Let’s talk Stone . . . and his intensity – a character study

I did a post a while back on the moment in the books that we’re introduced to Stone. I’m endlessly fascinated with Stone. There’s always more to find out. The way he looks, the way he acts, the way he thinks. It speaks volumes about the man Stone is. Mostly because Stone isn’t the most talkative man. He talks, but to know him, you have to see past the silences. You have to see past what he does and what he says to hear who he is. Make sense?

This is the excerpt in which he’s first introduced to us –

The man was formidable to behold.

He stood near the corner of the fighting ring, completely still. No movements, no change of stance, ready for anything. If he were taken from this place, and inserted anywhere else he would have the same look on his face. There seemed nothing there behind his blank stare. Oblivious to the world around him. Not paying attention to anything, just . . . there.

That wasn’t what Claude saw, and it was clear nobody else did either. Five men stood on the other side of the ring. They trembled from head to toe. They held back what they felt, ready to fight, anxious to get it over with, too afraid to start.

The man stood still as stone, his face unreadable. Dark hair, face looked repaired from many battles. Eyes hard and unforgiving. He wore a blank tank top and black pants. His large thick callused fingers held casually by his side bent into fists.

Scars marred his arms, including a ragged scar that ran from the side of his face, down the length of his body. Whoever made that mark had hopes of flaying skin from bone. He not only healed, but came back stronger.

A shadow passed over his face for the barest of moments. One of his opponents eased back a step, placing him behind the group, not wanting to be the first.

The announcer counted down, “Five! Four! . . .”

This picture represents much of where I got my inspiration from. I had this friend some years back. He was part of a motorcycle club. The Harley he rode (and my own love of them – comes from a dad who loved them) also inspired the solar bikes which the men ride in the series.

Anyhoo, the picture above is similar to one I’d seen of him (this image has a weird tat on his arm that I’m hiding with that blob of color, lol). Somehow it stuck in my mind and went into Stone as a character. As that formidable presence which nobody dare cross, and further into something I’ve always been drawn to, someone I’ve always dreamt about. I mean that in literal terms. All my life I’ve had a steady presence of a dark-haired faceless male with many, many characteristics of Stone. I’ve been noticing lately that he’s been in my favorite characters (that guy in my dreams, my “list” guy, lol). Stone being one, David, Verrick and Julian as others.

So who is Stone?

Stone is a character and a half. And I love him. You have no idea how much I do. Just . . . yes, please. He’s intense. He’s deep. He’s a man people do not cross.  And despite not always conveying emotions, you can talk to him for hours upon hours and still can’t get enough – at least Ellie finds that true as we see she never stops. Jack more so but that’s because with Jack, he always answers her, and he has the words for the talk. Stone . . . it’s not how many words, but what he says when he does speak. Stone is a patient, patient man, loyal to Ellie, stable in terms of his steadfastness. And a man with an aggressive rage with a hair trigger temper. Or . . . is that last part true? Perhaps it’s not that he’s got a hair trigger temper, but that he purposely holds no control over it.

Because he’s also very calculated and smart. We see in little moments that Stone has intense control. So it seems that Stone not having control over his temper is more calculated than it first appears.

Stone has had a plan since he was a little boy. You have to read the series to find out what that is, and why it’s so important to him, but he’s a man who sticks by his word against all odds. Even death, even enemies trying to thwart his plans. It doesn’t matter. What Stone wants, Stone achieves. And when he gives his word? It will come to pass. He is . . . did I mention intense?

Could be why I love him so damn much. He’s a complex character who comes across one way, but for the ones who know him most: mostly that means Ellie–though he loves to pretend otherwise and she is convinced at times of otherwise–he’s a different person. She can’t escape him. In the books we see she tries. She’s ran, he’s found her, brought her back. Always. And contrary to how he is with everyone else, he’s not always a beast to her. The way he caresses her thigh when she’s sleeping? Not exactly a meanie there Stone, lol. Granted, we also see in that quiet moment that Stone considers her, his.

I find it endearing the way he is with her. He’s a big ol’ brute, but with her a fumbly bumbly mess. I think he’d find it easier to just lock her in a cage, far away from the world. But then he knows it wouldn’t make her happy and she wouldn’t be Ellie. He knows that, and yet he fights that urge. It’s a complicated mess for him. And I don’t think he feels that way because of some urge to suppress and control her, as much as to keep her from harm, to protect her. I find him too adorable for words. I can’t help it. I mean . . . he named her room sunshine (gotta read Under Empty Stars to understand the reference). So maybe that’s what she is to him. Maybe that’s how he sees her. Everything is so cold in his world. Then here is this girl who love to laugh and smile and he knows it, but she’s forced to keep it hidden from the world because of where she lives. Not just that, but her eyes are the color of sunshine. Ellie is the epitome of warmth and love. How could a man who is the epitome of a demon, or a devil, not be drawn to that warmth?

She is his light. She is his light in the darkness. A calming spirit to his soul.

One of the hidden things I’ve noticed about them is that as badly as they both try to convince themselves that the other doesn’t love them, or care about them, it’s in their actions. He’s always there. Heck, he’s been there since before she was born and has never allowed her to get too far away. Wants to know what she’s thinking at times, ensures she’s feeling well, constantly checking in with her. She balks at it, but secretly I believe she really loves it. It provides her security and safety. In some ways it seems controlling, but for him, it’s taking care of her because the vitamins are for her own good (in his mind) so his over-monitoring of her health is his way of taking care of her. If Ellie hurts (much like Verrick and Kylarra in the Dynasty of Moirae series) it’ll hurt Stone.

Always stable, always protecting her, and makes it plain as day to all: she’s mine. Stone merely has to issue a look. Otherbeings back off. Well, he does have a scar that runs the length of his face and down his side, which most likely lends a clear signal that he’s not one anyone wants to take on in the ring, but it’s that intensity that practically vibrates from him as well.

Stone is surprisingly handy with making things too. Mister Jack of all Trades yeah? (Hot. Just saying!) He not only makes the solar cycle he rides (Jack and Jeremiah make theirs as well), but he also can work with electronics and builds things around the home. Intelligence doesn’t begin to describe it. Which could be why he’s so good in the ring. It’s not just analytical intelligence, but he’s intuitive and can get into the psyche of his opponents. He just likes to fight. Would you want to go up against him?

I wouldn’t.

With one punch, Stone can remove a head. It’s not because of them tiring. It’s because he waits (patience, remember), studies their moves (analytical), and then BAM. When opportunity strikes, so does he. If he’s bored with the opponent (often) then he’s going to end it in one move. Not like Jeremiah or Jack, who tend to play around and play with their opponent before they kill them. Champions indeed.

Stone attempts as hard as possible to keep himself separate from Ellie throughout the series, but I think that it is his biggest issue and a major driving force in this series. He does it because he’s convinced he’ll die. Basically states that fact throughout the entire series, but I think it’s really because he can feel that this woman . . . she demands a sacrifice of him soul level. Heart level. That scares the big ol’ brute. He has to be a better man for her. Which is a sacrifice! And he knows that to do so may hinder him in ways (totally in his head because really it’d give him strength) because most of what he does is always for her deep down. Tries to deny it, but again it’s in his actions. His words are one thing, the actions are another.

And it’s been since Ellie was born. It’s always been Ellie (much the way Verrick is with Kylarra in Blood By Night, Law of the Beast, Birth of a Princess). Ellie was born to be with him. It came about in unusual circumstances, but I don’t think if they’d been born planets apart, it would have changed what happened. They were fated to be together by whatever great force exists out there. They would’ve always ended up together. We see it in the little things that happen and in Under Empty Stars we really go . . . huh.

That’s one thing in my own life that I think I’ve always been drawn to. How no matter what we do, who we know, where we go, how we live . . . we always seem to end up where we’re meant to be. Say right now? You’re meant to be there. Meant to know those people around you. Meant to be with that person. Meant to not be with that person. Meant whatever it may be. Call me crazeh (plenty have) but I’ve always been interested in that deep intense bond too. I’m a Leo so maybe we’re just all fatal attraction romantics, but we are all about the passion! And we’re talking come down here in the deepest darkest corners and then you’ll find the door that lets you in. But most get halfway, start feeling that intensity, and run screaming up the stairs back into the light. lol Huh. Just realized if they were signs, Ellie could be a Leo. :p

And like with Stone and Ellie, we see that bond is there. No matter how they fight, Stone is always she’s mine and Ellie is always it’s always Stone. (And he loves that.) I mean who does she always go to? Confess to? Talk to? He may not say much, may not be able to really say what he wants to in the way he hopes to for her, but he does. Stone conveys it by being there day in and day out. By listening to her. By quelling her fears. By claiming her again and again. And it’s in those damnable eyes of his which don’t leave her. Rarely does he stop watching her.

I think Ellie sums it up when she thinks, Dammit, I just like looking at him.

It’s laughable in that way. Stone’s connection to Ellie is a connection I love because of that passion and intensity that vibrates beneath everything else. Before her he used women for pleasure. He admits that. Before she was born, Stone held no interest in anyone or anything. They were means to an end. They were simply stepping stones if you will.

Then he meets Haley. And more . . . Ellie. He senses her in Haley’s stomach, and even then in Daughter of the Red Planet it’s like we see this change happen. Claude hires him to watch over Haley. Sure. He’s there for work, nothing more.

So then . . . why does Ellie react to him? Why then do we never see mention of Stone with another? Why do we see the intense focus he then on develops for her? Why then does Stone wander through the house and pause, then baby Ellie cries out when he moves on? We see from the instant she comes to life, Ellie and Stone are connected. Yes, he’s far older than her, but Stone doesn’t look at her that way until she is older. But that connection is there. It was there before she was born. He tells Haley straight out that he can feel the child. We get to see right there . . . 

They are meant to be. It’s always Ellie. And we see it for her too. When she’s little, she runs and avoids as much as possible. Then she grows and something changes in her. They’re fated. They can’t find anything in another not because they can’t. Ellie does have Jack and Jeremiah there too, remember. She has people at her father’s office. So does Stone. But from the moment they come into contact with one another, even as a baby in her mother’s stomach, for both of them: it’s just the otherNobody fulfills the feelings, the cravings, the connection, anything.

In Under Empty Stars we also get to see a smooth charmer come onto Ellie. You’ll have to read the book to find out her reaction, but let’s just admit it: once one has had a taste of Stone, nobody else can compare. Stone wouldn’t have issue finding someone (doubt she would either). He’s never had. But they wouldn’t be Ellie.

Not sure about you, but for me? I love that. I found a poem that I wrote some years ago which describes that feeling. One look is all it would take. How could we not love a man who with one look? That’s all it takes. From then on, it’s nobody else. And as I write that I realize that Stone never lets her believe for one moment that there is anyone else. He doesn’t try to hurt her like that. Sure, he says “I’m not your savior,” again and again, but never once are we subjected to him telling Ellie there is another. Never once does another come into play. I think had Ellie picked up on that (and she would’ve), Stone never would’ve had another chance. So for the two of them, that bond is sealed. It doesn’t break. He’s loyal to her in a way that is purely fairy tale like. And I absolutely love that.

What else to say about Stone.

I think the biggest hurdle that Ellie faces is her craving to get to the depth within Stone which he seems to fear giving to her. For Ellie, love is everything. She thrives off it, and not in a way which means it makes her feel better, but truly thrives. Ellie is love. It is her life force. Her life essence is about healing, about life, and what fundamentally is life about?

Love

So for Ellie, she needs to connect to Stone on a level that I truly believe he wants to as well, but he’s fearful of it. 100% all in. Because he has to admit to himself then that maybe he needs it as much as she does? That he’s human in that way? Maybe that’s where the fighting always comes in. It’s not that he doesn’t love her. We know he does. But he fights that deep bond she craves, she needs, and one which means he has to embrace his heart to the fullest meaning. Like a merging of some kind. Out of nowhere, near the end of the editing of this book, I changed one of the passages from simple “soul mates,” to include “twin flame,” because I think that’s part of what the issue is with these two.

I’ve been reading up on the concepts of soul mates versus twin flames, and the like this past year. Don’t ask why. It came up near Summer time and then I’ve been reading up. These two basically fit the profile to a T of twin flames.  Which explains their struggles, the fights, the torment that both of them suffer, but more so Stone’s fighting of the battle. When I look at Stone’s story as a whole, I can really see those aspects.

I can understand that in Ellie though. People are afraid to truly let people in. Great love requires great sacrifices. 100% all in sort of commitment. It’s what I’ve always sought so maybe that’s coming out in Ellie. She is so afraid to be vulnerable to Stone because he’s holding himself back ever so, which makes it hard to trust him. He’s not 100% there with her. Always slightly going . . . I can’t.

But again. Great love requires great sacrifice.

It’s not about losing our freedom. It’s not about not being independent. It’s about completely opening our hearts and souls to another person. Is it any wonder Stone would be scared shitless to feel that way? He risks being hurt in a way that not even that scar on his body may have felt. A physical wound can heal. But he risks a pain far greater than anything physical if he opens his heart & soul to this woman and it doesn’t work out.

Side-writer-laughable-note: come on Stone, ya kidding? Ellie couldn’t leave you if she tried. I have this in with that knowledge.

She’s in there. No matter what he says, how he tries to fight it. Which is why it’s funny that he’s afraid to go all in, but at the end of the day one of the biggest sub plots we see in this series is Stone being faced with that. Again and again Ellie tries, and again and again Stone rebukes her, but then again and again he’s constantly making it clear to all planets, people, and beings she is mine. You’d think it would be so easy for him then to just let her in. 

Maybe that also stems from Stone’s childhood. In the final in the series (there are hints in Daughter of the Red Planet too) we learn what formed Stone as a whole and what has been with him since he was born. Maybe the reason why he fears so damn much in letting Ellie in is because of what happened as a child. The first (and only time) he ever felt love that way . . . things happened. So not telling! As much as he craves that connection with someone again, it scares him. When he lost it, he lost a huge part of himself.

Ellie is the truest potential he has for a life-lasting, all-encompassing, soul level merging love that let’s face it: he wants. Otherwise he would have truly ended their connection long ago by breaking her heart. All it would’ve taken was to see him with another. They would’ve been done forever. For her that would be the day he killed her love for him. For all her bravado Ellie loves the intensity of his focus. That he’s as overtly protective as he is. That he’s always taking care of her, looking out for her, being there, claiming her. She’s stronger than she looks and far more capable of taking care of herself but he’s known all this time what really would’ve crushed their connection. So as I write that I realize it: there in that whisper of yet another action we see from him his true feelings. It’s all in his actions.

A moment in the story matches this picture. When Stone says nothing and everything with a simple move like this. Ellie has her chance to walk. Her chance to not trust him. To walk away. She can finally leave.

 

You’ll have to read the series, and the final book Under Empty Stars to find out the conclusion of their tale.

 

 

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