Alex is a Gancanagh that serves as Ashley's familiar and one of the protagonists of the short story, Defender and Ash. He formerly inhabited a location close to a cursed marsh but was drawn to her despite his nature, choosing to die with her one day in the hopes he could help her heal before then.
Alex appears to be a young man with eyes like black obsidian and his hair in waves, having a deeply powerful voice that make him attractive to women. He also carries a pipe with him.
As a fae whose purpose was to lure women to death by using their magic to make them fall in love before snuffing out the light that was their life, he ultimately felt no regret over his actions as it was simply what he existed for and he could not understand the notion of regretting it until he met Ashley, realizing what he had done to the other women he'd lured to death.
Over the course of the story he feels himself being called and drawn to Ashley after seeing her eyes and how they sucked him in, with him later realizing that he wanted to heal her heart rather than lead her off to her death. As a result he felt relieved when he was finally able to express himself and ask for her to take him with her. Due to the fact that he isn't human, he doesn't have a human's standard when it comes to beauty and finds Ashley's appearance as being fine for him.
Prior to meeting Ashley, Alex would often lead women to their deaths as was his nature until the serial killer's appearance reduced the number of potential victims.
The Gold Yarn
The short story, Defender and Ash, has the then nameless Gancanagh spotting Ashley (who was originally named Alex) and approaching to hit on her, unable to tell she was mage. However, after meeting her eyes he felt drawn to her and thought to warn her against approaching the marsh as others who were far more experienced and long-lived than her had tried and failed. She still left and he watched her go, not expecting to see her again.
Later, he is mocked by a Leánnan sídhe for not noticing that she was a mage when he hears her calling out and goes into the marsh to find her, as if drawn in. He stops her from bleeding out, though unaware of why he feels so compelled, and eventually learns of her story and regrets before deciding to accompany her a second time.
When she gets pulled down into the marsh, he goes into the water to bring her out and then attempts to take her to safety before she decides to continue with the ritual. Unable to stop her, he then decides to support her as she used her magic and successfully freed a few of the trapped souls before carrying her to safety.
In the aftermath, he realized that her sister's soul was still trapped inside and she would make another attempt, before asking for her to make a contract as he felt as though he wanted to heal the broken parts inside of her. So she enters into a contract with him, bequeathing him with her old name (Alex) and taking on her sister's (Ashley).
Years later, he accompanies her and attempts to get her to take better care of herself.
- Charm: As a Gancanagh, he possess magic that makes women love him and his unwillingness to reciprocate would tear them apart.
- Ashley: Drawn to Ashley upon meeting her, Alex was bound to her and felt concern for her well-being despite it contradicting his very nature. This initially left him confused until he eventually managed to ask to be taken as her familiar, with the belief that it was what destiny wanted. Since then he has attempted to look out for her with the knowledge that he will die with her.
- (To Ashley) "Let me tell you, once my kind make up their minds, no mere human can turn us away. No matter how much you may not want it, I'm coming with you. Got it? "