Do not feel sad for me, dear Reader, I know I am the figment of my creator's imagination, I am a man not filled with heartbreak but with happiness and hope for Babe's future, locked in an unbreakable love triangle. When I was created it was done with careful deliberation, bit like how I deal with life really. In measured amounts and with silence and stealth.
I came into being suddenly one day in a room sitting opposite a woman, admittedly a very pretty one, and found myself explaining to her about being a bounty hunter. Imagine, me Ricardo Carlos Manosa, a tall dark and handsome bounty hunter. Can't be bad eh? I could have been created as the fat sleaze bag who beat up his wife in the first book or even the scum who tried to blow her up. But no, I got a great part – later I discovered that I even smelled good.
Over the next few books I gained in power and awe – rippling biceps, calmness of spirit and leaness of heart. Not sure about the heart bit, but hey, I've got a secret that's made me the character that I am. Batman, eat your heart out.
Morelli, well, what can I say? Apart from the good looks and lean body, we're completely different. He's the ying to my yang if you know what I mean. He plays by the rules apparently, whereas I get to play just outside them – much more fun, I reckon! Two alpha males in a goofy story (bet you didn't know that I knew that word – there's a lot about me you don't know, obviously, and that's why you're so fascinated by me).
We've both been brought into focus at different rates. Admittedly Joe had a head start on me as he was full-on pretty much from page one whereas I've crept into the books and hearts of our heroine, (and you, dear readers) carefully like a cat stalking it prey. I like being enigmatic it means I only have to say things that won't make me look or feel stupid – unlike poor Morelli and my Babe!
My role has been to fall for Stephanie bit by bit whereas I think Morelli was designed to love her from the first time he took her to play trains in his garage – lucky bastard!
So, here we are dear Reader, careering towards the end of your time with us in Trenton. Janet could be calling time on any of us very soon but who's to say what her final plans are. The one thing I do know is that I am not to be the master of my own destiny, just like all the other characters who you know so well. The most incredible thing about being my character is that through Janet's writing I've been given the power to fly. I now exist inside your heads too and it's a pretty amazing place to be. I've read some of the stories that have been written about me on the internet (you don't really think I spend my time sleeping while I'm not in the plotline, do you?). Some of the stories you've created are really not me at all, but some of you have sussed me out completely – clever you.
So, why am I feeling happy and full of hope? Even if I don't get the girl, I know that I've learned great things from her like humility, laughter and the power of love. Even if she disappears off with Morelli into the wide blue yonder, I have a bond that will never be broken as long as I exist in your heads and hearts and the pages of the books that have formed me.
Stephanie is as much a part of me as the air that I breathe – right? Possibly. Who's to say. I can't tell you because if I did that would spoil the story. I love her in my own way and have no intention of changing her at all – she is fabulous, funny, frustrating, all powerful and very expensive to run. We make the air electric when we are together but like me she has a very strict moral code and that's the problem. Neither of us is prepared to hurt anyone else just to vent our passion - I could never let her hurt Morelli through our coupling – she would never forgive me for tempting her that far. She needs to come to me because the time is right. Thing is, perhaps the timing will never be right. I envy Morelli his right to sleep with my Babe whereas I have to steal kisses where I can. Janet, if you're reading this, gimme a break, please (did I really say please? I must be slacking). Saying that though, it does make my story lines far more exciting – I look forward to reading about whether my luck is in – keeps me just below boiling point, if you catch my drift.
Don't get me wrong – Morelli is not the man for her. She could never settle down and become a baby-making machine. I doubt she would ever get to grips with making meatloaf or a pot roast and as for ceasing to be a bounty hunter – that's not going to happen. The job mirrors her own spirit – unpredictable, volatile, scary (and that's just her hair – but don't tell her I said that).
Could she live with me? I have a secret, don't forget. I like having a secret it makes me more exciting. Perhaps it's just that I like to sunbathe naked or perhaps I blew up half of my team on a mission – who's to know, I'm not going to tell you, dear reader.
I'd like to think that I will get the girl, even if just for one more magical night, but I do not know whether my patience and poaching will pay off. I'd hate it if Joe didn't slip up at least once and allow me to embrace the whirlwind that is Stephanie Plum. I might even put her off him for good this time but do I really want a proper relationship – hard to tell from Janet's view point but most of you make it totally clear where your loyalties lie – thanks for that. Sorry Morelli, I think I win more of the votes.
Either way, dear Reader, pity and sorrow are not feelings I could ever let you have for me. That would be far more damaging to my ego than anything Janet has to throw at me. Enjoy me, I am a figment of someone's imagination but when all's said and done, I must admit I like being a good looking, badass bounty hunter who just happens to smell great.