Character Interview: Everett from Mina’s Heart


Interview with Everett Burke, Security Analyst for Oasis, An Adult Fantasy Fulfillment Company

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MSR: Why work for an adult fantasy fulfillment company?

Everett: It’s the family business. My parents started it when they were first married. They had such a happily-ever-after once a friend of theirs set them up together that they wanted to spread the happiness. It’s a pay-it-forward kind of thing. I believe in true love and finding your soul mate. I knew the moment I set eyes on my true love.

MSR: What was it like to grow up in a house with parents in an open D/s relationship?

Everett: You’re thinking we learned that the genders are unequal. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We learned about strength of character and what true love looks like. Dad never, ever overruled Mom in anything. They discussed things a lot–from who would assume which responsibilities to what they expected from us. Dad doted on Mom. He worshipped her. He took care of her. They both talked candidly with the four of us–my brother and sisters–about respect and communication. I remember Dad always telling me that open communication was the key to a successful relationship, whether or not it was a D/s relationship. If I had listened to him, I never would have lost Mina in the first place.

MSR: What scares you most?

Everett: Seriously? You honestly think someone like me is afraid of spiders or ghosts? Okay. I do have one fear. My father died a few years ago, and my life will never be the same. I fear losing someone I love.

MSR: What was your biggest disappointment?

Everett: It’s when my own stubborn nature gets in the way. I always think I know what’s best, and I tend to ignore the good advice of those around me. When my brother, my mother, and my father were telling me to come clean with Mina, I didn’t because I thought my way of easing her into our D/s relationship was best. I was wrong. It blew up in my face.

MSR: What are you most proud of?

Everett: I built a great house from the ground up. Mina had input on the majority of the design, and she’s slowly redecorating now that she’s finally living here. It’s a wonderful home for raising a family.

MSR: Do you have advice to anyone looking to begin a D/s relationship?

Everett: Be honest. Always. No matter how hard it is to come clean, do it. Waiting, putting off telling your lover something, never turns out well. And I’ll pass along the most important thing my father taught me: communication is key. Talk about everything, and listen to what your partner says.

PG  excerpt from Mina’s Heart:

Breen’s small grocery store had fresh produce and hanging baskets that overflowed with pretty flowers. In the past, Mina would have hurried by, trying to avoid looking at what would be considered a frivolous purchase. But now she was finding that she couldn’t help but stop to look.

A particularly pretty basket of red-and-white pansies caught her attention. She drew her finger over one soft petal and smiled.

“Beautiful, aren’t they?”

The strong male voice startled her at first. She hadn’t been aware of anyone nearby. She glanced up to find a massive chest occupying all the available space next to her. His short-sleeved cotton shirt was blue, and it clung to his muscular torso and emphasized his impressive arms. Following a path up his shirt, she found herself drowning in a set of foamy green eyes.

The corners of his lips were lifted in a smile that dripped sensuality. Immediately she imagined what they’d feel like against her own, and then she recognized him. The high school she’d attended hadn’t been very large. Though Everett Burke had been three years ahead of her, they had been in a couple of classes together. And she had been friendly with his younger sister. She couldn’t say they’d been friends because her father hadn’t allowed her to have friends. School and family came first. His parents had raised him that way, and now it was her turn. Mina vowed that when she had kids, they would be allowed to have friends, attend parties and sleepovers, play sports. Anything they wanted.

She hadn’t known Everett well. Their conversations had been few and far between, and they’d always been academic. While he’d frequently acknowledged her with a smile and a nod outside the classroom, they’d only ever spoken when a teacher had put them together for group work. Even then, she’d refrained from saying much. She’d found him both attractive and intimidating. He was far larger than her father, which meant he could cause far more damage, and he had been a senior when she was a freshman.

His size hadn’t changed with time, though he had filled out a little more.

She lowered her gaze. “Yes. I was thinking they would look nice on the back patio, but I’m afraid of getting dirt all over my car.”

“I have some newspaper in my truck. I meant to get to the recycle center yesterday, but I didn’t get out of work in time.” He flashed that sinful smile. “I guess the universe had a reason.”

He lifted two hanging baskets, both full of the red-and-white flowers she had admired.

“Wait.” She put her hand on his arm, the first time she’d voluntarily touched a man, much less one she found attractive. His warm skin heated her palm, and his muscles felt firm under her hand. What would it feel like to have his skin brush against hers? She froze, staring at the place where she touched him, and hoped he wouldn’t get angry.

“You don’t like these? Tell me which ones you like best.”

This would be her first frivolous purchase. She didn’t want to go overboard. “I was just going to get one.”

Everett considered each basket, and then he shook his head. “You need at least two, possibly three or four, in order for them to look good. One isn’t enough.”

Mina shook her head. “I didn’t bring that much money.”

He just grinned. “That’s okay. They’re on me.” Lifting his gaze and his volume, he shouted over her head. “Wild, add two of these.”

Mina knew Wilder Burke as well. These handsome twins greatly resembled each other, but they weren’t identical. Though they were the same height and they shared a build, Everett was just a little broader in the shoulders, and he had green eyes to Wilder’s blue ones. Plus he was better looking.

Too late, she realized he meant to pay for them. “I can’t let you do that.”

“You don’t have a choice. Where is your car? I’ll load them up for you.”

His high-handed manner gave her pause. He’d always been confident and commanding. Every girl in school had a crush on him or Wilder or their best friend Micah. Micah’s younger brother, Jude, was good-looking as well, but he was younger, and that automatically counted him out until the older boys had graduated. Then every girl spent the next two years trying to make Jude O’Connor notice them. She didn’t know which heartthrob had come next, but she was sure there was somebody now over whom the girls drooled.

Her arms were full with two bags of groceries, so she couldn’t take the baskets from him. His affable, firm expression let her know there was no point in arguing. She inclined her head toward the sedan she’d rented. She didn’t want to buy a car until she convinced her mother to move.

He followed her over, grabbed some newspapers from the bed of the truck parked in the next spot, and lined her trunk. “When did you get back in town?”

Mina set her bags down on the ground and helped him spread the paper. “Wednesday. I’m staying with my mom for a little while.”

He nodded as if she’d confirmed something he already knew. “A bunch of us are going to Elmhurst tonight. Can I pick you up at six? We could get dinner first.”

Elmhurst was a popular hangout, mostly because it was the only hangout. By day, it was a bar and restaurant. After eight on the weekends, it turned into a low-key karaoke and dance club. It took Mina several moments to process Everett’s question. She’d been asked out before, but not like this. She wasn’t sure if he was asking her if she’d go out with him or if he was assuming she’d go and he was just confirming the time.

“Are you asking me on a date?”

Bio:
 Michele wears many hats in the course of a year. She’s a wife, a mother, a teacher, and a writer. When she’s not busy with one of those roles, she’s most likely sleeping or thinking of more ways to stretch her obligations. Subscribe to her occasional newsletter at http://michelezurlo.us4.list-manage1….
Buy links for Amazon, ARe, BN won’t be available until after March 19.

 

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