Today’s guest, Nicole Forcine, shares an Interview with Jonathan Mendoza, from her new release This Little Whatever.
What’s your name and describe your looks.
E. Jonathan Mendoza, at your service. I’m the total package; tall, dark, handsome and very, very flexible.
What’s the “E.” stand for?
None of your fucking business. Next question.
What do you do for a living?
For a living? You mean my job?
Never held a job a day in my life. I’m a dancer, belly not pole, and I turn wire into jewelry. My specialty is anything chain mail.
Weirdest thing you’ve ever made out of chain mail?
A ball bag. Just look it up. Measuring that one was fun.
How long have you been dancing and how did you start?
I’ve been doing this for about…fuck. Ten years? I’m getting old. I started when my best friend Rach dragged me with her to a beginner’s class and we both caught the bug. Been dancing and traveling with our troupe, Crimson Dream, ever since.
It was just me and my Mama when I was a kid, traveling all over the Southwest and Mexico and South America, where ever she was needed. She was a nurse. When I started college, she kept traveling, and when I dropped out to form Crimson Dream, I traveled too. We keep in touch a lot, though, especially now that she’s not doing well with her own health.
Then there’s Rach. She and I are like peas in a pod. She’s my best friend and my confidant and all that happy shit. Closest thing I’ve ever had to a sister. We’ve got our issues, but things might work out for the good in the end. I hope anyway.
What brought you to the city of Belle Point?
It was the next city. See, we don’t really plan our moves. We stay in a city until we’re done with it, and then we move on. It’s our way.
What was your first thought when you saw Dean Winton?
First thought? “I hope he doesn’t run me over.” We bumped into each other in a bathroom. Then I got a better look at him, and then I was all “Damn, I’ve got to get me some of that.” Have you seen him? The man is gorgeous.
And when were you sure he was “the one” for you?
“The one”? What? I don’t know. It kinda snuck up on me. We were supposed to be a one night thing, right? And he was nothing I’d expected. I couldn’t stop thinking about him.
Describe him in three words.
Loyal. Loving. Hung.
Now describe yourself in three words.
A work in progress.
That’s four words.
And I’ve never been one for rules. We done?
Jonathan Mendoza used to live an even crazier life, partying with his tight-knit traveling performance troupe whenever he wasn’t on stage belly dancing. When his sick mother begged him to change his lifestyle, he agreed to try to live sober, but that change is hard. Neither is it easy to stop staring at Dean Winters after he nearly knocks the man over before a performance.
A former recluse, prone to panic attacks after surviving a traumatic accident, Dean isn’t Jonathan’s usual type. Still, Jonathan is irresistibly attracted to him, and decides to cure the itch with a one-night stand. But that night, he’s shaken by Dean’s kindness and consideration—something he’s not used to in a lover or a friend. His best friend, Rachel, who co-owns the troupe with Jonathan, sees Dean as a threat to their friendship and to the troupe—the dream they’ve worked together to build. She reveals a cruel and possessive streak that could do much greater damage on both fronts, and Jonathan realizes he will have to choose between the nomadic life he’s lived and the man who is stealing his heart.
Pay attention? To what, the way I could picture Dean smiling at me if I closed my eyes? Or how his hand fit so perfectly on the small of my back when he showed me around the huge honking hunk of land his tiny house sat on, the way it screamed “I’m right here,” and how good that made me feel? How about how he never pushed me to do anything I didn’t want to do, in and out of bed? Or hell, should I pay attention to the way my heart shimmied like a drum solo whenever I thought about him? She wanted me to pay attention to him. It was impossible not to, and I loved and hated what he revealed to me without having to say anything.
One of the steel rings tumbled out of my hands, bouncing off my lap and onto the carpeted floor right at her feet. I stopped, watching through my lashes as she picked it up, set it back in the Crown Royal bag, and took one of my hands in hers, stilling me before I even realized the drop was because my fingers were shaking. I needed a drink. Several of them. Now. I knew I should have taken Rachel’s advice and rolled instead of being here.
“He’s insane,” I said roughly, in that way I hated during these little chats.