Welcome to another week of Author Spotlight! Today’s spotlight is on Jet Lupin.
Stories longing to have words put to them were in Jet’s heart from an early age. Jet enjoys exploring the connections and similarities between people, whether they be shifters, vampires, or aliens, rendering the unknowable very knowable indeed.
Jet’s days are spent toiling away at a keyboard, slumped over a pen and paper hunting for those words, or playing around on Twitter with a partner and two rambunctious cats for company in the temperamental North East of the US.
Let’s take a look at his book, Nasu
Go to work. Come home. Repeat. Simple, uncomplicated, boring, but it was Phil’s love, and he liked it that way. So what if he sometimes woke up with an ache in his chest that wouldn’t go away because his ex broke up with him over cereal? He was a big boy. He moved on because he had to. But nosey friends and fate won’t let him be.
One night, when he’s forced to have fun, he meets Shige, who’s far too enigmatic to really be interested in him. There must be some catch…
50 years have passed outside while Shige’s kept himself locked away, tired of the worlds of humans and vampires. He just wanted to be left alone to collect dust. But all that changed when he ventured out on a whim and meets Phil, setting them on an arduous path that will change them both.
This love won’t be easy for either of them, rife with distrust and danger from without and within, but if they survive, they might be stronger for it
Here’s a peek inside:
He dispatched every man he came across, leaving them dead or gravely injured in his wake. He took out everyone outside before he found a way inside the house itself.
Shige lost track of how many of Pampa’s men he’d cut down before they subdued him. They broke his arm in the take down, but not before he’d disabled another man. He would heal, but not in time to be useful to Pampa in the coming hours.
They dragged him into a room filled with the overpowering odors of blood and sex. Shige’s hatred dampened the allure of such a place, but didn’t kill it completely. The number of times he’d hated what he was could be counted on one hand; most of them had happened in the last month.
The largest of Pampa’s units, a man about Phil’s height and build, forced him to his knees before a gilded chair, cartoonish in its idea of finery, where Pampa sat. He narrowed his eyes, looking down at Shige.
“You should have come to the door like a civilized person. You should have come here as a guest.”
“I’m not here for games.”
“You used to like my games.” Pampa beckoned one of his men closer. “How many of you did he take out?”
“Seven dead. Four wounded, sinchi.”
“And how many were sent after him?”
“Fifteen of you, and he took out more than half. Disgraceful.” He turned his gaze back on Shige. “My resources were limited as it is, and you do this.”
“I did not come here to have you bore me to death.” Shige clenched his teeth. He wanted to tear Pampa’s throat out, but if he did that, he’d never see Phil again. He needed to cool his head.
“No. You came because I took something of yours.” Pampa nodded to one of his men who disappeared. “I was afraid you’d grown toothless in your old age. The Shige I knew was something to be feared. After the way you shredded those fools, I’m glad to see you’ve still got your fangs.”
Shige bit down on his anger. He wouldn’t give Pampa the satisfaction of a response.
“You can’t tell me you don’t miss it. The power, the veneration? We were gods. Why would you want to go back to being like them?”
Pampa had never let go of those days. The ruins of it were all around them, the cavernous corpse of some great beast he hoped to one day resurrect. The humans in his territory had been terrified, preyed upon by an unseen force without knowing why. He’d do the same to Shige’s territory too if he wasn’t stopped. Shige should have killed him when he had the chance.
He continued to give Pampa nothing, keeping his thoughts his own. No sense in encouraging him to monologue when Shige already guessed his thoughts.
The door opened and several more of Pampa’s men filed in. Phil was between them.
Shige tried to rise and go to Phil, but the man holding him twisted his arms, renewing the break. He gritted through the pain. His injuries weren’t important.
Phil looked unhurt where they made him sit at Pampa’s feet. His eyes were wide and a fine tremble moved through him.
“Shige! Your arm…”
“Are you alright? Has he hurt you?”
Pampa chuckled, watching them with a broad, false smile. “This is all very touching.”
“You have me here. Let him go.”
“I will when I’m done with him.”
What more did he want? Shige was here; Pampa had won.
“What do you want?”
“To talk. Why did you abandon your nature? Why did you leave?” Then, Pampa’s dark eyes lit up as if he’d found the answer on his own.
“It’s because of the boy, isn’t it?”
Hate and surprised roared to life in Shige’s gut. He tried to keep his face impassive, but something slipped through.
A greasy grin slit Pampa’s face ear to ear. He passed his fingers into Phil’s hair with a familiarity he hadn’t earned. Phil looked ill from the unfamiliar touch. “Let me tell you a story about our mutual friend here.”
“A long time ago, he was just like me. We were comrades. He accepted his place was at the top of the food chain, and he reveled in it. For years, we took what we wanted, made sure humans, like you, knew their purpose. Then one day, he was gone. Poof. No explanation. Nothing. What happened was he came to understand his own greatness as a force of nature, and it scared him.
“You see, we had a party some years ago, as we always did. Shige woke up the next day to a number of bodies in his room, which wasn’t unusual. But among those discards was a child. A boy.” Pampa shrugged. “I sent him as a gift. A delicacy. Apparently, Shige didn’t appreciate it.”
Shige’s stomach constricted as he listened, his gaze locked on Pampa. He was too afraid to look at Phil, too afraid of finally being seen for what he was. That had been Shige once, drunk on his own power, leaving crimson footprints wherever he went with no regard for the lives he ended. He was chaos. An avatar of Amatsu-Mikaboshi. Had he kept the company of Pampa and those like him, he still would be. There was no point in trying to explain how he’d been so drunk that he hadn’t known. Only then did he realize he was out of control, that that wasn’t who he wanted to be. Pampa wouldn’t understand and Phil… Shige never meant for him to know this.
Phil slid away from Pampa’s hand, though, the guards made sure he didn’t get far. He tucked his hands under his arms, holding himself out of Pampa’s reach.
“He’s nothing like you.”
His conviction took Shige’s breath. Did he realize what he was saying?
Pampa laughed so loud and hard his belly shook. “You’re right. We’re nothing alike. I’m not a wolf masquerading as a sheep. I take what I want. I know what I deserve.” He snapped his fingers, and Phil was made to kneel the same way Shige was. Pampa rose from his throne and embraced Phil from behind. The nurse went rigid as Pampa’s thick fingers tugged at the neck of his shirt.
Shige thrashed against his jailer, his arm singing with pain. “Let him go, Pampa.”
“It’s sad, that you’ve forgotten yourself—your truest self. But I‘ll remind you.” Pampa’s men held Phil’s arms out at his sides, keeping him from struggling. Shige couldn’t bear to answer the question in his eyes. His heart hammered in his chest, full and aching.
“Don’t do it, Pampa.” He knew that if that had been an option, Pampa would have offered it. No, the sack of shit had worse things in mind. Shige knew it, but he didn’t want it to be true.
Shige groped about for the words to make this easier though he knew very well there was way this could ever be easy or right. He tried to hold Phil’s gaze with his. “It’s OK.” Not once in his life had he endeavored to comfort another. This was all far from OK, but he had nothing else he could give Phil. “You can get through this. You’re strong. Just keep your eyes on me.”
Pampa ate all this up. Enmity turned Shige’s insides to cinders. He cursed Pampa. He cursed his own inability to stop this from happening. That burned him most of all.
Pampa held Shige’s gaze as he grabbed Phil’s jaw, wrenching his head to the side. Watching this all felt revoltingly pornographic, but Shige didn’t dare look away. This was the result of his error, his sin.