A Kiss of Shadows – Chapter 30: Those dastardly blood-sucking… roses?

Chapter 30 begins with Merry and her whiny guards entering a large antechamber full of dried leaves, vines, and dry and lifeless rose bushes. Merry reaches out to them with her *~*magic powers*~* and realizes they are dead. Frost lets her know that they’ve been dying for years. Not fully dead, but nearly there.

Back when the Unseelie court thrived, the roses acted as a last form of defense if ever an enemy were to breach the court. The roses would come to life and attack the enemy, strangling them with their vines and sucking their blood with their thorns. As the court faded, so thus did the roses. Merry reaches out and caresses the dry leaves and vines, and she accidentally pricks her finger on one of the thorns.

The roses seem to come back to life with the small taste of Merry’s blood, and the vines begin reaching out towards Merry. Her guards form a circle around her to block them, and then they start rushing for the door. As they near the door, the vines from the ceiling reach down and tangle themselves in Merry’s hair. The guards yank her free, leaving some of her hair in the vines, and Frost screams for a sword. 

They then hear Cel’s voice yell out to stop a random guard from giving Frost his sword. Doyle then orders the guard to give Frost his sword, and the guard totally does the OH MAN WHO SHOULD I OBEY garbage, when the vines rush over them, Doyle and Rhys push Merry to the ground and cover her with their bodies. After a while, Merry hears some commotion and asks what is happening. Apparently it’s nothing. She then PEEKS OUT FROM RHYS’S HAIR CURTAIN and sees Doyle standing alone, so she orders Rhys off of her. 

Rhys tells her that he will move off of her only when Doyle orders him off of her. She is able to cock her head a bit to see out from under Rhys, and she notices that the vines are not bothering anyone else from her guard who stood in the room. They were, instead, all hovering above her and Rhys, as if they were waiting for Merry’s body to be free from Rhys. Doyle believes that the roses sprung to life with the small taste of her blood, and they wanted more. He explains that the roses used to drink from the queen whenever she passed through the room. Merry argues that that was centuries ago, and she had passed through the room thousands of times in her life and the roses never reacted to her at all. Doyle suggests that as the land welcomed Merry to Faerie, so has the roses. He wants to see what will happen when Rhys removes himself from atop Merry, and orders Rhys off of her.

The vines and thorns don’t react once Rhys pulls himself off of Merry, so she stands up. Doyle assists her and the vines hiss, as if they don’t want anyone touching Merry now that she’s up. Doyle tells her that the roses seem to desire a drink of her blood, so he suggests to Merry that she offer the roses her wrist. While he’s holding her close, he uses that time to disarm Merry of the knives she wore under her dress. As she’s helping him, she lifts up her dress to get one knife that was strapped to her thigh, and she notices that all her guards are basically drooling over her as they watch. 

Merry then reaches her wrist out to the nearest vines and the thing basically jumps her (LIKE HER GUARDS HA HA HA). The vine curls around her wrist and then shoves a few thorns into her flesh. Blood began running from the wound. Another vine wraps itself around Merry’s other arm and begins drinking from her. The thorns were sharp and painful, but Merry fought to endure it at her guard’s prompting, as it had been long since they fed. Merry feels herself becoming lightheaded, almost to the point of passing out. The guards then decide the roses have had enough, but they won’t let go, and the guards weren’t sure what they could do to get the vines to stop. You know, obviously not use the knives they just stripped off of Merry, right?

Merry finally gains enough strength within herself to scream “Enough!” at the vines, and they immediately withdraw. The doors to the room slam open, and Merry sees a woman step out of the light. As she walks closer, Merry realizes it is Fflur, a yellow-skinned, yellow-haired sidhe woman. Following her about about thirty of the queen’s and prince’s guard. As they fan around Merry and her guards, Merry seems another mass of people flow through the door.

No, not people.

Goblins.

The chapter ends with Merry passing out from the blood loss.

Characters Introduced:

Roses – once were the last line of defense of the Unseelie court, and used to feed upon the queen when she’d walk through the room. Had been slowly dying as the Unseelie court lost its magic. Sprang to life with just a sip of Merry’s blood.

Fflur – a yellow-skinned, yellow-haired sidhe woman. 

Goblins – non-human fey, did not answer to Cel

Themes Introduced:

The roses have come back to life with Merry’s blood.

Sex: nah.

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