze that she is totally off limits for discussion. That’s okay by me. I want readers to delve into his book and discover that particular story for themselves.
NJW: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me.
DAMEK: My pleasure.
He rises, inclines his head in a courtly gesture and leaves me seated at the table. He stops at the bar momentarily before heading to his office.
My interview with Damek is done and I release a slow breath. As much as I love him, he’s not an easy man to be around. Not surprising considering he’s a one-thousand-year-old vampire. There is so much he could tell me about the history of the world. He’s lived it. But he keeps his thoughts to himself, self contained and powerful, a necessity that’s kept him alive as long as it has.
I look up as I sense someone approaching the table. One of the bartenders places a glass of red wine on the table in front of me. “Compliments of the boss,” she tells me before walking away. I pick up the glass and sip. The wine is fruity and full-bodied, with just a touch of something I can’t quite place…
NOTE: If you want to find out more, check out Damek’s Redemption by N.J. Walters, now available from Entangled Publishing.