|Spoilers: Crimson Death
This article or section contains spoilers for 2016 novel Crimson Death.
Proceed with caution.
Yiyú (meaning literally Black Jade), commonly called Jade, is a black weretiger and a recurring supporting character in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. She is the former tiger to call of one of the Harlequin, and becomes the black tiger to call for Anita Blake. Jade was severely abused by her former master, who used pain to control her, and is left with deep trauma and insecurities.
Jade is Anita's first female lover. (Although Anita had a previous metaphysical experience with Belle Morte.) Jade thus makes Anita "heteroflexible" rather than heterosexual, as Anita still considers herself mostly straight.
Jade is delicate, petite, and Chinese with long straight, shining black hair. She is shorter than Anita by inches and can fit under Anita's arm like Anita can fit under most of her boyfriends' arms.
Jade's eyes are "an orange so dark they look brown. In the right light, they were the color of fire when it burns deep into the wood." Her eyes are uptilted from her Chinese descent.
Jade is "fragile", and extremely shy and timid after centuries of abuse by her former vampire master. Anita describes it as Jade having a victim's mentality, and "being basically an abused wife". This comes out in multiple ways, such as her not wanting eye contact during sex because it's too aggressive. She also does not like men due to her abuse, but she allows Domino to join her and Anita in bed, and Nathaniel and Crispin are "tolerated". Jade dislikes male vampires even more, although she becomes friendly with Damian after he tells her of his own abuse, and Jean-Claude is also able to gain her trust. She fears that her old master might still take her over again.
She's girly and enjoys doing "girl stuff" like going out shopping, and she wants Anita to do it with her.
She likes the truth like Anita does, and doesn't forget when she's lied to.
In Bullet, Jade comes to St. Louis to spy for her master. She pretends to be an attack survivor and wears brown contact lenses to hide her tiger eyes. When Domino's power feeds into Anita, Anita senses a black tiger with no clan and attempts to call Jade to her, but Jade resists. Anita approaches her and takes her hand, and she finds Jade is extremely powerful. With the ardeur, Anita senses that Jade has been extremely lonely without other black tigers, and Anita and Domino "both smelled like home" to her. Jade's master intervenes and tries to control both her and Anita. With the help of Domino, Anita succeeds in breaking the connection between Jade and her master, and she marks Jade as her own black tiger to call.
Through her connection with Jade, Anita learns of another Harlequin among the weretigers. The man, Topaz, is apprehended by their security. When Jade isn't with Anita, she stays with Domino. Topaz reveals that he and his master maneuvered to get Jade to Anita, so that Anita might break her free from her abusive master, and also make her master weak enough to be killed.
Jade remains in St. Louis with Anita, and although she can fight and is fearsomely good, the centuries of abuse have left her with the mentality of a victim.
In Hit List, Jade does not appear and is not directly referenced. In the epilogue chapter, Anita is back in her own home two days a week, and "sometimes other tigers" stay over, which could possibly include Jade.
By Kiss the Dead, Jade has become Anita's regular lover and has let Domino join them in bed. Anita now considers herself "heteroflexible" because of Jade, since Anita prefers men and Jade is an exception. Anita feels protective of her, but still isn't used to the idea of being with a woman. Being with Jade also makes Anita more sympathetic when Brice comes out as gay.
When Anita is hurt and Jade learns of it, Damian tries to calm her. He takes her to Anita so Jade can see for herself that Anita is okay. She's in such a panic that she's "head-blind" and Anita can't reassure her mind-to-mind. God notes that she "spooks easy" and Domino is quick to defend her, as he is very protective of her. Jade runs in and leaps into Anita's arms, wraps her legs around her waist, buries her face to Anita's neck, and mumbles in Chinese. She joins Anita and Jean-Claude to cuddle on the bed while they talk with Asher. When Anita gets frustrated with Jean-Claude about sending Asher away, Jade tries to soothe her by rubbing her face against Anita's waist. When Asher seems to make an attempt at seduction, Jade gets up to leave because she fears that Anita and Jean-Claude will have sex with Asher. She backs up into Domino and startles, and doesn't want him to touch her either, but he is able to escort her back to her room.
In Affliction, Jade does not appear, but she is referenced several times. Jean-Claude references Jade as one of the people who remind him that he is not a monster and does not wish to be one. Anita later states that she hasn't been brave enough to go out with Jade in public. Anita promises to herself that she would see about going out to dinner with Jade and Nathaniel when she gets back to St. Louis, but also reflects that Jade puzzles her and she "needed a wingman" to date her. Nicky points out that it still weirds Anita out to date a girl, but Anita says that when she's around Jade she likes her, she just never saw herself with a girlfriend. At the end of the novel, Jade is listed as one of several people who were happy about the marriage proposal until they learned they were not included.
In Jason, Anita asks J. J. for help with pleasuring Jade since Jade is her first female lover. The three women along with Nathaniel Graison, Jason Schuyler, and Domino go to bed together. But when Jason and Nathaniel get more involved, Jade asks Domino to take her from the room, and the two leave.
Jade's ongoing issues and insecurities, and her refusal to seek help with therapy, leads to Anita ending their relationship.
In Crimson Death, Jade does not appear, but she is referenced several times. Anita tells Damian that Jade "had more issues than [Anita] could deal with in bed with another woman," so Jade isn't her lover anymore. She also says that if she and Jade "had matched up better in the bedroom" then Jade "might have been [Anita's] only-ever girlfriend," but she and Jade like opposite things in bed. Jade was tentative in the bedroom, waiting for Anita to always take the lead.
When Anita needs to feed the ardeur on Domino to heal herself, she asks him if Jade will be okay with them doing so. Domino is certain she'll be fine because she "wants to fuck [Anita] too." Anita thinks that her relationship with Jade had been "unsatisfactory" for Anita and "frustrating" for Jade, and she doesn't want to be dragged back into it after having sex with Domino again. When she and Domino have sex, he asks Anita to look into his eyes. Anita thinks this is because Jade wouldn't want to look into someone's eyes during sex because she feels it's too aggressive.
Although Jade isn't directly referenced in the scene, Jade presumably saw Domino's death when Anita threw open her metaphysical shields for help when they were attacked in the hotel room.