Derik is a major character in both Homecoming and Tourist Trap, and will continue to be important in the upcoming trilogy. He is Lai’s half brother. He is High R’il’noid, second only to Zhaim among the R’il’noids, and one of Lai’s closest friends. Like many R’il’noids, he will never age beyond maturity, and by the beginning of Homecoming is roughly fifteen centuries old.

Homecoming coverPhysically, he is athletic (horseback obstacle racing, sailing, hang gliding) medium sized with a rather light build, and monotone in color – his hair, eyes, and skin are all the same medium golden brown color, except for the metallic gold veining in his eyes. He is more than half R’il’nian (the metallic eye veining is a R’il’nian trait) being the son of the purebred R’il’nian, Tarl, and a mother who is a complex crossbred.

Psychologically, he is one of those characters who invented himself. He is bisexual in that his partners are important to him more because of what is inside them than because of external qualities like sex. He is by nature monogamous, but he is effectively immortal in a world where women with his life span are rare and want children, and he is nearly sterile. As a young R’il’noid he had little sense of responsibility, and still suffers from the reputation that earned him. However, by the time his younger half-brother Lai was born he was considered responsible and expert enough that Tarl entrusted much of Lai’s basic esper training to Derik, and he is still the one who trains most of the young R’il’noids in the use of these abilities. He is also the Confederation’s premier expert in xenotelepathy.

Here he is speaking from roughly a third of the way through Homecoming. This is some of what he does not reveal to Roi in the book.

“Of course I understand the difference between love and lust,” I growled at Bera. “And I loved Edward.”

“Did you? Did you truly do what was best for him, or did you please yourself?”

I looked at the bier where what was left of Edward lay, fighting to control tears. Why was Bera talking of this now?

“Perhaps you are not old enough yet to understand,” she said. “Perhaps for now you need to bury this memory. But keep it. Here,” and she plucked a flower from the hedge beside us, a small scarlet flower of the kind called lovers’ lips. “Remember this, and its scent, when you are ready to bring this day back.”

Last night, after I was forced to go into Roi’s mind to understand why he had that poltergeist reaction, I revisited that memory, and this time I understood. Love cannot be bought. Edward was my slave, and while I thought I was doing the best for him, I never really allowed him to be his own person. I’d intended the same with Roi, but in seeing the horrors he had been through I understood all too well that his apparent compliance had been based on fear that I would sell him.

Had the same been true of Edward?

I’m doing my A to Z blogs from my books, both characters and background information. For characters I’ll introduce them quickly, say what point of time they’re talking from since their situations change drastically through the books, and let them talk. Background information will vary according to what I’m talking about. All of these blogs will be scheduled to go live just after midnight Alaska time.

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