Chapter 3 begins with Jeffery exiting the office, and Merry expecting to argue with her guards over her decision to meet with Maeve. Rhys flat out asks what will happen if Taranis objects to Merry breaking Maeve’s exile – and he says Maeve’s name out loud. This causes Merry to worry – Andais has an ability to hear anything spoken in the darkness, as she is the Queen of Air and Darkness. Merry wonders if Taranis, being the King of Light and Illusion, has the same ability to hear anything spoken during light. Doyle tries to comfort Merry by telling her that in all of the Unseelie’s plotting against the king in daylight, he never took any action and never seemed to hear of any plans made. They should be safe to speak her name out loud.
Doyle also mentions that he had never heard of any sidhe by the name of Maeve Reed, from either court, being exiled, and Rhys has to explain to Doyle the concept of pseudonyms, how when she was exiled she took up a new name so that she would not be known by her goddess name, Conchenn. Merry laughs about how naïve Doyle is about the outside, non-faerie world, and jokes that she needs to take them all out to see a movie. Kitto then grabs her leg (he’s been sitting under her desk, remember?) and fearfully says that he doesn’t want to see a movie.
Merry and Rhys try to console him, telling Kitto that he’ll like theatres because they are dark and the ground is dirty and sticky. Kitto tells them that he doesn’t want to get sticky or dirty, and Merry gently reminds Rhys that Kitto’s mother was a sidhe, and Rhys gets all pissy about it. “What does it matter? His father forced himself on a sidhe woman.” Doyle tries to help calm the mood by being a jackass and asking a rhetorical “And how many of our sidhe warriors took their pleasure on unwilling women, even goblins, during the wars?”
Rhys tells him that he never forced himself on anyone, and Doyle says of course he never did, after all, Rhys is one of the Queen’s Ravens, forbidden from having sex with anyone but the queen and now Merry. This pisses Rhys off, and the air in the room becomes quite tense. Rhys is nearly shaking with anger, so Merry tries to comfort him. She says his name a few times to get his attention, and Rhys turns his attention onto her. His gaze is so forceful it causes Merry to scoot her chair backwards and she stands up, which makes Kitto stand as well. This was a mistake – Rhys then turns his angry attention to the goblin. He throws himself across the desk to grab at Kitto. Merry grabs his legs and pushes him off the desk before Rhys can grab hold of Kitto. Merry grabs the knife that was strapped to her thigh and presses the tip of the blade against Rhys’s neck, and he freezes.
Merry issues Rhys a warning. “Understand this, Rhys, Kitto is mine, as you are all mine. I won’t let your prejudices endanger him.” Rhys spits back, “You’d kill me over a goblin.” Merry tells him that as they have to protect her as her guards, by becoming her guard they are all now HERS to protect. Uh what? I guess Merry thinks that by becoming queen, she is now personally responsible for the safety of everyone she oversees. She also realizes that none of her guards respect her, and she decides that if it comes to needing to kill one of her guards to make them respect her, she will. BUT YOU JUST SWORE TO PROTECT THEM ALL or something, Merry, make up your mind!
Merry must have confused herself after coming to that realization, because she then starts laughing hysterically. Both Doyle and Rhys start at her like what the fuck, and Merry just laughs and laughs. Kitto walks over to her and Merry begins cradling him like a child, all the while holding the bloody knife and laughing so hard she begins crying. The chapter ends with Merry just full on sobbing while holding Kitto, and Doyle removing the knife from Merry’s hand.
Merry needs to find a way to get the guards to respect her. She also now feels personally responsible for their protection.
A Caress of Twilight – Chapter 4
Chapter 4 begins some time after Merry’s psychotic episode, with her sitting in a chair in her office, holding a mug of hot mint tea. Her boss, Jeremy Grey, is sitting beside her, having kicked both Doyle and Rhys out of the office. Kitto sat at her feet, running a hand up and down the front of one of her legs while Merry gently stroked the hair on his head with her free hand.
Jeremy, being the boss, directly asks Merry if she feels up to meeting with her next few appointments for the day. Merry assures him that she’ll be okay, just needs a moment, and explains that she stopped the argument by, you know, just casually throwing Rhys into a wall. Jeremy says that Rhys’s neck wound and the blood didn’t come from being thrown into a wall, so Merry admits that she pulled a knife on him, because he had tried to hurt Kitto, and because he wasn’t obeying her orders. She cut Rhys’s neck to partly prove a point. Rhys hates goblins because of what they did to him many, many hundreds of years ago, but Merry needs Kitto around for her goblin alliance. She asks Jeremy what she can do to alleviate the situation. Both the situation of Rhys and his hatred of goblins and also the fact that her guard does not respect her as a future queen.
Kitto, apparently, had overheard Doyle speaking to other guards about Merry’s run for the throne. He tells her that Doyle is concerned that she has not made any use of her alliance with the goblins. “You have the goblins as your allies for only three more months, Merry. For three more months if the Unseelie go to battle, it is you who the Queen must come to for the goblin’s aid, not our King Kurag. Doyle fears you are simply going to fuck everyone and make no move on your enemies.”
ISN’T THAT THE POINT OF THE WHOLE FUCKING STORY? Merry needs to become pregnant before her cousin Cel so that she can take the throne! Ain’t nobody got time for killing enemies when there’s so much fucking to be had! Jeez!
Kitto tells Merry that in order to gain the respect of her guards, in order for her guards to obey her command, she first needs to get Doyle to obey her and respect her. Jeremy wonders how Kitto was able to overhear such conversation, as surely the guards would not discuss that freely with him. Kitto tells Merry and Jeremy that everyone, including Merry, tend to speak over him as if he were a pet, not someone who matters. Merry never even realized she had been doing that, and she apologizes and tells him that she will stop doing that.
Kitto tells her that he doesn’t want her to stop, he likes it so that he can hear things, know things. He likes when Merry just casually strokes him, like she would a loved pet. Merry is confused by this – she’s not sure what she should be doing with Kitto, then. Kitto climbs into her lap LIKE A CHILD (seriously, this is in the book: He clambered into my lap like a child. Told you he’s basically Merry’s child sex toy!) Kitto snuggles up against her. Merry asks Jeremy for a little privacy so she can help reassure Kitto that he is one of hers, or some crap. Jeremy leaves the room.
Merry knew she needed to do something big to help reassure Kitto that he belonged with them, so she decided to let him bite her again, so that he can mark her skin. As she’s deciding what to do, the door opens and Rhys steps in. Merry orders Rhys to join them.
Oh you know, invite the dude who just totally tried to attack your tiny goblin fuck toy over to help him bite you, that’s smart.
Rhys tells her that he will not partake in whatever activity Merry has planned, and Merry basically tells him he either has to do it, or she’ll send him back to faerie. Rhys apologizes for his prior behavior, but he cannot help Merry do anything with Kitto. Merry again tells him he either has to do it or leave, and Rhys raises his voice to yell at Merry and Kitto. As Rhys is yelling, Doyle pops his head through the door and goes “Is there a problem in here?” and invites himself into the office.
Doyle isn’t quite so sure why Merry is so insistent that Rhys assist her with Kitto. He volunteers himself and also Frost as better choices, but Merry is insistent that it be Rhys. “If he can’t control himself around Kitto, then eventually he’s going to blow up and hurt him. You know Kurag didn’t want to join a treaty with me, Doyle. He tried to weasel out of it from the beginning. I forced an alliance on him, but if Kitto is injured, or worse, killed, then Kurag could use it as an excuse to break the alliance. And do you really think that if Kurag has to send us a second goblin, it will be anyone as pleasant as Kitto?”
Doyle tries to reason with Merry. “But if you send Rhys home, our Queen will also send a new guard to replace him, and there are many less pleasant guards she could send than Rhys.”
Merry tells him that it doesn’t matter. She’s sick of the histrionics.
She’s sick of the histrionics.
Sick of the histrionics.
HAHAHAHAHAHA Give me a moment to catch my breath. Come the fuck on, LKH. YOUR MAIN CHARACTERS LIVE FOR THE FUCKING HISTRIONICS. YOUR BOOKS COULD NOT EXIST WITHOUT THE HISTRIONICS.
So Doyle orders Rhys to assist Merry, and Rhys is all ‘aw hells no’. Doyle reminds him that Merry, his Princess, has ordered him to help out and gave him the penalty for not assisting. Merry reminds Rhys that had Rhys behaved himself originally, she would not need to let Kitto bite her again, would not need to reassure Kitto and renew her alliance with the goblins. Because Rhys has forced her into this position, Rhys needs to assist her with it.
After much cajoling , Rhys finally agrees to try to help, and the chapter ends with Doyle telling Merry he will be standing watch over them in case anything like what happened before, with Rhys attacking Kitto, happens again.