Now I am very happy to welcome back the fabulous author, Felicity Heaton, who is joining us on her Vampirerotique Summer Tour with a special guest!
Special interview with Payne from the Vampire Erotic Theatre romance series
It’s great to be here at Reading Between the Wines Book Club for the penultimate stop in my Vampirerotique Summer Book Tour.
I’m going to be doing a very special interview with the next hero in the series today. You first met Payne in Antoine’s book, Seduce, and got to know him better in Andreu’s book, Enslave.
I can’t say too much about this mysterious, dangerous and broody vampire without giving away things about him he would rather keep secret. If you’d like to unearth one of those secrets, then you can find out more about him in Enslave, the fourth and newest book in the series.
I crook my finger. For now, hush up and come along with me as we sneak into Vampirerotique in search of Payne. Don’t make a sound though. I’m not sure how Payne is going to react to me, let alone an audience.
I ease the unassuming glass doors of Vampirerotique open and poke my head into the elegant foyer. Chandeliers cast warm light around the large room, reflecting off the pale marble floor. The theatre is hushed, so quiet I can hear myself breathing.
This isn’t a scheduled visit, and while everyone here knows me and the owners would protect me should anyone get a little peckish, my heart still pounds. My attempts to hush it fail.
I slip into the foyer, turn and carefully close the door behind me.
“It isn’t wise to sneak into a vampire’s home,” a lush deep voice says and I turn to face the owner of it.
Payne’s steely grey eyes rake over me and he casually folds his arms across his chest. His forearms tighten against the rolled up sleeves of his dark silver shirt. The elaborate swirling marks that track up their undersides seem to dance as his muscles shift.
“Hi. Just the vampire I was coming to see.” I smile and hope his mood improves. During the course of documenting the romantic affairs of Vampirerotique, I have learned to read a vampire’s feelings and Payne isn’t happy to see me.
“What do you want, female?”
“My, you sound like Snow. Been taking lessons from him?” I release my death-grip on the handle of the door and venture a step forwards.
Payne’s eyebrows pinch together. “No, I have not. I do not want company tonight. Go home.”
He turns away from me and I stamp my foot. He stops. That got his attention. He runs his slender fingers over the soft spikes of his blond hair and sighs.
“Is this where you pull rank on me?” he says and looks over his shoulder. There’s anger in his eyes but also a touch of something else, an emotion that makes me want to close the distance between us and tell him that I won’t stay long. “Make it quick.”
“I only want to ask you a few questions. Maybe we could go somewhere more comfortable?”
He stares at me as though he’s thinking about telling me to leave again and then turns on his heel and stalks towards me, the heels of his leather shoes clicking on the marble.
His arm slides around my waist and I gasp and my gaze darts up to meet his. His eyes glow faintly blue and gold in the low light.
“Close your eyes,” he husks, sending a shiver down my spine. I nod and do as ordered. My stomach turns and then his cheek brushes mine, causing my breath to hitch again. He whispers into my ear, “You can open them again now.”
His arm slips from around me and I slowly open my eyes. Our location has changed just as I suspected it would. This is the first time I’ve been in Payne’s bedroom. It’s smaller than the main apartments on the top floor of the theatre, consisting of a modest sized bedroom and en suite bathroom, both of them decorated in sombre grey-blue colours.
“Did you decorate this yourself?” For some reason it suits the impression I have of this enigmatic vampire.
“No.” Payne scowls at me and then slumps onto the double bed. He lies back on the deep blue covers, propping himself up on his elbows. “Ask your questions.”
“Um... okay.” I’m not sure where to begin. I move across the room and settle on the bed a few feet from him. He eyes me again, a touch of wariness in his grey irises, as though he hadn’t expected me to sit so close to him and isn’t sure how to feel about it. “We’ve been talking a lot recently and I’ve come to learn some surprising things about you. You came to Vampirerotique to cover for Callum when he’s away with Kristina. Knowing you as I do now, I’m surprised you agreed to it. What made you agree to help Callum?”
He sighs again. “I’ve known Callum a long time. I met him shortly after a dark phase in my life. His family knew mine and we got along okay, and he never bothered me by asking about things I didn’t want to speak about. Shortly after that, his family moved away, but we stayed in touch. He helped me through some bad stuff, so I felt I had to help him out when he asked me.”
“You don’t sound as though you wanted to do it though. Does Callum know everything about you and your past?”
“No.” He flops back onto the bed and exhales hard, so his chest causes the shirt to tighten across it and reveal his muscles. I try not to stare. His gaze shifts to me. “Keep a lid on it.”
I bite my lip. It’s hard to control desire when faced with a man who is gorgeous and lazing on a bed beside me, but I do my best because I know he needs me to ‘keep a lid on it’ as he puts it.
He pushes himself back up onto his elbows and then sits up and rakes fingers through his hair, tousling the spikes. “Callum never probed into my past and that’s what I liked about him. He doesn’t know about certain aspects of me, and I liked it that way. It’s all changed now. The cat is out of the bag.”
“It is. Life has been very difficult for you, and coming to Vampirerotique has only made it harder to resist certain aspects of your nature. Do you think if you had told Callum about yourself, he might not have asked you to cover for him?”
“Doesn’t that show that you should trust more people with things you believe you need to keep secret? I’m sure Callum deserved your trust.”
He glares at me. “You don’t understand. No one here understands. Trust doesn’t come into it. It doesn’t factor at all. I cannot tell people some things about myself. If I did... it’s a curse. It has brought me nothing but suffering... it has destroyed all I love.”
He shoots to his feet, causing me to jump and my heart to skip a beat, and stalks across the room. His agitated strides warn me to keep my mouth shut or risk losing my head.
He turns with a dark snarl and stops dead, staring down at his hands. His fingers flex like talons and his jaw tenses. Red eyes shift to mine, staring up at me through dark lashes and from behind knitted eyebrows.
“Everything I loved... I am the source of its destruction. I bring only suffering. I destroy... and I can do nothing to stop it.”
I stand and risk a few steps towards him. His pupils switch between elliptical slits and circles and I can see the struggle on his handsome face.
“Bad things have happened to you but they weren’t your fault. You aren’t wholly responsible for the suffering of those you love, and you know that deep in your heart. Come and sit back down and I’ll do my best to think of questions that don’t dredge things up.”
He doesn’t look as though he’ll heed my words but then he stalks back across the room and sits on the bed with such force that the headboard slams against the sombre-coloured wall. This decor is probably not helping his mood.
I try to think of something I can ask him that isn’t going to trigger another violent reaction or trip down what I know is a very painful memory lane.
“Besides the difficulty of being in an erotic theatre, have you settled in here?”
He nods. “I have not seen much of Callum but I expected that. I thought perhaps I would be able to spend most of my time alone, in solitude, only coming out when needed to scout for performers. That part of the job I can do easily enough with only minimal trouble.”
“You’re talking about controlling that part of your nature you would rather not have?”
He nods again. “It is more difficult when I’m here at the theatre and someone wants me to go backstage, or be around the practices, or things like that. Since the arrival of the succubus, and the owners of the theatre coming to know more about me, I have been more relaxed. Antoine no longer asks me to oversee the practices when he’s busy. I’m grateful for that.”
“You’ve made other friends too though. You and Andreu seem to have grown close.”
“Andreu is a good man. He’s a fool for falling in love with a succubus, but she seems to have eyes only for him too, so I have no need to kill her for hurting him.” His eyes had almost switched back to their normal deep grey but red rings them again.
“Spoken like a true friend. Hurt my buddy and I’ll rip out your heart and feed it to you.”
His eyes darken. “I wouldn’t go that far.”
There’s a glimmer of something in his eyes that says he’s mentally picturing such an act and enjoying it. I snap my fingers to bring him back to me. His grey eyes focus on mine with startling intensity.
“I know a few readers are already wondering if you’ll be falling in love like Andreu.”
Payne pinches the bridge of his nose and closes his eyes.
“I knew that one was coming.” He opens his eyes and his hand falls to his lap, resting on his muscular thigh showcased by his tight jeans. “I have loved once, and that is rare enough for my kind. I lost my love, and do not think I can find a new one. It is not so easy for me.”
“I know... but what if there was a woman for you out there?”
“She would be better off keeping away from me. I taint all that I touch and sometimes it’s impossible to control my darker urges. I think such a thing would drive any sensible woman away.” He scratches his left eyebrow and then frowns. “I loved once, but she was not strong enough to love me. She loved one part of me but not the other.”
“She sounds like you.” My eyes widen when he snarls at me, revealing extended fangs. “Sorry. That was a low blow. What if you could find a woman who loved all of you?”
“She would still need to be strong. Very strong.”
“And if she was?”
He looks away, staring beyond me to the bathroom door. “I would probably still destroy her.”
“It might be different this time. She might be stronger then even you are.”
He chuckles darkly. “That I would like to see. I’m not sure such a woman exists.”
“I am.” I smile at him but before he can press me to say any more, I decide it’s time to shift subjects. “You didn’t really get along with Andreu’s succubus when she first showed up. How are you two getting along now? Andreu says that you’re at least speaking to each other.”
Payne crooks his left leg at the knee and rests his arm on it as he leans back into the headboard. “We are. I’ve been helping her and Andreu with their problem and I think we’re making progress. I have a few leads to follow up.”
“It sounds promising. I take it these leads will mean you have to go into the fae underworld again?”
A look of discomfort shifts across his handsome face, turning it dark. “Unfortunately.”
“Sounds like it might be fun.” I smile again and he turns his frown on me.
“What do you know, female?”
I shake my head. “Nothing. I know nothing. Now, I’ve asked you a few questions and I really think I should be going. You didn’t want me around, remember?”
I quickly stand and head for the door but he’s there before I can reach it, blocking my path. He glowers at me.
“Tell me what you know, female.”
“Alright, but wait.” I turn towards our secret audience. “This has been a fun interview, but I think things might just be about to get spoilerish and I’m sure you don’t want spoilers about Payne’s story now, do you? No? See, exactly as I thought. You can let yourselves out and we’ll see you back at Vampirerotique soon!”
I wave towards our secret audience.
Payne looks confused. “Who are you waving at, you crazy woman?”
I grab him by the collar of his dark silver shirt and pull him close, raising my lips to my ear. “Okay, here’s what I know...”
Be sure to follow this fantastic tour between June 28th and August 25th to learn more about the passionate heroes, wicked heroines, and life at London’s premier vampire erotic theatre! You can also find yourself in with a chance to win a $50 or $25 Amazon Gift Certificate if you follow the tour. More details, including how to enter and a full list of stops, are available at the Vampirerotique Summer Book Tour page!
Covet, Crave and Seduce are all available in paperback, and in ebook from Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks and Kobo. Enslave is now available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books and Apple iBooks and will soon be available from other retailers. Excerpts are available for all of the current releases in the series, so you can get a taste of these wicked erotic romances.
Books in the Vampire Erotic Theatre romance series
Bewitch (Vampire Erotic Theatre Romance Series Book 5) – Coming soon!
Unleash (Vampire Erotic Theatre Romance Series Book 6) – Coming in 2013!
Felicity is giving away two swag packs today (one winner each, open internationally)! To enter, just leave a question or comment on this post for Felicity or Payne, and then fill out the rafflecopter below. Additional entries are available but not required. Good luck!
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