I set fresh coffee, tea, and all the cookies the fangirls sent, including Jace’s favorite shortbread cookies, out on the coffee table and then go to let everyone in. Once everyone is comfortable, I sit down as well. “Here we are for our fifth and final Q&A session. I have to say, I’m kind of going to miss it.”
No one agrees.
I shrug. “Well, I can’t blame you. I know it hasn’t been nearly as fun for you as it has for me. As I promised, today won’t be nearly as uncomfortable as it has been. Actually, I saved the really fun questions for last. Let’s begin, shall we? First question is for Kaden. Do you think it would ever be possible for you and your grandfather to have a decent conversation?”
Kaden laughs dryly. “I highly doubt it. As long as I continue to refuse to conform to his beliefs, I can’t see us getting along. One way or another, we’ll always end up arguing.”
“To be fair,” Kyrin says carefully, “you don’t have to argue back.”
Kaden shrugs. “It’s not easy though.”
“What about you and Marcus?” I ask. “Any chance of a decent conversation between you two?”
“Maybe, if he’s willing to accept what I believe.”
“Not to gang up on you with Kyrin, but that does kind of work both ways.”
Kaden frowns at me.
“All right, we’ll leave it at that.” I shuffle through the cards. “Here’s a related question. Kaden, which of your brothers were you closest to before you went to Tarvin Hall?”
“Liam. We always got along really well. Michael and Ronny were too young to really get to know before we left.”
“And speaking of siblings, what’s your favorite thing about Kyrin?”
She smiles at him, awaiting the answer.
“Probably just the fact that she knows me so well. It can get annoying—”
“Hey!” Kyrin slaps him lightly on the arm, but smiles.
“But it is nice to be that close, especially when things are hard.”
I grin. “That’s sweet.” I glance back at the cards. “Now, Kyrin, what is the most annoying thing Kaden has ever done to you?”
“Oh, come on!” Kaden exclaims. “I get asked what my favorite thing is about her and she gets asked what’s the most annoying thing about me?”
“Those are the questions.”
He sighs, and Kyrin chuckles.
“Don’t worry, it’s nothing too serious,” she assures him. “The most annoying thing he’s ever done to me is probably when he would run off with my dolls when I was little. I would get so mad when he did that.”
I chuckle. “Kind of like when my brother ran off with my journal, locked himself in the bathroom, and threatened to read it while I was pounding on the door, demanding he give it back. It’s no wonder you have some of the childhood memories you do considering I grew up with only brothers too. Now . . .” I shift my gaze over to Jace. He looks more comfortable than he has for most of these sessions. “Jace, Claire would like to know, what is one skill you wish you had?”
He gives it a moment of thought. “I wish I had better people skills. That would make things a lot easier.”
“You and me both.”
He looks surprised.
“Just because I can converse easily with all of you doesn’t mean that I’m at all articulate in the real world when it comes to face-to-face conversation. Then I’m just downright awkward or, at least, I feel like I am. There’s a reason I always say I have so much in common with you. Anyway . . .” I flip through the cards. “Sarah has a couple of questions for you. First, what do you like to do to relax?”
“I usually like to go out walking with Tyra in the woods. It’s where I’m most comfortable and don’t have to try to be anything for anyone.”
“And are you an early bird or night owl?”
“Early bird. But I do like nighttime.”
“I sure wish I could be both.” I laugh as I read the next question. “Here’s another one for you, Kaden. Have you ever been in love?”
“Nope.” He almost looks proud of the fact. “Maybe someday though.”
“Sarah wants to know if you liked playing pranks on anyone when you were a kid, because you seem like the type who would do that.”
He grins. “I liked playing some pranks, especially on Marcus. I tried it at Tarvin Hall a few times, but it didn’t go over well.”
“I imagine Master Zocar wasn’t amused by that.”
He shakes his head.
“Ah, here’s a fun question from Stargazer for Trask. If you lived in your author's world what type of car would you drive?”
“A dark green Chevy pickup truck.”
Kaden leans forward to look at him. “What? Not a Camaro?”
“Well . . . a truck would be more practical in the woods.”
Kaden shakes his head. “I’d take the Camaro.”
I look between the two of them trying to decide how I feel about this conversation. “Okay, you two really shouldn’t know anything about this. Next question. Jace, Shantelle wants to know, beside Kyrin and Rayad, is there anyone else you're really close to and trust? Would Kaden count as one of those people?”
Jace nods. “Yes, I trust Kaden. And even though things started out rough, Holden and I have become friends.”
“Your friendship with him is actually one of my favorites because of how it things started,” I tell him. “I can’t wait for everyone to see more of it.” I flip to the next card. “Kyrin, what is your happiest memory?”
“Wow, with so many to choose from, that’s really hard. I have so many wonderful memories of my father and playing with my brothers when we were young.” She smiles, and I’m sure her cheeks turn a little pink. “And the first time I saw Jace smile is one of my favorite memories.”
Jace looks to be hiding a smile right now, and I grin at the two of them. “I love when that happened. Okay, now I’ve got a couple of questions from Addyson. First, is one I can answer. Are there musical instruments in Ilyon? Yes, quite a few. The cretes and talcrins especially love music. Cretes use a lot of flutes and hand drums, while talcrins are very fond of harps. The next question . . .” I try not to laugh, “is does Jace ever sing at all and is he any good at it?”
Kaden raises his brows. “More singing questions?”
I nod and peer at Jace.
“No,” he says decidedly. “I don’t sing.”
“I guess that’s your answer, Addyson. What about you, Kyrin? Do you sing?”
Everyone looks at her, and she shakes her head. “No. I mean, I have, years ago, when I was little, but not now.”
“That’s too bad,” I say thoughtfully. “I think you’d be good at it. All right, here are some more fun questions. Serena has a question for you, Jace. Do you like candy? Because she loves candy.”
“Candy is all right. I prefer cookies.” He nods at the shortbread cookies on the table.
“And what about pizza? Stargazer is dying to know.”
Jace shrugs. “Well, I’ve only had it once since Jaye gave us some to prepare us for this question. I guess I liked it. It’s very different.”
“I like pizza,” Kaden jumps in.
I laugh. “You like everything.”
“I don’t like broccoli.”
I stare at him. “What? You don’t like broccoli?”
“Huh, I did not know that. Here I figured you’d pretty much eat anything.”
“Not quite everything. There are some pretty nasty dishes out there.”
“That’s true,” I agree. “So, what is your favorite food?”
He pauses for a long moment. “Everything?”
I laugh. “Except broccoli and the nasty dishes, right?”
“Pretty much.” He grins.
“Well, thank you all for joining me for these sessions the last several days, even though some of you may now need therapy to get over the trauma. Personally, I thought it was fun and would like to do it again sometime. Maybe for the next book release.”
No one looks too thrilled by this prospect.
“Still, just know that your readers all love you, and so do I. Speaking of the readers, I thank all of you for joining us as well, and for supplying the questions! I will now send my characters back off into their own world where they can continue living out their stories that I can’t wait to eventually share with you!”