In a recent questionnaire on the Dark Secrets series Facebook page, we asked fans what they would like to ask Jason. Our interviewer Trinny Boss met with Jason last week in Paradise City to have a chat. This exclusive interview is brought to you by The Hidden Reader.
“Howdy, folks. I’m Trinny Boss, vampire interviewer extraordinaire. I risk life and neck, every day of the week, to bring you hottest interviews with the most dangerous predators on the planet. Our special guest today is Mr Jason Knight, bad boy love interest in the Dark Secrets series. Hi, Jason.”
“Hi.” He sat back coolly in the chair, his white shirt sitting loosely apart at the collar, just showing his golden skin.
“Now, as you know, there is quite a divide between Jason and David fans. Personally, I’m Team David.” I touched my chest; he smiled. “But we’ve got some questions together from the folks over at the DSS Facebook page, who are all dying to know about you.”
“Right-e-oh, this question was from Brittany.” I flipped my notepad. “She asked ‘After Ara jumped from the lighthouse in book 4, how did that make you feel?’”
He cleared his throat, sitting up a little. “At first, I didn’t even know it’d happened. I thought she was asleep in her bed. I went back early in the morning and stood by her door, listening, wondering if I should go in. But Falcon came along and basically shooed me away.”
“Did you go?”
“No. I asked him to check on her. He stood there for a moment, listening, and I guess he’d spent so much time outside her room while she was sleeping that he knew the sound well enough to know there was no sound at all. He looked at me, and I rushed past him, opened her door. She was gone. Then we heard David screaming.”
“The memory bothers you?” I asked, noticing him pale.
“I fold over, feel the blood drain from my face when I remember that day—when I remember the gut wrench of walking into the Great Hall and seeing blood. I knew I was to blame. Just, at that point, only thought I knew why. I searched my brother’s head, about to kill him for what he’d done to Ara, until I saw the questions in his mind. He’d found her. He had no idea what happened to her—no idea, as he’d sat atop that lighthouse, watching this white cloth sway in the waves for a while, that he was watching his wife die.”
“Did you know she’d jumped?”
“Not then. No. And I felt bad enough that she’d clearly fallen. Arthur carried her upstairs and, while they all healed her body, I entered her mind, looking for some kind of answer. And when I jumped back, tripped over the chair behind me and fell to the floor, they all stopped. I saw it all. I saw all her pain, all her rage—saw the moment the rocks met her face—the reason she ended things that way. And I cried. I cried so hard for her then.”
“Did they ask you why you were crying?”
“Probably. But I didn’t hear them. David sat under her, cradling her head, trying to get in—see what I’d seen. So, I jumped up. I ran over and told him not to watch. Told him she fell. Told him she was out walking, clearing her head, and she just slipped—that she didn’t know how to get herself back up—couldn’t grab on to anything. Then, I laid my hand to her brow, as if I was merely stroking her hair, and I erased it all. I’m not entirely sure why I did that, but when I look back on it, I can see the logic.
“I was destroyed that she’d jumped. But I understood it. She just needed to end the pain, and I was her pain. I almost left. I almost packed my bags and left her to live in peace with my brother, but I just had to make sure she’d be all right first. Then, when she woke up, I heard Arthur’s thought, and that was it. I knew I had to stay.”
“Sounds like it was a pretty rough time. Would you care to share what Arthur’s thought was?”
“Okay, moving on.” I looked at my notes; he was scary when he made a deliberate effort to ward a person off. “Our next question is from Desiree, who would like to know, ‘At what moment during your act of revenge against you brother (the Masquerade) did you fall in love with Ara?’”
“I was already in love with her. But the truth, the tiny bubble of fear I had for its existence in my heart, became real for the first time—so potently real—just after I dropped her and thought ‘It’s over now. She’s dead.’
“When I landed beside her—saw that she was still alive, I nearly broke to tears. I was angry, hurt, afraid; afraid for her—afraid for the pain, the fear, that sadness she was feeling. But I couldn’t let my brother know what I felt. She was possibly on her last breath, or at best, she’d survive, but she would certainly be paralyzed, maybe even have brain damage. But I had an eternity to live with this—to face David—and I knew he would steal the memory from me, even if I tried to stop him, so I kept up with the façade of an attack, despite just wanting to cradle her and tell her I was so, so sorry. I bit her; I spat venom into her mouth as I pretended to kiss her. I did everything I could to turn her in that moment, without letting anyone know that was my intention—”
“Why? Just so David wouldn’t know you loved her?”
“No, because the law protected me against torturing a human—to a degree, but not against unlawfully turning one. David would have sought punishment to the full extent of the law if he’d known what I was doing.”
“Did you ever, in the moments before you pitied her, did you ever think you went a bit too far hurting her?”
“In ways. I felt disconnected to it all, though. Like I was watching it on some screen. But when I moved her body after she hit the ground, and I felt her limbs detach, empty, like rubber, I nearly threw up. I’d done that to her. No one else. Not an actor on a screen. Not a terrorist I read about in the paper. Me. Worst part was, I feared all along for the pain my less-than-worthy brother might cause her heart, and yet I was the monster who did.”
“And what happened when David found out?”
He laughed, biting his lip, shaking his head. “Put it this way; I didn’t even try to run. I wanted him to hurt me. I wanted to feel the pain I caused her a thousand times over. And I did, but it wasn’t enough. He left me unconscious in a cell; beat me when I surfaced to consciousness. I’m told I was there for three days. I could have flattened him. I could have stopped him. I was always more powerful. I just didn’t want to. My uncle intervened eventually, when he found out where I was, and it took me two weeks to recover from the damage. But I will never recover from the damage in my heart—for what I did to that girl. I will never let myself recover. When you dig a grave for revenge, be sure to dig one for your enemy and one for yourself.”
“Thank you, Jason, for that in-depth answer.” I exhaled, looking over at my excited producer. “Now, here’s a question I know we talked about just before the interview today, and I remember you told me you’d written a little story to let our readers into your head—to see what was going on in there that day?”
“Yes. The uh—” He smiled, his eyes shifting to one side. “The time Ara and I slept together?”
“That’s the one.”
“Yeah. I uh—that’s not something I can really answer in an interview. Someone gave me heads up that one of the questions was asking how I felt when Ara and I finally made love, so, yeah, I brought my notepad along and jotted a few thoughts down about how things went. I’ll leave it here for you.” He reached into his back pocket, pulled the notepad out then left it on the coffee table.
“Great, we’ll put that in at the end of this interview, if we get time, otherwise, we’ll post it next week.”
“Okay, next question.” I frowned, watching him shift in his chair, trying to choose an arm to lean on. “Do you need a glass of water before we continue? You look a little uncomfortable.”
“That’s because I know what you’re about to ask.”
“Well, just answer as best you can. We can stop at any time.”
“Okay. Well, Jennifer asked ‘How does it make you feel that Ara does not remember (you made love)? Will you give the memory back?’”
“I didn’t want her to remember. I took that memory because, when I went into her mind, I saw what she went through—I saw that walk to the lighthouse. She didn’t kill herself because of what she did with me. She killed herself because she didn’t like the truth she came to find in doing that.
“I will give her back the memory one day. Maybe centuries from now. But if she’s to live any kind of normal life—have any chance to be happy, she needs to be free from the burden of truth.”
“Right. Sounds fair. Our next question is from Alicia. She wants to know why you fell in love with Ara.”
“Why does anyone fall in love?” He shrugged, offering a timid smile. “We can give ourselves reasons and explanation, but, at the core, there has to be a connection.” “And that’s where it all started?”
“Kind of. To understand this, you really need to look at my past.”
“Okay. I’m sure the readers will be fine with that.” I sipped my water, trying not to seem overeager. This guy was beginning to grow on me—a little.
He laughed nervously, sitting forward in the chair. “I never likened myself to my brother. He was always faster, stronger, wittier; always had more friends and, somehow, managed to land all the nice girls, despite us looking alike. David never cared for those girls. He should have courted them, married them, had families with them, but that was not his in heart’s desires. Until he met her.
“It seemed unfair. I’m not one to moan or wallow, but I’d waited my whole life for a girl like that; one who saw past the inner monster—who could love, despite the things we’d done. She was everything I ever prayed to the gods for, and yet, he owned her heart.
“When I got word that he was happy, I did, originally, set out to kill her. As far as I was concerned, if she was twisted enough to love him, she was better off dead, anyway. But the more I watched her, the more I realized that she wasn't aware exactly what she was loving. David never shared himself with her—never showed his true character, and she was under the impression, deeply embedded into her subconscious, that he was kind and loving.
“I believe in love at first sight, but I don’t think we ever admit it to ourselves. We can only acknowledge its truth when we’re looking back, and unfortunately, by then, it’s too late to undo any wrongs we’ve done.
“I loved her the minute I laid eyes on her. And it was, at first, because I had dreamed her up; in all my years as a young boy, lonely and lost, I dreamed of a mother, first; one who would come—take away my fears, protect me from the world, and as I grew, that angel I made up in my mind became a girl I would meet one day, and love. Somewhere in my heart I just knew she was out there, waiting for me—maybe needing me. Maybe she wasn't born yet; maybe I wouldn’t know her when we met, but I never imagined she would turn out to be the girl I tortured. If I could go back and change things, I’d go back and pretend to be my brother until I finally told her who I was, and in that time we’d been together, she would have learned the difference between a kind heart and cruel one, and she would accept me. It would be wrong of me to do that, but he had her mind so twisted and so brainwashed, taking her and showing her kindness when she was so immensely sad, that she would never break free of that. He was her first love, and that would be eternal, even if she wasn't. I couldn’t undo that, just like I couldn’t undo how I hurt her, and for that reason, I stayed away when I should have gone to her—stolen her from him. He’ll hurt her one day, and all I’ll be able to do is pick up the pieces.
“I created her, manifested her from my thoughts, but he found her first. She deserves better—even death would be better than loving my brother.”
“And what about the other girl you once loved?” I checked my notes. “Emily?”
“What about her?”
“Our next question is from Brandy. She wants to know if you ever stopped loving Emily?”
“Never. I loved Emily, at first, because she looked just like Rochelle. I felt almost like Emily was my second chance, and I knew she loved me because I was the David that would never love her. But a love based on lies can never last. She was just a summer fling, and I will always love her in my own way, but not enough to be with her.”
“So why did you leave without saying goodbye?”
“I said goodbye. She’ll just never remember it.”
There was a lengthy, kind of awkward pause then. I felt like he was in my head. “Okay. Moving on. Tori asked ‘If you could go back in time and correct one mistake, would it be either the night of the dance when you first attacked Ara, or the days you were forced to torture her?’”
“I wouldn’t ever take back the torture at Le Château de Elysium. I did that to save her from some sick, twisted vampire that would’ve raped her and beat her and done things to her she would never have recovered from. I had no control over Ara ending up in Drake’s hands, so I do not feel guilt for that any longer. That beautiful girl has helped my heart heal. But, if I could go back and undo what I did to her the night of the Masquerade, I would give up my soul, my life, everything I’ve ever loved and hoped or dreamed for, to do so. The worst thing about mistakes is…all you can do is learn from them.”
I nodded, underlining the last passage in my notes so I could write it on a sticky note later and put it on my fridge. “Next question was from Jamie. She asked, ‘If you and Ara could have any type of future together, what would your ideal future look like? What kind of life would you want with her?’”
“Eternity. Life would not be enough. I see a hundred little babies running around, calling me daddy and her mommy, and I see that moment we put them all down to sleep and fall into each other’s arms, tired and worn, but so in love that we strip down to nothing and make love until the dawn. Then, I’d slip out of bed, feed the babies, take them to school or the park, while she slept. When I could no longer stand being away from her, I’d take her a coffee in bed and wake her with gentle kiss. I’d never control her—tell her what she could and could not do, nor would I demand her love or hide her from others in order to keep her pure. If her heart ever strayed, I’d be so saddened the sun would not rise for me, but if that’s what her heart wanted, I’d let her go, as long as she was happy. That’s why I haven't fought my brother for her, because, for the most part, for now, she seems happy. If that changes, so too will my respect and distance in their relationship. I'm sitting idly by—waiting for my brother to stuff up.”
I think, at this stage, so was I. He’d crept inside my heart a little while I sat here, and my Team David shirt was about to be thrown in the back of the closet. “If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?”
“Ha ha ha. My face.”
“Your face?” And I’m thinking God, why?
“I’m happy with who I am inside—with my ability to learn and change with the lessons that have shaped me. But, if I could change my face, change the fact that David and I have the same features, I would. Every time I look in the mirror, I see my brother, and I wonder what he’s doing with her. I wonder if he’s caring for her, loving her, or hurting her. And every time in my life that I’ve hated him, I’ve hated seeing my own face too; smashed every mirror I passed; grew my hair long, stopped shaving.”
“Must be hard being a twin sometimes.”
“Ha ha ha. Yes, truly is a curse to share the face of a man who has, so many times in your life, been an enemy. I do love my brother, for the most part, and we’re at peace now—friends again—but I know the time will come when I want to scratch my own eyes out for how much I hate him.”
“Our next question is a bit of funny one. Kellie would like to know ‘Why are you so loveable?’”
“Ha ha ha. Maybe it’s my fallibility.”
I watched him as he swept his hand through his hair, dropping it into his lap after. “Couldn’t have anything to do with those green eyes at all, could it?”
“No.” He smirked. “Nothing at all.”
I fanned myself, feeling my blood pressure rise. “Moving on. Jennifer asked ‘Do you fully trust Arthur when it comes to Ara?’”
“Yes.” He scratched his eye. “He knows things. I know he’s kept things from me, even from her, but they are to protect her. That much I am sure of.”
“Now, this next one might have a short answer.”
Jason smiled, reading the question before I said it. “I don’t have a death wish.”
“So you don’t plan to tell your brother what you and Ara did in his bed?”
“Not unless I have to.”
“Will you protect Ara if David were to find out?”
“With my last breath.” He nodded once.
The producer caught my attention then, spinning his finger around in the air. “Okay, we better start wrapping this up. Here’s a question from Tori: Is Ara in a way similar to your former lover? Is that why you fell for her?”
“Andrea asked; Would you have forgone seducing Ara if you knew about Arthur's plan prior?’”
“I didn’t seduce Ara. And I knew Arthur’s plan from the moment I scooped her off the training room floor. That is exactly why I offered myself as the father. She would not recover from being with Arthur that way, but she loved me and she wanted me, and one night with me would possibly end her relationship with David, but would not ruin her soul. I knew it meant I would go to my death if she fell pregnant, but I’d die happy knowing I left a part of myself in her—forever to go on being loved by her.”
“What’s it like being able to read everyone's thoughts? Can you read all animal’s thoughts or just Petey's?”
“I can read all animals’ thoughts, but they’re patterned differently to a human’s. See, I read the synapses’ as they fire, basically, I catch thoughts before they’ve even formed properly, like rolling a ball through a tunnel of sparks, so, sometimes I can read things wrong. I have to remain patient and wait for the thought to fully form before I can make conclusions, and even then, it involves a lot of sorting. I don’t just hear a person say “Ooh, that guy is hot.” There are so many layers to sift through. You become an expert at it after a few decades, so, with animals, I haven’t quite mastered having a cerebral conversation yet, but I can tell if they’re hungry or need a walk. That’s how I knew Petey wasn’t a normal dog—his thought patterns differed greatly to a normal dog’s.”
“How fascinating. And you’ve studied the human brain extensively in order to improve your skills as a mind reader, right?”
“Okay.” I sipped my water again. “Jennifer asked me to ask you what your ‘gifts’ are.”
“My gifts, or immortal talents, are endless.” He smiled, resting his knuckles by his lip. I just wanted to eat him. “I discover new ones every few decades. I can read minds, erase them, send thoughts to people, implant thoughts so they become ideas that person believes they dreamed up themselves. I can create worlds that feel real, keeping people locked away for sometimes decades, in any state I choose for them. I can send a person’s brain back to the Stone Age—completely wipe it, even a vampire’s. I can put someone in a coma or deep state of sleep. I can bend things with my mind, surpassing the laws of nature and physics, and yes, there is a way to do that. Human scientists just haven’t figured it out yet. I can float, pretty much fly, I guess. Jump tall buildings, save damsels in distress. However, and here’s an interesting thing I learned recently.” He sat forward, resting his forearm on his thigh. “Movies are wrong. If you fly across the sky, or jump a few meters off the ground, in my case, to save a person falling from a building, they actually just shatter apart in your hands because of the speed they’ve already gained. Found that one out the hard way.”
“Yeah. The makers of Superman have a lot to answer for.”
“Then again, I dunno, maybe it was the cape—if I’d been wearing one, perhaps the man would’ve lived and I wouldn’t have been left with a huge bloody mess to clean up. That’s the last time I call for home delivery.”
“Don’t interview a vampire if you don’t like it, Miss Boss.”
I cleared my throat. I never said I didn’t like it. “Um, so….next question; Riley asked how you can stand to see Ara in the arms of another man.”
“It kills me every time,” he said simply. “I see her walking down the corridor and I think, There she is. All I want is to scoop her up in my arms and kiss her, and then he comes along and places his hand around her waist, pulls her close, and I feel dead inside, like he’s stolen something that’s mine.”
“But she’s not yours.”
“I know. Hence why I said ‘feel like’ he’s stolen her.”
“Right.” Way to listen properly, Trinny. “And our last question for today is, How could you betray your own brother by sleeping with Ara, even if it was to save his life?”
“Hm, that one must have come from Team David.”
“I’d say so.” I laughed.
“Well, put it this way.” He sat taller, crossing his legs at the ankles. “It’d be worse if I let him die, then moved in on Ara and took over his life. And if he’d found out Arthur even so much as contemplated having sex with Ara, he’d be so broken I’m not sure he’d ever forgive Arthur—or Ara. But, he’s used to being mad at me—it wouldn’t come as any great surprise that I’d betrayed him. I volunteered to be the father of the child to protect more than just David.”
“Okay, well, Jason—” I reached across to shake his hand, my heart skipping a beat when they touched; his fingers felt exactly the way Ara described them in the book; long, elegant, strong. “Urm, uh, thank you for, um—” I drew my hand away and caught my breath, “for having a chat with us today. I know you’ve answered a lot of difficult questions, but I’m sure all the DSS fans will be immensely happy.”
“It was my pleasure.” He bowed his head.
“And to all the folks out there at home, thanks for stopping by. Be sure to check out Jason’s Notepad, to be posted next week, for an in-depth look into what went on in that bedroom.
This is Trinny Boss signing out.”
Thank you guys all so much for stoping by and reading that Marvelous interview with Jason. I will be posting the 'notebook' scene at a random time next week so be sure to check regualrly. Wouldn't want to miss that one.
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