Interview with Dash Lyons
Character Interview with Dash Lyons
By Lashell Collins
I’m escorted through Twisted Manor into the elegant den where the Gothic-chic decor takes on a black and white color scheme. The sofas and chairs here are plush and deep, drawing you into a comfy embrace when you sit. But after my ghostly encounter in the living room at the end of my interview with Morpheus, I’m still slightly shaken. Especially as I sit here alone waiting for the lion shifter to join me.
The decor in here is more modern with just the right amount of vampire Goth in the little knick knacks spread throughout the room. A beautiful crystal chandelier hangs overhead. Black and white marble floor, black furniture with silver accents, the effect is quite lovely.
The deep voice is pleasant, and Dash Lyons enters the room with a little smile and lots of swagger. I stand up as he approaches me. He reaches out and takes my hands, and then leans down and kisses
me on both cheeks. It sounds crazy, but I’m suddenly acutely aware of his size. The man is hulking — a good foot or so taller than Morpheus, and easily about 80 pounds heavier. He could probably kill me with very little effort.
“Sorry if I kept you waiting. Let’s sit down.”
He gestures for me to sit back down, and he takes a seat in the opposite chair. I look him over with a smile. He’s dressed in a ratty pair of khaki-colored pants that fit him like a glove, and a plain white t-shirt that seems molded to his muscular frame. His long golden dreadlocks dance around his head and shoulders like a mane, and his tawny brown skin seems flush with copper undertones. His light amber eyes flicker under the glow of the chandelier, and his full lips turn up in a half smile. Dash Lyons is a handsome beast.
“Thank you for agreeing to talk to me today.”
I cock an eyebrow at him. “Really? No problem, huh?”
A sheepish grin follows my sarcastic comment. “Okay, all right. So I did put up a little fuss when the request came in. But it had nothing to do with you personally. I simply don’t like interviews of any kind.”
“Hmm. Kinda hard not to take it personally, Dash. After all, you did tell me your whole story already when we worked on your book.” I give him my best offended pout.
He lowers his head, looking genuinely contrite, and I smile as I let him off the hook.
“Okay, never mind that. Let’s just dive into the interview, shall we? Just think of this as hanging out and having a conversation with a friend.”
He smirks at me and settles back into the chair, waiting.
“So, how are you doing since rehab? Things are good, I hope?”
“Jeez.” He rolls his eyes and glances around the room. “I figured we’d get to this shit at some point, but I didn’t know it would be right off the bat.”
“Well, I just thought it be best to get it out of the way.”
A low growl emanates from deep within his chest, and I’m suddenly wondering if I could make it to the door before he caught me. Maybe starting with his addiction wasn’t the smart thing to do.
“Things are fine. I’m still clean, if that’s what you’re asking.”
“I know you’re still clean, Dash. I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. I just wanted to know how you’re doing.”
I study him for a moment, and he finally meets my gaze. He sighs and appears to relax.
“I’m good, Lashell. Really. The band’s doing great. Morpheus and the others have all been very supportive. I’m still going to regular meetings once a week. Sometimes I even get up and share.”
I smile at him. “That’s progress.”
He makes a face. “Yeah.”
The smile her name ignites could light up a small city. “Gigi is amazing. She’s the center of my universe.”
“Yeah? The girl of your dreams, huh?”
He is so unapologetically in love, and it’s nice to see. “Did you expect to end up with a gazelle shifter?”
“I never expected to end up with anyone, period. Bringing home a different girl every night was the norm. At least until the Iris drug haze set in. After that I didn’t care one way or the other to be honest. Iris was the only lover I needed.” He pauses as that thought settles in, and he shakes his head. “Pretty sad, I know.”
He sounds almost ashamed. “But that’s over now.”
“Yes, it is!”
“I’m assuming you’ve met some of Gigi’s family by now. What was that like? I imagine some of them probably weren’t too welcoming to you.”
He shrugs a shoulder, as if it’s a non-issue. “No, some of them weren’t too happy about it, but we just decided that was their problem, not ours. Shifters have a lot of funny superstitions about predators and prey lying down together, and some of her family take that shit seriously. Gigi and I just try not to let their prejudice touch us, you know? It’s all we can do really. Her dad’s been pretty cool, which is good. But her sisters are another story.” He pauses as he thinks about it all. “It hurts her feelings though, and that’s tough for me to watch, but … hopefully they’ll come around.”
He seems pensive now, and I know I have to do something to lighten the mood.
“Let’s change topics to something fun.”
“Okay.” He gives me an expectant grin.
“What do lion shifters do for fun?”
He chuckles. “Well, I can only speak for myself here. And honestly, the answer to that question has changed since getting clean, you know? I used to do a lot of solitary things, just to stay away from others. It’s like the Iris made me forget that I actually enjoy the company of my brothers. Which is unfortunate because I know they were hurt by that. But that was never my intention.”
He looks into my eyes, and I can see the regret written all over his face.
“But these days I’ve been enjoying simple things, like just hanging out with Morpheus watching shifter football, or tinkering around with Fly in the drum room. I’ll grab my bass and we’ll sit in there for hours and come up with new rhythms and bass lines. Some of them find their way into actual songs, which is always cool. Raven’s always been a big reader, and I’ve recently started pillaging his collection of American lit. Stuff like Hawthorne and Melville, Hemingway. Langston Hughes. It’s weird. I never used to read before, but I’ve discovered I like it. So he and I will sit and talk about books now, which is kinda cool. And then, of course, there’s Gigi. When she’s not at work we spend every moment together. She and I can just sit and talk for hours about anything. Or not even talk, you know? Just be. Anytime I can be in her presence, no matter what we’re doing … that’s the best.”
I can’t help smiling at him. “You sound like a man in so much love.”
He laughs, a deep hearty sound that fills the room. “Hey, I’m not one of those macho guys that’s gonna try to downplay it. I love her, and I will climb to the top of the tower of this castle and shout it to the world.”
“You’re adorable, you know that, right?”
His eyes register shock, and then the bashful grin gives way to a playful scowl. “That’s a damn filthy lie. I’m a ferocious, terrifying nightmare who will rip your head off if you look at me the wrong way; and you better make damn sure your readers know about it!”
Laughter spills out of me, and he smiles as I fight to regain my composure. “The funny thing here is that you truly were that person. The terrifying nightmare with a very bad attitude.”
"Lashell, the truth is that I'm still that person. That bad attitude is still there. It's just that now I have reasons to be the kinder, gentler lion you see here today. Detoxing and learning to live clean were a bitch for me. I hated myself for getting hooked the stuff, and all that anger and self-loathing were always right there on the surface. And I took that anger out on everyone around me. But thankfully, I’m past that now. And I have the love of a good woman, and the promise of a happy future. I finally feel like my old self, and that’s a great thing.”
“That is a great thing. I’m proud of you.”
He grins at me. “Thank you.”
“So, tell me something truly silly about Dash Lyons.”
His eyebrows shoot for the heavens. “Silly?”
“Yep. Something that would absolutely shock Twisted fans, and my readers. Something you’ve never told anyone else.”
He looks at me like I’m crazy. Then his gaze drifts around the room, and I can tell he’s weighing his thoughts carefully.
“Wow, something silly. Let me think. I love jelly beans?”
I start to giggle.
“I don’t know. That’s about the only thing I can think of that’s silly.”
“Now you’re going to get fans sending you bags of jelly beans, you know that, right?”
He nods in approval. “Hey. Bring it on. I’ll eat ’em!”
“Okay, so here’s a question I asked Morpheus, and I didn’t get a real answer. In fact, all I got in response was a very creepy experience that I’m still not certain what to think about it.”
“Okay.” Dash frowns at me.
“The castle. Is it truly haunted, or are all the rumors just perpetuated for the sake of Twisted’s public persona?”
Dash’s eyes widen slightly, and he stares at me for a second, saying nothing. Then his gaze shifts to the left, and then to the right. He looks all around for a moment, as if waiting for something. Then he finally looks back at me. He leans forward, as if to share a secret.
“They don’t really like it when someone asks that question. It tends to bring on their mischievous side.”
His response intrigues me. “So, you’re saying it’s true? The place is really haunted?”
The lights flicker without warning, drawing a startled gasp from me that comes out on a puff of air that I can actually see. The room has turned positively arctic in the blink of an eye. The chandelier bounces and sways overhead, crystal rattling wildly as if someone has given it a good push. Breathless, I look at Dash. He shakes his head at me and sighs.
“I tried to warn you,” he says with a shrug of his shoulders.
Well, there you have it. My exclusive interview with the one and only Dash Lyons. I hope you enjoyed getting to know the ferocious lion shifter a little better. CLICK HERE to get your copy of Lion Tamer Now!