Welcome to the Saturday Book Diver! Today I’m in downtown Kansas City at the vampire club Corazon de la Muerte, where I’ll be talking to Rafir Caras.
The club won’t open for several hours, but I’ve been allowed in early to conduct the interview with Rafir. At the moment I’m sitting at the bar. It’s a large structure that had once been an auto glass building. Now it has a spacious dance floor as well as cages for various carnal acts.
Rafir is approaching now. He’s a tall, handsome man with thick, dark hair. Actually, he’s more than an average man. Rafir is a werewolf and even from a distance I can feel his animal magnetism. As he nears, I can’t help wondering what he looks like in his wolf form.
After greeting me, he sits on the stool next to me and hooks a heel on one of the rungs. His other long leg remains stretched out. His thigh muscles tighten beneath snug denim.
I meet his warm, brown gaze and start the interview.
SBD: Hello, Rafir. Thank you for meeting me before the club opens.
Rafir: Not a problem. The boss said it was okay. We just need to wrap it up before the sun goes down.
SBD: I’ll be quick. The magic doesn’t allow me to stay in fiction worlds for very long. I’ve heard you’re an alpha werewolf in a rather unusual pack. Will you tell us about it?
Rafir: Unusual? Try a recipe for disaster.
My original pack member, Julia, is human, and she’s had some bad experiences with vampires. Ten years as a slave to vampires almost completely shattered her. She’s such a beautiful woman--scars and all. I only wish she could see herself the way I do.
Our newest pack mate, Alex, well, he’s also had bad experiences with vampires. When I found him, he was looking for a way to die. I had to decide--do I kill him or keep him? I decided to keep him. There is something special about Alex, something in him that drives my instinct to protect. It’s the same with Julia. You’d think it would be easier for them to find common ground, but not so much. Something about her hating vampires and him being one.
Did I mention Alex was a vampire? No? I should have. He’s less than a year old as an immortal, and he’s not coping so well. Being with us, Julia and I, has helped him, I think. In human years, he’s early twenties, so he hasn’t seen much of life.
Julia and Alex are my home now. Losing either one would be impossible to overcome.
SBD: Would you share some of the problems that arise from sharing your life with a vampire and a human?
Rafir: Trying to keep Julia from chopping off Alex’s head when he’s dead during daylight hours, that’s a problem. Alex often wakes up really hungry. We have to be careful to make sure Julia isn’t alone with him when the sun goes down. Julia is older, and doesn’t put up with a lot of shit. Alex’s youthful...eagerness...can sometimes get on her nerves. While that doesn’t have any thing to do with their human and vampire status, it does cause problems at times.
[In spite of the problems he describes, his affection for Alex and Julia is obvious by the expression on his face.]
SBD: The holidays are approaching. How do you and your pack plan to spend them?
Rafir: You know how the saying goes, “you can’t please everybody, but pissing them off is easy”? Well, Julia hates Christmas, while Alex has this child-like enthusiasm for the holiday. It has been like World War III at our apartment lately. I want them both to be happy, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen.
[I can’t help hoping that the holidays will turn out well for this extraordinary trio, but from what Rafir has told me, I’m not so sure how jolly the season will be.]
SBD: Please tell us one characteristic about each of your lovers that you find exciting.
Rafir: Julia is strong, and vital, and gorgeous. She’s possibly the bravest and strongest person I know. She’s passionate and not afraid to try anything. You wouldn’t think that someone who has taken so much damage in her past could be so open and sexy. She is everything a mate should be. Alex is generous and loving. He really cares about how his presence impacts Julia. It doesn’t hurt that he’s sexy as hell. He’s also up for anything. I never thought my wolf side would call to two mates, but it did. I can’t and won’t regret either one of them.
[Well Rafir appears to be the kind of man who can satisfy two mates, that’s for sure!]
SBD: How do you think Alex and Julia would describe you?
Rafir: I feel dumb answering this question. It’s weird talking about myself, but I’ll try.
Julia might consider me selfish now that I’ve brought home Alex, and without discussing it with her. She actually shot me shortly after it happened. Of course, she was trying to shoot Alex. Before though, and maybe still, I’d say she’d describe me as her protector, strong and handsome, sexy, maybe. I love her body as much as she loves mine. We’ve always had a great chemistry.
As to Alex, I’m not sure. He might say I am pushy. He’s quirky enough, he might say I’m delicious. He gets a regular diet of werewolf blood. Although, my blood isn’t the only thing he likes in his mouth. *shaking head* I can’t believe I said that. The boy really is rubbing off on me.
SBD: Please describe yourself in three words.
Rafir: Protective. Unpredictable. Horny...you’re not going to use that last bit, are you? *grins*
SBD: [Chuckles] Sorry, Rafir, but the magic records the interview and I can’t edit or delete a character’s actual words. However I’m sure none of our readers will mind that word in particular! It’s almost time for me to go, but before I do, would you give us your favorite excerpt from Dying For a White Christmas?
Rafir: Here’s a little something from a moment where I felt like I was losing everything. It can make a werewolf a little crazy.
Alex looked away and held perfectly still under Rafir’s grip -- a kind of stillness only a vampire can achieve. He’d never seen him completely turned before. If he’d had a beating heart, it would have been pounding as hard as Raf’s. The werewolf’s pulsing blood thrummed along his skin causing Alex to lick his lips. It wouldn’t do for the wolf to think Alex thought of him as food. It was bad enough he’d inadvertently challenged him by glaring into his eyes. He suspected the right thing would have been to look away. If he’d been wolf himself, he might not have resisted the urge to cower. His human side had wanted to cower, but his vampire side insisted he was the top of the food chain.
Rafir’s were-form fascinated, frightened, and turned him on all at the same time. The fur along his skin was coffee-brown and short, more like that of a deer, not a dog, and definitely not the shaggy hair of a wolf. He wanted to reach out and touch Rafir, to stroke the skin resembling brushed suede. The wolf’s hands gripping his arms prevented him. He was tall -- taller than Rafir by several inches -- but now his lover was a towering hulk of power and energy. He could rend Alex from limb to limb, and Alex conceded to himself he would let him.
And except for the fur, his face still looked rather human. There wasn’t any elongating of the nose or real animal-like features made popular by Hollywood. Instead, it was still Rafir, only exaggerated. Rafir’s amber irises had a dark ring around them. They fluctuated and contracted with emotion as he snorted and chuffed. The heat of his sharp breath brushed against Alex’s cheeks and neck. He heard Julia gasp. He looked at her and shook his head just once. Rafir wasn’t home anymore, and while Alex might survive whatever Rafir had planned, Julia -- a human -- would not. Run, he mouthed to her. Hide.
A sob escaped Julia as she scrambled backward, turned, then leaped toward the bedroom. Rafir reacted by letting go of Alex’s arms, twisting his body and ready to pounce.
“No!” Alex shouted. He pushed the werewolf off balance, landing on top of him as they slammed to the floor. “Julia! Get in the bathroom and lock the door!”
The bedroom door slammed shut behind her. Alex heard the bathroom door and the clicking turn of the lock. He had to distract Rafir, keep him from going after Julia. He fisted his hand and slammed it into Rafir’s side.
A roar of rage tore through the were-beast. More cat-like than possible, Rafir flipped and shoved Alex sending him flying across the floor. He hit the wall with a thump, pain bursting from his chest where he’d been hit. The beast stood, shaking his head, then sniffing the air toward the bedroom.
Alex shouted, “Is that all you got?” He barely noticed the muddy blood seeping through the shredded fabric of his T-shirt. His jacket crowded his arms, and he wiggled out of it as he stood, bracing himself against the wall. “Ass.”
Rafir roared again, his focus shifting entirely onto Alex. An inhuman, “Mine,” rumbled from his mouth. He grabbed Alex and threw him to the ground. Alex winced as claws ripped at his pants. He didn’t fight back. Rafir needed him submissive, which meant allowing whatever was going to happen to happen.
I think I’ll ask the bartender for a cold drink of water after that one! I’d hoped to see Rafir in his wolf form, so the excerpt was just perfect, don’t you agree?
The sun has set and it’s almost time for the club to open. People have already lined up at the front door, so Rafir shows me out the back. We shake hands before I go and I watch him disappear inside.
After talking to this enigmatic man. . .uh, werewolf. . .I’m more interested than ever in his mates. Someday I’d like to meet the human and the vampire who have captured the heart of Rafir Caras.
If you’d like to find out more about them as well, check out Dying For a White Christmas by Reneé George.