There are a few things Quinn knows for certain.

One, he can’t kill her himself. Literally can’t, he’s seen her make short work of opponents much stronger than him, but even if it were a possibility, he doubts he could bring himself to do it. There are some things he still shrinks from, it seems, even having committed himself to this plan.

Two, there is no way out of this other than death. If he tries to back out now, Baras will kill him. If he breaks down and confesses everything to Ruqi, either she or Baras will kill him. The only way he can see out of this is to do as he’s been told.

Which brings him to a third thing he knows: he’s not brave enough or honest enough or good enough to stand against Baras with Ruqi and die with her. This isn’t some epic romance, and he isn’t a hero–he’s a man who wants to make it out of this alive, and if that means living as a traitor to the woman he loves, so be it.

Quinn angst really is the gift that keeps on giving.

(This is it, this, for me, is the heart of the betrayal. When it comes down to it, Quinn is fundamentally lacking in two things: the faith to believe Ruqi can beat Baras, and the courage to stand with her against him even if she can’t. He loves her more than he’s ever loved anyone, and he still doesn’t have that faith or that courage, and no one else could ever hate him for that as thoroughly as he hates himself for it. Which ties into why he doesn’t think confessing everything to her and throwing himself on her mercy is an option–she won’t forgive him for it, why should she? He certainly wouldn’t. IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY DOWN HERE IN QUINN HELL I’M FINE WE’RE ALL FINE HERE HOW ARE YOU?)