About the story: The following story is based off of a prompt from a writing group I belong to which involves a main character from one of my works in progress meeting my favorite character. Even though Hugh is the POV character, Aden is actually the main character in my musical: The Vampire King. The scene that follows actually begins with a scene that takes place toward the end of the musical. The vampires and witches are at war, and Aden, a human girl, is prophesied to be the one to end it. The witches (and Hugh–although it’s not mentioned below, he is a werewolf) are trying to protect her. The vampires want to find her and kill her.
Eve Dallas and Roarke are two main characters from my favorite book series “In Death” by Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb. Below is the scene that I concocted that brings both Aden and Eve together.
“You shouldn’t have dragged me out of there.” Aden couldn’t sit still. “They wouldn’t hesitate to kill any one of those people who were there–my friends–your friends.” She whipped around to face him. “They might all be dead now, because you dragged me out of there without warning anyone.”
Hugh stuffed his hands into his pockets. Essentially she was right. Their friends might be dead now for all they knew. But he had had his orders–he had had his priority–get Aden out of there safely. Without her, that was it. There was no hope left, so it wouldn’t have mattered if the others had survived. He sighed. “Alex and Arthur can take care of themselves. They’ll take care of everything.” At least he hoped they would.
“Without seeing it coming?”
“Look I’m worried about them, too, but you were priority. That was the one thing Harlen managed to get through to me–you needed to be safe.”
She crossed her arms over her chest. “Harlen did that because of his feelings for me, not because of the war or the stupid prophesy. His feelings are clouding his judgement. Everyone’s is. Before this is over, I’m going to be captured. I’m going to have to be. I won’t be able to get through to the vampires any other way.”
“They’ll kill you.” He said it point blank, because it was true and her fearlessness terrified him to no end.
“Maybe they’re supposed to,” she said quietly. “It isn’t about me winning the war for the witches. It’s about me being an influence…a catalyst to help both sides come to peace, and maybe my death is what it will take.”
He didn’t have anything to say to that. He was too afraid that she might be right. Luckily, he didn’t have to answer, because there was a knock at the door.
Aden stood, a puzzled look on her face. “Who could that be?”
“Maybe I should answer it?” He was afterall supposed to be protecting her. He rose and followed her over to the door, stepping in front of her to open it, keeping the chain on.
“Lieutenant Dallas and civilian consultant Roarke to see Aden Summers.” A woman only few years older than them held out a police badge for him to examine. It looked legit. He glanced over at Aden then unchained the door to let them in.
“I’m Aden.” Aden ran a hand through her long blonde hair before leading them into the living room to sit down on the couch. “This is my friend Hugh. What is this regarding?”
[“I’m investigating the death of Loretta Chambers.” She held out a photo. “Do you recognize her?”
Aden shook her head, and Hugh believed her. There was no reason she would have ever seen Loretta. But he had. He just couldn’t tell Lieutenant Dallas that.
“What about him?” Dallas held up another photo. This time it was Harlen’s.
Aden was quiet for a moment as if debating what to tell her. Harlen hoped to God she decided to lie. The last thing they needed was the human police after Harlen. It was bad enough that his own people had captured him. He didn’t need humans after him as well.
“Yes, I know him,” she said finally, and Hugh nearly groaned. “Can I ask what your interest is in him?”
“He’s a person of interest,” Dallas said vaguely. “What is your relationship with him?”
“Romantic.” Aden shrugged. “We weren’t exclusive, but we were involved. I suppose that this Loretta was one of the other women he was seeing?”
“It doesn’t bother you that your boyfriend was seeing other women?”
“As I said, we’re not exclusive.”
“Whose idea was it to be non-exclusive?”
Aden met Dallas’s eyes. “Mine. I had a crappy childhood, and I’m barely ready for what we have.”
Hugh had to bite his lip to keep from smiling. She was good; he had to give her that. She was weaving in enough truth in that it was actually believable. He couldn’t tell if Lieutenant Dallas was buying it though.
“Why don’t you tell me when Loretta was murdered?” Aden continued. “He spends some nights here.”
“I don’t recall saying that she was murdered.”
Uh oh. Now it was looking suspicious. How did Aden know Loretta had been murdered? Did she know? But Aden only smiled. “Well, you’re a homicide cop, right? I’ve heard about you–both of you. Come on, you had a movie written about one of your cases.”
Dallas sighed. Why did she have to be in the damn spotlight all the time. Roarke never seemed to care about that, but why? Why? What did her husband’s prestige have to do with her work–other than of course is expert consultant status. “Fair enough,” she said finally. “Where were you the morning of March the 29 between 2 and 4 am?”
Aden blinked. If it hadn’t occurred to her that she might have been a suspect, it had just now. “I was here at home. Asleep. As it happens, Harlen wasn’t here with me, although I had spoken with him earlier. We got off the phone around 11 I believe. He went to visit his family out of town won’t be back for another week.”
“And you’re just now mentioning this?”
Aden shrugged a shoulder. “You didn’t ask. You asked if I knew him, not where he was.”
Dallas nodded, standing to go. “That’s all I need for now. Stay available.”
Aden nodded, getting up to show them out. “Of course.” She closed the door behind Dallas.]
“He didn’t do it,” Hugh told her.
“I know. She was a part of his cover, wasn’t she? So that the vampires won’t find out that we’re together?”
Hugh nodded. Of course the cover had always been so the vampires wouldn’t know that Harlen was really looking for a way for everyone to coexist peacefully, but that was before he had met Aden. Now, his cover served as both. He looked up, realizing that Aden was waiting for an answer. “Yeah, uh, Loretta was part of his cover, but he hated doing that. He wanted to just be with you.”
“Oh, yeah, she’s lying.” Dallas ran a hand through her short brown hair as she thought it true. “She’s good; I’ll give her that, but she is lying. He’s not out of town visiting his relatives. I can’t discount her as a suspect, but I don’t think it’s her. Or not just her.”
“You think they did it together?”
“I don’t know. Maybe. But whatever is going on, she’s in the middle of it. What did you make of her friend?”
“He’s her bodyguard.”
“Yeah, that was my take, too. Now why would a normal 29 year old graduate student need a bodyguard?”