Thursday, July 3, 2014

Character Interview - Akil from the Veil Series by Pippa DaCosta

Character Interview
Akil from the Veil Series 
by Pippa DaCosta

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~ Anniversary Giveaway ~


A big ‘thank you’ to Stephanie for inviting me to take part in the Moonrise Book Blog Anniversary and Celebration event. It’s a pleasure to be here. 

Stephanie recently met with Akil (from the Veil Series) & survived unscathed. She even managed to get a juicy secret out of him. He didn’t make it easy though...

The Introduction

We met at a coffee shop. I figured a public place would be the safest bet, so I arrived early and found a table near the back that offered both privacy and a view of the door -- my escape hatch. I checked my watch; almost 3 o'clock. He would arrive any minute. Pondering our meeting, I didn't see him arrive, and jumped in surprise when he spoke my name, scrambling to avoid spilling my piping hot coffee. I caught a glimmer of amusement in his eye as he took a seat. I was struck by his presence and his voice, smooth as silk, and he knew it. Suddenly the world felt far away. Was I going to faint? For the briefest of moments I glimpsed Akil's world... the netherworld. Had he put these images in my mind? Pippa had warned me about his tricks, so I was ready, and would not let him deter me from my mission. After the interview we said our goodbyes, and I watched him saunter off. I took a sip of my coffee. Ice cold. But I got what I came for. Checking my notes, I glanced down at my watch and took a double take -- it still showed 3:00 p.m. Hmm... 

Interview with Akil
“Are you bad?” I started with the killer question, knowing if I gave him an inch, he’d take a mile. Princes of Hell are like that. Slippery. None more-so than Akil – aka Mammon, to those who rarely live to tell the truth of him.

“So, Stephanie, is this how it’s going to be?” The rich exotic purr of his accent could melt glaciers. Words rolled off his tongue like forbidden promises. It’s all an act – an elaborate trap, to lure, entice, capture, and control. He’s steel and honey wrapped in expensive suits and polite mannerisms; there’s an eternal demon inside that delicious body, and it hungered.

“That’s generally how interviews work. I ask a question. You answer?” I lifted my brow in polite enquiry. Two could play the ‘answer-a-question-with-a-question’ game.

The conversations of strangers’ mingled in the coffee shop air, ebbing and flowing around us. I filtered out the sights, smells and sounds – all except him. He sat across from me, leaning an arm on the bistro table. Did he realize how his presence drew the stares of those around us? He didn’t appear to notice the side-on glances, or the miss-steps from the customers giving our table a wide berth. Since he’d arrived, he hadn’t once looked away from me. I wasn’t even sure he’d blinked. His gaze burned, bristling my skin.

“You asked me here for the blog, correct?”

“Yes.”

“Do you hope to get something sensational out of me? My plans for world domination perhaps?” Embers of fire briefly fizzed in his hazel eyes. The sparks flickered and quickly died. I could almost convince myself I’d imagined them.

“World domination?” My voice squeaked. A smile dashed across his lips, and humor snuffed out the firelight in his eyes. My own smile wasn’t nearly as genuine. “Right, you’re funny. Anyone ever tell you that?”

“No.”

Didn’t think so. “Are you going to answer the question? Are you bad?”

He leaned back in the chair, his body an impossible combination of luscious fluidity and granite-hard masculinity. My mind wandered; I could imagine what it might be like to stand close against him and flick open those shirt buttons. I lifted my gaze to his sensuous lips. My imagination continued its seductive train of thought.

He cleared his throat and arched an eyebrow. “Yes.”

“Huh?” I blinked. What were we talking about?

“Yes, I am bad.”

“Really?” Had I somehow managed to get the impossible out of him? A confession? Was it that easy? Had nobody actually come right out and asked him before?

“I can also be unequivocally good.” A wicked smile broke out across his lips. “Did you think you could define me with convenient labels? Good, bad, right, and wrong? What do those words mean, really? I existed before time, before words. You could spend many hours attempting to define me. I am what I am.”

“And what is that?”

“Chaos.”

“Chaos?”

“Chaos fire, to be precise. Would you say fire was bad? Is it good? Tell me the answer. You seem bright, despite an obvious attention disorder. Enlighten me as to the motive of fire.”

I frowned and pursed my lips. Right. Of course, fire wasn’t anything. It burned. It consumed. It hungered. But it wasn’t good, or bad, it just was. “Y’know, maybe I should just ask what’s under your bed. Or, hang on… I have other questions – Just let me…” I dug a notebook out of my bag and thumbed through the pages. The weight of his stare beat down on me. I fidgeted in my seat. It was definitely too hot in here. “What are your most notable characteristics?” I flicked my gaze up and brushed my hair back.

“Besides being inherently bad?”

How could he be both alluring and infuriating at the same time? He was playing with me. I knew that; I’d known it the moment I’d sat down opposite him. Anything I asked, he’d turn it around, and make light of it, because he could. He’d lived long enough to see continents shift. My questions weren’t going to rattle him. I needed another angle of attack before he decided I wasn’t worth his time. Another question. Something he couldn’t resist answering. A challenge.

“Tell me a secret, Akil.” I straightened and leaned my arms on the table, moving closer. “Tell me something nobody knows about you.” This time, I fixed my stare on his handsome face. Hell would have to freeze over before I looked away without my answer.

“Why would I do that?” He rested a hand on the table and rubbed his thumb and forefinger together. Our gazes locked; the challenge accepted.

“Because you are the Prince of Greed. And there’s no question I could possibly ask that would make you sweat. Is there?”

The corner of his mouth hitched, but the smile didn’t touch his eyes. “I could spin a lie to placate you.”

“You could.” That was my risk. He licked his lips and my mind wandered again. Damn his sexy-as-sin distraction tactics. “Well?”

He leaned in – so close I could see halos of amber fringing his irises and the points of his canine teeth as he spoke. “I am demon, yes? We’re agreed on that?”

“Yeah…” I hedged, wondering where he was going with this. Him being full-blood demon was no longer a secret as far as the public was concerned. It was old news. I needed something fresh.

He inclined his head and peered at me through his dark lashes. “That is not all I am.”

I swallowed, and asked, “What do you mean?”

“It means, I am also something else entirely.” His expression tightened and for a moment, fierce anger sharpened his striking features. Blazing amber chased the dark in his eyes – the demon inside Akil glared back at me, scorching my soul. Instinct jerked me back, but in a blink, the effect vanished, and I was looking at the suave businessman once more. I’d not imagined the change in him. Had I?

Before I could ask him to explain, Akil stood; his movements sharp with the remnants of rage. “Well played.” He straightened his shirt cuffs. “To answer your previous question, I file an immortal lifetime of half-truths, deception, and manipulation beneath my bed. I’d offer to show you, but you’d decline.”

“Would I?”

He admired me, working his gaze over my body like he would his hands. I swallowed audibly. Who was I kidding? Of course I’d decline. I liked my life. And I knew one sure-thing about him. Nobody escapes Akil. 


He flashed me a smile – we were in agreement – before striding out of the coffee shop, taking with him the ambient warmth. Suddenly bereft, as though he’d stripped me bare of something visceral, I shivered and shrugged my jacket on. I had my interview, and my answers, but did I have the truth? If he wasn’t just demon…then what the hell was he? What else could there be? Whatever it was, I couldn’t imagine it would be good. He’d said it himself. He’s neither good, nor bad. He just is.


Excerpt - Beyond the Veil 
“Thank you for coming.” His voice boomed far too loud for the small space we shared. He gestured again for me to sit, thrusting out a large calloused hand as though it was not a request but an order.

I planted a hand on my hip and stayed on my feet. “That’s okay. You said someone saw something at my workshop?” I didn’t want to stay any longer than necessary. I had a hot date, literally, and my distaste for the detective was growing by the second. His very presence left an odd taste in my mouth, like the gritty aftertaste of spoiled fruit.

“Yes.” He snatched at a thin file from the table and flicked open the cover. “Do you know this man?” He pinched an 8-by-10 color photo between his thick fingers and holding it up for me.

It was Stefan. “No.”

The same distinctive red coat, but the image had been enlarged. The quality suffered because of it. In the photo, Stefan held something at his side, a sword perhaps, a very different one from the katana he’d brought to my workshop. With no identifying date or time stamps and a blurry background, I couldn’t be sure when or where the image had been taken.

“We have a witness placing this man outside your workshop minutes before the explosion. Apparently, he got into a red car. Do you know anything about that?”

“No.”

Bergin’s cracked lips peeled back over coffee-stained teeth in a mockery of a smile. “You don’t remember watching him leave prior to your workshop going up in smoke?”

I glanced at the door and back at Bergin. “Are you asking or telling me?”

He blinked slowly, leaning back in his chair and chomping his lips together as he deliberately raked a filthy gaze over me. “This man, he’s wanted for murder, numerous assaults, wilful destruction of public property, and more parking offences than you can shake a stick at, and yet he continues to elude us—not to mention destroying your place of work. So I was wondering if you might remember seeing him and whether you’d be kind enough to tell us where we can find him.”

“I don’t know that man. I’ve never seen him before in my life.” Why was he so insistent? Wasn’t I meant to be the victim here? I certainly did not like how he looked at me or how he implied I was lying. Despite the fact that he was right.

Bergin refused to look away as I deliberately pinned my stare on his. He might think he could bully me. In fact from the sordid gaze, I could tell he wasn’t thinking much beyond what lay beneath my dress. He had no idea what he was dealing with.

“Are you done?” My fingers twitched at my sides. I could spill a little power into my touch if I needed to. He’d wake with one hell of a headache.

He snorted a laugh. “You half-bloods are all the same.”

I looked away, plastering a grin on my lips. Apparently there was more going on here than a simple Q and A. Now that he’d revealed he knew me, we could cut to the chase.

He stood, the chair legs scraping across the floor, and steepled his fingers on the table before him. He bowed his head but kept his eyes on me, like a wolf hunched, ready to attack. “You think Akil can protect you?”

I summoned a little heat, pooling it in the palms of my hands. If he noticed any change in me, he didn’t show it.

“He’s not here now.” Bergin’s voice began to slur and grind his words, no doubt something to do with the elongated teeth cluttering his mouth.

Demon. I had no idea what sort, but knew I was about to find out.

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Read our reviews for books in the Veil Series:
Beyond the Veil
Devil May Care 

6 comments:

  1. It was a pleasure to meet you, Stephanie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Akil. Hope we will meet again.

      Delete
    2. Hope is a dangerous thing.

      Delete
  2. Thank you for inviting me to share your anniversary event (and for bravely facing Akil). Keep up the great work with the blog.

    Akil on the internet. What a scary thought.

    ReplyDelete

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