A drink with a friend.
Interview of Duncan Benandanti
I was slightly more nervous to meet Duncan in person than Lorelei. My interview with her went pretty much the way I always imagined. I knew what she was capable of, snarky attitude and all. But while I knew Lorelei in a very deep and personal way, Duncan was something else entirely. I never spent time in his head. I didn’t know his inner thoughts and demons.
Eventually I hoped to change that. The need to write something about Duncan’s time away from concord was more out of my interest in Finley than anything. I wanted to know the boy behind the monster. Although death never means a character is gone forever. At least not when it’s about The Otherside.
Back to Duncan. I always saw him as a little tortured, but strong. So strong, he made it impossible not to like him. He surprised me with how much crap he’d put up with from Lo. I mean not to talk crap about him but he did at times resemble a door-mat.
It’s cold out. Luckily, my drive up the mountain was easy. It’s been clear for a couple of days so no chains were necessary. This time of year is not one of my favorites. I prefer the heat of the summer to the teeth chattering cold. I walk into Lyle’s and smile, my names on the wall. I wrote it a few years back when we spent almost the entire summer up here. My dad has a house just outside Oakhurst (Pinecrest).
I take a seat at the bar it’s strangely deserted. The summer tourists are gone, they don’t like the cold either. Lyle walks out of the kitchen and smiles when he sees me.
“Ashley.” He says in greeting and pulls a cup from beneath the bar.
“What would you like?” He asks.
I think it over and decide against vodka, that’s Lo’s drink not mine.
“Do you have any apple beer?” I ask. He smiles and grabs a brown bottle from a fridge. He opens it and slides it my way. The door behind me opens and a ray of sunshine falls on the wall in front of me. Lyle’s smile falls and he reaches over for another brown bottle. He sets it on the bar for my guest and retreats back into the confines of the kitchen.
“Hi there.” A deep voice calls from my shoulder.
I turn and take in Duncan’s features. His jaw is covered in dark scratchy hair. His grey eyes are grinning, even though his mouth isn’t. He's wearing dark jean's, boots, and a grey long sleave flannel shirt.
“Hello.” My voice squeaks.
The grin finally touches his lips as they turn up in an amused smile. My heart stutters for a moment. Duncan reaches out a hand in greeting and I take it. I don’t feel the zap that Lorelei does and I’m saddened by it. I’d love to be a part of their world, even if it can be dangerous.
“How was your drive?” Duncan asks.
I shrug and reach into my purse for a notebook and pen.
“It was okay.”
My fingers shake as I turn to the right page.
“So.” I say steadying my voice. “What’s your favorite color?”
Duncan laughs. “That’s what readers want to know?”
A devious glint fills his eyes and he says. “Clear.”
My jaw drops. “That isn’t a color, it’s the lack of color.”
Duncan shakes his head. “No white is the lack of color, clear is clear.”
I jot it down in my notebook.
“St Pauly girl.”
“Boxers or briefs.”
This time he winks. “How bout neither.”
I flush. Is he actually flirting with me.
“First kiss?” It’s not on my list so I cover the page with my hand. He gives me a crooked smile like he knows.
“Best childhood friend?”
Duncan’s smile falls and he looks away. “Fin…”
Shit now I feel bad. I glance down at my list and realize half of them might make him remember.
“Sorry.” I whisper.
Duncan waves it aside like it doesn’t matter. “What’s next?”
“56 panhead Harley. Black, lots of chrome, all original parts.”
“What would you like me to write about in The Otherside that I didn’t in The Wild Hunt?” I ask.
Duncan takes a swig of his beer and rubs at his stubble covered chin.
“I guess I want people to know that Lo’s not nearly as mean as she seems.”
I laugh, isn’t that what Lo was telling me at my last interview? This is becoming a theme.
“Okay.” I say after my laughter subsides. “Can you explain why you feel that way.”
Duncan meets my gaze and the bar around us disappears. He’s serious now I can tell, his eyes have taken on a harsh edge.
“See that’s what I’m getting at you should know her better than anyone and you don’t even see it. She pretends to be tough and pushes everyone away because deep down she’s just as gooey in the center as everyone else. She just works harder not to show it.”
I’m dumbfounded. I know she’s mostly talk, I really do, but hearing it from him makes it that more real. Maybe in this next book she’ll soften up a bit........or not.
“What would you like the readers to know about you, about your kind?” I ask.
“We aren’t violent by nature. That thing with Brody made it seem that way when it’s not. Most of the time things like that don’t happen.”
“What about you, what do you want readers to know about you.”
Duncan shrugs. “Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you’re a doormat.”
And that ladies and gentleman is the real answer. Relationships are hard no matter how much you love someone.