Villain or Anti-Hero?
When I arrive at the office of the very busy architectural problem solver, property investment specialist, Klive King, regards me with respectful indifference. He’s as handsome as the photos in the paper, and appears just as deceptive as the articles have let on.
I am five minutes late, and he checks his watch, then asks if I drove.
“Yes, I drove. I’m sorry for any inconvenience.”
“No inconvenience at all,” he tells me. He means it. He’s not condescending or annoyed. It’s a surprise, considering he’s dressed in a suit that could pay my rent for the next three months. “The traffic around lunch time is horrid. That’s why I prefer to walk, at least for lunch.”
I nod and take a seat across from him. The view of the bay is amazing. I get right to it.
DSoL: “Why here, Mr. King?”
King: It’s the single fastest growing area in the country. The surrounding suburbs are full of valuable property in need of repair. They’ll sell for triple what we purchase them for.
DSoL: “That’s not what I meant, but I think you probably knew that. It’s no secret that before you met Kinsley James, you were embroiled in a drug smuggling scandal that involved the syndicate and biker gang, Nightshade. In fact, it’s been circulating that you may have been a ring leader for years.”
His head tilts, and he smirks.
King: “Ring leader? That’s funny. How on Earth could I run a syndicate and manage this empire? Thank you for the credit, but you know I’m not allowed to discuss the facts surrounding an on-going investigation.”
DSoL: “Have you received any backlash from the plea deal you agreed to?”
King: “[That] Depends on the community you’re referring to. Here?” He gestures around the huge office. “Nothing more than surprise, but there have been those who judge. There will always be those who judge what they cannot understand. I’m fine with that. It’s not my prerogative to make them understand.”
I can tell he means it, and I don’t press when he avoids the portion dealing with Nightshade. I don’t want to ruin the interview, so I shift to the simple stuff.
DSoL: “Where are you from?”
King: “I am originally from London.”
His accent is very light, and he confesses that he’s trained the Cockney out of his system. “Not a soul in this office would be able to understand a thing I say,” he laughs. “Kinsley loves when my mum comes to visit, because she’s the only one of my family who tells everyone to shove it.” His eyes are resting on a framed photo of his wife. It makes for a clear and easy segue.
DSoL: “Tell me how you met Kinsley James?”
King: “I met her downstairs in the coffee shop by coincidence.”
DsoL: “Was it love at first sight?”
King: “If you’re asking if I loved the way she looked, of course, but there’s more to it than that. Sometimes, you just have a feeling about a person. [It] Feel’s like you’ve known them, and when you’re apart, it’s like they are missing. Hard to explain and not sound like a nancy, but I’m sure it makes sense.”
DSoL: “Your relationship was a secret for some time. Was that because she played hard to get?”
King: “Ha! Something like that. For a time, we weren’t what you would call friends. However, a wise man once told me, anything worth having is gathered the hard way. You take the best care of what you have to earn. I take excellent care of her.” He is smiling very bright. “The best part, is that she takes excellent care of me, also.”
DSoL: “She was involved with your best friend, Jase Taylor, for a brief time before going public with you. Did you two have an affair?”
His face has downshifts, and he looks at me like he’s disappointed. I’ve hit a nerve.
King: “No. If we’d had an affair, do you think we would all still be friends? Honestly…”
I look down at my notes and realize the weight of my next questions. I feel almost guilty for what I want to ask next.
DsoL: “Kinsley was kidnapped and nearly killed by someone you all knew very well. Was this a result of your ties to Nightshade?”
He glares and his face is hard, but he’s not angry with me for asking. He’s angry in general. Who wouldn’t be? Still, I can’t help how tense I feel at this moment.
King: “Yes and no. I cannot comment further. As I’ve told you, the investigation is still on-going and looks to be for some time. I will say that it was a very sharp betrayal. Kinsley has made monumental progress, and has started a career in assisting the victims of traumatic situations. I’m very proud of her.”
DsoL: “Have you killed anyone, or is that all rumor?”
King: “I have not been charged or convicted of any crimes. I make no apologies for the lives I had to take in order to spare Kinsley’s. I will say no more on the matter. I politely ask you to refrain from the subject.”
DSoL: “As you wish.” I steer the subject back to Kinsley, and the question I’ve been wanting to ask ever since I first read about this elusive bachelor finally courting someone. “You spent a long part of your life as a single man, was it because of Nightshade?”
DsoL: “Did Kinsley know?”
King: “All right, this interview is over. You can find everything you need with the rest of the public when the book comes out.”
DsoL: “Wait, Mr. King. I’m sorry.” But he presses a button on his phone. I know security will be coming for me soon. “I can ask lighter questions. Your admirers just want to know how you are doing, what you’ve been up to, are you still doing humanitarian projects? Does Kinsley still run?” The questions are pouring out of me, and I sound desperate, but this is the first interview he’s agreed to since the near-death tragedy of his beloved last year.
King: “She still runs, yes. As for my supposed admirers? Look, humanitarian projects aside, I’m an honest man capable of evil things, I’ve done evil things I’m not proud of, but sometimes, to do right, you have to do wrong. Period.”
And there you have it. Mr. King was willing to allow me to keep what you read, but due to legal conflicts, I was forced to strike several interesting items from the record. Klive and Kinsley’s tell-all scandal will be featured in a series of novels entitled Don’t Close Your Eyes, release date pending.
For up to date information concerning this title, go to www.lynessalayne.com.