Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Character Profile: The Phoenix Blade: Lilly Henderson
Lilly Henderson is a woman that was thrown into a chaotic situation with her friends Andrew Lancaster and Mike Santangelo when a man known only to them as the Benefactor called her friends and told them they were about to be arrested for treason and conspiracy. They were ultimately coerced into working for the Benefactor in a "covert operation" called Project Justice.
Lilly has been the voice of reason and love interest for Andrew Lancaster and now it's time to learn more about the woman who stood beside the Phoenix.
Lilly, before we get into the more serious questions, I'd like to get to know you better. Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school? What did you do for a living before going on the run?
I grew up on Long Island and lived in West Islip with my parents until I was fourteen. That's when part of my house burned down and my father couldn't afford to repair the damage. Instead we moved to Lindenhurst and stayed at my uncle's house for almost two years. My parents managed to recoup from their loss and purchased another house shortly after.
After high school, I decided not to go to college the first two years and worked at a gym convincing potential customers to sign up with us while working towards becoming a personal trainer.
So it sounds like you like to work out a lot. What else do you like to do for fun?
I do like to hit the weights a bit, but I'm really a beach bum at heart. I like to go down to Long Beach, sit out in the sun for a while, jump in the water, go surfing and have some music playing so it's a bit of a party for me and my friends.
Speaking of friends, you've known Andrew Lancaster and Mike Santangelo for quite a while. Tell me, how did you three meet?
I met Mike before Andrew. I was new to the school and didn't know anyone. We had Study Hall together. He was being a wise ass (like he usually is) and was carrying on about some stupid wrestling pay-per view that happened the night before. I still don't remember what he was talking about exactly, but whatever it was, he was excited about it. Two days later, we had Study Hall again and found him sitting at my table. I smiled and tried to pretend he wasn't there, but he wanted to make sure I noticed him. I swore he was hitting on me, but he kept assuring me he was just being nice. He sat at my table every time we had Study Hall together until I finally decided to be nice to him.
It was maybe a month or two later when we first hung out outside of school. We went to a pool hall where we met up with Andrew. He was the complete opposite of Mike. He was a nice guy. He was soft spoken but kept to himself. I thought he was just shy around new people, but he opened up pretty quickly to me. From that point forward, the three of us hung out almost every weekend or every other weekend; depending on what we had going on in our lives.
So you knew both Andrew and Mike pretty well by the time you graduated high school and even more a few years after high school.
Yes, we were very close. Mike kind of became my annoying loud mouth older brother. Andrew and I got really close after his mother passed away.
As I understand it, you three became so close that you guys shared a certain belief or joke as some may call it. Do you mind telling us about that?
It was something stupid. It started about two years after graduation. Andrew was up in Buffalo for college and had just broken up with his girlfriend. He started talking about how many guilty people get away with so many crimes because of some B.S. technicality and the victims never receive justice for the crimes committed against them. Mike agreed but was more concerned about it from a political standpoint. While I agreed with a lot of what they were saying, I tried my best to stay out of it.
Why? Were you bothered by their comments or did you think they would do something irrational?
I never thought they would do something about it. But in this day and age, it's easy for someone to overhear you and hack into your computer. I warned them to watch what they say because you don't know if someone is listening.
And that someone contacted Andrew Lancaster. What was your first reaction when he told you about his conversation with the Benefactor?
I thought it had to be some sick joke. I mean why would the government take interest in us, and why would they want us to carry out covert missions? I wanted nothing to do with it and I didn't want Andrew or Mike to get involved with the Benefactor either.
Then why didn't you fight harder to stop them from joining the Benefactor or from seeking what they called justice?
I tried to the night I met with them at the Ace of Spades, but Andrew already had his mind made up. He was hell bent on carrying out the hit to get revenge for his mother's murder. Anyone close to him knew how much he was affected by her death and what kind of crap went on at the house after his father re-married. I saw the look in his eyes that night and knew there was no way of talking him out of it. All I could do was go along for the ride.
And what a ride it was. You were on the run with your two best friends quite a while. But there was one night in particular that was game changing for you; the night you and Andrew confessed your feelings for each other. Tell me; when was the first time you realized you thought of him as more than a friend?
A part of me knew since the first day I met him at the pool hall. I felt there was something special about him that drew me to him. I thought it was just friendship and left it at that. Then there was all those nights he spent at my house after his mother's death and after Mona moved in with his father. We spent a lot of time sitting out on the deck at night cuddled up and looking up at the stars.
If you knew then, what stopped you from saying something?
I cherished our friendship and didn't want that to ever change. I knew he wanted to leave town after high school and didn't want that to cause us to break up and possibly ruin everything else we shared. Then I missed my chance when he started dating Faith. They moved up to Buffalo together and I felt like I lost him for a while. So I just decided to keep my feelings buried.
Where do you think you would be if Andrew never took the Benefactor up on his offer?
Somehow I think the Benefactor brought Andrew and I closer together. I don't know if we would have told each other everything had we not been on the run. I would hope that we would've still ended up together but we'll never know for sure.
Thank you Lilly. It has been a pleasure getting to know you. If you would like to know more about Lilly or the story of Project Justice, check out The Phoenix Blade: Project Justice now on Amazon.com and Smashwords.com
The first book in The Phoenix Blade Series, Project Justice is now available for free on Smashwords. Pickup your copy now to get ready for the Awakening; available 9/2/14