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I Belong


Black Dagger Brotherhood: Lover Avenged Discussion

Welcome to the Lover Avenged Discussion!  A few weeks ago we started the Black Dagger Brotherhood Read-a-long and today we’re focusing on Rehvenge, son of Rempoon.

While we see many of the Brothers in Lover Avenged, for today’s discussion, we are only focusing on those events within Lover Avenged and any characters that impact this story.  Many of us have read ahead in the series, but no spoilers please.

Here is the read-a-long schedule:

Dark Lover is now posted here at Dark Faerie Tales

Lover Eternal  is now posted over at Literary Escapism

Lover Awakened is now posted here at Dark Faerie Tales

Lover Revealed is now posted over at Literary Escapism

Lover Unbound is now posted here at Dark Faerie Tales

Lover Enshrined is now posted over at Literary Escapism

Lover Avenged is now posted here at Dark Faerie Tales

Mar 16th – Lover Mine – Discussion hosted by Literary Escapism

Mar 23rd – Lover Unleashed – Discussion hosted by Dark Faerie Tales

Mar 30th – Lover Reborn – Discussion hosted by Literary Escapism

Note: Direct quotes from the book are in italics.

The Brotherhood & Vampire Society

Symphath Culture

Symphaths are a sequestered people along the border of Canada.  They were relegated there after a brutal battle for the safety of both the human and vampire communities.  They prize intellect and subterfuge over brute strength.  Their bodies are hermaphroditic and fragile looking.  All symphaths were built like chess players, not quarterbacks, which followed their preference to battle with the mind, not the body.[Rehvenge]

Their psychic powers include mind manipulation and mind reading, both emotional and visual images.  They main objective in almost any situation is self-preservation.  Vampires, by law, must inform the king of any symphath found outside of the colony lest they too receive punishment.

Rehvenge

Rehvenge, son of Rempoon, is half symphath and half vampire.  Also known as the Reverend, a local drug dealer and club owner of Zero Sum, local hang out of the Brotherhood.  He ingests large amount of dopamine to curb his sympath nature.  He first encounters Ehlena in Haver’s clinic when he goes to get his monthly allotment of dopamine and antivenin.  She was lonely, too, and in the same way he was. [Rehvenge]

While he has kept his heritage a secret from all but his mother, top employees, and the Brotherhood, he must pay the Princess of the symphath colony hush money.  That includes $250,000 worth of rubies and the use of his body on the first Tuesday of every month.  Truth was, as much as Rehv hated coming here, sometimes he didn’t want to leave.  He liked hurting the princess, and she was a good opponent.  Smart, fast, cruel.  She was the only outlet for his bad side, and, like a runner starved for a workout, he needed the exercise. [Rehvenge]

Rehv’s past catching up with him.  Montrag, member of the glymera and aristocracy of the vampire community, is trying to persuade him to kill Wrath, the king.  Montrag also knows that Rehv killed his stepfather many years ago and is planning to use that information to frame Rehv for the King’s death, and allow Montrag the opportunity to take over the vampire community.  It was intricate maneuvering, but it was going to work, because with the king gone, the remnants of the council would be the first place the race would go looking for the murderer, and Rehv, a symphath, was the perfect scapegoat. [Montrag]

Rehv feels unworthy of any female of worth.  He feels that his job, his past, and his nature are all insurmountable obstacles for him to become a male of worth.  Even though he knows he must keep people at a distance to insure his secrets remain that way, he still feels an undeniable pull toward Ehlena.  “I wish I were different,” he said, which was as close as he could get to speaking the truth that would separate them forever.   “I wish I were a different male.” [Rehv to Ehlena]

When his secret is out, he chooses to fake his own death and return to the colony and take out the princess.  For that, he would cripple her, even if it killed him. [Rehv]

When Ehlena, Xhex, and all the Brothers realize that he is not dead, they storm the colony to rescue him.  “Gentlemen, these lovely ladies want to make a trip up north.  I’m prepared to let them go up there to bring Rehv home to us, but they’re not going in alone.” [Wrath]

By killing his uncle and half-sister, the other symphaths choose Rehv as their next leader, whether he wants it or not.  “…news flash – all kings are blind, buddy.  But if you get your heart in the right place, you can always see your way clear.” [Wrath to Rehv]

Ehlena

Ehlena works as a nurse in Dr. Haver’s clinic.  She is the caretaker of her father, who is mentally unstable, and has no other family to help her out.  Her family was once part of the glymera but was shunned from their society after her father was duped by the wrong person.  After her mother’s consequential suicide, Ehlena’s fiancé public denouncement of her character, father and daughter moved away from high society and they were barely staying afloat. [Ehlena]

She has been hurt in the past, but feels it is time for her to start to want things for herself.  She loves her father and will continue to care for him, but she longs for more in her life, passion for one thing.  And Rehvenge really wants to be the one to give it to her.  They begin to get to know each other over the phone.  Destiny had a 518 area code.  Who knew. [Ehlena]

Ehlena loses her job at the clinic because she steals some medication for Rehv’s infected arm. The outcome was moral even if the method was not. [Ehlena]

Ehlena feels betrayed when she finds out about Rehv and his past.  “Why did you bring me down here?” she said.  “You could have just told me over the phone – no, never mind.  I’m going home now.  Don’t ever contact me again.” [Ehlena to Rehv]

The Princess

Married to her uncle, the king of the symphaths, and half sister to Rehvenge, the princess is obsessed with Rehv.  She wants him for herself and will not stand for Rehv to fall in love with anyone else.  The princess spills the beans about Rehv to Ehlena.  She had wanted to do damage and had calibrated her words accordingly. [Ehlena]

She also forms an alliance, disguised as the king, with Lash and the lessers outside her husband’s knowledge.   “You and I are rather well matched.  I believe we shall both get what we want from this alliance.” [Princess to Lash]

The princess is given to Lash as part of her punishment for betraying her king and conspiring to have him killed.  “She presumed she could best my succession plan that way, which was vastly overestimates her capabilities.” [Symphath King to Rehv]

XHEX

Xhex is the reason that Rehv must pay the princess’s hush money every month.  He does it to protect her and has “… been paying for my mistake month after month, year after year.” [Xhex to Ehlena] 

She is still conflicted about her feelings for John Matthew and shuts him down, hard.  It ends up making him emotionally cold and distant from all those around him.  Xhex tried not to see the change in him for what it was and failed.  She had done this to him.  Maybe she wasn’t the only reason he’d turned to stone, but she was a big part of it. [Xhex] 

She leads the charge to rescue Rehv for Ehlena.  “If you want to go up there, I’m in, but wee do it my way.” [Xhex to Ehlena] 

Trez and iAm

iAm and Trez liked the same things.  Always.  Though they weren’t twins by virtue of birth, they dressed similarly and were always armed with identical weapons and consistently shared the same thoughts, values, and principles. 

These two are brothers that work for Rehv.  They watch over him when he must go to the princess and care for him afterward.  Trez ignored his pathetic attempts to fend off help, and after the sable was wrapped around him, his friend picked him up and carries him out like a broken piece of equipment. [Rehv with Trez] 

The Moors’ loyalty is unquestioned to both Rehv and Xhex.  “Xhex, we already lost him tonight. You make it two for two and I’m going to kill you all over again.” [iAm to Xhex]    

Tohr 

Even though he has been returned to the Brothers, Tohr is not doing well.  He has no will to live.  The spells had been coming with increasing regularity and strength, and he wished to hell they’d just get organized and help him wake up dead. [Tohrment] 

When he finds out that Wrath is fighting out in the field alone, like he did before he accepted the mantle of King, he has an epiphany. Tohr had expected…something.  Not a thank-you, but an acknowledgement or… something.  Hell, Wrath was a gruff son of a bitch now, but back then?  He’d been downright toxic.  Even so…nothing?  After he’d saved the guy’s life? / Kinda reminded him of the way he’d been treating John.  And his brothers.  Tohr realizes that he is not only hurting himself all this time, but John Matthew as well. 

He goes to the vault at makes the commitment to avenge his Wellsie instead of longing to die so he may see her again.  “I’m ready,” he said to no one and everyone. [Tohr] 

Lassiter

Though he is not well loved by the Brothers, he stands by Tohr and tries to snap him out of his funk. As the towel changed hands, the angel said with gravity, “Time to wake up, Cinderella.” [Lassiter to Tohr]

He admits to Tohr that he was sent Wellsie-sent to help him out.

John Matthew

Is still hopeful that Tohr will get better.  The boy, who was no longer a boy, came in bearing a tray heavily laden with food, and a face full of baseless optimism. [Tohr about JM]

John Matthew is still hung up on Xhex.  And when he discovers that she is a symphath, he doesn’t care. Here was the thing: Xhex was his female, whether she wanted to be or not.

When he realizes that Xhex doesn’t return his feelings, he goes into a downward spiral.  He didn’t look up at her, but not because he was shy or embarrassed.  He simply did not care that she was in the room, and it wasn’t an act.  His emotional grid was… empty. [Xhex]

After JM finds out that Tohr is missing, his decides that he can no longer can make any emotional commitment to the man he views as a father, because he no longer wishes to get hurt.

When John had done to talk with the Brother and found the guy had disappeared again, and without word again, something had shifted in him, like a boulder being rolled from one side of his yard to another a permanent change in the landscape. / John was alone. [JM]

Qhuinn and Blaylock

There is no more further development between the two in terms of a relationship.  “Nah, I’m cool,” Qhuinn muttered before finishing off his Corona.  “I’m not into redheads.” / Blay looked away sharply, taking an abrupt, feigned interest in a brunette woman.  Truth was, he was into only one person, and that person had shut him down as kindly and solidly as a best friend could. / Qhuinn evidently really, truly didn’t do redheads. [JM with Qhuinn and Blay]

They continue to be friends and watch out for JM and each other.

Wrath and Beth

Wrath feels like he’s not doing enough for his subjects in the war with the lessers.  With a mad shuffle, they got to their feet and bowed to him, the deference resounding in his gut like a kick in the balls.  Here he was delivering the latest, but far from the last, casualty in the fight, and these two still paid him respect. [Wrath]

He has been fighting in the field without anyone knowing.  When he gets caught, Beth is devastated that he has been lying to her for months.

“This thing with you?  The lying?  I don’t feel like I can trust my reality again.  I just don’t feel safe.  I man, my whole world is about you.  My whole world.  It’s all based on you, because out mating is the foundation of my life.  So this is about so much more than you fighting.”  [Beth to Wrath]

Wrath’s eyesight continues to decline until one day, he losses it permanently.  He becomes depressed and angry about being blind, and goes to the Scribe Virgin to find out if he is being punished for fighting in the field.  “What was going to be was going to be.  Your fighting had nothing to do with your loss of sight, and neither did I.” [SV to Wrath]

Wrath’s depression turns around when he meets Payne, and she kicks his ass.  Funny, he enjoyed the ache in his legand the sting in his shoulder and the pounding pulses of each and every one of his bruises.  They were all familiar, part of his history and his present, and what he was going to need in the unfamiliar, frighteningly dark future. [Wrath]

He realizes that by becoming blind, he can now be a better king for his people.  And a better hellren for Beth.

Door closes, window opens.  What if losing his vision was exactly what he needed in order to be… the true king of the race.  [Wrath]

Payne 

Payne meets Wrath on the Other Side.  He is feeling sorry for himself and so she forces him into a fight in order to show him that he is not weak.  She was honestly having a good time, even though she must have known she was about to pass out from the kind of pain he was going to inflict on her. [Wrath about Payne]

She offers to spar with him anytime he wants.

Lessening Society

The Lessening Society is going into the drug business to finance their war.  They start off by killing other drug dealers in order to clear the field for their takeover.

Mr. D

Is still looking after Lash.  The little Texan who had been Lash’s entrée was now his disciple. [Lash]

He is in charge of babysitting their new partner, Bobby G, who is a small time drug dealer and wanted in the murder of his girlfriend.  She used to work for Rehv as a hooker and Xhex and her boys are out hunting for him along with CPD.

Lash

He is establishing his new drug trade.  He steals and kills off dealers and sells the drugs they once had.  Lash liked making big entrances.  When he came out to the vampire world, it was going to be from a position of dominance.  [Lash]

Lash meets with the symphath king to make a deal.  He kills someone for them, they help him find vampires because Allies were the third prong in the wheel of war. [Lash]

Lash discovers that the king he has been dealing with is really the princess.  She is given to him as a gift for the misunderstanding and a punishment for her.  He ties her up and uses her.  He was going to use her until she broke, and then he was going to take her out and make her find him vampires to kill.  It was the perfect relationship.  And if he got bored with her or she couldn’t perform either sexually or as a divining rod?  He would get rid of her.  [Lash]

When the princess escapes, he goes after his female at the colony.  That’s when the Brotherhood finds out that Lash lives.  “Well, look at it this way.  At least we get to kill him again.” [Qhuinn]

When Xhex kills the princess, Lash takes her instead because “He’d come for a female and he was leaving with one.  [Lash]

Discussion

  1. How do you feel about the new twists in the series?
  2. What do you think of Rehvenge?
  3. What are your feelings about his symphath and vampire sides?
  4. How do you feel about Rehv’s secrets?  Do you think that it was inevitable that they be revealed?
  5. What do you think about Ehlena?  Is she a strong heroine?
  6. How about her father and his illness?  Do you feel there is a correlation between that and Ehlena’s life?
  7. Do Rehvenge and Ehlena make a good couple?  Do they have enough in common to last?
  8. What do you think about the relationship between Xhex and John Matthew?
  9. Do you think John Matthew and Tohr can reconcile?  Will their relationship last as father/son or will it be more of friends/ brothers?
  10. How do you feel about the change in John Matthew’s attitude?
  11. What are your feelings about Wrath’s “moonlighting” and his lying about it?  Do you feel he was justified?
  12. What do you think of Wrath’s blindness?  Do you think that it will be permanent?
  13. How do you feel as Lash being the new villain?  Think he has staying power?
  14. Most favorite scene?  Least?
  15. Favorite one-liner?

Glossary of Terms and Proper Nouns

Vocabulary from the previous novels can be found on their discussion pages:

 

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