Recorded during Dirty Deeds Release
They are an adorable couple. Very powerful and in some ways, even as mismatched as they might seem on the surface, suit one another. I agreed to interview Mike and Madeline McGinnis in order to talk about their relationship with Mike’s younger brother, Cole and how they see themselves in his life. Not surprisingly, much of the conversation had to be massaged a bit because if it’s one thing Mike McGinnis is known for, it’s circling the wagons around his younger brother. It is Madeline McGinnis who opens things up a bit.
She’s a willowy woman, tall, lean and built like a dancer. He’s her opposite, shorter by a couple of inches and powerfully sculpted. They’re both dressed casually, he in jeans and a T-shirt snug enough to see the play of his muscles beneath the fabric while she opted for a pair of loose cotton pants and a tank top. They touch as they sit down, their fingers tangling together for a quick, tight squeeze before they greet me. He plays with her wedding rings as she gets comfortable and only then do I notice her articulated feet fitted into a pair of pink polka dotted black flats.
They are very cute shoes.
I introduce myself and we have a round of Nice-To-Meet-Yous and some discussion with a server about coffee. I’m meeting them near their home in Brentwood at a local café which serves excellent coffee and freshly baked pastries. We get our orders and I wait until Madeline has one of the three crème cronuts she ordered. Mike gives me a rueful look when she moans in sensual pleasure at the pudding-like filling spurting into her mouth.
“She really likes pastries,” he comments with a grin. It softens his face, eases the worry and fierceness in his eyes.
“Bready things are stuff of the gods,” Maddy, as she told me to call her, effuses. “And I will shun anyone who says otherwise.”
“Here.” Mike hands her a napkin but she ignores it, preferring to lick the crème off her lips with her tongue. “Or you could do that.”
“Why waste?” She offers him a piece and he bites into the pastry, nodding at its taste. “You said you had questions?”
The gloves are off and once again, I can see why the very serious McGinnis has fallen for this woman. She is a ruthlessly edgy as he is and while she is a steel fist cloaked in velvet, one is left with no question of the amount of metal there is in her spirit.
“Sure,” I say. “Let’s get started. There’s a few people who’d like to hear your opinions on certain things—but especially Cole McGinnis. Let’s start there. What are your impressions of Cole?”
Mike: I met him when he was a squalling wet mess. Nothing much has changed since then really. Maddy?
Maddy: Wow. Cole. I knew Mike had a baby brother when I met him. We’d—Mike and I—met at a charity function and some people there were discussing Cole being a police officer instead of working at Mike’s security firm. Mostly, I was interested in networking then but I stored away that information for later. You never know when you might need something.
Mike: That was a nice event. Good food. Better company.
Maddy: He asked me out. Very cocky. That hasn’t changed. It’s something all of the McGinnis boys have. Well I guess I should say—what was your mom’s maiden name? Mike and his brothers. They’re all cocksure. It’s a common trait. Along with being stubborn.
Okay, focusing. Cole? My impression of Cole was probably coloured by all of the machines and doctors around him at the time. Mike and I were just really getting serious and well, when Cole was shot, Mike called me and asked if I could be there for him. Is it sappy to say I haven’t left his side since?
Mike: No. It’s mutual. The sappy.
Another hand squeeze and Maddy continues.
Maddy: Cole is… different from Mike in some very important ways.
Maddy: Okay, yes he’s gay. But I think its his heart. It’s pretty big. He wears his heart on his sleeve. Mike and I tease that his name should be Colxiote because he’s always fighting windmills. I would say he’s more of an optimist than many people realize. He wants to believe the best in people.
Mike: It made him a shitty cop. He was always surprised there were bad people out there.
Maddy: When I met him, he was waking up to find out his life’d been taken from him. I was… touched by how strong he was to cry without caring who saw him. He lost so much. And he’s fought to get back onto his emotional feet. Jae’s good for him in that.
Let’s talk about Jae. How do you feel about him?
Mike: I’ll kill him if he hurts Cole. Again. He’s a nice enough guy..
Maddy: Which is Mike-speak for Jae isn’t good enough for my little brother. But then no one is good enough for Cole. Not in Mike’s world.
Mike: I want him to be happy. I’m the first one to say I wasn’t comfortable with him loving another guy. And after the whole thing with Ben and Rick, it was like a punch in the face to remind me none of that shit really matters. I still have my baby brother. Who gives a shit who he sleeps with.
Maddy: He’s working on acceptance and honestly, I adore Cole and Jae. They have secrets and jokes. It’s very cute. I caught Cole slow dancing with Jae to AC/DC in my kitchen. Who the hell waltzes to Highway to Hell?
Mike: My brother is weird.
Maddy: Your brother is one of the sweetest people I know. A bit manic and well, sometimes a bit distracted but once he latches onto something, you can totally tell he and Mike are brothers. They won’t let go until they’ve seen it through.
Where do you see the two of them in ten years time?
Mike: God, hopefully married or something. Although the tax breaks aren’t what they used to be. It’s worth it though.
Maddy: I can see them married. I can’t see Cole with a kid. Can you?
Mike: God no. I’m not sure I’d even want him around my kids without adult supervision. Jae’s okay but I don’t think Cole’s ever been around kids.
Maddy: He was around Ben’s children. From what I understand, he was really good with them.
Mike: Yeah, forgot about Ben’s kids. I wasn’t around Cole a lot back then. We really only got a lot closer after the shooting. Before—it was different. He was different. Less…broken in a lot of ways but naïve. Maybe that’s the wrong word for it but he was a butter-side up when you dropped the bread kind of guy. I’m kind of sorry Ben took that away from him.
Maddy: But I’m really glad he’s here.
Mike: Hell yes. I love him. I do. He pisses me off and can do it in three seconds flat but he’s my baby brother, you know? In a lot of ways, I feel like I failed him—I didn’t protect him from what Ben did. Not like I could have stopped it. I know that but there’s a part of me that feels like if I’d just been paying more attention—
Maddy: You paid attention when he needed you there. That’s what matters, Mike.
One last question, what do you think about Cole’s interest in finding out why Ben shot them?
Mike: Stupidest fucking thing ever. He should just leave things alone.
Maddy: He can’t. If you’ve ever been around Cole for more than a few seconds, you’d know he always has to know why. He’s a good investigator. Even when the world seems to be exploding around him, he keeps his cool—
Mike: Mostly. Not always.
Maddy: No, not always but when you need him to be there—to be solid, he’s that man. You’ll never wonder about his devotion. He loves with everything he’s got. He throws himself into everything he’s ever done and yes, sometimes it might be ill-advised but that’s who he is. He won’t do things halfway. He can’t. It’s not in him to be less of the man that he is. So do I think him digging this up is a good idea? Not really. Am I surprised he’s going to? Especially now since he’s got a good life with Jae? No, I’m not surprised at all. He’d want to lay it to rest because it will eat at him until it worries through him.
Mike: He’d want to have everything settled. Even as a kid, he needed to have things squared away before he could settle down. Can’t tell you how many times he was screamed at to go to bed because he was up late doing homework. On a Friday.
Maddy: He’d want the weekend free. I can see that. He wouldn’t have to worry about it.
Mike: Yeah, that’s my brother, all right. No worrying on his end and a shit ton of it on ours.
I thank them for their time and stand up to go. Maddy leans over and touches my hand before I leave. Her wedding set is simple, a band of channel set diamonds and a gold band. Mike’s ring finger carries the same set, a bit thicker perhaps but they are definitely the same. These people are together in so many ways, it’s hard to imagine a time when they weren’t together. I pause, waiting to hear what she has to tell me and she gives me a soft smile before she speaks.
“Whatever you write, please let people know Cole McGinnis is a good man—a troubled man at times but one with the best of hearts,” she says gently. “And if I read one word to the contrary, I will find you and gut you with sashimi knife. Okay?”