(Note: The information below was last updated on 24/3/2011.)
Darius, son of Marklon, reincarnated as John Matthew aka Tehrror, son of Darius of Marklon
If the series can be said to have a central character, it would be Darius/John Matthew, as he has been instrumental in bringing together the Brotherhood and bringing their shellans into their world.
Several centuries ago, Darius was trained in the same warrior camp that V later grew up in, and by leaving behind his diary, he unknowingly eased V’s isolation and later introduced him to Wrath. He also introduced the twins, Phury and Zsadist. He offered Wrath a private place to feed and brought over the old king Wrath’s royal desk and throne, which were all that survived the lesser raid.
Darius was the son of Tehrror but was raised by Marklon while his mother lived. Upon her death, Marklon’s hidden animosity towards his stepson surfaced and he threw Darius out of his home and left him at the door of the Bloodletter’s warrior camp with only the clothes on his back.
Although his wealthy appearance made him a target, Darius proved to be such a strong fighter that the Bloodletter could not force him to rape his opponents. While another fighter such as Hharm kept the camp occupied as he meted out the customary punishment to the losers in Darius’ place, Darius snuck away and wrote in his diary using his own blood as ink.
One night the Brothers Ahgony, Throe, Murhder (I think he’s the father of the Murhder we’re getting to know now) and Tohrture came to test him in a one-off opportunity. He was successful and never got the chance to return for his diary.
In 1671, 27 years after his graduation from the warrior camp, Darius was sent on a mission to rescue the daughter of the Princeps Council leahdyre Sampsone. He decided to take Tohrment with him, as this would be Tohr’s first mission and Hharm was neglecting him.
His self-appointed claim on Tohr offended Hharm, but as Hharm knew he wouldn’t be able to beat Darius, he disowned Tohr. Although Tohr didn’t know, Darius resolved to protect him with his own life.
Two evenings later, he and Tohr visited Sampsone and determined that the daughter had escaped with a male.
They question the staff, including the steward, Fritzgelder Perlmutter, who was born 77 years earlier and had served the family since he was five. He went against his boss, the butler, to show them where the trees had been cut down the previous week to provide access to the daughter’s bedroom.
The next night he found Tohr sleeping in the Brotherhood’s cave, having nowhere else to go after being disowned. Their first stop was Sampsone’s house where Darius ordered Tohr a meal in the guise of putting the doggen at ease and talking to Fritz again. He asked Fritz to store Tohr’s things until they returned. Tohr was angry at the implication he couldn’t look after himself. Darius pointed out that while he would be able to take care of himself, right then he needed a partner who was at full strength and alertness.
They investigated the house next door and found it belonged to a symphath. He told the Brothers where to find his son, who had stolen the female to punish him for associating with an inferior being. It would break his heart not only to lose his love, but to lose her to the inferiors looking for her. Darius expected that silence from her and her family would protect her reputation.
He took Tohr back to his small, modest house for the day.
The next night, they found the symphath at his hideaway with the female. The symphath insisted they were mated and used her as a shield. Tohr shot the symphath, but the female told them he should have killed her instead.
Despite her telling him that she was pregnant to the symphath, Darius took the female back home and found that they symphath’s father was already there to ascertain that his son had been killed. He said that losses should be born on both sides equally. His son is dead, and the leahdyre’s daughter is ruined.
The father offers him money not to bring his daughter back and Darius tells him he is just like the symphath who would not mourn his son. He took the female home with him and Tohr and refused to accept the leahdyre’s money.
He delivered a healthy baby girl who didn’t look at all like a symphath, but when he presented the young to her mother, the female had stabbed herself with Tohr’s dagger. As sad as he was over the female’s passing (who he felt was condemned by others more than her own actions), he had to put the infant first and was determined to do whatever it took to make sure her life was better than her birth.
He and Tohr live warrior’s lives, so they would not be able to be there for a young and provide everything she needs, especially a mother, so Darius decides she must be adopted out.
He found a vampire family who lost their young during birth. Although their home was modest, they had the means to employ a doggen. The male was happy to be given the young and Darius protected her by not providing any details of her lineage. Instead of being able to visit regularly, he knew he and Tohr would draw unwanted attention to the young with their visits, so he was forced to leave her, even though he knew he was leaving a piece of his heart with her and would never see her again. He named her Xhexania and watched the female of the house welcome her new young.
Darius died when his car exploded at the beginning of Dark Lover, after asking Wrath to guide his daughter Beth through her transition, and Marissa met Butch through Beth’s arrival in the vampire world. Towards the end of the book, the Scribe Virgin rewarded Darius by letting him be with his daughter, except he had to sacrifice the power of speech.
John Matthew was born in a public bathroom and was raised in an orphanage. He was good with the younger orphans, but was always different. Every year, the orphans would get a field trip to a rich man’s lakehouse and no matter how much sunscreen he wore, he always got badly sunburned. Eventually he was confined to the shady porch, but wished that he could join the others, not because they were having fun, but because he wanted to be a part of something.
He briefly lived with a couple sets of foster parents and went to school until he dropped out at 16. When he was old enough to live on his own, he worked as a busboy and moved into a crappy low rent apartment, where a man raped him in the stairwell. He immediately moved out.
He had strange dreams of blood, biting and sex. He wanted to be a strong protector and hated being trapped in such a small form that women either didn’t notice him or wanted to look after him.
John began calling the suicide hotline even though he couldn’t speak because he liked the sound of a volunteer counsellor’s voice. The calls were made from a local payphone, so he was able to see Mary Luce as she came and went from the centre. When she didn’t show up one evening, he visited her house. There he met Bella, who noted a bracelet he’d made with the name Tehrror written in the Old Language.
Bella recognised the warrior name and contacted the Brotherhood, and she and Mary went with John to the compound. There Mary met Rhage and Bella met Zsadist.
Tohr, who was Darius’s best friend, interviewed John and offered him a place in the pretrans training program. John decided to think about it, but after a lesser moved into his building, he contacted Tohr to sign up. Tohr and his shellan, Wellsie, took him in, clothed and fed him and became the first family he’d ever known.
John’s blood was tested and Havers determined that he was such a close match to Darius that he had to be Darius’s son. Tohr was happy to see another part of his best friend live on. Havers also sent John to a therapist, and he talked about the rape but refused to go back.
John was one of the least coordinated in the pretrans class and was bullied by Lash for being mute, unco, raised by humans, and having the Brotherhood’s star-shaped scar on his chest. He actually wasn’t trying to suck up to the Brotherhood—it was a marking he was born with (a hint that he is really Darius).
(Other than the Brotherhood scar he was born with, there were more hints that John Matthew is the reincarnation of Darius of Marklon. The first few times he met his half sister Beth, he fell into seizures until she was taken out of the room. A similar event occurred when Zsadist taught the pretrans class on car bombs. After John’s transition, his moves still weren’t that smooth, so Z handed him a different weapon and suggested that he fight with his left hand, even though he is right-handed. His skill was evident in his left hand, and Z told him that the only other left-handed warrior he’s ever known was Darius.)
But despite that, he formed friendships with his classmates Blaylock and Qhuinn.
In the lead up to John’s transition, Wellsie introduced him to her cousin Sarelle, to whom he was instantly attracted, and she seemed interested in him as well. Sarelle was abducted by the lesser who killed Wellsie and was used to lure Phury and Zsadist before she was also murdered.
Just like that, John’s happy family was destroyed. Tohr disappeared in a burst of energy, and John moved in with the Brotherhood and took over Tohr’s admin duties, even going so far as to sleep in Tohr’s chair at the training centre. John became fixated on avenging his loss on the lessers and was even more impatient for his transition. He became more aggressive, a sure sign that the change was coming. While Beth was concerned that John wasn’t eating enough, Z showed him some tough love and made him start having meals with everyone else at the mansion and stop looking for a chance to hit Lash (even though the prick deserved it).
After Blay’s transition, Lash started in on him as well and John puts himself between them. One more comment and John belted the living shit out of Lash until Wrath pulled him off and dragged him out. He told John that he doesn’t need thugs in the Brotherhood; he needs soldiers who will think for themselves instead of flying off the handle.
Instead of expelling him from the training program, Wrath had Tohr’s chair brought to his office so that John could sit in and watch the king’s interactions with the Brothers, Beth and Marissa, who is setting up Safe Place. Wrath also decided that John would take a walk with Zsadist every morning before sunrise. The walks have been beneficial because Z doesn’t try to get in his head; it’s a designated quiet time.
Qhuinn had his transition before John did and he wasn’t comfortable with being the little guy. To make John feel more equal, and knowing he would kick their butts, Blay suggested they play the video game sKillerz (unaware that V wrote it. We don’t hear about the game anymore, but I wonder if it bears any resemblance to killing lessers?). Qhuinn organised a trip to ZeroSum with the sole purpose of getting laid and John was concerned that his impending change will reopen the sexual can of worms for him. Then Z told him that not only was Lash returning to class after his suspension but he’d already gone through the change as well.
Qhuinn and Blay flanked John like bodyguards at the next lesson, which was on firearms. Although he had trouble in other classes requiring physical action, JM is a damn good shot.
At ZeroSum, Qhuinn quickly picked up a couple of blondes and Blay decided to join them, but only after passing his gun to JM. He felt a tingle and looked up to see the female head of security watching him. She hauled him into her office and disarmed him. She demanded to know who he was and he tried to talk to her, which he couldn’t because he’s mute and she misinterprets it as cowardice and JM feels about 10 cm tall.
Blay was also hauled in and explained that JM is Wrath’s ward, which meant that he absolutely must be kept safe in the club or the king will rain hellfire down on them. Xhex returned the gun with the warning that it should only be used for defence.
On the way back from the club, the troika ran into a couple of lessers. As JM was a pretrans, he passed for human, so Qhuinn and Blay made him escape and he returned to the club hoping to get Xhex to help. He couldn’t make himself understood to the bouncers and they wouldn’t let him back in. He then felt the weight of the gun in his pocket and returned to the scene, took aim and shot the lessers before they could hurt Blay and Qhuinn. He then picked up a roofing spike and stabbed each lesser through the heart and remembered having done it so many times before. In that moment he realised that he wasn’t a puny little weakling, he was powerful. Then the transition hit.
Layla fed him and after he’d gone through the change, she stayed for sex. Things started well until he remembered his rape and, not surprisingly, lost interest. He thought Layla would never assume it was her fault and was too ashamed to want to elaborate on why he couldn’t go through with it. What he didn’t realise was that she saw him go soft when she was naked and really did feel rejected and undesirable because she had no reason to think that there might be other factors. After all, there was no other male to convince her she’s attractive.
She reported in to Z and Wrath, and Z told JM he knows what happened in the stairwell from the therapy session in his medical file, and he wanted JM to take matters into his own hands to be sure that his post-transitional body works. He assured JM that it wasn’t his fault and he didn’t think less of him for it.
An image of Xhex worked for JM. It really worked.
While adjusting to his new body, he realised that he had questions about Darius, but didn’t feel like he could ask anyone without reminding them of their loss. When Phury returned from the Other Side, he brought back Darius’s diary and gave it to John. He didn’t read it right away because even though this was what he thought he wanted, he realised that he sees Tohr as his father.
Phury approached John and asked him to spend some time with Cormia because she needed a friend. John thought she looked like she didn’t need anyone, but since Phury had helped him in the past, he’d return the favour, and actually found her attractive, even though she’s the total opposite of Xhex.
At the club, JM was turned on watching Xhex deal with a drunk and maintain total control. Somehow she knew that he thought of her while taking care of business first thing in the evening and told him to say her name next time.
JM, Blay and Qhuinn were in the locker room when Lash walked out from the shower for another round of verbal abuse, but everyone was stunned into silence when he revealed details of John’s rape from the medical file he accessed in his new job at Havers’s clinic. During the fight, Lash pushed JM into the wall and reached for his pants. JM froze, but Qhuinn pulled Lash off and slit his throat. (Lash was taken to the clinic where the lessers found him and took him back to the Omega and the rest is history.)
Once JM told Wrath why Qhuinn cut Lash, the king found a loophole that enabled him to avoid sending Qhuinn to the race’s gaol and making him an indentured servant to Lash’s family after his sentence is served. Qhuinn is JM’s official bodyguard, and what do you know, Wrath had the paperwork ready before the attack, but just forgot to mention it. The ahstrux nohtrum is allowed to kill anyone who threatens his principle (who must be a person of interest, and the king’s brother-in-law definitely qualifies), but the principle must pay the fine for said deaths and the $5 million for Lash’s death easily came out of JM’s inheritance from Darius.
John made Qhuinn accompany him to see Blay in the hope that they will make up after Qhuinn tried to cut him loose. After a lesser attack on the house, the boys officially joined the war.
John found Cormia after she lost her virginity to Phury, mistakenly believed he raped her, and pounded the crap out of him until Wrath broke them up. Cormia convinced him that she was okay, and he felt unstable for having lost his temper again. He wanted a time-out walk with Z, but with Bella’s pending delivery, they weren’t as frequent as they used to be.
The boys investigated Lash’s house and John thought he saw Lash for a few seconds before he disappeared to answer the Omega’s summons.
The Brotherhood met Lassiter, who returned Tohr to them but ended up moving in, too. John had so much to tell Tohr, but they weren’t connected anymore. John was about to leave the room, disappointed, until Tohr called him back and they grieved together.
John was disturbed by how much Tohr has aged in the eight months since Wellsie’s death and got smashed at ZeroSum. Xhex found him alone in the bathroom and he told her he wanted to fuck her. Before she had to go sort out some emergency, he handed her a paper towel on which he’d written: Say my name.
A lot of the time, JM is bound by his insecurities, but then there are moments like these where he shows the self-assurance of a male who knows he’s powerful.
Four months after the bathroom incident, Xhex sent JM an image of them having sex, but decided it wasn’t the outlet she needed. JM walked into her office to find her tightening her cilices, and when she looked at him with red eyes, he realised she was a symphath.
The same night, Tohr disappeared with Lassiter to the Tomb without telling anyone. JM raised the alarm at the mansion but told Wrath he didn’t care if Tohr came back because he’d been left behind too many times.
This separation made him feel like a lone wolf, so he returned to ZeroSum without Qhuinn and Blay and told Xhex that he had no intention of turning her in. His feeling was that she could not be any more of a sociopath than Z and V were before they were mated. He let her probe his mind to prove that he was genuine and, after declining her offer to talk about Tohr, he accepted the key to her place so he could have some uninterrupted time to himself.
When Xhex returned, she took his virginity (his mating instincts well and truly overruled the ghosts of his past), but the encounter was hurried and they were fully clothed. When it was over, she refused to let him kiss her and immediately took a shower to wash him off, making it clear that the sex was intended as gratitude for his not turning her in.
While he initially contemplated suicide, he realised that a lot of the bad things in his life were done to him and were not the result of his own actions. Instead of killing himself, he would just find a way to not be a victim anymore, starting with sharing a ZeroSum employee with Qhuinn, which marked the beginning of his player phase.
He ran into Xhex after a session with Qhuinn and a goth at the Iron Mask. When she asked him how long he can keep up the drinking and casual sex, he flipped her off.
The day before the Brotherhood, Xhex and Ehlena went to rescue Rehvenge, JM visited Xhex while drunk and they had disconnected sex before he dressed and left without ever having signed a word.
After Xhex was kidnapped, John lay on her bed in the mansion, wishing he’d been kinder to her the last time they’d had sex than she had been to him and that he’d forgiven her when she said she was sorry. His only relief was that she left her cilices behind, which meant she had her symphath side as a weapon against Lash.
His hatred of Lash burns hotter than ever.
After Xhex was missing for almost four weeks, John gets her name tattooed into his back where her name would have been carved had they mated. To avoid questions from the Brotherhood, he steals V’s ink and gets the work done at a human tattoo parlour. Because everyone is trying to find Xhex, no one but Blay and Qhuinn are aware that he loves her.
When the boys leave the parlour, JM feels as though he’s being watched, but has more important things to do than check it out.
They then visit the Moors for info on the drug trade that would generate leads on Lash’s location (bypassing Rehv so the Brotherhood doesn’t find out how JM feels and expects either a mating or JM’s depression). The Moors provide information on where most of the drug sales are made and agree to gather intel on the supplier in case Lash targets him.
Without knowing who he is, they found Lash’s next recruit, but had to leave to avoid sunrise.
When they got home, JM got drunk but couldn’t sleep. He pulled out Darius’ diary and began to read about his feelings of loneliness and homesickness in the warrior camp. JM felt nauseous (maybe the drink, but maybe a reaction to being so close to his old life), but connected to his father.
Trez sends the boys to the local supplier in time for Lash’s meeting, but instead, Mr. D leaves as though the meeting is cancelled. JM, Qhuinn, Blay, Rhage and V follow the car to Lash’s place.
They find the bedroom where Xhex is being kept, but can’t see her behind Lash’s force field. When he sees the evidence of her abuse, JM believes they hadn’t arrived in time and breaks down in front of her and the others.
She tried to reach out to him and talk to him, but he sensed just enough of her to think it was because she used to be in the room and not that she was still there. He took her pillow with him when Qhuinn convinced him to question the fore-lesser.
Except that didn’t happen. As soon as JM saw the lesser, he went ballistic, with no memory of tearing him apart.
Xhex had escaped just before Blay returned to Lash’s place, but quickly left, thinking he was Lash. The next evening, Rehv told him Xhex had rung to let him know she was OK and he was planning to go see her. Like JM did before the meeting with the supplier was cancelled, she put dibs on killing Lash. Rehvenge offered to take JM with him because he knew JM would go anyway.
She wasn’t there so JM returned to the skate park where the new recruit typically worked, but he wasn’t there. He realised that Xhex would have gone to her basement, he dematerialised there. Before he left the park, he felt someone watching him again, but couldn’t be bothered.
He found her almost dead and fed her before texting Doc Jane, who examined her and had her taken to the mansion where she needed care for some internal injuries.
He stayed with her afterwards and she told him she’d seen him in Lash’s bedroom while she was hidden behind the force field. She claimed that her internal bleeding was the result of breaking out of the force field, which might have been true, or an excuse to avoid telling him about the rapes. She told him she couldn’t stand not killing him for what he did to her, but he can’t let go of his own need to kill Lash, especially for what he did to Xhex.
In return he agreed to show her his past the following night. When Rehv came to see Xhex, JM left to give them privacy. Xhex asked him to come back again soon and he left with a huge smile on his face.
He woke up late the next afternoon with Xhex and on the way to the kitchen, he noticed Tohr asleep at his old desk. Instead of feeling anger, he noticed the effort Tohr was making to get himself back into shape and remembered that the Brother had lost his shellan and baby. Part of the meal he brought back for himself and Xhex was for Tohr.
JM realised that if Xhex had died, he would have reacted the same way Tohr did. Tohr told him he was glad he and Xhex were together and it made cosmic sense. (He’s noted similarities between JM and Darius in the past, so does he realise they’re the same?)
He agreed to show Xhex his life, partly to keep her with him, knowing that one day she was going to take off after Lash.
He showed her the bus station bathroom where he’d been born and the orphanage where he’d grown up. Xhex respected him for his bravery in living surrounded by people he was different from. He’d spent his whole life feeling isolated and different from those who should have been the same as him.
As they walked through the orphanage, Xhex detected a break in his emotional grid as though there was a separate part.
He skipped over the building where he’d been raped and took her to the shithole he’d lived in after that. When he saw his old bodybuilding magazine, he realised that he’d become the huge, muscular warrior he’d always wanted to be.
Xhex could tell that he had left something out, but she’d also detected other holes in his story that even he didn’t seem to have answers for. She also felt that he was connected to his father without seeming to have ever met him.
Finally they ended up at Tohr and Wellsie’s house. JM felt bad about how things are between him and Tohr, so Xhex told him he should start talking to Tohr again.
They started kissing on JM’s old bed until Xhex pulled away in fear and eventually told him that Lash hadn’t been impotent. JM’s rage blew the windows out.
He wore out a treadmill in the training centre and was working on the second when Blay found him and swore to help him, whatever it took.
Xhex found him sitting under the shower, close to madness. She noted that both his emotional grid and the shadow she’d noticed earlier were active, suggesting that he’d been through more than enough for one lifetime and may also be carrying the weight of another one. Or she surmised that he could have caused the split himself by burying his past and keeping it separate from who he is now.
She let her symphath side into JM and saw that he had been raped and Lash had found out about it. She felt connected to him in a way that she knew she never had been or would be with anyone else because they each know what the other has been through, how it felt and how it affects them.
They had spectacular sex that drove out their pasts.
Later they went to a Brotherhood meeting where they listened to a phone message from Lash telling where to find the newest inductees. Xhex volunteered under everyone else’s protests to scout ahead because the Brothers could be heading into an ambush.
John sits with Tohr quietly watching a movie, much like they had done on John’s first night with him and Wellsie.
When Xhex returns he is resolved that he is finished with her as soon as they kill Lash. She doesn’t have room for him, so he’s going to move on.
JM, Xhex and the Brothers go to the farmhouse to kill the new recruits. In the fight, one tries to fire at JM, but Xhex throws a knife at him and the shot hit him in the leg instead. When JM sees her go all symphath on the guy, he understands why symphaths are feared, but also realises that she has never done anything like that to him.
Doc Jane removes the bullet, and when he regains consciousness, the first thing JM does is ask Xhex if she’s OK after having watched the operation. Without even thinking about it, he turned his back on her and she saw his ink.
Z told JM what they have in common and suggests that Xhex talk to Mary because it helped him.
JM realises that the person who was following him silently was Tohr. Tohr believes JM is able to look after himself but still wants to make sure he’s safe. They apologised for how they’d treated each other and JM asked him to be there when he kills Lash. Their relationship was fully repaired.
The next night Xhex tracks Lash downtown and JM lures him back from his deal with Benloise by smashing his windscreen and setting off his car alarm. When gunfire forces everyone else to take cover,JM runs straight at Lash and is hit by an energy ball, which doesn’t kill him, but seems to unit the two parts of him that Xhex sees.
He flashes back to seeing No’One shielding her symphath captor just is Xhex is being used to shield Lash and the perfect shot Tohr took back then, certain he had done this before. He went into a seizure, but the bonded part of him overrode it and he kept standing. Tohr shot Lash again while Xhex escaped and JM pulled his dagger. Instead of stabbing him in the chest, JM hit him in the head with the hilt and held him open so Xhex could kill him.
Xhex told him that she would like to be his shellan and their mating was planned for the following night.
He held his father’s diary and knew for an absolute certainty that Darius would have approved of his mating. Tohr told him the same thing. He put on his father’s signet ring and knew he would never take it off.
Tohr told him that Darius was there when Xhex was born and JM went into a seizure.
Tohr said that he wished Darius could be there and JM said that he was.
After the ceremony, he gave Xhex a giant diamond necklace so her hands would be free for fighting.
Qhuinn Warrior, formerly Qhuinn, son of Lohstrong, and Blaylock, son of Rocke
I’m doing these two in one go not just because I’d like to see them end up together, but because they’ve gone through a lot together and I don’t want to repeat the same events when their perspectives are so closely related. Both are males from the glymera with warrior blood in them, so they were sent to the pretrans training program where they formed the next generation troika with JM.
Blay was the first in the class to go through the transition and since he’s a naturally modest type, he hunches over and tries not to be so much bigger than everyone else. On the other hand, Qhuinn doesn’t have an ounce of modesty in him. He not only got laid (three times) after the change, but was more than ready to share the details with JM and Blay.
Qhuinn’s transition was the only chance his body would have to repair the ‘defect’ of heterochromia (one blue eye and one green), so his father managed to get him a female from a really good family, but his eyes stayed the same and his father punched him in one. His father cut off his allowance and denied him the ring that newly transitioned males receive from their fathers.
In contrast, Blaylock has a happy supportive family, and Qhuinn compares his mother to Marion Cunningham from Happy Days. He already had a room prepared in his house for Qhuinn to move into when his father decided to boot him out. His parents are unaware of his preferences and even though Blay knows they won’t judge him, he doesn’t want to disappoint his mother by telling her there won’t be any grandkids. His parents don’t care about the glymera’s requirement for perfection, whereas Qhuinn’s parents shipped him off to his wild cousin Saxton’s so he wouldn’t have to be either acknowledged or ignored at a glymera event Qhuinn’s family was hosting.
After his transition gave him a sex drive, Qhuinn has sex with anyone, male or female, that he considers hot, and it’s often a group affair. But he wants to settle down with a female of worth someday and hopes he will be faithful to her.
Although Blay has had experience with females, he’s discovered that he is actually gay and loves Qhuinn, even though Qhuinn doesn’t understand how anyone could love him.
After he slit Lash’s throat, Qhuinn was disowned by his family and thrown out of home. The family also sent an honour guard to beat him just short of death in reparation for the impact his actions had on the family name. Blay called Doc Jane and offered to put Qhuinn up. Qhuinn refused because then Blay’s family would suffer from the stigma of associating with him, but Blay said his friends are all he has. When Qhuinn tried to sneak out to avoid justice, Blay wanted to go with him, but was shot down when Qhuinn acknowledged Blay’s feelings and broke his heart.
Qhuinn changed his mind and faced the music as well as the king. Wrath asked him if he had an axe to grind against Lash and was using John as an excuse. The only thing on his mind had been protecting John, because if the story of John’s rape were widely known, John wouldn’t be respected in society and very likely would never be mated. He wasn’t sorry for what he did and would do it again. Wrath was satisfied with that answer and made Qhuinn JM’s ahstrux nohtrum, a bodyguard with a licence to kill to protect a person of interest, such as the king’s brother-in-law.
Vishous attached a heavy chain around his neck and inked a red teardrop just below his eye. If Qhuinn fails to save JM from dying, the drop will get a black cross over it to show his disgrace, and the chain will be removed after Qhuinn’s decapitation. Otherwise, the drop will be shaded black at JM’s passing and a link will be broken to remove the chain. Until then, he’s in for life. He also got V to tattoo the date on the back of his neck: August 18, 2008.
John made him go to Blay’s to mend their fences, when the house was attacked by lessers. Blay’s parents escaped to their safe house. Then they got the news that Qhuinn’s ex-family had been killed, but his brother was missing.
The boys were allowed to join the war. Blay’s father used to be a soldier before he was mated and wants Blay to be a male of worth, while his mother is worried he’ll be killed.
They all returned to the compound and, while patching up Blay, Qhuinn said that if he could love a guy it would be Blay, but he knows he wouldn’t be faithful and treat him right, so he’s not going to do anything about their attraction. There was a very hot, very sweet kiss, but Qhuinn won’t let it go further for Blay’s sake. He said he’ll kill the guy who hurts Blay.
Since becoming JM’s bodyguard, Qhuinn has been celibate, even while he, JM and Blay feed from the same female at the same time. He’s only prepared to have sex if JM is as well. Blay has started smoking, which Qhuinn doesn’t approve of. I think it’s a combination of stress relief, petulance from being rejected and a demand for Qhuinn’s attention.
While John was getting his Xhex tattoo, Qhuinn screwed the receptionist in the back room, separated by a thin curtain that let Blay see everything until he went outside for an extended smoke break. Their eyes had met so briefly that Blay was sure Qhuinn had only meant to check on JM, but Qhuinn
While Qhuinn was feeling left out of JM’s conversation with the Moors, his cousin Saxton arrives on legal business and is more interested in becoming reacquainted with Blay than catching up with Qhuinn.
Blay is more modest than Qhuinn and is more used to watching than being watched, so Saxton’s attention initially discomfits and confuses him.
The next evening Qhuinn confronts Blay, realising that something is wrong between them. Blay asked Qhuinn what the receptionist’s name was, but Qhuinn didn’t remember or care what her name was. Because Blay couldn’t tell Qhuinn that he’d been deeply hurt by something that meant nothing to Qhuinn, he lit up and told Qhuinn to deal with his smoking.
Qhuinn encouraged Blay to feed because they’ve been through a lot, but he’s not all that enthusiastic because he knows Layla is attracted to Qhuinn and stands a better chance of having sex with him than Blay does.
After she fed them, she confided in them about her growing emptiness over not being wanted sexually. Qhuinn was about to tell her why they all feed from her specifically, but was interrupted. She told Qhuinn she wanted him and Blay left the room. He was reaching the point where he couldn’t take any more either and called Saxton.
Qhuinn saw him getting ready for his date and told him Saxton was a slut. Blay told Qhuinn to just say the word and he would cancel on Saxton to be with Qhuinn. Qhuinn kissed him passionately but too damn briefly before letting him go. He told Blay to go on his date, but not to fall for Saxton because he would break Blay’s heart.
Blay enjoyed being on a date (his first) but Qhuinn was always in the back of his mind. Saxton kept him on the back foot with his compliments and by acting on his interest. They had a meal in a private room at Sal’s and went to a cigar club, but left early after being harassed by a table of homophobes.
The date ended in the alley where Saxton asked Blay if he’d ever kissed a male. He shook his head to clear out the image of Qhuinn’s kiss and Saxton kissed him.
Qhuinn had left JM and Xhex at Tohr’s place and materialised downtown outside the cigar club and watched Blay and Saxton’s date, misinterpreting Blay’s shake of the head as denial that Qhuinn had kissed him. He got drunk in his room and called Layla because she’s a professional, so she knows what to expect and she wants to have sex with him.
Blay returned to the mansion and Layla accidentally appeared in his room. After sending her to Qhuinn, he escaped to the training room, where JM was wearing out treadmills in his desire to destroy Lash. After learning the truth about what Lash did to Xhex, he swore to help with whatever JM needed.
Remembering that Qhuinn was with Layla, Blay called Saxton. He sounded strange, so he materialised to his place right before sunrise. He had been beaten by those homophobes after kissing Blay in the alley, so Blay spent the day with him.
Qhuinn taught Layla how to kiss, but left her a virgin. He initially thought she was only interested in mechanical knowledge of sex, but realised that she wanted more from him and he wasn’t prepared to offer her that. On paper, she is the perfect female for him: high-ranking and willing to accept him despite his flaws, but he realised she isn’t what he really wants. He sees her as the embodiment of everything he’s ever wanted to achieve, but instead of crossing the finish line and mating with her, he pictures Blay instead.
He thought of the receptionist whose name he can’t remember. If she would have sex with a stranger in semi-public with little to no privacy, she’s not someone he’s willing to have a relationship with. He doesn’t see this as a double standard because he sees himself as being just as filthy as she is from all the sex he’s had that led to him being able to pleasure Layla.
Blay brought Saxton to the mansion so he could feed from Selena and heal from the beating. Qhuinn resented his cousin and reacted pettily, demanding to know if Blay had been with him. Blay told him it was none of his business without blushing, so Qhuinn knows nothing happened. But the voice in his head told him he wouldn’t leave Blay alone for a long time, if ever.
After Selena fed Saxton, Blay went to check on him and they had sex. Qhuinn couldn’t sleep and went looking for Blay, but his room was empty. He went to Saxton’s door, but instead of knocking, he listened and heard them doing more than sleeping, which broke his heart.
The next night he saw Blay but after making sure that Saxton had treated him well, Qhuinn couldn’t think of the words to say that would take them back to how they used to be, so he just told Blay to take care of himself, which is what he says to all his one-nighters when he’s finished with them. He thought about the difference between all the anonymous, quick sex he’s had and Blay’s intimate sex.
Saxton, son of Tyhm
Saxton is Qhuinn’s wild older cousin who he’d looked up to before his transition and was the one he visited while his family was celebrating his father’s promotion to leahdyre.
He is now a lawyer best known to Wrath for preparing bloodline reports. The late Montrag’s lieutenant sent him to the Princeps Council meeting in the Council’s stead following the failed assassination attempt on Wrath, possibly as an insult because Saxton isn’t so much as a Council member’s son.
Saxton is beautiful with a lean build, blond hair cut short in the back and longer in front and a Great Gatsby-type style. Any questions about his sexuality were answered when he checked out Vishous at the Council meeting.
He accidentally meets his cousin Qhuinn at Sal’s where he has business with the Moors and notices how much Blaylock has grown and how attractive he’s become. Before Blay leaves, Saxton slips him his number, hoping he might be gay.
They go on a date to Sal’s and then a cigar club, so it’s likely that Saxton made the arrangements. He is the older and more experienced of the two and seems to enjoy keeping Blay off balance and getting involuntary responses from him. Blay appeals to him with his scholarly face and well-muscled body and classic sense of style.
After kissing Blay in the alley next to the club, Saxton is beaten up by the same group of homophobes who’d harassed them on their date. Blay spends the day with him, but Saxton is not at his best.
Although Blaylock insists that there is nothing between him and Quinn, Saxton believes otherwise and even though he wants Blay, he also doesn’t want to push him into a bad situation with Qhuinn.
Since Wrath believes he owes Saxton, he let him into the mansion to feed from Selena. When Blay came to check on him afterwards, they had sex.
Qhuinn believes Saxton’s family accepts his homosexuality.
Instead of going through puberty over a span of years like humans do, vampires get it all in one go, and this happy little process is referred to as the transition. It usually happens around the age of 25. Prior to transition, vampires are typically small, weak, sexually unresponsive and can go out into the sunlight, but cannot dematerialise. Signs of impending transition include:
- Constant hunger with no weight gain
- Eyes become sensitive to light
The transition is extremely painful because internal organs are changing. A vampire needs the blood of a member of the opposite sex to complete the transition, and some vampires actually die during the transition.
Then comes the change and this affects males more than females because they grow so much in such a short time. It’s even more painful than the transition. Bones snap and lengthen, muscle grows—just a walk in the park, really.
When that’s finally over, every newly transitioned vampire seems to want the same thing: chocolate and bacon. Not even Ward knows why.
Males in particular tend to want something else right away, too. Their sex drive comes with a vengeance and they can almost set their clocks by the regularity of their erections.
The skin becomes hypersensitive for about a week afterwards, and males tend to have to relearn even basic motor skills like walking until they become more familiar with their new bodies.
For the first year after their transition, vampires are still legally considered minors.