“Scars, though, left wounds on the inside of you, and as with skin that didn't heal right, you still felt the rough spots from time to time.” -Zsadist
Zsadist is a vampire, the twin brother of Phury, bonded hellren of Bella, father of Nalla, and a member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood in the series of the same name by JR Ward. He is one of the main characters in the third book of the series, Lover Awakened.
Taken as an infant from his family by his nursemaid, he was sold into slavery. His first memories are of sucking jam off her thumb and being on the auction block. As a child, he worked in the kitchen and it'd been ok. After his transition, he'd been kept half-starved, chained in a dungeon as a blood and sex slave.
To deal with his trauma in his youth, he detaches and refers to himself as "the slave" and refer to his manhood as "it." In 1898, Zsadist didn't recognize Phury when he came to rescue his twin, he hadn't even known his own given name. It was during this escape that the guards scarred Z's face and Phury shot off his own leg to free himself from a rope while hanging over the side of a cliff.
Sometime between his rescue and his induction into the Brotherhood, Zsadist disappeared for three weeks to rescue the Mistress' next blood slave. During the escape, she tried to stop them and Z snapped her neck. The rescuee worried that she wasn't really dead, so Z took her head as an assurance to them both.
In the early 1930s, Phury nearly died of a fever and, for the first time in his life, Zsadist worried about and had to take care of someone else. He went to Wrath for help and subsequently, the brothers were indoctrinated into the Black Dagger Brotherhood in 1932.
He fed only from humans, being too traumatized from his slavery to feed from another of the species. While he did engage in sex with humans, it was more about feeling a sense of power than pleasure, getting off on the screams of women. After Wrath catches him having particularly brutal sex with a human, a rumour spread that he liked to murder women.
The first time he met Beth, he stood over her as she woke up and asked Wrath if she was there to share amongst the Brothers. When he first met Mary, he was preventing her from running out the front door in fear of the Brotherhood. He even tried to scare Bella off the first time they met, but when she was kidnapped by Lessers, he never gave up searching for her. In comparison, he was gentle with Cormia when she first came to the mansion, even though he was worried out of his mind over Bella's difficult pregnancy.
When Tohrment disappeared after the death of Wellsie, he took over the training program and took John under his wing when he was hurt and angry and kept John's sexual assault a secret, protecting him.
Zsadist and Bella have a young daughter, Nalla, who inherited Z's citrine eyes and, according to Bella, looks like him.
Before meeting Bella, he exuded violence and frightened women, sometimes on purpose because of his past abuse at the hands of a woman. After Bella, he begins to process his trauma and learns how to value himself and those around him.
Zsadist can be very tight-lipped, even with his own brother, and will only open up in his own time and without pressure. He's the type of person to tidy up shelves and racks as he goes while shopping.
An S-shaped scar on the right side of his face pulls his upper lip into a permanent sneer. Black slave bands are tattooed around his feeding points at his neck and wrists; salt mixed with the ink makes them permanent. While he only fed from humans, he was extremely, almost dangerously, thin at approximately 190 lbs and 6'7". After mating Bella, he gained weight, putting him somewhere between 270 and 280. He often wears turtlenecks to hide the slave band around his neck.
His eyes, once black as pitch, have regained the same yellow-gold of his twin's, reflecting the change that Bella and Nalla brought about in him, although when Zsadist is angry, his eyes can return to black. His forefingers are longer than his ring fingers. He keeps his hair, the same multi-coloured hues as Phury's, trimmed tight to his skull.
He pierced his nipples himself, his left ear is gauged, and he wears a Timex watch. Like many of the Brothers, his wardrobe consists mainly of fighting leathers, the colour black, and shitkickers.
Like the rest of the Brotherhood, he wears his mark on his left pectoral. Bella's name is carved on his back in Old English lettering and Nalla's name is below that.
- Zsadist can sing so beautifully it brings tears to the eyes of his Brothers, no matter the genre
She treated Zsadist like a piece of property instead of a person, destroying his body and mind for a long time even after her death. For over a hundred years, he kept her skull near his bed so that when he woke from nightmares, he could reassure himself that she was dead. When he was ready to move on, he burned it in the boiler in the basement of the mansion.
It was Bella's persistence and need for comfort after having been held captive by the Lessening Society that helped break through his trauma. When she needed to feed she refused to feed from anyone but Zsadist, and his need to care for her helped him replace ugly memories with beautiful ones of her. He had to face many of his issues when she went into her needing. For a long time, he was convinced that she'd remember she was an aristocrat and be disgusted by him because he was convinced he was dirty. Unable to bear more of Zsadist's rebuffs, Bella took him back after seeing the progress he'd made on working through issues without the expectation that she would accept him.
Zsadist's relationship with his twin has been fraught with their traumas. When Zsadist couldn't deal, he asked Phury, the only one he trusted, to beat him. When Phury was dealing with his addiction, Zsadist couldn't watch his shellan go through a difficult pregnancy and watch his brother destroy himself with drugs at the same time. Although Z had washed his hands of Phury, he watched over him after every AA meeting that he went to and came to him when Phury thought he was no longer welcome, asking him to come and celebrate the birth of his daughter. Despite the reaction most bonded males have to others around their shellans, Zsadist never treated Phury as a threat when Phury thought he was in love with Bella.
It took Zsadist a little while after the birth of his daughter to be convinced that he would not sully her innocence by simply holding her. After Bella threatened to leave him if he wasn't going to be a father to his daughter, he began getting counselling from Mary and working on healing from his trauma.
- Zsadist drives an iron-grey convertible Porsche Carrera 4S
- He pierced his nipples himself 
- Of all the Brothers, he's JR Ward's favourite.
- His greatest fear is waking up to discover the happiness he's found is all a dream.
- He always carries a pair of SIG Sauer 40's, his weapon of choice.
- Until he met Bella, he was illiterate and asked Mary to teach him.
- He prefers remote detonators on explosives 
- Because the Mistress often kept him drugged, he refuses pain medication even during surgery.
- His family colour is green.
- He lives with Bella and Nalla on the second floor of the mansion.
- Lover Eternal
- Lover Awakened
- Lover Revealed
- Lover Unbound
- Lover Enshrined
- Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide
- Father Mine
- Lover Avenged
- Lover Mine
- Lover Reborn
- Lover at Last
- The Shadows
- Caldwell Courier Journal. Vol 1, Issue 2