Thanks for being here with us today, guys. I know it’s a big day, what with the release of your book and all, and I know you’re both busy with life and jobs, so we’re thrilled you could stop by for a visit. Let’s get right to it.
What would you both say was the most difficult part of getting your story told? Are there some private things you revealed about yourselves that you might have preferred remain private? Or was it a matter of just getting everything out there once you decided to do it, privacy be damned?
A: (Opens his suit jacket and leans forward in his chair, making eye contact) “First off, thank you so much for having us; it’s lovely to be here. And to your question, I will say that my life has been, in the past, all about privacy and discretion but recently aspects of it have changed due to my deteriorating relationship with my father and the attitude of my board of directors. Having said that, I think there is a keen difference between what people know and what they are allowed to know by the media and other sources. It’s important to keep in mind that one should never believe everything one reads.”
D: (Scoffs from where he’s sitting beside Aaron on the couch) “Well that was deliberately vague. Do you even know what the hell you said?”
A: (Clears throat before forcing a smile) “Pardon him; he’s surly in the morning and its early here in Chicago.”
D: (Rolls his eyes) “The hardest part of having your damn story told is that people find out about all the shit you’ve done and all about your secrets. Like I could have lived my whole life without people knowing what happened to my brother. Once they know stuff like that, they start looking at you like you’re some pity case. I hate that shit. Secrets are supposed to stay that way so that part is hard, being sort of gutted.”
What do you think fans will be most surprised by when they read Parting Shot?
A: (Leans back, stretching his arms out over the back of the couch, his left hand moving to the back of Duncan’s neck) “I think that Jory (Harcourt) has a sort of distorted world view and so I may or may not have been painted as a villain when, if you go back and read between the lines, my actions speak more to care than anything else. If you, too, were traveling at the speed of sound, you also might miss another’s true motives.”
D: (Turns his head to look at Aaron)
D: “So lemme get this straight, you’re saying that you never wanted to own Jory, move him in and keep him? This is what you’re going with, here, on the record?”
A: “There is no record. This is not an interro––”
D: “But really, this is your story?”
A: (Aaron pushes his hand up into the back of Duncan’s hair) “I’m saying that if you care for someone, you want to keep them from playing in traffic.”
D: “I see. Okay. Well, for me I think the biggest surprise is that I’m not a top.”
A: (Freezes momentarily and then groans loudly) “Oh, dear God.”
D: “But I guess you kinda got that from when Nate told you in his book, so maybe that’s not it.”
A: “Next question, please.”
If you can answer this one without giving away too much to readers, what’s your favorite part of the book?
A: (Leans sideways against Duncan) “My favorite part was when our misunderstanding was cleared up and my life could start again.”
D: “Yeah, me too,” (He smiles at the man crowding into his personal space) “That was good. So was the make-up sex after.”
A: (Leans his head in his hand and closes his eyes to massage the bridge of his nose) “Please, go on.”
So tell us, do you think Jory’s maybe feeling a little bit smug right now? You know, because he knows love when he sees it and isn’t averse to giving it a nosy little nudge?
A: (Clears his throat as he sits up straight, allowing Duncan to hold his hand, though) “I think Jory will believe it was all him and no work at all on our part. He lives in a magical world with unicorns and bunnies where everything works out like a fairytale. He thinks he’s a love god.”
D: “Yeah, well, he kinda is.”
A: “He’s annoying and he’s lucky he has Sam Kage to act as his safety net for the rest of his life. I’m thankful every day that I was not successful there. Just thinking about it is exhausting.”
D: “So, now you like Sam?”
A: “The man deserves a medal for patience.”
D: “Well, I’ve actually talked to Jory,” (He chuckles) “And yeah, he’s pretty fuckin’ smug. That’s okay with me, I got what I wanted.”
Do you remember the exact moment you realized, oh my god, I love this man and he is mine?
D: (Clears his throat) “Would you maybe care to elaborate?”
D. “Oh for crissakes, it’s a question.”
A: “It is, yes.”
D: (Turns from looking at Aaron) “Well, I’m a sap so pretty much after the first time we––”
A: “No-no-no, next question.”
If we asked Mary, would she say you guys were pretty easy to work with, or would she say you were a pain in the tuchus?
A: “She will say that I’m a jewel, and that Duncan’s voice was problematic.”
A: “It’s true. Also, she drinks too much coffee. You can quote me.”
D: “I’m so not the problem.”
A: “Of course not, dear.”
If you could say one consequence-free thing to Sam and Dreo, respectively, what would it be?
A: “Have you investigated an ankle bracelet for Jory?”
D: “I had my partner run ballistics on your gun when it was in lock-up. You’re lucky it came up clean.”
A: (Turns to look at Duncan) “You can’t do that, can you?”
D: “I can do whatever the fuck I want. I’m a homicide detective.”
Define each other in a single word:
A: “Well, no.” (Exhales his irritation) “The real word is devoted. He’s always there for me, and he grounds me, and I can’t count on anyone like I do him. Devoted sums him up best.”
D: “And I would say, trustworthy. He’s dependable. He keeps his word. Always. Trustworthy is the word.”
All of us romantics out here love a good happily-ever-after. How would you define your HEA?
A: “As one realizing exactly what they need and want and getting it to the benefit of both parties involved.”
A: “Yes. Why?”
D: “What about madly in love?”
A: (Smiling brightly) “Well, that goes without saying, doesn’t it?”
I’m not going to keep you guys any longer because I know you have things to do, so I’ll leave you with a request: would you share an excerpt of Parting Shot with us?
A: “Of course. This is when we were in New York and Duncan just got out of the hospital. The first time.”
D: “Don’t be a wiseass.”
A: “No. Never.” (He finishes, winking at Duncan)
Lying down on the couch, I picked up my own phone from the coffee table and called Aaron.
He answered on the second ring. “Duncan?”
“Yeah. How did you know?”
“I—” He coughed. “—put your number in my phone.”
It was nice to hear. “So,” I said my voice low and full of gravel.
“How are you?”
“I’m good,” he said quickly. “You?”
“I just got stitches.” I grinned because, God, he sounded good.
“So I’m a little beat to shit, if you wanna know the truth.”
“You got—who hurt you?”
“I’m a cop. You know how it is.”
He cleared his throat. “I don’t, actually.”
I grunted. “It happens. I’ll live.”
Why did he sound scared? “Are you all right?”
“I don’t want to freak you out.”
“Why would you?”
“I, uhm,” he hedged, “I’m in New York. I have been for a week.”
There had to be more.
“Yeah, still here.”
“Are you—is that freaking you out?”
“You do business all over the world, yeah?”
“So you probably hafta come to New York a lot, right?”
“I do, yes.”
“I guess I’m not getting why you being here would be weird.”
“I just”—his voice cracked—“didn’t want you to think I was stalking you or something.”
“Oh, wouldn’t that be something,” I mused.
“Yeah, I mean, that’d be cool, right? How many guys could say that Aaron Sutter was following them around? I should be so lucky.”
The sound about shredded what little control I had left. Hurt and tired, with the last of my buzz wearing off, I was damn needy. “You maybe wanna see me?”
“Yes, please,” he murmured. “I would love to see you. Where are you? I’ll come get you.”
“No. It’s not safe. You tell me where you are, and I’ll come to you.”
“How ’bout this,” he said shakily. “You walk one street over from where you are, and I’ll be there in a car in ten minutes to get you. Deal?”
“What if I’m not in the city?”
“Fine. However long it takes,” he huffed out. “Where are you?”
“Tenth Avenue and 49th Street.”
“Oh man, I’m like minutes from you. I’m staying at The Pierre on 5th.”
“I don’t know that place. Is it fancy?” I teased.
Of course it was. “Okay. Will they let me in?”
“You’ll be with me.”
“So—are you working?”
“But not until Monday.”
“Oh?” His voice rose, and I could hear the reprieve and the happiness.
I made a noise that didn’t quite qualify as communication.
“You think you’d want to stay with me a couple days?”
“Yeah. Ya know I was thinking of flying back to Chicago just to see you,” I said without even thinking of how scary psycho it sounded. “Awww shit.”
Several long moments passed, but I was too panicked to speak. I had no filter because of everything, and now I would pay for it.
“You were thinking of returning to Chicago for just two days?”
“Well, three actually,” I corrected him. “But, yeah.”
Quick, sharp exhale. “Okay, you win. That’s like one of the nicest things anyone’s ever said to me.”
It was? “It is?” I was baffled. “Shit, who’ve you been hangin’ out with?”
“People who like my money,” he said, clipping the words. “I’m leaving now. Can you walk?”
“Yes, I can walk,” I grumbled.
He chuckled. “Hurry up, all right?”
The phone went dead, and I realized he had basically ordered me to get my ass in gear. And though I started to ache, I got up anyway to change into some clean clothes.
Thanks so much for bringing your guys around today, Mary!
And now for the contest! Mary is offering one lucky winner the chance at a FREE E-copy of Parting Shot. All you have to do is leave a comment right here on Aaron and Duncan’s interview before 11:59pm Pacific time on Thursday, July 18, 2013, and you’ll automatically be entered to win.
The winner will be drawn on July 19th, and the winner notified via email.