Warning: this post will make no sense to those who know nothing about Shayara; feel free to scroll.
Refresher: Jessa is best known during the timeline of the story proper as Capri's mother, one of the first fatalities of the Purges... you don't get to know her in the main story, really. Except as negative space. You see bits of her in how Capri was raised, in how she remains a huge part of Fenris's world.
I have three novella-to-novel-length flashback stories that run parallel to the main story. One of them, the one I'm currently working on in fits and starts, is Jessa's story. I'm following her from her late adolescence at the Sanctuary, where she meets Fenris, up through her eventual death. In between, she returns to the city, makes fateful decisions both good and
...and I cannot get the woman out of bed most days, you guys. She's seriously perhaps my horniest character ever.
So of course the new story revelation has to do with her sex life of course it does dammit Jessa put some clothes on.
So I was thinking (a dangerous pasttime, I know) about the lack of poly relationships in this generation of Shayara. I figure I don't have many visible because when I first thought up this generation, I did not yet know what poly was, and I hadn't revisited it enough to go huh. But of course there would be poly folk, because the relationship model in the next generation down is predominantly poly, and that doesn't just happen out of thin air. So who in this generation, the generation of the main characters' parents, might Jessa have had a relationship with concurrent with her post-Fenris relationship with and marriage to Marcus? It wouldn't all be Beltane hookups; that's not how Jessa's wired. There would be someone. Capri and Kieran were best friends growing up, so maybe Kieran's father - but no, because he was an asshole. Say what you will, Jessa wouldn't go for that. So, strong character, same or similar social stratum -
- and boom into my head drops the whole thing -
Thomas and Elizabeth Halloran.
The entire thing boom into my head - the first conversation they have about the very possibility, at one of House L'Arath's balls. Their entire dynamic - which is of course kinky. My brain says "if you can't find a way to actually be having kinky sex, I demand that you at least write about it," like that's helping.
And, of course, it's not just kinky funtimes. Thomas and Elizabeth are raising the next Kithrayn of their House, Michael - so Jessa gets parenting role models, too, and exposure to kids for really the first time. The way the timeline works out, her being there for Daniel's birth works perfectly in terms of sparking her own desire for a child, her trying for years with Marcus, and her finally turning to Fenris.
It also makes sense from a political standpoint. House Tamra and House Bartomn are the only two Houses that openly oppose Alanna and the Council. Of course they'll be leaning on each other after that decision - but what if it's a decision, a pact, that the heads of the Houses made together?
And it lets me make the first deaths of the Purges even more gutwrenching. Because what if, instead of shooting Thomas and Elizabeth right off, trying to make Michael kneel, and killing him when he won't, then radioing to have the Hounds take down Jessa and her family -
What if Alanna kills Elizabeth, tells Thomas that the Hounds are tracking Jessa and her family, and demands that he kneel if he wants to save her life? What would he do?
And then what would Michael do?
(Well. I already know, of course.)
* Yes, yes, one-track mind! I blame Friday's glutening. Still brainfogged!