A Kiss of Shadows – Chapter 15: False tension and forced kisses

Chapter 15 begins with the two human women exiting the bathroom without any prompting from Merry, so it made the whole “oh no, what will we do about these chicks?” thought process from Chapter 14 totally worthwhile. Good job there. I fucking hate when authors do this false tension BS. If you’re going to make it a point to call out something in the last paragraph of a chapter, to end it in a small cliffhanger, at least GO SOMEWHERE with it. Don’t have the people the main character worries about in the previous chapter just go “Oh, well, light’s off in here, better just LEAVE.” Ugh.
After they leave, a magical green tinted flame springs to life inside the bathroom, and Merry sees the dark shadowy figure from the mirror, now inside the bathroom with her. It’s Doyle.
Let’s pause here. Doyle. This big shadowy figure is named Doyle. Doy-fucking-el. Why you so bad at character names, LKH???
Doyle is black. He looks as if he is carved of pure ebony, with long hair braided in one thick braid down his back, and had pointed ears. He was the queen’s right hand guard, known throughout Faerie as the queen’s Darkness. Whenever the queen would ask “Where is my Darkness? Bring me my Darkness.” someone would end up injured or dead.
Doyle tells Merry that he means her no harm, and Merry knows that he is telling the truth because Doyle is so feared he has no reason to ever lie.  Merry asks Doyle why he was sent to save her, then, if Sholto was sent to kill her, and Doyle tells her that the queen did not send Sholto, that if the queen truly meant Merry’s death she wouldn’t send someone to kill her outright, she’d drag Merry back to the Unseelie Court to make an example of her to the other Unseelie sidhe. To prove to Merry that the queen did indeed send him, Doyle pulls out a sword: the queen’s sword, Mortal Dread. This sword caused whoever was touched by it to become mortal, meaning  every blow was a death blow.
The sluagh banging at the bathroom window become louder, and Doyle realizes they do not have much time before the sheer strength of the sluagh burst through the window. Doyle tells Merry they are running out of time, apologizes, then grabs Merry to plant a big ol’ kiss on her lips. However, before he can, a giant tentacle breaks through the window. Doyle quickly turns and uses the sword to cut through the large tentacle. He then strides back to Merry and tells her that he must kiss her because the queen put her mark of protection within Doyle and she requested that he give it to Merry the same way the queen gave it to him – through a kiss.
They kiss and kiss and Merry feels the power from the queen’s mark pass through Doyle and into her. The queen’s mark would let all fey know that she was under the queen’s  protection, and any force against Merry would be taken as a force against the queen herself. It would protect Merry from the onslaught of sluagh.
As they’re kissing, and as the mark is passing from Doyle to Merry, Merry begins to run her hands over Doyle’s chest. She finds an open wound, from battling several sluagh before he reached Merry, and plunges her hand into it. The power bursts through both Merry and Doyle, and when the kiss ends Merry falls to the ground and Doyle leaned against the sink, as if he were light-headed.
Just then Sholto bursts through the bathroom door and began attacking Doyle. The flame vanishes, plunging the room into total darkness once again.
Characters Introduced:
Doyle – the queen’s most trusted and feared guard. Tall, pure black in skin, pointed ears which prove he’s not pure-blooded sidhe. Long hair worn in a braid. Lots of piercings, most silver rings.
Themes Introduced:
“Where is my Darkness? Bring me my Darkness.”

Sex: of course passing the queen’s mark of protection is through a kiss.  Of course it is.

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