Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Meeting: Ben Murphy from Under Control

With his hours at San Diablo General Hospital’s Emergency Room and his shift tending bar at the Diablo Blanco Club, Ben Murphy has very little free time. I was lucky to catch him before his shift started at the DBC, but I was extremely conscious of the occasional looks I received from the other patrons as I sat with him at the Club.

“I don’t want to keep you from work.”

He shrugged and leaned against the bar across from me. “No problem, Miss Qwillia. We won’t start getting busy for a while yet.” His smile was like a warm invitation to visit and lit his gray eyes with humor.

I stifled my curiosity about the Club and launched into the interview, “What is your favorite ice cream?”


I blinked, “Really?”

He nodded, “Yes, because I can add whatever I want to it depending on my mood.”

I thought about it. That made complete sense to me. “Next question, what is your favorite thing about Vance Justiss?”

Even as he talked, Ben was straightening and wiping down bottles and shelves behind the bar. “My favorite thing about V? He’s got my back. The man doesn’t know the word ‘quit’. If he thinks you need help — he’s there.”

“Like you?” I prompted.

He grinned but didn’t answer.

“What does Vance do that is most annoying?”

The grimace that pulled his lips down was fleeting before Ben answered, “He doesn’t give himself a break. He has high expectations for himself and when he misses, he gets angry at himself for it.” He shook his head and rolled his eyes. “Getting him down from that takes a lot and sometimes it tests me in ways I’m not sure I like going to.”

“How old were you when you lost your virginity?”

He leaned closer to answer. “My parents would be happy to know that I lost my virginity with a girl when I was sixteen. They’d be less than pleased to know that I was fifteen when I shared my first hand job with one of the guys from the football team.” An expression of both disgust and disappointment flashed across his features. “The fact that I’m attracted to men and enjoy sex with both men and women is what created the rift that made me leave my home in Virginia to make a life here in San Diablo.”

I remembered that and how much he hated the fact that they’d effectively cut him out of their lives for nearly twenty years. Hoping to dispel the unease, I jumped into the next question. “How did you meet Vance?”

“I led a Recon unit when I was in the Marines. Vance was assigned to my unit when our sniper was killed.” He gave me a wry grin. “I swear, the man could make me hard with a single look and that was dangerous in the military. But we had a good unit that relied more on action than orientation.”

“If there is something you could change about the first few weeks you knew Vance what would it be?”

“Nothing. He was an excellent soldier and fit into the unit immediately.”

“What about your personal relationship?”

Ben shrugged. “Not long after we met, he recognized the tension between my family and me and dragged me here.” He laughed. “I think he dragged the whole unit to his parents’ house at least once every time we had leave. His mom and dad loved having a house full of people. V was their only child and they had no other living relatives.”

“Didn’t he introduce you to the Diablo Blanco Club?”

“Yes. It was V who took me to the Club the first time. It was quite eye-opening and compelling. Plus I got to spend time with V.”

“What is your favorite movie?”

Ben laughed. “Don’t really have one. Between the ER at San Diablo General and the DBC, I don’t have a lot of downtime to watch movies.” He flashed a wicked grin. “And V is much more interesting to play with than a movie.”

“What is the craziest place you’ve had sex?”

The expression on his face was more of a grimace than a grin before he shrugged. “Nowhere. I’m not all that adventurous. A bed, the club, the shower — as long as I’ve got V, it works.”

“Which do you prefer? Coffee, tea, or…?”

“Coffee. The stronger the better.”

“What addiction can you not live without?”

He seemed to think about it for a moment. “The closest thing to an addiction I have is V. If I lost him, it wouldn’t kill me, but it wouldn’t be living either. I’d exist. That’s all.”

“Describe your favorite pair of shoes?”

A sly grin lifted his lips. “I have a pair of boots. Wore ’em on my last mission with Recon. They’re still the most comfortable boots for hiking.”

I hesitated before asking my question, pretty sure I knew the answer. “What do you fear most?”

“That V’s guilt over Aimee will tip him over the edge. He already has times when he’ll go days on cat naps because of the nightmares. I’m just not sure he’ll ever forgive himself for what happened.”

My own guilt gnawed at me, but I couldn’t tell him his fear was only going to get worse. I rushed on to ask, “What would you like to come back as if you’re reincarnated?”

He looked thoughtful then answered, “Haven’t really considered that. If I did come back, I’d hope to be with V, but I’d want to help people.”

“If you could be in a (different) book, which book would it be?”

“V and I have already been in a couple of the DBC books, I don’t need to be in anymore.”

I squirm thinking about the last story I’ll be telling. Not sure Ben will like it. Or if he’ll forgive me for what he and Vance will have to go through in the story. Determined to avoid spilling the beans, I ask the next question. “If your life were a book, what would you prefer the author not tell readers about you?”

He laughed again. “Not much about me is secret, but after twelve years in the Marines, I know how to keep my mouth shut.”

“Who, living or dead, would be your hero if you have one?”

His expression grows somber before he answers. “Aimeelya. She sent V home to me. I wish she hadn’t had to die to do it, but it was his promise to her that broke down the walls between us so I could be with V.”

“Do you think he loves Aimeelya?”

The look he gave me was indulgent. “Miss Qwillia, you know V and I both loved Aimee. She belonged to both of us from the day we found her tangled up in barbed wire on the edge of a mine field.”

“If she’d lived, what do you think would have happened?”

“Nothing unless she wanted it to. Her parents were good people. V and I respected them. Aimee was a handful, but there’s no doubt, if she’d lived, V’s convinced she would have been the perfect sub from us.”

In the time we’d been talking the room had begun to steadily fill up. I held my hand out to Ben. “Thank you for answering my questions.”

He surprised me by taking my hand and placing a gentlemanly kiss on the back of it. “My pleasure, Miss Qwillia. You should really plan to attend the Midnight Masquerade some time.”

“It’s invitation only.”

The look he gave me held secrets I wasn’t sure I wanted to know, but my fingers itched to write down. “Oh, I’m sure quite a number of members would be happy to send you an invitation.”

I laughed, “Hmm, I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.”

He glanced over my shoulder toward the entrance. I turned and spotted Vance as well as Bryce and Richard entering. Turning back around I met his amused grin and added, “Definitely not a good thing.”

Making sure to stay as far away from the three Doms, I slipped out of the Club and into the warm Southern California evening.

Under Control (Diablo Blanco Club #2) is in the process of revisions and is slated to be re-released some time in June.


  1. I don't remember this post going up on the blog so I'm kinda late to the game. Great interview Miss Qwillia, but you are such a tease. Now I'm anxious to find out what's going to happen in the future and I know you'll keep me waiting in suspense.

    1. No problem, Becki, It went up and even I forgot I'd put it up. LOL.
      I'm hoping to get the rest of the DBC books done by June 2013. And the last of the series is Ben and Vance's book.