Twenty bits of personal canon: Blood Lines series characters
Various bits of information about Keira Kelly, Adam Walker, Tucker Kelly, Niko and Bea.
1. Keira Kelly wishes she spoke more languages. Her milk languages are Welsh and English, learned in the bowels of the Welsh hills, at the knee of her mother’s tutor. She speaks a smattering of Spanish, gleaned from classmates in Texas, in the place she’d learned to think of as home. When she’s drunk, she curses in Joual, courtesy of a brief but enlightening love affair with two cousins from Montreal.
2. Adam Walker was born in a time where men were strong and women were stronger. Survival was often a matter of the fittest, where fit is defined as one who can maneuver the intricacies of politics and despair. He buried his old life when he himself was buried. He was resurrected, after the requisite 3 days. His past was not.
3. When she was little, Keira thought that everyone in the world was tall, pale with long black or silver hair and gray eyes. “You there” meant “stay out of the way, child” and “Mother” meant that woman seated to the right of the Queen. When Keira’s father came to get her, she thought that she was being sent to the Darkhavens, a place of her nightmare. Huw’s compact squareness, olive skin, red-brown hair and green eyes spoke of “animal” and blood and things of the World Above. It wasn’t until she’d met each of her half-brothers and the tall one named Tucker had folded his arms around her and whispered, “we love you” that she understood what family really was.
4. Keira was nearly fourteen when she twigged to the fact that humans, at least traditionally-minded Western world humans were canonically monogamous and expected to be heterosexual. Instead of spin-the-bottle, considered childish by her freshmen peers, they played “I Never”. Keira was the only one to drink when Tammy Connelly stated “I never kissed another girl”. No one believed Keira was telling the truth. She later realized that most humans lie about sex.
5. Keira has six brothers, the youngest of whom are at least half a hundred years older than her – or more, they’ve never actually said. Her brothers, in order of oldest to youngest are named Ciprian, Tucker, Hamish, Duncan, Rhys and Ianto. Rhys and Ianto are identical twins. Other than the two of them, none of the boys were born to the same mother. This isn’t at all unusual in the clan. It’s much likelier than not. However, unlike Keira, all of the boys were born from only clan blood.
6. When Huw Kelly was told to bring Keira to the family, he wasn’t sure it was so great an idea. After all, the one night he’d spent with Keira’s mother had turned out so very well…not. But Huw had never been able to say no to his great grandmother – well, to any female clan member. Because of this, Huw’s very, very glad that up ‘til now, he’s only ever sired boys.
7. The first time Keira saw the full moon in a sky full of stars, she thought she was dreaming. When she was still in the hills, in her mother’s people’s land, she knew of the passing of the seasons, the turn of the earth only through tales told by her minders, when they forgot she was there. One time, she sneaked into the great hall when the court bards were telling the story of those that walked the World Above and changed shape with the cycles of the moon. Keira thought this was the best story ever. If she could change shape, she could maybe then become something they wanted, instead of the one they didn’t.
8. Keira tried to explain clan relationships once, to Bea, when Bea was about to celebrate her quinceañera. Bea never quite got that Cousins, Aunts and Uncles referred to relatives of specific generations (in relationship to oneself) and not specific blood relations. Bloodlines and clan genealogy was something Keira cared little about and was left to the purview of the Lineage. Every clan child learned their own version of the begats, and just as quickly forgot them. All Keira knew is that Gigi was the current matriarch and that was more often a problem than a blessing.
9. Tucker Kelly had always wanted a little sister. As the second brother of six, he looked forward to each new pregnancy from his father’s wives, but had always been disappointed. Then one day, his father went on a journey and returned with a seven-year-old girl child. Tucker immediately knew her to be blood kin and embraced her. Proved that even ages-old warriors could still be surprised.
10. “Once upon a time” were more than just words starting a story to Keira. The first day her teacher, Mrs. Beale, read tales from the Brothers Grimm aloud, Keira squirmed in recognition. At this point, she’d already figured out that some things were not for sharing at school, but only for family. By the time she was introduced to Tolkien’s books, she understood that some of these taletellers, including J.R.R. himself, had obviously known said family. No one ever really discussed it, though.
11. No one in Keira’s immediate family knows why Gigi chose Rio Seco, Texas as a place to settle some hundred plus years back. Perhaps it was the relative isolation, yet proximity to a couple of cities. Perhaps it was the beauty of the rolling hills studded with twisted live oak, scrubby mesquite and other forms of local flora. No matter why, to Keira, Rio Seco is a place of sanctuary and healing, and no matter what happens in her life, she’ll always regard it as home.
12. Hope is a word that Keira finally learned after some years in the company of her father and brothers. Before her father came for her, “hope” was a concept she understood only vaguely. It was a word uttered in the negative by those that had been taken by her mother’s people—those from World Above who cried out for the lack of it.
13. Keira adores music. She was introduced to most of her favorites by Tucker, who plied his sister with albums by the Beatles, the Stones, Steely Dan, Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and others. Since then, she’s been devouring music from all sorts of folks and nowadays tends to lean more toward what Bea’s nephew calls chick rock: Sarah McLachan, Dar Williams, Fiona Apple, K.T. Tunstall. She also loves contemporary folk music, but denies that it’s because so much of it resonates with the part of her she wishes she left behind in Wales. Keira’s iTunes catalogue holds nearly 30,000 tunes. She hopes that one day, Apple will develop a smaller iPod with a much larger hard drive.
14. The first time Keira went to a funeral, she didn’t understand why everyone was so sad. She was ten and the service was for an elderly man who’d been the school custodian. All the students were asked to attend, and Keira dutifully trotted off with Bea and Bea’s parents, eager to see how the death celebration was handled by humans. Up to then, she’d been unable to find the right reference works and had been frustrated. It wasn’t until she’d returned home and Tucker explained that she discovered that Mr. Flores hadn’t chosen to die, and in fact for humans, choosing one’s end wasn’t a privilege, but a crime. A few days later, she began to understand. They all died, eventually, no matter if they wanted to or not. It took Tucker several hours to calm her down after she realized that that Bea was going to die, too.
15. Beatriz Consuela Esperanza Ruiz fell in love a dozen times between ages 12 and 26. The last time she thought she was in love, she woke up one morning with a gun to her head after a night of fighting about whether or not to keep the baby. The whole thing was moot anyway, since she miscarried the malformed fetus not 8 weeks into the pregnancy. Her erstwhile lover considered Bea damaged goods and threw her over for a tall guera from San Antonio (to Bea’s relief). Bea never told Keira about the ill-fated affair nor how she’d prayed for a miscarriage from the moment the stick turned blue. Two weeks after her lover left, her mother took ill and Bea took over the cafe, vowing to never let herself get fooled again.
16. Tucker Kelly has never been in love. For all his 1200+ years, he’s dallied, flirted, frolicked and even dandled his own babies. He’s enjoyed relationships with one or more lovers of the same and opposite sexes, but he’s never really fallen in love. Love, he believes, is for those who’ve not known true war. Love means allowing someone else deep inside his truth. The closest Tucker’s come to love is finding a little sister. He’s come to accept that filial love is the best he’s going to get, besides, it’s easier that way.
17. Niko, a.k.a. Nikolai, second in command of the vampire clan at the Wild Moon, was born Nicholas, son of a woman they called whore and an unknown father. In his world, “love” meant money/sex/power. At age 12, every inch his mother’s son, he was sold to a lower noble of Queen Elizabeth’s court. At 15, he became acquainted with Master Shakespeare, in all senses of the word. Said gentleman had come calling upon Nicholas’ master and found Nicholas instead. Niko often thinks that Sonnet 18 was meant for him, but he’s never known for sure. Shortly thereafter, having been tossed into the streets again and dying of the plague, he met his new master. It was then that Nicholas found out what love really is.
18. Carlton Larson was twenty-two when he first fell in love. She was everything he wasn’t: exotic, adventurous, beautiful, sexy. She taught him that sex could be fun and that being around another person wasn’t stifling, but enjoyable. At nearly forty, he’s still in love with the same person. Too bad it’s not with his wife…and never has been.
19. Adam Walker has been in love multiple times, sometimes with multiple people at the same time. For him, love is everything that makes sense in the world; everything that holds meaning. Love may not always mean sex. It definitely doesn’t mean a forever-after marriage like pairing. However, for Adam, just because he’s no longer lovers with someone, doesn’t mean he’s no longer in love.
20. Keira Kelly doesn’t believe in true love, at least not the kind told of in fairy tales and romantic comedies. Love is not quite as all encompassing as popular culture would have you believe…besides, the idea of getting stuck with one person forever is frightening. Keira does like the idea of love and knows that, at least in her family, love meant a great many things. Some day, she may even discover what it means for her.