Interview with Adair Thorne from Christi Caldwell's THE HELLION
1. Rumor has it that your enemy Cleopatra Killoran has moved into your brother’s house. What is the possible reason she is there?
Power. Wealth. Influence. The Killorans always want something. They always want more. And one knows not to trust them because of it. **pauses and shifts around uncomfortably** We're kind of similar, in some ways. Not saying me or any of the Blacks are the same as that ruthless lot. We're not. But when you're born on the streets and struggle to survive, there's going to be some similarities. Right?
2. When you have your first “sit down” with Cleo and her brother, the young women certainly doesn’t act like anyone else you have ever met. How does she surprise you?
Just the fact that the hellion was there was surprise enough. In my family, we have a sister, Helena. Before she married, she helped keep books at the clubs. But that was it. Otherwise, we kept her safe. Away from the action. But this woman? Cleopatra Killoran? *shakes head* I can see why she was present at that first sit-down. No one can keep that woman away from anything.
3. Even though she is your business rival, the hatred your two families share goes deeper than just business. What can you tell us about your problems with the Killorans?
If it were just business, the rivalry would be at best competitive. You always want to be the best in the Dials or St. Giles. This is about more than a club or who has more patrons. This feud goes back years, to when we were just boys and girls. Though, a person's never really a child in the streets. We were all forced into Mac Diggory's gang. He was ruthless, violent, and killed for pleasure. The moment me, my brothers, and sister could get away...we did. But the Killorans as they now call themselves? They stayed. They reveled in their power and did his work. They're no different than him.
4. It is possible that perhaps (maybe) Cleo isn’t as bad as you had first thought? Is there anything she does while staying with your brother that makes you rethink your opinion of her?
If you'd asked me that a few days ago, I'd say you're cracked in the head. But...I've seen signs. Seen her with my sister-in-law and brother's, child. There was a gentleness and kindness, I wouldn't have expected from a member of the Diggory gang. Makes you wonder if there's...more to her.
5. Is it true that she beat you up? (And do you have bruises from the incident?)
**neck goes hot** I wouldn't say she beat me up. She...all right. She did. But the young woman is strong enough and skilled enough of a fighter to take down the biggest street tough.
6. When you imagined yourself getting married, what was this hypothetical woman like? Does Cleo in any way fit this mold?
Since I broke free from Diggory, my club has been my life. There wasn't time for imagining a 'happy family' and a 'devoted wife'. Or children. The streets are too ruthless for that. And running a gaming hell? That isn't a much better place to have a family. **pauses** Cleo, she understands life in the Dials, and knows her way around a gaming hell. She's someone who I could see... **abruptly stops** One more question, and then I'm done here. I've got work to see to.
7. If you could go back to the first time that you met Cleo and have a “do over” what would you change?
She stormed my family's household, warning us about a threat. I didn't trust her on sight and that almost cost my family, dearly. And my initial reaction didn't get Cleopatra and I off to the best of beginnings. So when she moved in with my family, well, I didn't give her much reason to trust me, either. I can see why she'd be resentful.
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