I know I did a post just a few weeks ago about Patricia Brigg's Mercy Thompson series, but as I was listening to Say, by John Mayer (also mentioned in a post a few weeks ago) it struck me that this song works, too, for one of the important, but rarely seen, characters in that series (and a huge part of her related Alpha and Omega series.)
Bran Cornick is the Marrok, the leader of all the North American werewolves. On the small side, he looks young, harmless, more like a boy than an adult.
"[Bran] looked for all the world like a college student, a computer geek or maybe an art major. Someone sensitive, gentle, and young - but she knew he was none of these things. He was the Marrok, the one all the Alphas answered to - and no one dominated an Alpha werewolf by being sensitive and gentle."Cry Wolf
"A sandy-haired young man with a nondescript face held a plastic tray loaded with two plastic-wrapped sub sandwiches, a pair of styrofoam cups of hot chocolate, and a dark blue winter jacket. Maybe it was the food, but it occurred to me that if Bran looked that much like the cliché of a delivery boy, it was probably on purpose. He liked to be unobtrusive." Moon Called
Really, though, he is the toughest and strongest werewolf of all. Born hundreds of years ago, the son of a Welsh witch, he is incredibly old and incredibly powerful.
The lyrics for Say work as well for Bran as Lan. He has great tragedy in his past, something only a few know about. The horrors he went through when he was young (for a werewolf) have left him with a dangerously unstable side to his wolf. It is because of his need to control that aspect of himself that he has chosen to mate with Leah, a woman he despises. While this technique has successfully controlled his berserker side, it has left both of them unhappy, especially Leah.
"The last time he’d felt that way was when Blue Jay Woman died. He’d held on to the Beast by the finest of threads - and it had scared him. He couldn’t afford to love someone like that ever again.
...Curled up on his side of the bed, [Leah] hugged a pillow. Tenderness welled up in him; asleep she looked soft and vulnerable.
He pushed the tenderness away. In that there was too much danger. He knew his sons had never understood his marriage, his mating. It had taken him a few years after Blue Jay Woman’s death to find Leah, a woman so selfish and stupid he was certain he could never really love her. But love wasn’t necessary for the mating bond - acceptance was, trust was - and love was a bonus he couldn’t afford.
With Blue Jay Woman he’d found that the mating bond was the answer to the Beast - spreading out the cost of control. He needed the mating bond to hold the monster he could become at bay. But he could not afford to lose anyone else he loved the way he had loved Blue Jay Woman. So he’d found an acceptable compromise in Leah."
Doesn't Say seem to to fit him perfectly? It would do him a lot of good to take this song to heart.
"Walking like a one man army
Fighting with the shadows in your head
Living out the same old moment
Knowing you'd be better off instead,
If you could only . . .
Say what you need to say
...Even if your hands are shaking
And your faith is broken
Even as the eyes are closing
Do it with a heart wide open"
Books: Cry Wolf, Moon Called, Patricia Briggs
Music: Say, John Mayer