Interview with Gabe Masters
An Interview With a Werewolf
By Lashell Collins
I stand at the back of the substantial, sumptuously-appointed room, looking out the glass wall at the back terrace and the woods beyond. The sun is beginning to set, and I can see the shadow of the moon rising in the golden amber sky above the treetops. In the distance I hear the howling of the wolves as they catch their first glimpse of her as well. It’s the Wolf Creek Pack of gray wolves that reside here on the private reserve, the seemingly unending stretch of land this very log mansion is situated on. The Wolf Lodge is as lovely inside as the land surrounding it. Both the home and the land are owned by the mysterious and beloved Masters family, and I’ve come here today to interview one of them.
“Enjoying the view?”
The voice startles me, and I smile as I turn to see Gabriel Masters standing a mere few feet away, watching me intently. Even from where I stand, I can see his gray eyes sparkle with mirth, and he smiles at me. Olive skin, and thick wavy black hair. His perfect lips are framed by a short well-manicured mustache and beard. Even though I created this man, he never fails to completely derail me with those ruggedly handsome good looks of his.
“It is always a breathtaking view. Good evening, Sheriff.”
“Oh, come on, Lashell. Don’t start that. I took off the uniform and put on something nice for this interview. The least you could do is address me like a friend, and not as law enforcement.”
He strides over and greets me with a friendly hug and a kiss on the cheek, and I marvel at the sheer size of him as I look up and smile. Of all the characters I’ve written thus far, Gabe Masters is easily the one with the biggest physical presence. Six foot six or taller, he has the broad shoulders of a linebacker, and the muscle mass of a world champion body builder. The man is massive, and not an ounce of body fat anywhere to be found.
“How are you, Gabe?”
“I’m good. And I’m glad you’re here. I’ve been looking forward to this.”
That response takes me by surprise, and I frown as I allow him to lead me over to the dark brown leather chair. “You have?”
“Well, what man doesn’t love spending time with a beautiful woman?” He grins as he gestures for me to sit. Then he takes a seat across from me on the matching leather sofa. “Especially one as intelligent and inquisitive as you.”
His words, and that honey-coated deep voice make me swoon, and I melt into my chair as his gaze drifts over me. If I didn’t know better, I might think he were flirting with me.
“You know, you remind me a lot of a certain female veterinarian in that way. Beautiful, intelligent, inquisitive. She even kind of looks like you. Hell, she’s even from your home town.” A warm chuckle rumbles from his chest, and I can feel the heat rising in my cheeks.
I look away feeling slightly winded, and more than a little embarrassed.
“Did you just accuse me of writing myself into your story, Gabe?” My voice sounds breathy and emotional, and I struggle to pull myself together.
“I’m sorry, Lashell. Please forgive me, that was in poor taste.” Gabe can tell that his comment has affected me, and his smile fades.
“No, it’s all right. You’re not the first person to point out the similarities between Dr. Carly Tipton and myself. I admit, I may have based your love interest on … someone from my actual life.”
I clear my throat and reposition myself in the chair. “You know, I’m not the one being interviewed here, Gabe. I’m supposed to be asking you the questions. Our readers want to learn more about you, not me! Now, can we focus on the actual interview, please?”
“Yes, of course.” He sounds genuinely contrite.
“Great.” I look down at my notes as I try to compose myself.
“But I do apologize, Lashell. I promise, it wasn’t my intention to embarrass you. It’s just that I’ve always been very flattered and proud of the fact that you chose to insert parts of yourself into Carly’s makeup. I feel like that gives you and me a special bond that you don’t necessarily share with any of your other leading men. That means a lot to me. It makes me feel special. And I guess, I just wanted your readers to know that.”
He sounds so sweet and sincere, and when I look up into his gaze, his werewolf eyes are glowing like the gray embers of a fire. It takes my breath away. “Apology accepted,” I whisper.
He holds my gaze for a long moment. Then an older woman with kind eyes and warm brown skin enters with two glasses of chilled lemonade on a silver tray, breaking the spell. I look away and take a deep breath as she sets the tray down on the table between us.
“Thank you, Nancy,” Gabe smiles at her.
“You’re welcome, Sheriff.” She nods at him, then turns and leaves the room.
“Shall we move on?” Gabe asks, looking at me with a concerned gaze.
“Yes,” I say with another deep breath for good measure.
He leans back against the couch, legs set apart, palms resting on his muscular thighs. He seems totally comfortable in his skin, oozing confidence and quiet authority as he looks me in the eyes. Reflexively, I drop my gaze, fully aware that holding eye contact with him for too long could be considered a challenge. I know in my head that Gabe would never hurt me, but I also can’t help but be aware that I’m talking to the GrandAlpha over the five packs, the sole leader of Moon Hunter society. That thought is sobering.
“Our readers are busy people, so let’s just jump right in okay? Here’s the main question the readers want to know. Do werewolves have the same erogenous zones as humans?”
The shock on his face is evident, and the sexy smile that follows is laced with playful wickedness. “Same erogenous zones. Same lusts and desires. Our drives are much more powerful though. Much more ... primal. Especially the closer it gets to a full moon.”
His gaze is heated as he stares into my eyes, and I have to look away, fighting the urge to fan myself.
“And, um ... what’s the first thing you notice about a woman?”
“Her scent.” He answers without hesitation. Then he shrugs a shoulder. “As you can probably imagine, it’s the first thing I notice about anyone, male or female. Unless, of course, the person is a Mixed Blood. But that’s just part of being a Moon Hunter.”
“Okay, fair enough. But once you’ve scented a female, what would it take to pique your interest in her?”
Gabe grins. “Well, there would have to be something special about her scent. Something that um … arouses me, shall we say?”
“Arouses you? In a sexual way?”
“Yes.” His gaze never wavers from my eyes as he answers. “If there’s nothing in her scent that arouses me, then everything else is just a waste of my time, and hers.”
I’m intrigued by his response, and I truly want to understand. “But what exactly is it about the scent?”
“Hmm. How to explain?” Gabe takes a breath and lightly rubs the hair at his chin. “Her scent tells me everything I need to know. A rough estimate of her age, her health status. Her mood, whether or not she’s high-strung or depressed. Whether she’s passionate or aloof. Most importantly, whether or not she’s aroused by me. For example, you have a sweet spicy scent to your skin that always piques my interest. It’s very similar to the scent of Carly’s skin, but not quite the same.”
His comment makes me squirm a little. Carly and I really are not that much alike. “Carly’s scent is special.”
Gabe can’t help the smile that crosses his lips at the mention of their bond. “Yes, very special. Carly’s scent told me more than anyone else’s ever had before. Her scent told me that she was mine.”
“Yours as in, your mate. Your life partner?”
“Yes, exactly.” Gabe nods his head as he tries to tone down that smile, but it’s no use. “I may flirt with you for a bit of fun, but nothing would ever come of it because my heart beats with Carly’s. She belongs to me. We belong together.”
I smile at the sappy look in his eyes. “You’re really just a big old romantic softie, you know that, right? Just a big werewolf teddybear full of stuffing.”
Gabe laughs out loud, and I can’t help poking at him a little more.
“Look at you. You’re a pathetic love struck puppy dog.”
“Well, I can’t argue with that assessment, I guess,” he says as he finally composes himself.
“Okay, let’s change the subject a bit and get to know Gabe a little better. What’s your favorite color?”
“Hmm.” His gaze floats to the ceiling as he ponders the question. “Green. Like the leaves and the grass out in the woods around Wolf Creek.”
I smile at that answer. “Spoken like a true Lunar Falls native.”
“What’s your favorite food?”
“That depends. Do you want the human answer or the Moon Hunter answer?” He gives me a mischievous grin, and I can’t wait to hear this response.
“The human answer is a steak. Doesn’t matter if it’s beef or venison or whatever, as long as it’s cooked rare.”
I nod. “Okay. And the Moon Hunter answer?”
He looks directly into my eyes. “The Moon Hunter answer is the hindquarter of an elk.”
I’m speechless for a second, and he continues.
“That’s the portion where the steaks, the sirloin tips and the roasts are cut from. When we’re on a hunt and we’ve brought down a kill, it’s customary for the Alpha — or the highest ranking pack member of the group you’re with, to eat first. Well, that’s the portion I always go for. Then once I’ve had my fill, I leave the rest of the animal to my hunting companions.”
I’m not sure what to say. I may have created this man, and the world he lives in, but I’m still taken aback by the raw nature of it all sometimes.
“That’s fascinating to me.” I stare at him in wonder as I try to picture it, and Gabe smiles at me. “Here’s another change in direction. What’s your most embarrassing childhood story?”
Gabe makes a face as he thinks about that for a moment. “Actually, my most embarrassing childhood story is touched upon in book three. Or is it book two?”
“Really?” This news surprises me. “What story is that?”
Gabe rolls his eyes and smirks at me. “The explanation of my childhood nickname. Mouse.”
I giggle at the mention of it. “Oh, yeah. I remember now. It’s book two, Lies of Lunar Falls. And honestly, Carly was right. It made you sound adorable.”
“It made me sound like I was afraid of everything.” Gabe crosses his legs, placing his right ankle on his left knee as he glowers at me.
“You were a little boy. You’re being too hard on yourself.”
He grunts and rolls his eyes again.
“Okay. Here’s another question. You are the very powerful GrandAlpha over the five packs. Beloved and revered by all, and even feared by some. You’re also the town sheriff. You have great authority, intelligence and skills. Name one thing you don’t know how to do, or that you’re bad at, and wish you could do well.”
“Hmm.” Gabe is quiet as he thinks about it. “Thank you for the amazing compliment, but there’s actually a lot of things I don’t know how to do, or don’t do well. But if I can only pick one thing, I guess that would be … singing.”
“Singing?” The shock in my voice is evident. “That is so not the response I was expecting!”
Gabe laughs, and I think he’s a little embarrassed.
He looks down and shakes his head, and I do believe he’s actually blushing. “Well, see … we hang out sometimes with our friends at a little bar called Shots, and they have a karaoke stage.”
I nod, still smiling at him. “Yes, I believe I remember that from book one.”
“Yeah, well … Carly’s really great at karaoke, and I am not. Call me a stick in the mud, but I don’t like the thought of getting onstage and making a fool of myself. I just don’t think the people of Lunar Falls need to see their sheriff or their Alpha in that light. Not to mention the fact that I can’t carry a tune if my life depended on it. But sometimes I do wish I could just hop up there and belt one out for her. That’s all.”
“I think she would love that!” I exclaim, trying to picture it in my head.
Gabe nods as a sad smile settles in. “Yeah, I know she would.”
“Oh, I think you just gotta bite the silver bullet and give it a go, big guy. Do it for love!”
He stares at me, unamused. “I’ll think about it.”
“Okay, one last question, and it might seem like a very simplistic one. But can you describe to the rest of us what it’s like being a werewolf in a world full of humans?”
Gabe takes a deep breath as his gaze drifts to the glass wall out at the terrace. “Hmm. Believe it or not, I don’t think anyone’s ever asked me that before.”
He shakes his head as he thinks about the question.
“Not even your human friend, Daren?”
“Nope.” He takes a deep breath and crosses his huge arms over his chest and leans back, getting comfortable. “What’s it like? It’s um … challenging. From the very beginning, our goal has always been to live hidden in plain sight. That ideal is drilled into our heads from the moment we first turn in our teenage years. It is the number one rule that we teach our young. Learning to stay conscious of the company we’re in so that we don’t do something stupid like lift something that weighs two hundred pounds with one hand, or let our eyes glow when we get angry or upset. Little things like that have to be a conscious thought for us, a conscious effort. It’s why a lot of Moon Hunters simply prefer to keep their interactions with humans to a minimum.”
“That’s what happened with Carly, isn’t it? She saw your eyes glowing.”
The slow smile that crosses his lips at the mention of her name is endearing. “Yes, that is what happened with Carly, but it’s more complicated than that. Even though our belief system tells us that we were put on this earth to help protect humans, most humans simply wouldn’t understand. So we are very diligent about guarding our true nature. It’s just a matter of self-preservation. The preservation of our people, our community. Our culture.”
“That’s very important to you, isn’t it?”
Gabe stares into my eyes. “It’s the most important thing in my life, besides Carly. Safe-guarding the preservation of my people. That’s the goal of any good GrandAlpha. That is his purpose. That’s my purpose in life.”
I narrow my eyes at him. “And falling in love with a human and taking her as your mate? Where does that fit in with your life’s purpose?”
Gabe smiles at me. “Well, you know how this story plays out, Lashell. So that’s hardly a fair question.”
“Touché,” I concede with a grin. “But our readers don’t know how the story plays out, unless they’ve read the entire trilogy.”
Gabe smirks, and tips his head to the side. “I guess they’ll just have to read the trilogy to find the answer to that question then.”
Well, there you have it. My exclusive interview with the one and only Gabe Masters. I hope you enjoyed getting to know this King of the Werewolves a little better. Be sure to add Lunar Falls to your TBR List, or CLICK HERE to get your copy Now!