Chapter 26 begins with Merry and Doyle reaching the entryway to the Unseelie sithen. The doorway moves, sometimes it faces the road that leads to it, sometimes it faces the rear of the mound, and it’s on its own schedule, so no one ever really knows where it is. A small amount of magic is needed to search for the door’s location, which would alert the sithen guards. Merry would often get in trouble as a teenager for sneaking away at night and then having to use magic to locate the door when it moved on her.
Merry allows Doyle to open the door for her. He finds the door and forces it to rise out of the ground for them. The door would change in size to just fit whoever needed to walk through it. If a larger vehicle needed to enter the mound, the door would be the size of the vehicle. Since it was just Merry and Doyle, the door was only wide enough to fit them both. They walk through, and the doorway vanishes behind them, leaving them in a large stone hallway. The sithen, much like the entrance, has a mind of its own and changes at will, so a walk down a hallway could lead you to a different place each time. It had been rumored that at one time the sithen was full of meadows and green gardens, but in her time in the sithen, Merry had never seen one.
They begin walking down the hallway when Doyle stops them. He has noticed the gun Merry has strapped to her ankle. Guns are not allowed inside the sithen, not since Merry killed Bleddyn with one in her last duel. Doyle tries to take it from her, but she struggles against him, not wanting to give up her extra protection. Suddenly, they hear footsteps coming towards them from down the hall, so they stop fighting and Doyle pins Merry against his body. Doyle whispers to Merry that she will not need the gun, but when Merry asks him to give his oath on that, he will not. Thus Merry wants to keep the gun. He won’t let her, and instead does some stupid maneuver that makes it look to the other guards, who have come closer to them in the hall, that he’s simply letting Merry sit on his lap. He takes the gun from her.
The two guards ask Doyle what was going on, and he tries to play it off as “oh we just had a slight disagreement, tee hee!” One of the guards doesn’t believe him, and questions what the disagreement was about. Frost, this guard’s name is Frost. He is tall, with ankle-length shimmering metallic silver hair, like tinsel on a Christmas tree. His eyes are very grey and his face very angular and arrogant. And of course, he’s dressed in all silver. Like how the queen called Doyle her “Darkness”, she calls Frost her “Killing Frost”. Merry greets him, and Frost coldly returns the greeting.
The second guard then begins whining for attention, and Merry realizes it is Rhys, one of her favorite people at court, or rather her “third-favorite” because she doesn’t trust him as she does Barinthus or Galen. Rhys is on the short-side of sidhe, about 5’6″, with waist-length wavy white hair. He is the most muscular of all the guards, however he’s not quite as strong as Doyle, as his muscles are more for show. His eyes are a brilliant shade of blue… well, his eye. Half of his face is covered in scars and he is missing an eye, so he always wears an eyepatch.
Merry compliments Rhys in the dumbest of ways. ” I don’t know whether you look like the top of a pornographic wedding cake or a superhero. You could be Ab Boy, or Abdominal Man.” because apparently those make for good superhero names? Ugh.
They all talk about clothes for a while, because that’s what you do when you fear for your life. The queen had specifically designed all the guard’s clothing for the night, and because she is currently taking hormones to help her conceive, her designs have been quite sexy. I guess if your idea of sexy is dressing all the dudes up like Leelo Dallas in her bandage suit.
Rhys likes to pepper his speech with lots of twentieth century slang. He’s a huge fan of Humphrey Bogart and old timey films. Merry spent a lot of time with Rhys when she was growing up, as Rhys also had a house outside of court, and they often watched movies together. Rhys also had taken Merry on a date when she was a teenager, to a film noir festival, and they had actually dressed up for it in period costumes. Rhys in a fedora and trench coat, of course.
They begin to walk through the hallways to meet up with the queen, but Doyle stops Merry to search her for more weapons. They argue back and forth for forever about how Merry has the right to protect herself, but Doyle says he’ll protect her, but Merry says that his job is to protect the queen, and blah blah blah boring. Doyle spends a few pages trying to convince Merry that he will protect her from danger, and then after she tells him all the weapons she has on her, he warns her that “I am the queen’s bodyguard before I am yours. If you try to harm her, I will take action.” So, again, we’ve read through pages of pointless discussion only to circle around to the whole start of the argument – Merry doesn’t feel safe around the queen or other guards. Baaarf.
They meet up with Rhys and Frost and Rhys offers Merry his arm. She takes it and purposefully brushes the ring over his clothed arm, and the ring doesn’t react. Rhys notices that the ring did not have a reaction to him, and instantly gets all butthurt and mopey. But Merry makes it all better by joking with him about Humphrey Bogart, so the chapter can finally fucking end with them going to meet the queen in her private chambers.
Frost: one of the queen’s guard, her Killing Frost. Tall, long silver hair, pale skin, grey eyes. Cold heart, very arrogant, etc… Merry does not particularly like him, but she knows she can trust him because he is like Doyle in that when he takes an oath he follows through
Rhys: another of the queen’s guard, one of Merry’s favorite. Short for a sidhe, only 5’6″, with waist-length wavy white hair and a very muscular body. Missing an eye, but Merry does not know what caused him to lose an eye. Fan of film noir, so is constantly using early 20th century slang in the most annoying of ways. Huge flirt.
LKH needed to sound cool and hip so she creates a character who is obsessed with film noir and constantly shoves his hip lingo down everyone’s throats. So annoying.
Sex: All the guards are dressed up all sexified FOR SOME REASON.