GRD: Hello, Teman, thank you very much for taking the time to talk with us today.
Teman smiles. You’re welcome.
GRD: I suppose I should thank Bathasar, as well, for letting you out of his sight.
Teman laughs. He can be a bit possessive, but I tend to be the one who doesn’t like to leave him alone for long, more than the other way around.
Teman nods and frowns. Yes, but that is because… He hesitates. We have heard rumors of someone planning an assassination attempt.
GRD: I can see why, then. Well, I am even more appreciative of the time, then. So, tell us, how did you fall in love? At first sight? Or over a long period?
Well, actually… it’s an odd mix of the two. When I first saw Bathasar as amir at my presentation, I have to admit, I was drawn to him. He is, of course, gorgeous. He was also very quiet and the few glimpses of his face that I caught showed something that, at the time, confused me. Later, I realized he held quite a bit of disdain for the process and his father. But we saw each other from a distance quite a few times before he requested me the first time. From there, well, it might seem like we fell fast, but I remember my tongue actually getting tired from talking that night. We told each other so much, that… if anyone had spent that kind of time with him, seen him the way I had, they’d have fallen in love, too. Which is why I am very glad it was me in Bathasar’s bed that night.
GRD: You sound like you are very much in love. So, I asked this when you were both together, but I’d like to ask you alone. Have you ever been in an argument before? Over what, and who won?
Teman chuckles. Well, you know what happened with our first big argument and I don’t believe I should give that away here. But… it was indicative of the types of arguments we would have. We are a normal couple like any other. We love each other fiercely, but we are two different people. Both of us are stubborn in our own ways and so there are, of course, things that we don’t always see eye to eye on. Mostly that is in trying to do for the other.
GRD: That does sound normal for most couples. So, what do you like best about Bathasar?
Teman’s cheeks turn pink and he clears his throat. Well, that’s tough. He is a wonderful, caring, loving person with a very solid idea of right and wrong. He is fair and open. And I love him for all of these things, but… He pauses to clear his throat again. In truth, he has a way with me, a way of… well, when he masters me that makes me feel like I am the only man in the world that exists for him, that I am the center of his world. And I can’t describe how wonderful that is.
GRD: I might have an idea. So, let’s shift things a little. What is your most treasured possession?
Teman grins. Not much of a shift, really. My collar. He reaches up and fingers the thin gold surrounding his neck, tips dancing over the green and blue jewels and engraved plates. It’s not that I never take it off, but it is rare. I feel… off without it. I love having that link to him. I imagine it must be much like a wedding ring feels for a married person.
GRD: *nodding* Yes, I’m sure it does and I believe I can understand. Now, tell me, do you think you’ve turned out the way your parents expected you to?
Teman laughs. Not in the slightest. I am sure that Ommah — my mother, that is —expected me to take over the clan, but… I never felt I had anything to offer them. Neither Jasim nor I had talents in the crafting of things that our clan is so good at. I haven’t a crafty bone in my body. The best I can do is play my oud, but as good as I am at the strings, it doesn’t feed us, nor would it bring in anything for the clan. I decided long ago that there are others much better suited to that. Now that I’ve said that, my mother is very proud of me, very happy that I’ve found an honest place for myself.
GRD: She sounds like a wonderful woman.
Teman’s smile widens. She is amazing.
GRD: Just a couple more questions, then I will let you get back to Bathasar.
Teman laughs. Alright. And thank you.
GRD: *grinning* Of course. I understand. Now, what is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?
Teman blinks. Oh, my, um… He pauses, screwing his face up in thought. Well, I don’t really know, actually. I mean, I remember as a child doing some astoundingly embarrassing things. But as an adult… I think the closest I have come to that was feeling embarrassed that night in the Grand Hall when I saved Bathasar’s life. It wasn’t specifically embarrassing, just… that I did that without thinking while… stark naked. That still makes me blush. Teman chuckles, color tingeing his cheeks.
GRD:*laughs* I can see that. Well, while we are making you blush… since you weren’t able to answer this in front of Bathasar, perhaps you will be able to now. What is your deepest, most well-hidden sexual fantasy? Would you ever try it?
Teman’s cheeks darken. Well, um… He clears his throat and looks around. I… well…
GRD: *interrupts* We know he makes you happy, but surely there is something that you don’t do that you’d like to?
Teman sighs. Well, yes, actually. I do wish Bathasar wasn’t so afraid to give me pain. It was a real surprise to find out that I like it but I do. And I have to admit that I would love to find myself on the receiving end of it from him.
GRD: *raises eyebrows* He’s… afraid?
Teman nods. He worries that if he starts down that path, he will become his father. I haven’t brought up that I would like to do this, because I know how he feels. But I can admit, I would love to.
GRD: Teman, what is the one thing are you most afraid of?
That’s easy. That the assassin will succeed. He shakes his head. I am not sure what I would do without him. I would survive, I would have to – Bathasar would be very angry, otherwise. He wouldn’t want me to do anything rash. He chuckles. But it would be exceedingly difficult. With any luck, I won’t have to worry about it, though.
GRD: I hope not. On that note, I will say thank you for taking your time away from Bathasar. I appreciate it very much.
You are welcome. Thank you for the interview.
Do be sure to leave a comment below! Feel free to ask Teman any questions you might have. I’ll drag him out for a bit to answer them! If you do leave a comment, you’ll be entered to win a swag bag full of goodies! And all of the swag bag winners will be entered at the end of the month to win a signed, paperback copy of Choices, so be sure to leave a note!
Thanks to Lily for hosting me today. I hope you enjoyed the interview and thanks for reading.
Born and raised a gypsy in the late eleventh century, Teman values freedom over everything. He and his best friend, Jasim, are thieves for hire—until one night they’re caught and their precious freedom is revoked. Given the choice between the dungeons or palace pleasure slavery, they become slaves, but Teman vows to escape someday.
Bathasar doesn’t want the throne. He supports his brother instead, which suits their sadistic father, Mukesh. When Teman, the handsome slave Bathasar has secretly been watching, saves his life, Bathasar requests a slave for the first time. Before long, Bathasar and Teman fall in love. But all is not well. One day Mukesh brutalizes Teman before the court, angering the empress of a neighboring nation. To appease her, he then offers her Jasim as a gift, and Teman decides to stay with Bathasar for now—despite the abuse he may suffer.
The peace doesn’t last. Mukesh plans to invade Jasim’s new country, and Bathasar must find a way to stop the destruction. But if he succeeds, he’ll ascend to the throne and have the power to grant Teman his liberty. Then Teman will surely leave him. What other choice could a gypsy make?