The Cast and Crew
With release day just 9 days away, I’d like to introduce you to the cast and crew of Cronin’s Key.
First, we have Alec. Alec is a typical 21st century New York City guy, 29 years old, a cop who, in his own words, has always been good with weird.
Then there’s Cronin. A twelve hundred year old vampire, quiet and unassuming, yet respected and a little bit (or a lot) feared. He’s also the only vampire in all of histories to be fated to a human.
Next is Eiji. Older than Cronin, Eiji is a Japanese vampire who calls himself brother to Cronin. Always smiling, always laughing, Eiji has been one of my most favourite characters to write.
And finally there is Jodis. Roughly the same age as Cronin, Viking by heritage and fated to Eiji. She’s a kickass woman who has basically spent the last thousand years keeping the boys in line.
After a minute or two, Alec turned to face the glass wall. He could see nothing inside, only himself and the city mirrored back at him. Though he knew they were watching. He could feel Cronin’s eyes on him and as much as it annoyed him, as much as it infuriated him that Cronin was watching him, it was oddly reassuring.
Nevertheless, he turned around to allow the sun to wash over him. The warmth of it on his skin, after days of hiding, felt heavenly, and he stayed that way until the sun had almost disappeared.
Alec knew the moment Cronin left, because he was barreled by sudden wave of unease; restlessness and agitation sat heavy in his chest. He spun to face the wall, and the door opened. No one came out, but Eiji spoke. “He’s gone to feed. Your dinner is here also,” he said.
With a sigh, Alec crossed the patio and stepped inside. “Thank you,” he whispered.
Eiji smiled at him. “Please don’t be mad at him. The conflict you feel, how your mind and heart push and pull, is the same for him. He has been alone a very long time, and he only wants you to be happy. You will have to adjust together.”
“I know.” Alec winced. “Has he gone for long?”
Eiji shook his head. “No. Even if you weren’t being hunted by seekers right now, that unease and fear you feel won’t keep him gone long.”
“He feels it too?” Alec asked, pushing the heel of his hand against his heart.
Alec frowned and pulled the takeout container and chopsticks out of the bag, not sure he could eat, despite how hungry he was.
“Alec,” Eiji said softly. “Don’t disregard his concern for you. I don’t think you grasp the severity of what could happen. His concern is not only for you because of what you mean to him, but for what you mean to all vampires, and humans for that matter.”
Alec swallowed hard. He was embarrassed that he’d acted so childishly. “It’s just all been talk so far. I get told I’m the key, I’m important, but it doesn’t mean anything because it’s just fables and stories, you know what I mean?”
Eiji blinked. “Not really, no.”
“And Cronin,” Alec continued. “God help me, that man does my head in.”
Jodis walked into the kitchen and smiled. “Cronin is…” she seemed to search for the right word.
“Stubborn,” Alec prompted. “Sexy as hell, frustrating, he smells so damn good, he’s funny and so serious, and he completely does. My. Head. In.”
Eiji laughed, his eyes crinkling at the corner of his eyes. “That’s funny,” he said. “Cronin said something similar about you.”
“He did?” Alec asked, probably a little too quickly. “I mean, not that I care.”
“Hmhmm,” Eiji hummed. “Of course not.”
Jodis put her hand on Alec’s arm. “Cronin is very smitten with you. He falls deeper every day. It’s confusing for him, but it’s equally wonderful. Be patient with him. He’s worth it.”
Alec’s head lolled back and he let out a deep breath. He didn’t dare admit that he’d passed smitten like it was standing still. Instead, he collected his takeout and chopsticks and walked back to the door. “I might eat out here. The sun is almost gone.”
Alec was distracted, his mind in a dozen different places, he was so hungry but had no appetite, and Cronin’s absence twisted in his gut. He’d barely crossed half the patio and wondered briefly how much sunlight, or lack thereof, was required for vampires to walk around in the day when two vampires suddenly appeared in front of him.
Dark, hulking and menacing, their sneers did little to conceal their fangs and they both took another step toward Alec.
Everything happened so quickly, yet in slow motion at the same time. Eiji and Jodis were in front of him in an instant, defending him, protecting him. Just like it was happening in slow motion, Eiji snatched the chopsticks Alec had on top of his takeout, and spun around at the vampires in front of him. Jodis turned too, her long white hair twirling around her like ribbons, her hand went out and both vampires were still, frozen. Eiji used the chopstick like a stake, spearing one vampire in the chest, then the second vampire turned to dust as well. Alec was picked up and removed, back into the safety of Cronin’s apartment, all before his takeout dinner could hit the patio floor.
I will post buy-links when I have them. Release date is March 13th 2015. ❤