Earlier in the week, I shared a glimpse of what it’s like to be in an author’s brain. In short, you’ve got to be a little mad. I guess that’s just my theme of the week, because I’ve got another secret to share with you. I talk to my characters.
No, it’s true. We have conversations.
When I was working on the Dark Days series, I used to take nightwalker Mira shopping with me. I always knew she’d have an opinion. (Danaus would trail behind us, huffing and grumbling.) Gage from the Asylum Tales series used to meet me for coffee and tease me with promises of new tattoos.
When it comes to Unbreakable Bonds, I’ve interviewed Lucas (who really doesn’t care to talk to me because he’s smart enough not to trust me) and I’ve had coffee with Andrei (who likes me because he knows I live to tease Lucas). I kindly left Snow and Jude alone because they like Rinda more than me.
And recently, Noah Keegan (someone new you’re going to meet in Torch) has been tugging at me, wanting a special meeting of his own….
Drinks with Noah
Noah let me pick the bar, but I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised since he was still learning the Cincinnati area. I’d brought him down to the Village, or better known to the world as Main Strasse Village. I’d spent too many of younger years popping in and out of these bars and restaurants with friends. It was evenly balanced between boisterous places booming with live music and dark nooks that offered a killer selection of bourbons and handcrafted drinks.
Which was only confirmed when he beat me to the bar. I found him sitting in one of the deep black leather chairs, his gaze out the window looking down Main Street, watching the scattering of people below. It was still early by Village standards, with most people crowding the restaurants. We had a solid couple hours before it became packed.
“I should have suspected that you’d know the best bar in town to get an Old Fashioned,” Noah said as he reached for his glass resting on the low table next to his knee.
I shrugged before sliding into the seat across from him, setting my own Rye Sour on the table. “I’m a Kentucky girl at heart. I know my bourbon.”
“But you’re not drinking bourbon.”
I smiled. “I also know when I need to keep my wits about me.”
A ghost of a smile drifted across his lips before it faded completely and his eyes moved back to the window. This was not the Noah I knew — the man with the easy smile and teasing quip poised on the tip of his tongue.
“How are you liking Cincinnati?” I asked after the silence had stretched for nearly a minute.
“It’s great. It seems like it’s got a little bit of everything. I feel like I’ve got sports coming out of my ears here. I can see why Rowe fell in love with this town.”
“And wait until it’s summer. This town really loves to blow stuff up in a big way.”
Noah just glared at me and I cringed. Way to really step in it! I’d been referring to the citizens’ love of fireworks, but now really wasn’t the time for that.
The glare fell away and I bit back my own sigh.
“Just spit it out. What’s on your mind?”
“I’m beginning to wonder if I should have come back at all,” Noah announced and my heart went out to him as he stared down at his empty hands. “I thought I’d be able to help him, but now I’m wondering if my motives were really just selfish and me being here is only making things worse.” His head snapped up and his hands balled into fists. “It’s not like he needs me at all. You’ve met all his friends. He’s got a great family already with Lucas, Snow, and Ian. Why does he need me?”
“I’m making things worse…”
Noah’s head jerked up and I bit my tongue, but it was already too late. The pet name was out.
I winced, trying hard not to giggle. “Sorry. It’s how we think of you sometimes.”
“Don’t you dare tell Rowe!”
“I make no promises,” I said with a grin and then turned serious again. “I won’t tell you to trust me, because I’m sure Lucas has already warned you against that. I will say that you should trust your heart. What is that telling you?”
Noah heaved a heavy sigh that sounded as if it had been pulled up from his toes. “Don’t go.”
I nodded and picked up my drink, lifting it to him a mock toast. “There, you have your answer.”