You can read the first part of the interview here.
*The bell over the door chimes as Rhys and Riley walk in.*
Me: Hello, boys! Glad you could make it for the second part of the interview.
*Rhys takes his usual seat and Riley – the one next to him. I stand opposite them, the bar separating us.*
Me: Seems weird to be on the other side of this bar, doesn’t it, Riley?
Riley: Well, yeah. I’ve never been a costumer in the café.
Me: I thought we can continue or interview in the Milk & Cream – the mall café that Riley works in. As you can see, I’ve already prepared a coffee for Rhys and sodas for me and Riley since we aren’t all that into coffee. Sorry, Rhys, no drawing today. I’m afraid I don’t possess your mate’s talent for coffee art.
Rhys: That’s okay.
*Riley hops off his seat.*
Riley: I could draw you a wolf real quick, if you’d like.
*Rhys smiles and pulls Riley back in the boy’s seat before kissing him on top of his head.*
Rhys: No need. I’m used to only getting a drawing when you prepare the coffee.
Me: Now, I know that we agreed to start with an explanation of what the mating ceremony is, but since we are on the topic of coffee art… Riley, @Wonder_Ghost wants to know when you started to draw?
Riley: When I was fifteen, I was helping out in a café that a neighbor owned. One day, a client asked me if I could do some coffee art on their order. I said that I’ve never tried it, she said to give it a go and I attempted to make a leaf. I ended up with a blob of no identifiable shape, we laughed and the client drank her coffee. When I got home that day, I did a search for video tutorials on coffee art. I also read some articles about it. Since then I’ve asked the costumers if I could practice on their drinks. Some said yes, others – no, but that is how it all started.
Me: Oh, I didn’t know that.
*Rhys and Riley raise their eyebrows at me.*
Rhys: You created us; how could you not know?
Me: Okay… I had not planned that. It just appeared in my head as I was typing Riley’s answer. Anyhow, let’s get back on track, boys! The mating ceremony. Rhys, I think it would be better if you tackle this one?
Rhys: I agree. *He takes a sip from his coffee.* Not bad, but Riley’s is better. So, the mating ceremony is a ritual that shifters go through. Well, that shifters could go through, if they choose. Some more modern packs just stick to marriage, but we in the Silver Bullets still perform it. The ceremony is held to show the pack that a couple is truly in love and is ready to start a family. The pack gathers in front of their sacred tree; for us that’s the hazel tree our ancestors planted when they moved to Woodbury. Closest to the tree, with their back to it, is the Alpha whose role is like that of a priest. Before them, facing the tree, is the to-be-mated couple and behind them – the pack as witnesses. The Alpha narrates certain words and at some point cuts each to-be-mated person with a ceremonial dagger and mix the blood with some wine… *Rhys sneaks a worried glance at Riley who looks less than pleased and takes a long gulp from his soda.* And then the couple drinks the wine to show that the two people in the ceremony are becoming one. It’s just a couple of blood drops, Riley.
Riley *mutters*: So you’ve told me before.
Rhys: Besides, we don’t have to drink all of the wine. Keri as our Alpha would pour some of it over the roots of the sacred tree.
*Riley just sighs.*
Me: So, apart from the mating ceremony, you’ll also probably have a wedding, right?
Riley: Are you trying to distract me from the blood thing?
Me: I’m sticking to the questions that the readers have for you… But that too, yeah.
*Rhys mouths ‘thank you’ and Riley smiles.*
Me: Okay, we have @Wonder_Ghost again and these three are for just Riley although I don’t think she’ll mind if Rhys butts in at some point. She asks if you’d like your wedding to be big or small, whether you are having bridesmaids and if she can be one?
Wonder_Ghost: Never mind, Riley, I’ve changed my mind. I’m going to be the best woman and @ILurvMusic is going to be the flower girl.
@ILurvMusic: What? No! I’m going to be the best woman and the flower girl and you can be a bridesmaid.
Me: What are you two doing, sitting around that table? And how did you get here? I locked the door.
Riley: No, you didn’t. Rhys and I walked in after you, remember?
Me: Oh, yeah… Well, the bell over the door should’ve chimed when they walked in, but it didn’t.
*Rhys looks amused.*
Rhys: So these are some of our readers.
*@Wonder_Ghost and @ILurvMusic wave enthusiastically.*
Me: Come on, you two, out. This is a private interview; you’ll read it once it’s done.
@Wonder_Ghost: Can’t we stay?
@ILurvMusic: As a reward for coming up with some of the interview questions.
Me: If I let you stay, I’ll have to invite the other readers as well, but… You did come up with some questions and you are very supportive of the boys… *I sigh.* Fine, you can stay.
*@Wonder_Ghost and @ILurvMusic beam at me.*
Me: But only until Rhys and Riley answer the wedding questions. Understood?
*@Wonder_Ghost and @ILurvMusic both nod.*
Me: So, boys… The wedding.
Rhys: Yes, we thought about that after you mentioned it last week in Part I of the interview.
Riley: And to answer the question about the size: I’m only going to invite Tim and Winnie, but at least thirty people are coming because of Rhys. As for the rest…
*Riley gives an apologetic smile to @Wonder_Ghost and @ILurvMusic.*
Riley: Kennedy is going to be the best man…
Me: Kennedy is the best man? Can’t wait to see the bachelor party he’ll organize! But you and Rhys are both guys… Are you both going to the bachelor party? Or are there going to be two – one for each of you? Maybe I should write about… *I realize I’ve interrupted Riley.* Sorry!
Riley: … And Keri, Kelly and Lisa are going to be the bridesmaids with Winnie as the maid of honor.
*@Wonder_Ghost and @ILurvMusic silently stare at us.*
Rhys: Oh, and Everett and Lisa are going to be the godparents when we have children.
Me: I think you just delivered them the final blow, Rhys.
Riley: You could still come to the wedding, @Wonder_Ghost, @ILurvMusic.
*@Wonder_Ghost and @ILurvMusic look at each other.*
Me: Better than nothing, huh?
*@Wonder_Ghost and @ILurvMusic nod again.*
Me: Good. Now out so the boys and I can go on with the interview.
*Rhys, Riley and I wait for @Wonder_Ghost and @ILurvMusic to leave before we go on.*
Me: You know, we actually have more questions by those two.
Me: Mhmm. *I check my notes.* Five more, to be precise.
Me: Okay, here’s one for you, Rhys. @Wonder_Ghost wants to know what type of music do you listen to.
Rhys: I listen to a lot of genres, but most often I listen to the same radio station as Riley and they play mostly pop and rock music.
Me: Okay. The next one is from @ILurvMusic who asks you to name five things you like about each other. They can be physical or non-physical.
Riley: Well, that one is easy! There are so many things to pick from as there are so many things I love about Rhys.
*Rhys looks thoughtful.*
Rhys: Actually, that’s my problem – there are so many things I like about Riley that I don’t know how to pick just five.
Riley: When you put it that way…
Me: Riley, you seemed more enthusiastic. Why don’t you start? Just clear your head and say the first things that come to mind.
Riley: Bravery and loyalty – those are two things I always connect with Rhys. Also, patience – he never rushes into things. And love.
*Riley takes Rhys’ hand and places it on the bar top, their fingers entwined.*
Riley: I like his dedication to the people he loves.
Me: And the fifth? How about something physical this time?
Riley: He has a really nice butt.
*I giggle and Rhys clears his throat.*
Me: Okay, your turn, Rhys.
Rhys: Dedicated to your loved ones and brave are two things that apply to Riley as well.
Riley: But, Rhys…
*Rhys puts a finger over Riley’s lips.*
Rhys: I know what you are going to protest about, but it is not true. You are brave, Riley. And very strong to have gone through what you did with your parents and… *Rhys grits his teeth.* … How you got your scar.
Rhys: So, the things I love about Riley are that he is loving, strong, brave, optimistic and a good, moral person as well as an amazing friend. *Rhys squeezes Riley’s hand.* I couldn’t have hoped for a better mate.
Me: That’s more than five, but I think our readers will forgive you.
Rhys: Told you I couldn’t come up with only five. And I didn’t even mention how beautiful Riley is.
Me: While we are on the subject of favorite things: @curiouslydeadly wants to know what is your favorite quirk of each other.
*Now both boys look thoughtful.*
Rhys: This is a hard one since neither of us is particularly quirky. *He keeps silent for a moment.* Unless, maybe, if you consider Riley buying clothes and shoes for Luna as being quirky.
Riley: You were the one who got her her first two pairs of shoes when you brought her home!
Rhys: Only because I knew you’d like it. Besides, she was so little and there was a lot of snow outside; I didn’t want her to freeze her paws off.
Me: Okay, so putting clothes on a puppy. Anything else?
Rhys: Well, that isn’t really my favorite odd thing about my mate. My favorite has to be that Riley makes amazing coffee art and he doesn’t even drink coffee.
Me: And something about Rhys?
*Riley bites his lip as he tries to come up with something.*
Riley: Can’t think of anything. He is a very level, non-quirky guy. Maybe the fact that he freaks out if his socks don’t match or go well with the rest of his clothes?
Rhys: I don’t freak out… I just don’t like it.
*I giggle again.*
Rhys: You proud of that pointless quirk you just made up for me?
Me: Hey, we had to give @curiouslydeadly an answer. And speaking of answers: I might include this tidbit in We are the Answer.
Riley: Are there any more questions?
Me: Yep. How about this by @amibiguity: if your mate was held at gunpoint and the only way you could save them was to say who you would date other than the person that you are dating right now, who would you pick? If you don’t answer with a person’s name other than your mate’s then your mate dies.
Rhys: I don’t like this question. I’ve never been with anyone but Riley and I can’t imagine doing so.
Me: But hypothetically?
Riley: Yes, who would it be?
Rhys: Why are you asking, Riley? You know I don’t want anyone else.
Riley: But I’m curious. And I’m held at gunpoint, remember?
Riley: Yes. So reply hypothetically.
Rhys: I don’t know.
Riley: Just say the first person who comes to mind.
Rhys: Commander Shepard from Mass Effect.
Riley: Really? But you don’t even play video games.
*Rhys points at me.*
Rhys: She doesn’t play much either, but she thinks the Commander is hot. It was the first thing that came to her mind and that was why she wrote it as my answer.
Me: Well , you are fictional characters and @amibiguity didn’t say it can’t be another fictional character.
Riley: So, who would I pick?
Me: I don’t know. Maybe a certain demon butler from Kuroshitsuji?
Riley: Why him? I don’t want to get my soul sucked out of me.
Me: Well, I was listening to the opening song on repeat before I started this interview and like with Rhys and Commander Shepard, our beloved hellish butler was the first thing that came to mind when I – your creator, had to make up an answer on your behalf. Although, I see how anime will be more of Veronica’s area of interest.
Rhys and Riley: Who is Veronica?
Me: Oh, yeah, you two don’t actually know Vero yet. She was only in a bonus chapter from Kennedy’s POV that I’ve added to Rhys’ We are the Answer. You two will get to meet her in later books.
Riley: Is she also a shifter?
Me: No, she’s a Dayer. For those who don’t follow the Dogs, Bats & Monkeys series – Dayers are one of the two subspecies of vampires, who, unlike Nighters, can control their bloodlust.
Rhys: Does she have anything to do with Alec?
Me: No, she doesn’t have anything to do with your nephew, but I’m glad you brought him up. @Wonder_Ghost has one question for him and one for Kennedy and since they aren’t here, you’ll have to answer them. First, the easier one: when did Kennedy get interested in playing soccer?
Rhys: Basically from when he was a toddle. I remember him wobbling after a small blue ball with red stars, trying to kick it. Even when he fell, he got up and went straight for the ball again. So, yeah, he’s always loved soccer. Plus, he loves winning and he’s really good at soccer so his team usually wins.
*I clear my throat nervously.*
Me: So, as I said, the next question is for Alec… *I glance towards Rhys; there are no traces of a smile left.* @Wonder_Ghost wrote: want to get ice cream?
Rhys: Is she out of her mind? Alec will probably garnish that ice cream with her blood. Does she have a fetish for vampires or just a death wish?
Me: Calm down, Rhys. First, Alec is only half-vampire and second, he hasn’t killed anyone… That we know of.
Rhys: That we know of?!
Riley: What about that Nighter he and Vika fought? Didn’t they kill him?
Me: Well, yeas, but… That was a Nighter. A vicious, bloodthirsty creature, probably responsible for the death of many humans and maybe some shifters and Dayers too. I think we can excuse that one.
Rhys: Again: that we know of?
Me: As I’ve said in the previous interview, I haven’t planned out his book, so…
Rhys: So maybe you are going to have him kill someone?
Me: It’s a possibility. Also, one of the most popular fan theories about Alec is that he is behind or at least involved in the murders that take place in You are the Answer/We are the Answer and Sentiments & Reason. Can’t comment on that without giving a huge spoiler though.
Rhys: So Anthony might be right. My nephew might be a killer.
Me: You’ll have to wait for more books of the series to come out to find the answer to that. But let’s not end this interview in such a tense mood. Here’s a bonus question from me: Rhys and Riley, if you were readers, which book from the Dogs, Bats & Monkeys series would you be most interested in reading? And you can’t pick each other’s respective books.
Rhys: I’d be interested in reading about my baby brother of course! Although Keri’s Sentiments & Reason is a close second to Kennedy’s book.
Riley: Same here. I know you are also planning a novella or some short stories about members of the Order of the Sentinels and I think that would be interesting too. I mean, the Sentinels are mostly humans with supernatural abilities; there are so many things you could do with that.
Me: And with this, dear funky monkeys, we conclude the second part of our interview with Rhys and Riley. Once again, I want to give a special thanks to the readers who came up with interview questions and a huge thank you to all those who support the books on wattpad with their votes and comments!