Before Aidan found his love, in that nebulous period before the College Rose Romances start, Aidan had a broken heart. Broken by Michael. His response was to search out meaningless encounters—pleasure. He used two boys from his lit classes for that purpose. Both closeted. I assumed, initially, that the two characters were a lot alike.
Oh, how wrong I was!
I couldn't write Andrew at first. Lawrence (Rory) insisted on pushing his way in. Then, when I was deeply stuck in writing Becoming Rory, Andrew's Prayer came, all in a rush. Drew is the sort of character I really like. We see a bit of him in the first two books, enough to get a picture of who he is and what he is. And I love showing everything that's underneath those impressions.
Because readers of the first two stories probably don't like Drew very much. Unlike Lawrence, who was very much in the background, Drew is up front. He's taking money to talk to reporters and give up the goods on Aidan. He's pushing Steven to join him in the tunnels and drown his sorrows in Drew's body in just the way that Aidan had. He's not a character that you wanted to like.
Yet, inexplicably, you find out very fast that there is a whole lot of unexpected in Andrew Tuttleman. And, of all my characters, a whole lot of distance to travel. Because Drew doesn't even believe love exists. Not romantic love. Not what Aidan and Steven were desperately searching for.
Finding that place where he could believe in love wasn't easy for Drew. And indeed, that's the joy of Andrew's Prayer, discovering that capacity and desire for love that he didn't even realize he had. To give you some hope for Drew, I'd like to share a little extra I wrote for the story, that pairs up Drew with one of my favorite side characters, the ever delightful Melinda Marie.
Author Extra - Andrew's Prayer
“Don’t run!” The young girl in her bright yellow sundress skidded to a stop. “Why not, Mr. Tutty?” Drew smiled at her, running to catch up and hold her hand. His other hand held the sunflower he’d given her earlier. He’d promptly taken it back, proclaiming that the park was not a safe place for the flower. At least not in the tender young hands of Melinda Marie. Melinda, for her part, adjusted the wide, wavy brim of her equally yellow hat. “Last time we sat over there.” Nodding, Drew bit his lip, his eyes on the tree line. “Remember the scary man, Melinda?” She turned on a full-fledged pouty face. “Yeah, me too.” He pointed over to a shaded spot in the central green. “How about over there. There’s shade, and we could see the ducks.” “I want to feed the ducks, Mr. Tutty.” Melinda stressed the word feed like it was far more important. A chuckle was Drew’s only response. “Daddy would take me!” “Shh, Mel. Your dad will let you feed the ducks once he gets here.” She stomped once, but followed where he led, gripping his hand tight. When they got to the tree, Drew sent a quick text to let her dad know where they’d be. “When is Gram Tutty gonna be well enough to read me a story?” Heart frozen, Drew knelt down beside the little girl. “Soon, I hope. What does your daddy tell you to do when you want someone to get better?” “Think good things about them and pray. But you don’t believe that.” He let out a long sigh and brushed his fingers against the girl’s cheek. “Sometimes it’s so important that you have to do it and just hope you believe enough.” Melinda Marie leaned against the tree. “I like Gram Tutty. She tells funny stories. She’s going to get better, isn’t she?” A rich voice answered. “We can hope. We can pray. And we can be there for her whether she gets better or not.” “Daddy!” Melinda grabbed a jean-clad leg and hugged tight. Grant was handsome. Blond hair brushed and golden, cheeks warmly red. He was fit and gorgeous and looked just a tad out of place in the brilliant white of his dress shirt. His tie was abstract, silver and a blue-green that made his eyes sparkle. The red in his cheeks spread as Grant leaned forward and touched his lips to Drew’s. It was chaste and sweet and it still sent a tingle all the way to Drew’s toes.