Wake Up America

I quirked an eyebrow. I agreed to an interview about me, not Asterson. Suddenly, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do the interview anymore. I shifted in my seat and looked back over at Rebecca, who was turning her attention to me. “Pollo, what do you know about the mysterious Thomas Asterson?”

I couldn’t shake the thought of the mysterious Thomas Asterson I met a few weeks ago. He knew who I was, but how? I had been very careful since being back about revealing any of my powers. Sure, Pollo may not have been the best name to separate me from my real identity, but it was catchy.

Something in Asterson’s eyes held a certain familiarity to it. It was like I knew who he was, but not quite who he was. Something was just off about the guy. His strength nearly matched mine, the strength of a god. He wasn’t just a mortal. He couldn’t be. I sighed and shook my head.

I sat back in my chair, checking over invoices and purchase orders. My club, Delos, had been my pride and joy since I started it. I’d admit, when Zeus first called us back to Earth to mingle with the mortals, I was pissed. The more time I spent here, the more I was actually pleased with his call to action. The mortal ladies were a bonus.

A knock came at my door, and I rolled my eyes. I ran my hand through my shaggy blonde hair and called out, “What is it?”

The door slowly opened, and my club manager, Corey, came in. He would never look into my eyes. He was a timid creature. “Boss, the press is here for your interview.”

I rolled my eyes. Ever since they voted me Most Eligible Bachelor of New York City, the press had been hounding me for an interview. I finally agreed to do an exclusive interview with Wake Up America. I was a morning person, and it was one of my favorite shows. 

“Help them set up in the Exclusive VIP Lounge, Corey. I’ll be down in a few.” As I shooed him away, I stood and straightened my sky blue button-up shirt. I tucked the bottom into my dark blue jeans, tightening my black belt slightly. 

My shoulders rolled as I stretched my neck and made my way out of my office. At the bottom of the stairs stood the beautiful ebony-skinned Rebecca, host of Wake Up America. I flashed her a smile as I hit the last step.

“Rebecca! It’s a pleasure to finally meet you,” I said, walking towards her with my arms wide open. “I’m a huge fan.”

Rebecca smiled and looked away bashfully. “Oh, Pollo, the pleasure is all mine. You are very handsome.”

“You’re too kind, Rebecca.” I winked at her as her gaze worked its way back up to meet mine. “So I was thinking we could do the interview in one of the VIP lounges.”

Rebecca looked around the club, examining the high-top tables that circled the dance floor, the mahogany bar that stretched the length of the building, the grey and silver walls decorated with instruments from famous musicians like Kurt Cobain and Louis Armstrong. 

“I have to say,” she started as she looked back at me. “This place looks a lot different from when I came here last year.”

“Oh.” I arched an eyebrow at her. “You’ve been here?”

“Once, with a couple of my girlfriends. I don’t go out much, but I loved it here. Why did you change it?”

“Sometimes,” I started, swirling my finger in the air. “A change is just what you need in life.” I paused, turning around and walking towards one of the VIP rooms. I could hear the click-clack of Rebecca’s stiletto shoes behind me. When we got to the room in the far corner of the building, I opened the door and held it for Rebecca. “After you, beautiful.”

“A gentleman, too? Mr. Pollo, no wonder you’re the Most Eligible Bachelor in New York City.” Rebecca smiled as she passed me, her hand brushing against mine. A shiver ran through my body at the feel of her touch.

I walked in behind her as she set up a camera on one side of the room. The walls were red and a large couch ran around the entire room. A large 70-inch television was mounted on the wall, and several tables lined the couches.

I went and took a seat across from the camera, propping my left leg across my right thigh as I leaned back against the black couch. I rolled my neck and clasped my hands together, waiting.

Rebecca turned around and smiled at me, brushing her hands down her black skirt before sitting down next to me, maybe a little closer than she had to. She leaned in and clipped a tiny black microphone to the collar of my shirt, running her hand down my side to smooth the wire. She clipped a black box to my waistline and said, “Shall we get started, Mr. Bachelor?”

I smiled my signature smile and said, “Let’s get this show on the road.”

She stood up and leaned over to press a few buttons on her camera. A red light lit up, and Rebecca sat down. She turned to face me with a smile lighting up her face. “Please tell me your name and spell it for me.”

I leaned back and crossed my hands. “Pollo. P-o-double l-o.”

Rebecca giggled as her cheeks flushed red. “I like that.” She turned back to the camera and began talking again. “My name is Rebecca Howard, and I am here with New York City’s Most Eligible Bachelor, Pollo. Pollo has agreed to do an exclusive interview with WUA. Pollo is one of the hottest pop-rock stars in New York City. He is quickly gaining fame across the United States and just arrived back in NYC from his first tour.” She paused and looked over at me. I flashed her a smile, darting my eyes from the camera to hers and back to the camera. 

Rebecca turned her attention back to the camera and began again. “He was known before his rise to stardom for his chain of clubs, Delos. With fifteen locations in four countries, it is perhaps one of the most successful chains of clubs in the world. In his free time, Pollo also has a series of music schools throughout New York’s inner cities. Pollo, thank you for joining me today.”

I nodded at her. “It’s a pleasure to be here, Rebecca. I am a huge fan of the show. And you.” I winked.

Rebecca’s cheeks flushed red. “I have to say. I am a big fan of your music and clubs too.”

I smirked and looked down, swatting my hand in the air. “Stop, you’re too kind.”

Rebecca smiled and looked back at the camera. “The top three came down to Pollo, Aaron Kendrick, and the mysterious Thomas Asterson. Aaron Kendrick is a notable name throughout the city, as is Pollo’s, but it left many wondering just who Thomas Asterson is?”

I quirked an eyebrow. I agreed to an interview about me, not Asterson. Suddenly, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do the interview anymore. I shifted in my seat and looked back over at Rebecca, who was turning her attention to me. “Pollo, what do you know about the mysterious Thomas Asterson?”

I looked deep into her eyes for a minute, contemplating my next words carefully before responding. “I don’t know who he is,” I answered honestly. I had to answer honestly, but I hoped that would satisfy her, and we could move on. 

She smiled again. “It seems that most people share the same sentiment. Pollo, tell our viewers what inspired you to get into music?”

“It was a love that my father inspired in me at a very young age. I guess I used it to stand out to my dad and win his approval. I had a lot, and I mean a lot, of siblings. Some of us didn’t even share the same mom. So it was hard to get attention from dad. I picked up string instruments and carried on to tell my dad’s story. But I guess I have a few muses that inspire me nowadays.”

“Tell us where the name Pollo came from?”

I chuckled. “I am obsessed with Apollo.” It wasn’t a lie. I am obsessed with myself, hence why my clubs are named after the island where Leto gave birth to me. I didn’t want to be cliche and just call myself Apollo, or people think I was a god. Pollo was close, but not the same. I liked the sound of it. 

Rebecca giggled and looked down quickly. She brought her gaze back to mine and smiled softly at me. “Well, I can say you definitely could pass for a god, Pollo.”

“Thank you. You could certainly pass for a goddess.” I raised and lowered my eyebrows quickly and smiled at her.

“What made you want to open a club to begin with? And why New York City for the first one?” Rebecca continued, trying to hide a smile.

I laughed. “My dad made me get a real job. Not that I wasn’t working, because I was at the family business. But he decided that we all needed to go get our own jobs, start our own businesses, whatever. He wanted us to go out and mingle with people. So I took the money I had and opened the first Delos in NYC. I always loved visiting here on vacation. I’ve seen this place change a lot over the years.”

Rebecca upped her eyebrow. “Just how old are you, Pollo? To have seen the city change that much?”

“Old enough,” I laughed half-heartedly. “I wanted to do something that would bring joy to people. I wanted to celebrate music, to heal the broken industry of dirty clubs and sketchy owners. I think I’ve accomplished what I set out to do. I’m making people happy and celebrating music. The club industry has a higher standard to live up to now. Though, the schools for the children to inspire the same love for music that I have is one of my favorite accomplishments.” 

“You have a big heart, Pollo. I’m sure that’s one of the many reasons they voted you Most Eligible Bachelor in New York City. Thank you for joining me today for this exclusive interview.”

I reached out and took her hand in mine. “The pleasure was all mine.” I brought her hand to my lips and gently kissed the top of her hand. Rebecca bit her lip as I let go of her hand. 

She cleared her throat and stood up, leaning over and pressing a red button on the camera. The red light disappeared, and she turned back to me. “I think that went well.”

“Very well,” I smiled at her. I reached into my pocket and pulled out a black and gold card. I offered her the card with EVIP across the front. “Next time you and your girlfriends need a night out, come to Delos and use the Exclusive VIP room.”

Her jaw dropped as she reached out and took the card. “Th-thank you so much,” she stammered.

“Just be sure you say hello when you stop by.”

She smiled at me as she packed up the camera. “I wouldn’t pass up a chance to see the Most Eligible Bachelor in New York City.”

Apollo (Tyler Wittkosfky)
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