December 6, 2011
Originally published on Reading Between the Wines Book Club.
Marcus and Ami are interviewed by Todd, a guard at The Network.
Todd: Nice to see you again. Chris wanted me to be sure to thank you for doing this.
Ami: Hi, Todd. We're happy to do it.
Marcus: What are we doing again? I mean, I know it's an interview, but I can't remember its purpose.
Todd: An overwhelming majority of the men and women who work for the network have never actually encountered an immortal in person . . . until recently. As you know, there has been more immortal traffic than usual at network headquarters and it's making the employees nervous.
Todd: *shrugs* Men and women who have lived for hundreds, if not thousands, of years and can read minds or teleport or heal with their hands can be a little . . . intimidating when they're total strangers.
Marcus: I see your point.
Ami: Me, too. So, what can we do?
Todd: I'm just going to ask you a few questions that will allow them to get to know you a little better. Make you seem more human.
Marcus: But, I'm not human. I never have been.
Ami: Don't be difficult.
Marcus: *grins* I can't help it. Roland makes it look so entertaining.
Ami: He certainly has made it an art form.
Marcus: Wait. Was Roland interviewed for this, too?
Todd: *winces* Yes.
Ami: *lips twitch* How did that go?
Todd: Not well. Sheldon ended up fleeing before the interview was over. And that was with Sarah there as a buffer.
Ami: *all levity vanishing* Sheldon interviewed him?
Todd: Yes. Sheldon was actually supposed to interview you guys, too, but . . .
Marcus: He's afraid of Ami?
Todd: Very much so. He seems to be under the impression that you're gunning for him.
Ami: I am gunning for him.
Todd: *leans forward* Really? Why? I haven't heard?
Ami: *eyes narrow* He knows what he did.
Marcus: *smiles as his eyes begin to glow a luminescent amber* I love it when you're fierce.
Ami: *grins, losing all ferocity*
Todd: *sits back* Okay, back to the interview. Ami, rumor has it you didn't know Seth was going to assign you to your current position. How do you like being Marcus's Second?
Ami: I love it. Not the killing vampires part, but everything else.
Marcus: She is very good at killing vampires, though.
Todd: *smiles* So I've heard. And you didn't meet Marcus until Seth assigned you to him?
Ami: *bites her lip and looks at Marcus* That's correct.
Marcus: *laughs* I also love that you can't lie worth a damn.
Ami: Well, I don't! It's incredibly inconvenient.
Todd: So you two did meet before then?
Marcus: Yes, but we'd rather keep that to ourselves.
Todd: No problem. Marcus, you haven't had a Second for quite some time. Did you have any trouble adjusting to Ami's sudden appearance in your life?
Ami: *laughs* Now who's lying?
Marcus: *sheepish smile* Okay, I did. But I'm very happy with the way things have turned out.
Todd: What about you, Ami? Was it a difficult adjustment?
Ami: At first. *smiles* But I'm happy with the way things have turned out, too.
Todd: There's another rumor going around about the first time you fought vampires together as immortal and Second, but I'm inclined to believe it's been exaggerated.
Marcus: It hasn't.
Todd: *looks at Ami with amazement* Damn, Ami. You rock!
Marcus: Yes, she does.
Ami: What about Marcus?
Todd: He's just crazy.
Marcus: Thank you.
Todd: Listen, what do you think about *jumps as a buzzing sounds, then retrieves his cell phone and reads a text* Something's going down at network headquarters, so we'll have to continue this later. Let me just ask you some Quickie Questions before I leave. Cats or Dogs?
Marcus and Ami: Cats.
Todd: Vanilla or chocolate?
Marcus and Ami: Chocolate.
Todd: Underwear or commando?
Ami: What's commando?
Marcus: No underwear.
Ami: Oh. *blushes* Underwear.
Marcus: Me, too. Always nice to have an extra layer between the vampires and your family jewels in a battle.
Todd: *laughs* Horror movies or chick flicks?
Marcus and Ami: Horror movies. *share a grin when they answer simultaneously again*
Todd: Zombie or vampire movies?
Marcus: Zombie. After eight hundred years, I could use a break from vampires.
Ami: I haven't been fighting vampires for very long, so I like both.
Todd: Rock or classical music?
Marcus: I like it all.
Ami: Literally. You should see his music library. Many would drool in envy.
Todd: What about you, Ami? What kind of music do you prefer?
Ami: I like it all, too.
Todd: *cell phone buzzes again* That's my cue. I have to go.
Ami: Let us know if you need any help.
Todd: I will. Thank you both for the interview.
Marcus and Ami: You're welcome.
Todd: Maybe I could come back another time and ask you a few more questions?
Todd: *waves as he leaves*
Marcus: *eyes Ami speculatively* That didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would.
Ami: Hmmm. Whatever shall we do with ourselves until it's time to hunt?
Marcus: *slow grin* I have an idea or two . . .
January 6, 2012
Originally published on Book Lover's Hideaway.
Marcus and Ami are interviewed by Todd, a guard at The Network.
Todd: Thanks for granting me another interview, guys. Last time we had a problem at network headquarters that called me away.
Ami: What was it? I never heard.
Todd: One of the vampires living at the network had a psychotic break.
Ami: Oh, no! I thought the madness hadn't progressed that far in them.
Todd: It has in at least one of them.
Marcus: What happened?
Todd: You know how it goes. He was fine one minute, then just . . . snapped. Some network employees were injured before the vamp was brought under control. Then Bastien showed up. It was a mess. Anyway, Marcus, one of the questions everyone wanted me to ask is . . . how have you managed to befriend Roland? He's the most antisocial immortal on the planet.
Marcus: Pure stubborn perseverance. Every time he tried to push me away, I refused to let him. After a while, he gave up trying and just sort of . . . tolerated me.
Ami: He more than tolerates you. I heard him tell Sarah he loves you like a brother.
Marcus: *smiles* Really?
Todd: Don't get mushy on me, man.
Marcus: I wasn't, wiseass. What's your next question?
Todd: Rumor has it there was a bit of strife between you and Roland recently. Is that true?
Marcus: Roland and I are good.
Todd: That didn't really answer the question.
Todd: Right. So, Ami, how long did you train to become a Second?
Ami: I wasn't actually trained for that position. Seth, David, and Darnell trained me to fight, but . . . I wasn't given any specific instruction regarding the duties of a Second and had no idea Seth wanted me to become one.
Todd: Really? Then Marcus, how would you rate Ami's performance as a Second on a scale of one to ten with ten being the highest quality work?
Marcus: *thoughtful* About five hundred and forty-seven.
Ami: *grins* Thank you.
Marcus: It's well-deserved. I've already lost count of the times you've saved my ass.
Ami: *winks* It's an ass worthy of saving.
Marcus and Ami: *laugh*
Todd: Ami, is it true you've actually bested an immortal in sparring sessions?
Ami: Yes. One of the youngsters.
Todd: What's a youngster?
Ami: To Seth and David, it's any immortal who was turned in the past century and a half.
Todd: And you beat one?
Todd: How is that possible? You aren't immortal.
Ami: *looks uneasy*
Marcus: Trade secret. Next question.
Marcus: Next question.
Todd: *mutters something beneath his breath*
Marcus: You know I can hear you, right?
Todd: *grins* Yes.
Marcus: *shakes his head*
Todd: Ami, the ladies at the network wanted me to ask you what it's like to be one of the few females swimming in the sea of super testosterone.
Ami: Well . . . you see a lot of nipples.
Marcus: *sputters* What?
Ami: I'm at least a head shorter than you guys. If I don't crane my neck to look up at you, all I see are nipples and arm pits. Clothed of course. Usually.
Todd: *laughs* I don't think that's what the ladies meant. Although I think some would like the nipples. The ladies all think the immortals are hot. Their word, not mine. They want to know what it's like working with such *grimaces* tempting morsels. Again, their words, not mine.
Marcus: Yeah. Sure.
Ami: *shrugs* They're like family to me. The only immortal who ever tempted me is Marcus.
Marcus: Excuse me for a moment, Todd. *dips his head and delivers Ami a scorching kiss that goes on . . . and on . . . and on*
Ami: *draws back and eyes Todd with flushed cheeks* Sorry.
Marcus: *eyes glowing a vibrant amber* I'm not.
Todd: Right. Perhaps we should just wrap this up now. Ami, before I go, I just wanted to say welcome to the network family. We have only the highest respect for Seconds and you seem to be the best of the lot. What you've accomplished thus far as Marcus' Second has been nothing short of astonishing.
Ami: *smiles* Thank you.
Marcus: *offers his hand* Thank you.
Todd: *shakes his hand* And I'm glad you found happiness again, Marcus. It's been a long time coming.
Marcus: Now who's getting mushy?
Todd: *laughs* Momentary lapse. You guys have a good night.
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