A Caress of Twilight – Chapter 6: Outdated pop culture references ahoy!

 

Chapter 6 begins with Merry and Co heading to Maeve Reed’s house in Holmby Hills, a very rich and glamorous neighborhood of LA. Merry thinks to herself how lucky they are that Maeve isn’t one of the top 2% of Hollywood elite, because if she had the popularity of, say, Julia Roberts, they would have had to evade their own media hounds as well as Julia’s.
 
Which seems kinda strange, reading this now in 2014. Julia Roberts, while still a very recognizable name, does not carry the same weight as she did back when this book was written in 2002-3. It just seems super dated now, which is why I don’t really care for a lot of pop-culture references in stories. They end up super dated when you read them years later. And I don’t even think Julia Roberts was the right pick for this reference anyway – she’s always been sort of a low-key, low publicity star, hasn’t she? Who was causing a media storm back then? Paris Hilton or Britney Spears or someone like that would have been a much better choice than an actress who rose to fame in the 90s. LKH has always seemed like she was stuck in the 90s, though, so makes sense, I guess. 
 
On their way to Maeve’s, in order to evade her own paparazzi, instead of taking the nice van that Grey’s owned, they took a shitty, beat up, beater van that they would usually take only into bad neighborhoods. The media had gotten wise to the nicer van and would follow it whenever it left the parking structure, so to be tricksy, they took the shitty van. Which I think would seem incredibly out of place in a super rich, likely gate guarded, neighborhood of Holmby Hills.
 
Rhys drove the van, because he apparently loves wearing disguises despite the fact that they can all perform glamour magics that any human would fall for. They’re riding in the crappy van to Maeve’s residence, so obviously this is the perfect time to describe everything Merry’s guards are wearing!
 
Frost and Doyle sat in the rear of the van with Merry. Frost was a little taller and had wider shoulders than Doyle. He was wearing charcoal grey dress pants, a white shirt, and a grey jacket over his shoulder holster. His silver tinsel hair was pulled up into a tight ponytail. Merry starts stroking his hair and daydreaming about them fucking right there in the van, Frost’s hair draped all over her body like a gross hairy blanket. Doyle eventually puts an abrupt stop to Merry’s fuck fantasy by asking her if she’s even listening to what they were talking about.
 
Merry tells them of course she was listening and repeated back what Frost had been telling Doyle – Frost had done some surveillance at the Reed residence and found that some of Kane and Hart’s, Grey’s Detective Agency’s biggest rivals, men were standing guard. Kane was a psychic and a martial arts expert, while the Hart brothers were very powerful human magicians.
Merry begins again staring at Frost, and they begin basically making kissyfaces at each other. Frost eventually places a light kiss on her lips, and Merry realizes she’s in love with Frost. True love. Frost pulls away from the kiss and realizes that Merry loves him as well.
 
Doyle ignores it all and cuts right back to business. He tells them that Maeve Reed’s residence is very heavily warded. Merry doesn’t do anything with this information, and again begins daydreaming about her and Frost. Except now she worries. By sidhe custom and laws, whoever gets her pregnant will marry her and be her king. Now that she realizes she loves Frost, she’s not sure what to do. She has to continue sleeping with her men in order to become pregnant first, because if Cel gets a sidhe woman pregnant first, he will take over the throne. And if Cel rules, faerie is doomed. Merry knows she does not have time for love.
 
She pulls away from Frost, shaking her head. Frost asks her what is wrong, and Merry is at a loss of words. Doyle, again, tries to steer them back to the business at hand. He tells Merry that Maeve’s wards prevented Frost from seeing within her walls. They do not know what mystical surprises await them when they step inside the bounds of those wards. Merry asks her guards what they should do. Doyle says he finds Maeve’s desire to meet with Merry fascinating, and wants to continue on. Rhys tells them that he finds it a bit suspicious, and if King Taranis finds out they’ve broken Maeve’s exile and spoken, they could be punished. No one knew why Taranis banished her out of faerie. Rumor had it that Taranis had asked Maeve to be his next queen, but after that she was exiled.
 
Rhys doesn’t think it matters why she was exiled, but Doyle disagrees. However, he tells them that they won’t know why it matters until they ask her why she was exiled. The sidhe, by a rule, do not ask such outright questions. They try to make everything as subtle as possible to get what they want without demanding or being rude. However, Doyle points out that Merry, being part human and raised among the humans for years, can feign ignorance and ask any of the questions outright that she so desires.
 
“I have better manners than to ask such a personal question right out of the bag,” I said.
“We know you have better manners than that, but Maeve Reed does not.”
I stared at him. Frost’s fingers rubbed along my knuckles, over and over. “Are you saying I should pretend to not know any better?”
“I am saying we should use all the weapons in our arsenal. Your mixed heritage could be a decided advantage today.”
“It would be almost the same thing as lying, Doyle,” I said.
“Almost,” he agreed, then that small smile of his curled his lips. “The sidhe never lie, Meredith, but shading the truth is a long-honored pastime among us.”
 
Great, that again.
 
Rhys again tells them he doesn’t think it’s worth the risk to have Merry ask Maeve about it, but Merry tells him that she totally thinks it is, then continues to ask Frost what he thinks. Why even bother? You’ve already made up your mind that you’re doing it, why drag the conversation on any longer than necessary?

Oh that’s right, we’re SHOWING how important of a decision this is, aren’t we? Can’t show your audience how things are done without a million words to describe it!
 
FROST DOESN’T EVEN ANSWER ANYWAY. He fucking turns to Doyle and is like “Duhhhh, what should we do dere Doyle? Ahm just a dumb widdle nobody with no opinions of his own, durrrrr.” We already KNOW what Doyle wants to do, you moron. He’s the one who STARTED THIS WHOLE CONVERSATION. Ughhhhh.
 
Frost does suggest that they are in dire need of allies amongst the sidhe, and a sidhe who has been exiled from faerie for over a century might risk being their ally for the promise of returning. However, she would not return to the Seelie court, as she had once been, but rather to the Unseelie court. Often, when Seelie nobles were exiled from their court, the Unseelie court would accept them without prejudice. Some Seelie sidhe would rather be exiled from faerie completely than become Unseelie. Maeve was one of them. However, Frost points out that a sidhe who is without the touch of another sidhe will do near anything to have that feeling again. Doyle agrees, saying that if he were without the touch of another sidhe for a century, he’d do much to be able to return.
 
BUT YOU HAVEN’T EVEN FUCKED MERRY AT ALL YET DOYLE, YOU’RE NOT REALLY HELPING YOUR CASE HERE
 
So Merry says that’s it, they’re all in agreement, and they’re going to speak with Maeve. Rhys points out that he still doesn’t agree with it, he’s just going in under protest, and that if anything happens to them he’s going to totally be all “I told you so!” like a child.
 
The chapter ends with Rhys leaning out of the van and pressing on the intercom to announce their presence to whoever guarded the drive, but Merry thought that was pretty pointless to do. Maeve Reed, once the goddess Conchenn, already knew they were there.
 
Characters Introduced:
 
Nope
 
Themes:
 
Seelie who are exiled from their court would rather face exile than become an Unseelie sidhe.
 

Sex: Merry just wants it from Frost, badly

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