A Caress of Twilight – Chapter 34 & 35: Spilling spilling spilling spilling spilling

Chapter 34 begins with Maeve Reed and her husband Gordon showing up at Merry’s apartment for the fertility rite. Yeah, let’s just pack 2 more people into her small, one bedroom apartment. Gordon is dying, for christsake. I’m sure traveling wasn’t too good for him. Also, Maeve is a fucking MOVIE STAR. Why couldn’t they do this rite at Maeve’s huge house, again?
And, Gordon’s gotten worse. It’s been, what, at most 2 or 3 days, and Gordon is now basically a walking skeleton. I know that certain illnesses can destroy a person quickly, but still, it’s another reason why he probably shouldn’t have been traveling. Frost and Rhys help Gordon from their car to Merry’s bedroom so that he can rest while Merry and Galen undergo the fertility rite. Merry catches Maeve trying to light up a cigarette in her living room, so they get into a small argument over this.
“Meredith, please, I need it.”
“Then you can do it outside”
She lowered her sunglasses enough to show me those famous blue eyes. She was wearing her human glamour again, trying to look as unsidhe as possible. She kept that blue stare on me as she flung open the coat to frame that long golden body. She was nude except for her boots.
“Do I look dressed for your neighbor’s viewing?”
I shook my head. “Your glamour is good enough to hide you buck naked in the middle of a highway, so close the coat, and take your nerves and your cigarettes outside.”
She let the coat fall closed, leaving a thin line of her body showing between the soft mounds of fur. “How can you be so cruel?”
“This isn’t cruel, Maeve, and well you know it. You spent too many centuries around the courts to think I’m being cruel just because I don’t want your cigarettes stinking up my apartment.”
So, Gordon is sick and dying, Maeve is a huge movie star, and Maeve is ALSO NAKED UNDER HER FUR COAT. Why are they doing this at Merry’s? This is so dumb.
And because no one in this book can ever act like an adult, the argument continues!
She pushed her sunglasses back over her eyes and said in a much smaller voice, “You’ve changed, Meredith. There’s a hardness in you that wasn’t there before.”
Maeve, you’ve known Merry for all of 3 days. Shut up.
“Not hardness,” Doyle said, “command. She will be queen and she understands that now.”
Maeve glanced from him to me. “Fine, what’s with the bikini? I thought you were going to fuck, not go to the beach.”
“I know you’re angry and scared about your husband, and that cuts you some slack, but there’s a limit to that slack, Maeve. Don’t push it.”
She lowered her head, still fingering the unlit cigarette and unused lighter. “I don’t mean to be such a fucking prima donna, but I am desperately worried about Gordon. Can’t you understand that?”
“I understand, but if I wasn’t having to sit here and argue with you, I could already be at the ritual site preparing myself.”
Oh shut up, Merry. You’re as much at fault for this stupid argument as Maeve is. And what’s with Maeve suddenly swearing? She didn’t swear at all when they met before, and now she’s said fuck twice in two sentences.

So anyway, Merry finally turns to Doyle and asks him if he has extended their wards to include the garden behind the apartment building, because that’s apparently where the ritual is taking place. Nothing like two people fucking in a common area in a Los Angeles apartment complex! Doyle assures Merry that he has extended the wards.
I took a deep breath. Here was the moment that I had been dreading. I had to choose one of the men to act as my consort for the ritual, but who? I don’t know what I would have decided, because Galen said, voice clear but uncertain, “I’m whole again, Merry.”
Also, where the heck is Taranis from last chapter? I thought they were going to be given a few hours to prepare for his call, and then he was going to call. What’s with the sudden jump to the fertility ritual? Instead, it jumps from Merry and Nicca having sex to this fertility ritual garbage that afternoon.

Anyway, Rhys calls bullshit on Galen being cured.
“I don’t mean to dampen the mood,” Rhys said, “But how do we know he’s cured? Maeve and Gordon may not get another shot at this.”
Doyle interrupted. “If Galen says that he is healed enough for this ritual, I for one believe him.”
I looked at Doyle. His face was its usual dark mask, unreadable. He rarely spoke unless he was certain of something.
“How can you be certain?” Frost asked.
“Meredith needs a consort to her goddess. Who better than the green man whose life has only recently returned to him?”
I knew that the green man was sometimes a nickname for the Goddess’s Consort, sometimes a name for the generic forest god. I looked at Galen. He certainly was the green man.
“If Doyle thinks it’s all right, then let it be Galen.”
And yet again, our ruler Merry acquiesces to Doyle’s command. The chapter ends with Frost being pouty over Doyle’s Merry’s choice, but not saying anything to argue against it further, because sometimes “that’s all you can ask of a man”.

A Caress of Twilight – Chapter 35

Chapter 35 begins with Merry preparing for the ritual alone in the garden outside the apartment building. Actually, fuck, it’s not even the apartment’s garden, it belongs to the house behind the apartment complex, because WHY NOT break into someone else’s yard to fuck your stupid broken lover. THEY DON’T EVEN HAVE PERMISSION TO USE IT, they just tossed up some wards around it and shrugged it off. Ugh.
So Merry walks through the lemon grove leading to the garden and finds their magical circle and thick cotton blanket all set up for her. She steps into the circle, noting that nothing less than a god could cross it, and lays down on the blanket. She is laying there, experiencing all the nature around her, when she sees Galen step into the circle. He is naked, and Merry cannot stop herself from admiring his body. When she gets to his penis, she finds that it’s good and whole now, no longer the Sumatran Toad of the dick world.
It’s no longer like a half eaten cob of corn.
It’s no longer
So anyway, Merry comes up to her knees and raises her hand to him to help him onto the blanket. Their fingers touch and it sends a chill through her body. Galen drops to his knees on the blanket and they both bring their power so that the energy mixes.
I’d feared that it would be hard to raise the magic, but I’d forgotten. I’d forgotten what it truly meant to be fey, to be sidhe. We were magic, as the earth and the trees were magic. We burned with the same invisible flame that bound the world together. That warm flame swelled between us, filled the air around us with a shimmering, beating energy like the sound of wings.
We kissed through that rising energy. It flowed between our mouths as he bent over me, and I raised my face to meet his lips. He was velvet warmth against my mouth, inside my mouth as his power spilled down inside my body. When we’d shared Niceven’s power it had been sharp, hot, almost painful. This was so much more, gentle warmth, the first breath of spring after a long winter
His hands found my body, spilling my breasts bare to the wind. He drew his lips back from mine and lowered his face to my breasts, taking first one then the other into his mouth, rolling the nipples in the warmth, spilling power. His hands cupped my breasts, fingers tightening, until I cried out. His hands slid down my back to my hips, fingers catching on the edge of the bikini bottoms, sliding them down my thighs, stopping at my knees, trapped. He rolled me onto my back and slid the last bit of clothing away.
I lay naked before him for the first time with the wind over spilling my body, spilling over his body. He was propped up on one arm, the long naked line of his body so close to mine, I ran my hand down his chest, down his stomach, his waist, and finally touched the warmth of him. I cupped him in my hands, holding him solid and warm, and he shuddered, eyes closing. When he opened them his green eyes were full of dark light, a dark knowledge that stopped my breath and made things low in my body tighten. I squeezed gently, caressed him, and his spine bowed with it, head thrown back so far I couldn’t tell if his eyes were open or closed.
Bold emphasis mine. Spilling. One of LKH’s most overused words, especially in the sex scenes. She goes on to use the word spilling or a variant of it 5 more times. Words should not be repeated that often. It totally takes the reader out of the story, spilling them back to reality.
Also, her sex scenes suck.
We became part of that dance. Our bodies locked together, my hips moving back and forth, his hips raising up and down so that we formed a double rhythm that fed on each movement until I felt his body swell tight and firm and I squeezed him tight inside my body, holding him, holding him with hands, mouth, every part of me, as if he would vanish if I did not hold on tight.
The warmth swelled between my legs rising up in a wave of heat that spilled up my body until it felt as if my skin let loose, and I flowed away into the wind and the whispering trees. The only thing that kept me anchored to the earth was the hard, hot point of Galen’s body. I felt him slip his skin, felt his power spill outward, and for one shining moment we were neither flesh nor blood nor real. We were the wind, the trees as they tugged at their roots like anchored kites, thinking both of deep earth and sunlight. We were the sweet evergreen smell of eucalyptus, and the thick warm scent of sunburned grass. When I could no longer feel my body and could barely remember who I’d been, I began to spill back into myself. My body reformed and Galen was still inside me. His body re-formed underneath me, and we were left gasping for air, laughing into each other’s arms. I slid off his body to lie beside him in the circle of his arms, my cheek pressed to his chest so that I could hear the fast, sure beat of his heart.


The chapter ends as Galen and Merry walk back to the apartment to tell Maeve and Gordon that the magic has worked. 

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