A Caress of Twilight – Chapter 27: Just a continuous nightmare of men bickering

 

Chapter 27 begins with Merry deciding to go back to sleep after the ordeal with Kitto and then the Hedwick conversation. Well, no, it’s not that easy – is anything in this story easy? Of course, they can’t go to bed without a fight! Apparently Merry had suggested that Doyle join her and Kitto in bed to sleep, but poor baby Frost threw a fit over this, so neither got to join her in bed to sleep.
 
I’d pointed out that Doyle and I had gotten the least amount of sleep last night, but Frost didn’t care. I also pointed out that we were just going to sleep, so did it really matter who slept with me? Neither of them were moved by my arguments.
 
Neither of them have to be moved by your goddamn arguments, Merry! You’re the ruler, not them! Didn’t you spend a few chapters in this book discussing how you needed to start making them see you as their future queen – WHY ARE YOU LETTING THEM WALK ALL OVER YOU OVER WHO GETS TO NAP NEXT TO YOU.
 
So, whatever, Merry and Kitto get to go cuddle up and sleep together. Oh wait, no, not yet. First Merry gets to deal with Jeremy, her boss at Grey’s, being pissed off that none of them were returning to work that afternoon. Because no one can even be rational in this book. Once Merry tells him that Kitto had nearly faded away and died, however, Jeremy relents and explains to them that he had experienced other fey fading and knew how awful it was. He then tells them that Teresa, Grey’s psychic, was being kept in the hospital overnight, due to her becoming overwhelmed psychically when they visited the crime scene. Merry asks him if he thinks she’ll be okay, and he tells her he isn’t sure, but he’s making the executive decision that Grey’s will no longer be assisting with police work. Apparently when Jeremy surveyed the scene, he also felt that it was something supernatural that did the killing, but that asshole Lieutenant Peterson would have nothing of it. So, Jeremy has decided they will no longer assist the police.
 
“You sound like you need to go to bed and cuddle up to somebody, too.”
“You volunteering?” He laughed. “Greedy ol’ Merry wanting to take up all the fey men in L.A.”
“If you need to come over and be held, you’d be welcome.”
He was quiet for a moment. “I’d almost forgotten that.”
“Forgotten what?”
“That it’s okay to be held by your friends in ways that humans consider sexual. That it would be all right for me to come and cuddle close to you while we slept.”
 
Pro Tip, LKH: Not all humans are like whatever humans you’ve dealt with before. Not everyone considers everything anyone ever does ever sexual. Not everything = sex. But, so far, nearly everything in your series ends up with sex, somehow. Funny that.
 
Anyway, Jeremy turns Merry down, telling her he’s been out among the humans for far too long, and he doesn’t think he’d be able to not make the scene sexual. Ugh. So, Merry finally goes to sleep and wakes up a few hours later, right around dusk. Galen lets himself into the room and scoots into bed next to Merry. He then tells Merry that Queen Niceven’s surrogate/representative has arrived. Merry has him go to let the demi-fey representative into the bedroom.
 
Galen went back to the door and opened it wide. A tiny figure fluttered in. The body was about the size of a small Barbie doll. His wings were larger than the rest of his body, and mostly rich butter yellow with lines and bars of black and spots of blue and orangey-red. He hovered over the bed, above me. His body was a slightly paler version of the rich yellow of his wings. He wore a filmy yellow skirt, or kilt, as his only clothing.
“Greetings to Princess Meredith of the Unseelie from Queen Niceven of the demi-fey. I am known as Sage, most lucky fey to be chosen as our royal majesty’s ambassador to the Western Lands.” His voice was like the sound of tinkling bells, a laughing sound. It made me smile, and I knew instantly it was glamour.
I tsked at him. “No glamour between us, Sage, for that is a kind of lie.”
 
Hah, what? You CONSTANTLY USE GLAMOUR, Merry!
 
I love how there’s this whole ‘the sidhe don’t lie’ bullshit spread throughout this series, but then there’s SO LITTLE clarification of what a lie actually entails. Glamor IS a lie, but only apparently sometimes. Exaggerations aren’t a lie, unless they’re glamours, and then they’re probably sometimes a lie? Convincing and persuasion isn’t a lie, but you can totally convince someone to believe a lie? Someone chime in if you can think of others, because this is obnoxious.
 
He pressed tiny perfect hands to his chest, his wings beating faster, sending a breath of air against my face. “Glamour, I? Would a humble demi-fey be able to do glamour to a sidhe of the Unseelie Court?”
He had been careful not to deny the charge; he simply skirted the issue. “You can drop the glamour, or it can be stripped from you. You can put it all back, but for our first meeting I want to see what, or whom, I am truly dealing with.”
He flew closer, close enough that the wind from his wings played in the strands of hair around my face. “My lovely maiden, you wound me. I am fair as you see me here.”
“If that is true, then light upon me and let me test the truth of your words. For if you are truly as you appear, then touching my flesh will not change you, but if you play me false, then the mere touch of my skin will show your true self.” The very formality of the words was a type of spell. I had spoken truly and believed utterly what I had said; thus it was true. When he touhed my skin, he would be forced to appear as he truly was.
 
What bullshit is this? Because Merry says something and believes it’s true, suddenly it’s 100% truth? Oh fuck this noise.
 
Before Sage could land on Merry to prove her wrong, Doyle enters the room and tells Sage he is surprised that Niceven sent him. Apparently Sage is Niceven’s ‘favorite’ lover back at her court. Sage takes insult at this, telling Doyle that just because they are not sidhe doesn’t mean they don’t follow the law (that once a fey is married, they are no longer allowed to take additional lovers). Because every single other law in this series has been followed, right?
 
Whatever, doesn’t matter, Sage and Doyle begin bickering about who’s the bigger/better man and it’s all just stupid. Who fucking cares? Sage tells Doyle that since he is no longer Niceven’s lover, he’s had his choice of all the fine demi-fey and then asks Doyle what one of the queen’s eunuchs (meaning Doyle) does for fun. Doyle tells him to look upon the bed to see what he’s been doing (HA HA), and Sage goes “I didn’t think you liked goblins” HAW HAW. This is so stupid. Doyle ends the “fight” by swearing a fucking oath that he’s fucked Merry. WHY. WHY EVEN DO THIS. This is so dumb.
 
And Sage apparently gets jealous at this? Who cares. The LAST thing this story needs is ANOTHER WHINY MALE.
 
“I taunted you and yours for centuries. The great sidhe warriors, the great ravens of old, reduced to court eunuchs, oh yes, I taunted you all. I boasted of my prowess and my queen’s delights, like an evil whisper in your ears.”
Doyle just looked at him.
Sage flew a little distance from him, doing a circle in the air like one might pace on the ground. “Now what good does my prowess do me? What good is it to see her in all her beauty but be unable to touch her?” He turned back to Doyle. “Oh, I have thought long these many years, Darkness, on how I didst torment you. Do not think the irony of it is lost upon me, simply because I am not sidhe.” He got very close to Doyle’s face, and though I knew it was a whisper, the hiss of it filled the room, “Irony enough to choke upon, Darkness, irony enough to die of, irony enough to kill to rid myself of.”
 
Wah wah wah wah wah. Doyle tells Sage to “fade” to be done with his *torment* (“Ooooh, why don’t you just kill yourself, hurhurrrr”), and Sage tells him basically to fuck off. Okay, good, I’m liking Sage now. Doyle is just such a weiner of a character, so it’s good to see someone who’s written as some trumped up super-male be told to fuck off. Too bad I think that’s probably the last time it happens. LKH is really good at ruining everything.
 
Merry finally tells them all to stop, since she was the one that bargained with Niceven for Galen’s cure. She should have been the one doing all the talking to Sage, not Doyle. But Merry isn’t enough of a ruler to stop the petty bickering between her men, apparently. Merry extends her hand, and Sage lands on it. Merry starts treating him like he’s a tiny little fragile doll, and Sage calls her on it immediately.
 
“I am not a child to be looked upon with indulgence, Princess. I am a man.” He made a sweeping gesture with both hands. “A small one by your reckoning, but I am still male. I do not appreciate being looked upon as you would smile upon a naughty child.”
It was almost exactly what I’d been thinking, that he looked cute standing there so defiant, so tiny. I had been treating him like a doll, or a toy, or a child.
 
YOU MEAN LIKE YOU’VE BEEN WITH KITTO???
 
So Merry apologizes for her behavior, and Sage is all like “wait what? You, a royal, are apologizing to me?” Then comes the conversation about how Merry “isn’t like other sidhe” and blah blah blah we’ve heard it all before. Merry is a special sidhe because she treats everyone with respect, you know, everyone except her own guards who she dreams about hurting CONSTANTLY or treats like children or allows them to walk all over her.
 
Sage asks Merry to excuse her guards, so that they may have some privacy while he tastes her. Merry tells him that her guards will not let her out of their sight, and Sage laughs at this, arguing that he’s hardly a potential threat to her. They all argue, but Sage wins in the end and the guards all exist the room, save for Kitto who’s more like a puppy than an actual guard. Sage tries to get Kitto to leave as well, but Merry argues that since he nearly faded, he is staying. Sage makes Kitto give an oath that nothing he hears or sees in the room will be repeated to anyone before he may stay in the bedroom, and Kitto does so. The chapter ends with Sage licking his lips about to feast upon Merry. 

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