Quinn (Quinn Alexander Rutledge)
Birthday: April 20
Older than his cousin Delia by one month and one day, he spent a lot of time at her house as a child, as Delia’s mother was appalled by the way her sister-in-law treated him and would gladly have taken him herself.
He and Delia share a love of the Swedish pop band ABBA, and spent much of their childhood making up dances to ABBA songs, including Dancing Queen and Voulez-Vous Couchez. As Quinn says, “Who lets their seven-year-olds do that shit?!” However, they loathe Ace of Base, whom they call a shameless ABBA rip-off. They also listened to a lot of Madonna, and sang of “Like a Prayer,” “Like a Virgin,” and “Material Girl.” Quinn was devastated when his voice changed and he could no longer hit the notes.
His favorite videos games: a tie between The Legend of Zelda (“That’s because you look like Link,” Ellis says) and the Final Fantasy Series. When he gets angry or needs to escape his own head, he plays Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. He almost went into video game design, and would have if he didn’t love horses so much.
Quinn’s horses include, currently: a blood-bay warmblood named Mister, whom he used to use for three-day eventing but now foxhunts; a thoroughbred mare named Zelda whom he uses for dressage; and a dark bay wamblood named Lucifer, whom he currently uses for three-day eventing. He eventually buys a Gypsy Vanner (Irish horses with wild-colored, for the layperson, black-and-white cow spots, known for their gentle dispositions) he names Kitten. While she’s growing, he teaches her tricks. Ellis finds the tricks ridiculous.
He keeps his horses that aren’t at the SASA stables (whichever he’s using for eventing and Zelda, for dressage) at the farm on the opposite side of Henry’s from Aunt Georgia’s.
He really does have that high of a metabolism. It’s not being a teenager.
His favorite books include the Hellboy series (which he introduces to Audie and trades back and forth), The League of Extraordinary Gentleman Series, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman (which he tried to lend to Calhoun but he found too scary), and Slaughter-House 5.
He loves all his best friends for different reasons. Calhoun because he listens and understands him; Delia because she’s a fireball who’s known him forever and he can always trust her; Isabel because she always knows when he’s sad and is super-sweet — and who keeps his secrets, despite her reputation as an inveterate gossip.
Bastian McCarthy taught him how to give a BJ. He had, and continues to have, a major crush. But it’s Bastian, and you can’t really blame Bastian for anything, not really. Quinn missed him after he left St. Albert’s but never called because he didn’t want to seem weird or desperate.
Ellis (Elliston Livingston Ashford)
birthday: September 18
Obsessed with F. Scott Fitzgerald, but if you’ve been paying any attention, you probably already knew that. Favorite Fitzgerald quotes include:
“The idea, you know, is that the sentimental person thinks things will last —the romantic person has a desperate confidence that they won’t.” (This Side of Paradise)
“I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again.” (This Side of Paradise)
As a child, he wanted to be an astronaut. Unlike most kids, he kept that dream all through high school. However, his eyesight degenerated, and he was unable to pass the requisite tests. He remains obsessed with space and NASA; he makes Quinn watch shuttle launches and owns a telescope.
Ellis write in a journal regularly. No one is allowed to see it. He feels like it creates discipline, and has done it since he read Samuel Pepys in high school.
Name a drug. Ellis has tried it. He also knows how to care from someone coming down from it. This eventually comes in handy …
Out of all Quinn’s friends, he likes Audie and Calhoun the best.
His favorite holiday is Halloween. He has no bad memories attached to it, and loves to dress up. He spends plenty of time scheming what double-costumes he and Quinn can dress up in. His dream: Batman and Robin. Quinn refuses unless he gets to Batman. Ellis goes to parties and hands out oodles of candy to kids.
Ellis actually adores children. Loves them. He desperately wishes he could have kids of his own but knows that Quinn isn’t suited for that, and it breaks his heart; he especially loves babies. He’s never shared that with anyone and never will. So he contents himself with spoiling Quinn and volunteering at the Savannah LBGTQ youth center. He sort of still holds onto the idea that maybe, in a decade or so …
If he wasn’t an architect, he would be a teacher. He missed his calling, and sometimes realizes it.
He really secretly love Mario Kart.
It’s hard for him to be around Calhoun without wanting to baby him the same way he babies Quinn. Calhoun just seems so vulnerable and in need of babying.
He went to some of Jim Williams’s Christmas parties as a child with his parents. He remembers them vaguely.
Yes, he’s slept with girls. He enjoys it. He doesn’t have the same daddy dynamic, but he does take charge. And yep: he’d sleep with Isa in a heartbeat, and probably would play daddy with her. He keeps quiet about that one for everyone’s sake. The reddish hair absolutely destroys him, and he prefers women much smaller than he is. It makes him uncomfortable — Western standards of beauty and all that — but he’s learned to live with it. He kind of wishes Quinn was more bi than gay.
He really love the band The National and owns several T-shirts. His favorite album is Boxer, and his favorite song “Mistaken for Strangers.” He also loves David Byrne’s solo stuff.
Ellis has a tattoo of “I’m fixing broken things” (a David Byrne lyric) on his left forearm. It’s in his own handwriting, which he carefully cultivated over years.
Joseph Amory Reed
birthday: Jan. 11
Listen to Amory’s playlist on Spotify
His first theater performance was in the musical 1776.
His favorite musical, hands-down, is Hamilton. He knows all the words, and quotes them often. He shares this love with Quinn and Ellis, and they sing it in the car a lot. His favorite songs include “My Shot,” “The Ten Duel Commandments,” and “Hurricane.” They all sometimes sing “Satisfied” together and would never admit it together. Amory sings Angelica, Ellis sings Hamilton, and Quinn sings Eliza.
He bought his Ford Explorer with excess student loan money.
His siblings, in reverse order: Melanie, Josephine (Josie), Lauren, Debbie, Thomas, Crystal, and Elijah.
His second favorite musical is Rent, and he laments that he would never be able to play Mimi, because he’ll never be able to her part in “Light My Candle.”
He really, really, really wants a dog. He grew up around dogs all the time — his family used to breed cattle dogs — and he misses them desperately. They also used to breed African Gray parrots and ragdoll cats.
He loves fishing and wishes he were closer to Henry and Audie so he could fish with them more. He really wants to be better friends with Quinn’s friends, because he doesn’t have many of his own, and he likes the way they’ve stuck with Quinn and keep an eye on him. It means a lot to him.
He has no idea when or why he started calling Ellis “Daddy Bear.”
The snark and humor started out in military school as a protective measure and never left him. It eventually became part of who he is and he enjoys it now.
He reads voraciously, much more than Quinn, and he’ll read whatever you stick in front of him. He keenly feels the loss of actual, reliable books as a child and wants to learn as much as he can. For the same reason, he likes documentaries a lot.
But he also really, really loves trashy reality TV. His favorites are the ones where people get put in weirdo survival situations. Ellis and Quinn hate them.
Secret guilty pleasure: Downton Abbey. He made Isa go with him to the movie and swear to god she wouldn’t tell a soul. He doesn’t know that Downton Abbey is also Ellis’s secret guilty pleasure, and he took his mother to the movie. Quinn is mostly unaware of Downton Abbey’s existence.
He loves museums and will take any chance he can to visit them. He also loves the Charleston aquarium and was really, genuinely sad when that white alligator died. His favorite thing at the Atlantic aquarium is the octopus. He always feels compelled to quote Goonies when he sees her: “The octopus was very scary.” Only Ellis gets it and he cracks up every time.