The Drunk Poet A Signing of Things to Come

Liam's Signature Signing Set

There was no denying the fact that Liam was in his element.

He was currently hovering just out of view of the event space on the first floor of his favorite, local bookstore. Already seated in the space, waiting with great anticipation, were several dozen of his most loyal fans who had been gifted with a VIP ticket to this invite-only discussion and book signing. Naturally, there would be a lengthy question and answer session, whereupon they would more than likely get lost in the deliciously erotic details of his bestselling Bound in Blood trilogy. Once satiated, he would then pose for pictures and sign at least three pieces of memorabilia for each guest, which typically ran the gambit from movie posters to fan-made artwork to first-editions of any one of the actual books.

Had it been a number of years since his last release? Yes, six to be exact. But with the movie release that occurred the following year, in twenty-sixteen, and the rumors that had been circulating, for the last year and a half, about a possible Netflix series - which he would be confirming here today! - the unconditional love for his work was still very much alive and kicking, especially when it came to his legion of fans who lived in and around the metropolitan area.

This was his home, in more ways than one, and he was eager to spend some quality time, with fans who felt more like family, chatting about his beautiful, bloody boys!

Outfit + huge puffy coat

Amelie had failed to notice the poster announcing a book signing and other things must surely—but not to Amelie—have been exciting on the windows when she had entered the bookshop earlier. She had gone right up to the second floor, prowled through the poetry aisle, and nestled herself into a corner to silently read the books she had collected. As time continued along, however, she began to notice the commotion going on downstairs.


But she pushed herself to finish Joy Harjo's Secrets from the center of the world before finally resigning and getting ready to leave. She wouldn't buy any of the books, mostly because of what must have been a large crowd below that she didn't want to linger in. Amelie took the time to return them exactly where she had found them before grabbing her coat and draping it over her forearms.

Briefly distracted by the amassing crowd on the first floor, trying to figure out the best route without having to force her way right through it, Amelie brushed her wildly thick coat against someone.

"Excuse me," she mumbled tiredly, moving past them.
Lost in a combination of his own thoughts and listening for the event coordinator's announcement, which would be his cue to step out from where he was more or less hiding, Liam suddenly found himself being buffeted by an unassuming patron, brandishing an oversized, winter coat, who had apparently lost her way.

What the...?

Being a tall, well-built man, who literally towered over the young woman by more than a foot, the author remained unmoved, but that didn't stop him from apologizing for apparently being in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

"Oh. I'm sorry, love," he replied, with a smile, as he quickly scanned the length of her form, making sure that he hadn't caused her or any her belongings harm, since he was certainly the bigger physical threat. "I didn't see you coming," he then offered, before quickly asking, "Are you here for the event?"
The accent and "love" told her foreigner. But, being a college student, she knew Ridgefield managed to attract all sorts of people from various places.

She was more than fine with simply humming at his unnecessary apology and excuse and continuing on her way. But then he inquired about her and she had to pause, properly looking down at the floor below and taking in what exactly was going on. It only took the poster that made her think of those melodramatic romance novels that made her quickly realize that this particular event was not her cup of tea.

"No," she said with a small, breathy chuckle that seemed out of place with her deadpan.

She had been here to read peacefully. But the bookstore silence had been murdered.
Always curious to understand more clearly why someone wouldn't prefer his work - not that everyone truly needed to! - Liam pressed for a bit more insight, assuming she wasn't just an uninvited fan.

"Not your cup of tea?" he asked, unknowingly verbalizing her own thoughts from a moment before. "I'm considering a more fact-based work next. It will still be supernaturally charged, with touches of my signature homo-erotica mixed in for good measure, but now that many of my creations are with us in reality, I have a feeling it's going to take on a much more serious tone," he shared, almost as if he were speaking to a member of a focus group, instead of some random patron.

"Would something like that interest you more?" he asked, expecting to hear yet another negative response, given the impassive way she was looking at him.
Not in the slightest.

And what she thought would have been a minuscule interaction was turning out to be much longer. At least he was chatty and not simply coughing up smokey billows of small talk.

What she found most interesting was the fact that he was the creator. Of course Amelie would manage to be bluntly dismissive to an unknown author. Such an unprofessional editor. Then again, she never really viewed it as her profession. Something that kept her free time shorter.

Hearing “fact” and “supernatural” almost made her scoff with amusement. But that certainly seemed to be the case nowadays. How fun for them.

"Possibly," she replied flatly with a nonchalant shrug. Honestly, yes, a little. But a brief summary such as that could easily deviate into something else later.

And she really wasn’t one for any sort of erotica.

Very distasteful.

"How would you go about collecting those facts?"

She suddenly felt the urge to a coffee. But maybe she was just getting hungry.
Possibly? Liam thought to himself, with a slight nod of his head, as he slid a large portion of each of his hands into the front pockets of his jeans. I can work with that.

Such a response held a lot more promise than having her shoot him down with a hard no. Something he said caught her interest, and if he had to venture a guess...

Well, there we have it. The million dollar question.

How exactly did he acquire the delicious bits that made his work sing? That was always one of the first questions people asked of him - along with wanting to know when his next book was being released - even before the big reveal of both vampires and weres, since he wrote his witches, which he based on his own psychic experiences, with such clarity.

"I could tell you," he began, with a bright smile, as he took a casual step closer. "But then I'd have to kill you," he informed her, in an even voice, as his eyes went cold and his smile became something akin to a menacing smirk.

Three, two, one...

"I jest, love," he then confessed, as a lightness returned to his lips and eyes. "If anything, it would be my head on the chopping block if I divulged such information. Actually, I believe my contract states exactly that, but, trust me when I say, I have very reliable sources at my disposal."

"So, if I may ask," he began to inquire, since a change in subject seemed just about right at this point, "which genres do you gravitate towards? You must have a favorite."
A slow blink was made at the movie-line threat. Although she did step back to keep the breathable safety bubble that had been made. Maybe they had bumped into some alleyway and he said those words she might have bristled.

But the jest was obvious and hardly needed announcing.

And of course he would only hint at what interested her the most before shifting to a very boring topic.

"I don’t have a favorite," she replied simply. "What sort of sources?"

Online forums of anonymous “experts?”

Book Cover

"Not a single favorite?" he wanted to ask, just to keep the conversation going in that general direction, but she seemed intent on hearing more about how he acquired his source material. Apparently he hadn't done a good enough job at explaining that that particular topic was essentially off limits. Telling her anything more would probably set him on a very slippery slope that he wouldn't be able to recover from without either sounding like a prat or, worse still, revealing his true nature.

You're certainly not ready to go there, he thought, as he took a half step away, regardless of the current tell-all climate.

"Forgive me, but I really should be paying closer attention or I may just miss my cue," he then started to excuse himself, as he motioned towards the event that was just minutes away from starting. "Here, do with this as you wish," he then offered, in haste, as he quickly snatched up a copy of his first book, Blood Born, which was stacked on a nearby display. "Bin it, burn it or sell it on eBay for a tidy sum," he continued to ramble, as he whipped out a pen and signed the title page. "Who knows. Maybe you'll read an entire chapter and, dare I say, even enjoy a sentence or two," he mused, as he basically thrust the paperback into her hand, just before offering her a lighthearted, "Cheers!" which pretty much meant he was finished with their conversation.
Forgive him.

What a boring man. He had seemed so eager to talk before. Worried about that chopping block? At this point, what else was there really hide?

Amelie had been fine to leave it at that. But he seemed to be nervously rambling as he grabbed a book and scribbled on it.

Next thing she knew the book was shoved into her hand and she was left staring at it. Burning it was tempting, had she not thought being told to sell it for a “tidy sum” to be so insulting. Like giving her a signed book was some form of gracious half-assed charity. She might have laughed when he told her to read it were her face not so made of cold stone.

Ward Astor. She could only assume it was an alias. It made her think of a nuthouse.

Amelie dug into the pocket of her trousers, withdrawing her pocketknife. With her coat draped over her one arm, she opened the knife and dragged the blade down the middle of the paperback’s spine. Happily, she imagined it was his own spine. Then it really would be a blood bath.

And then she tossed the two pieces of the book at his feet.

"Vai a farti fottere," she said dronishly. And now he was cursed!

She closed the knife and pocketed it as she turned away to head downstairs, shrugging on her coat.
Caught a little off guard by the young woman's hostile response - speaking in tongues and all - Liam actually waited for her to retreat before carefully picking up the two halves of the desecrated book, which she could've easily just declined instead of needlessly destroying it.

Such a waste.

Bracing himself for yet another psychic assault - since that seemed to be his fate as of late, especially within the walls of this bookshop - he was truly grateful to hear only a smattering of words, as he did a quick read, which more or less confirmed that she was basically nothing more than a judgmental shrew with a major chip on her very human shoulder.

"We're ready for you, sir."

Being called away, Liam would thankfully toss the pieces aside not but a second before he would be assaulted by the blood-soaked image of his spine being maliciously severed by the cold, hard steel of the she-devil's razor-sharp switchblade. Had he had the chance to experience such an unnerving thought, he probably would've paid her more mind, but instead, the author would simply carry on with business as usual, none the wiser, nor worse for wear.
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