A Caress of Twilight – Chapter 5: Grown men making eeeep noises

Chapter 5 begins with Rhys stripping off his jacket (obviously a trench coat, what else would real detectives wear?) and coming closer to Merry and Kitto, who had curled up on Merry’s lap like a frightened kitten. Merry orders Rhys to hand his gun over to Doyle, who was still in the room. When Rhys returns to them, Kitto begins cowering again, so Doyle lightheartedly tells him that he is making Kitto nervous. Rhys snipes back “Well isn’t that just a pity,” because Rhys is a jerk. Merry immediately shuts him down, however, and tells him that if he makes any more comments like that, she will kick him out of the room, and he will not be receiving any more chances.
Rhys takes a deep, shaky breath and Merry realizes that he’s being so mean and cruel because, deep down, he truly fears the goblins. All goblins. Even though Kitto is as harmless as a pillow pet, because he is part goblin, Rhys still fears him. Merry knows she needs to help break Rhys of his phobia, if she can ever trust him around Kitto again.
Rhys asks what he is to do, as he’s never been in the same room whenever Merry performed her duty with Kitto. Merry begins negotiating with Kitto over what he may and may not do with her – remember, any sexual conduct with goblins must be negotiated beforehand, else they go awry like they did when Rhys lost his eye and was scarred at the hands of a goblin during sex. Merry offers Kitto either “small flesh”, ie: light foreplay, or “weak blood”, ie: barely breaking the skin during a bite. Kitto chooses small flesh. Rhys doesn’t understand what just happened, and he seems confused that Merry offered Kitto a choice. Merry reminds them how they must always negotiate with goblins before sex, and Rhys said he was never even given a choice for negotiations when he lost his eye.
I sighed, and shook my head. Most sidhe, Seelie or Unseelie, knew very little about cultures outside their own. It was a type of prejudice that believed nothing but sidhe culture was worth knowing. “Actually, according to goblin law, you did. If they’d tortured you, then, no, you’d have simply had to endure what they did to you, though truthfully there is some room for negotiation even in torture. For sex, though, you always have room to negotiate. It’s custom among them.”
First off, what? There’s room for negotiation in torture? In what bloody world?? Secondly, way to go with the anthropology lesson there, Merry, you’re ever so wise. This obviously hurts Rhys and he begins pouting. Merry stands up, dropping Kitto to the ground between her and Rhys and leaned in close to Rhys. She tells Rhys that he could have prevented the goblins from taking his eye, permanently disfiguring his face, if he had just set the bounds prior to sex. I feel like this was totally already talked about in the first novel, but I don’t really care to go back and check. In any case, the fact that you always negotiate sex with goblins is a repeated theme in this stupid series, so we’ll probably have this same conversation in another 30 chapters or so.
Merry tries to kiss Rhys to make him feel better, but he shrugs her off and throws a pity party for himself because he “didn’t know”. Doyle helps steady Rhys and walks him back over to Merry, who then goes on tiptoes to kiss Rhys. As she leans it, she realizes that Kitto’s arm is around her waist, and is now being pushed against Rhys’s body. Rhys doesn’t seem to react at all to Kitto’s touch, so Merry lets it go and continues kissing him. Rhys leans down a bit, and Merry licks her gross tongue all over Rhys’s facial scars, all over his missing eye-scar. Rhys’s knees buckle, and Kitto catches him before he smashes to the ground. Rhys lays back, trapping Kitto under him, and he begins grinding Merry into himself. Kitto makes a small noise, which stops Rhys. Rhys then looks down and sees Kitto’s arm around them and does an “EEEEP” and scoots off across the room.
Merry is about to tell Rhys that he has done his job, but then Kitto says “I’m satisified,” even though he never had his bit of flesh. Kitto tells them that he is within his right to forgo it, so he is doing so. He would rather Merry be safe and have all her guards around her, none sent away, than take his rightful bit of flesh. Rhys asks Kitto if Kitto feels sorry for him, confused and somewhat angered that a goblin would feel sorry for a sidhe warrior.
Kitto tells them that he cannot feel sorry for Rhys because there is no comparing the two of them: Rhys is a powerful, strong, handsome sidhe warrior who shares Merry’s bed, and he is just a mere goblin, and not a very good goblin at that. He has no claws, he has tiny little fangs. He is basically a human among the goblins, abused and victimized his entire life.
The chapter ends with Merry realizing why Kitto stays latched onto her side whenever possible: he’s terrified and helpless and doesn’t know how to be anything but that.
Characters Introduced:
Whenever you have sex with goblins, you must always negotiate what they are and are not able to do to you, else you end up like stupid Rhys, you’re so stupid Rhys you stupid idiot.

Sex: Just some macking on top of poor victimized ignored Kitto.

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