I’ve written a lot of couples throughout my books, but Xavier Tempest and Nadia Sylvan from War of Nytefall kind of stand out. They aren’t on/off or complicated like the Luke Callindor/Kira Grasdon/Sari triangle or the Nyx and Delvin Cunningham relationship of Legends of Windemere. Even those who are happily married seem to miss a spark that is unique to this vampire couple. After some thought, I decided that they deserve a post to touch on this important, but overshadowed piece of the series.
First, Xavier Tempest and Nadia Sylvan never met in the games that the characters originated in. He wasn’t even a noble when I played him, but a vampire looking for information on his past. She was a noble in a live-action RPG that I was in as another character, so I only connected them in the books. This is something that I did from the beginning because Nadia fit in her role as a vampire matriarch and Xavier, whose original name was Alucard, had this regal look to him. Both of them worked well as foils to Clyde and Mab as well. It made sense to make them a couple, but I think it was the comparison that locked in their spark.
With Clyde and Mab always being either not a couple or one that can’t get its act together due to pride, Xavier and Nadia turned into an openly romantic pair. They were a rock of a relationship that could not be chipped much less broken. I always try to make at least one mention of their wedding rings, which I noticed isn’t a common tradition in Windemere. I have them use cute names at times and they both claim this protective ownership of each other. My favorite part is when I decide to give them a little time to dance or do something romantic after a stressful scene. While it would normally feel out of place, it seems to work for them. They take solace and comfort in each other’s presence even after centuries of marriage.
And there we have a main part of what makes these two unique. Xavier and Nadia are immortals who have not gotten bored with each other. Centuries together and they haven’t lost their love or even considered that something new might be out there. I would go so far as to say that they are probably the deepest soulmates that I’ve written to date and might ever write. Can’t really count Ichabod Brooks and his wife since she hasn’t made an appearance yet. Anyway, I really do like how eternity hasn’t diminished what the Lord and Lady of Nyte have. It gives them a strength that the other characters lack and that’s what makes them intriguing to me.
Me mentioning this might give people a clue as to what is going to be threatened in War of Nytefall: Rivalry. Xavier and Nadia do have some interactions with the Vampire Queen, who has some issues with their relationship. I won’t say if they work with her or Clyde, but there is friction. It was fun to write because I never thought about ways to really challenge these characters. Even then, I felt like I was throwing water balloons as a steel wall because nothing really shakes them. The closest might have been in War of Nytefall: Lost, which showed them having a fight that didn’t really put the relationship at risk. In the next book, I tried again and it made me wonder why I want to put them through a rough patch. What’s wrong with having one unbreakable married couple within my books?
So, has anyone else ever written a couple that has no drama or major downturns, but it still works? Do you think it’s realistic? What is a major contributor to characters being an unbreakable couple that audiences can relate to or at least enjoy?