Seduced by Moonlight – Chapter 10

Chapter 10 begins with Rhys telling them all that they need to tell the queen about the return of the cup. I’m just going to always call it a cup from here on out. Way more fun. Doyle tells them that no, they won’t be telling the queen about it, but Rhys is like “man, she’ll be SO PISSED”.
 
“Why don’t you want to tell the queen?” I asked.
“Because this is not our relic. This cauldron belonged to the Seelie Court. We nearly went to war over its disappearance centuries ago, when Taranis suspected us of stealing it. What would he do if he knew we actually had it?”
“The queen would never tell him,” Galen said.
Doyle gave him a look of such withering scorn that Galen took a step back. “Do you truly think that there are no spies among us? We certainly have spies at the Seelie Court, I must assume that Taranis has the same among us.” He motioned at the gleaming cup, sitting so innocently on the table. “This is simply too large a thing to keep secret. It will get out once it is known outside this room. We must think what to do when that happens.”
 
Yeah, Nicca will tell her. Remember, Nicca is Andais’s spy in Merry’s guard. Or was this conveniently forgotten as well?
 
They determine that if it comes out that they are in possession of the cup, Taranis will demand it back, and they’re just not willing to give this item of power back to him. Now I’m confused – Doyle spent all of last chapter crying about how the cup disappeared and their followers/worshippers/whatever suffered, but if the cup wasn’t theirs to begin with, then what the hell was the entire previous chapter about?
 
“We cannot give it to Taranis,” Nicca said.
We all turned and stared at him. It was so unlike him to be adamant about anything, and totally out of the question for him to say something so decisive and so potentially disastrous.
“Even if it means war?” Doyle said.
Nicca paced closer to the table. “I don’t know, but I do know this: Taranis has broken our most sacred taboos. He’s been hiding his own infertility for at least a century, because he exiled Maeve for refusing to marry him on the grounds that he was infertile. He has knowingly condemned his own court to a fading of their power, their fertility, and everything they are. When he feared Maeve would reveal his secret to us…”
 
Yeah, it then goes on for AN ENTIRE PAGE explaining everything that happened last book. I think this is the most Nicca has spoken in the past two books, and all he gets to do is vomit previous book events. Poor Nicca. I feel bad for this stupid, stupid character.
 
So Doyle tells them that even though they know Taranis is guilty of all that crap from the last book, they cannot go after him at all because “he is King”. Kitto is confused by this – if the goblin king did something as horrible as what Taranis did, the goblins would immediately confront him in open court and demand he vacate the throne. Doyle tells Kitto that the sidhe aren’t that straightforward. Kitto tells them all that the sidhe are more devious than the goblins, which is why the sidhe always beat the goblins in war. Rhys agrees with this, and EVERYONE IS SURPRISED GASP.
 
I glanced at Rhys, and something on my face must have shown because he said, “I’m not going to argue with him. The sidhe are more devious than the goblins. Goddess knows that the sidhe are more devious than any of the fey.”
“So good to hear a sidhe admit the truth,” Sage said.
I looked at the little man on the counter. He looked so harmless sitting there with his oversize mug of cocoa. There was even a rim of chocolate foam around his mouth so that the illusion of childish innocence was even stronger than normal.
 
Ughhhhhhhh
 
Sage tells them all that they can continue arguing over whether or not to tell Andais, but he has to tell Queen Niceven about the return of the cup, no matter what. He tells them that they might as well just tell Andais, because as soon as Niceven knows, Andais will know.
 
“We will be at the courts tomorrow night,” I said. “Can you wait that long to tell your queen?”
“Why should I wait?” he asked, and came to hover in front of my face so that the wind of his wings danced in my hair.
“Because it would be safer for all of us, including your people, if fewer people knew of the chalice.”
He pointed a finger at me. “Tut, tut, Princess, logic will not win me. I stayed away today though your magic called me like the love song of a siren.” He lit upon the table in front of me. “I did not come because I have witnessed all the amazing sidhe sex I ever wish to see, since I am not invited to your bed. I am not really much of a voyeur.”
“I agreed to share blood with you once a week, Sage. That was the price of alliance with your people. I’ve kept my end of the bargain.”
He paced in front of me on tiny butter-colored feet that matched the yellow of his wings. “Blood is a fine thing, Princess, but it does not take the place of a good thrusting.” He leaned his hands on my hand, as if I were a fence, and gazed up at me with tiny black eyes. “Let me in your bed tonight and I will tell no one until we arrive at the courts.”
I moved my hand quick enough to make him stumble, and he took to the air, his wings an angry blur. “Are you really still trying to make a bid to be my king, Sage? I thought we had been clear about this.”
He got near enough to my face that I heard the whir of his wings. Real butterfly wings didn’t make that noise. He sounded like an angry hummingbird. “Yes, originally my queen wished to make a bid to put me on the Unseelie throne as her puppet, but Flora save me, Princess, I don’t care about that anymore.”
“What do you care about?” Doyle asked.
Sage turned in midair and rose high enough to look at both of us. “I want sex. I want to lie with a woman again. Is that so hard a thing to believe?”
 
Jesus Christ.
 
It was Kitto who said, “The demi-fey don’t care about sex any more than the goblins do,  not if they can have power and blood.”
Sage turned and stared at the goblin who had become sidhe.
 
Do we really need to know this? Like, we’ve known since the end of book 2 that Kitto’s become a sidhe. You don’t need to tell us this CONSTANTLY.
 
So Sage gets all pissy at Kitto, and to alleviate the tension, Rhys asks Sage if he will accept the blood of a god in place of sex with Merry. Sage flies over to Rhys and LICKS THE SWEAT OFF HIS FOREHEAD and then tells the room that Rhys does not taste like a god. Like it’s a totally common thing that Sage licks gods. So Sage flies over to Frost to try to taste his blood.
 
Frost scowled up at the little man, and shook his head. “I am no one’s blood whore.”
“What does that make me?” I asked, and my voice was cold as my anger was hot. I’d had about all I could handle of Frost’s moods for one day. I was the one who’d almost died; when was it my turn to be in a mood?
Frost looked confused. “I didn’t mean…”
I walked toward him. “If I’m willing to donate a little blood for the cause, then what makes you too good to do it?”
He motioned to the hovering demi-fey. “I do not want that laying its mouth on me.”
“I do it once a week, Frost. If it’s good enough for a princess, it’s good enough for you.”
His face was the arrogant mask he wore when he was hiding what he was thinking. “Are you ordering me to do it?” His voice was very cold, and I knew that here could be something that would drive a wedge between us, maybe for a day, maybe forever. You never knew with Frost.
I stepped close to him, and when he jerked away, I let my hand fall to my side. “Not exactly, but I am asking you to please do this. Please help us.”
“I don’t want to…”
I touched his lips with my fingertips and he let me. His breath was warm on my skin. “Please, Frost, please, it is a small thing. It hurts only a little, and Sage is very good at glamour. He can make it hurt not at all.”
 
Jesus Christ, Merry, NO MEANS NO. Merry is apparently all about passive-aggressively forcing her men to do things they don’t want to do. Fuck this.
 
Anyway, Sage, being a giant fucking asshole, decides to think upon the offer of Frost’s and Rhys’s blood, and meanwhile floats over to Galen. Galen tells him absolutely not, and Sage presses on. “But you were so tasty” he says, because torturing others is apparently what these characters do for fun.
 
But it’s all moot because Sage finally agrees to keep silent until he sees Niceven in person for a taste of both Frost’s and Rhys’s blood. Frost whines that he hasn’t agreed to share blood, and everyone tries to comfort him, and Frost finally agrees to do it by saying “As my captain commands, so will I do.” Because no one ever follows Merry’s orders, remember? Doyle is the true ruler here, and he has been since book one. It’s almost funny now whenever Merry suddenly remembers she’s a princess and tries to wrest control away from Doyle. And then no one listens to her or fights her anyway. Hahaha.
 
Then instead of the chapter fucking ending like it should, they go back to talking about what to do with the stupid cup.
 
“You aren’t seriously thinking about keeping the chalice once Taranis asks for it? It would be a fight, if not an outright war.”
“We cannot give it to him,” Nicca said. “He no longer deserves it.”
“What do you mean, Nicca?” Doyle asked.
“He is not…” Nicca seemed at a loss for words, then finally spread his hands wide and said, “He is not worthy to wield the chalice. If he were worthy, it would have come to him – but it hasn’t. It came to Merry.”
Doyle sighed loudly enough that I heard it halfway across the room. “And that is yet another problem. If Taranis fears that his hold as king is slipping because of his infertility, then to have the chalice appear to another sidhe noble, especially one half-Unseelie, will only feed his fear.”
 
See, now this would be an awesome plot to read. The cup appeared to Merry, who is growing in power both magically and politically, and she and Taranis have to go to war over it. This would be such a cool thing to read and see how all the intrigue and such unfolds. Instead we get Merry’s Magical Pink Dress Fuck Time and it’s fucking stupid. LKH, you’re SO GOOD at coming up with awesome ideas, and then IGNORING THE SHIT OUT OF THEM.
 
Rhys then tells them all that he has a theory that Merry wasn’t just used as a vessel for the Goddess’s powers (bringing about all their godheads), but the Goddess and the cup appeared to her because she’s the only sidhe fit to be the caretaker of the sidhe or magic cup. Merry doesn’t think that’s true, because she’s just a mere mortal, remember? Woe is Merry, full of mortality.
 
They argue for a few pages about how dumb the Seelie Court is, and they decide that Taranis will definitely go to war if he learns the cup is back.
 
Rhys hugged me close. “Our queen will be pleased, but Taranis won’t.”
“He would be, if he thought she could do for him what she’s done for Frost,” Doyle said.
Rhys’s face showed a moment of absolute panic, before he covered it with a grin and a joke “I don’t know which is more dangerous, that he thinks he can use Merry to regain his lost vitality, or that her new powers would make her a strong queen.”
 
Wait – isn’t that what you want? You WANT Merry to be a strong queen, so that the Unseelie would follow her without complaint, without them trying to assassinate Merry constantly.
 
I guess Rhys means that even if Merry becomes a strong queen, Taranis will likely try to duel her, and if they were to duel, Merry would likely die. Taranis is the strongest of the Seelie, or rather he was, back before they did the third weirding and lost much of their power. Taranis hasn’t dueled since before then, so no one really knows how strong he is anymore. Rhys still thinks Merry would die if they dueled. So, now they’re not sure what to do.
 
They can’t give the cup back to Taranis but they have to tell the queen about it, and once the queen knows that the cup has returned, Taranis will likely learn soon after. They cannot accuse Taranis of being infertile, as to do that they would need Maeve to testify, and Maeve is exiled from faerie, never allowed to return. And they cannot use Bucca-Dhu’s confession that he helped Taranis release the Nameless, because the Seelie would likely spin the confession to be more against Bucca than Taranis, because they are assholes.
 
THIS CHAPTER IS STILL GOING. They now switch to talking about all the rumors back in the faerie courts.
 
“Whispers about the Nameless and who would gain from its attack on Maeve Reed. The rumors are only in the faerie courts, but the attack was on all the major news sources, and some of the sidhe of both courts keep up with the human news.” He stared at the cup while he spoke, as if mesmerized by it. “Most know that Taranis personally had her exiled. The rumors are already beginning. If he’d had other magicks that could have slain Maeve from a distance, I think he would have used them. The Nameless may not be able to be traced to him directly, but it is a major power, and everyone now knows that whoever released it, it was used to hunt Maeve.”
“His very fear will be his undoing,” Frost said.
“Perhaps,” Doyle said, “but a cornered wolf is more dangerous than one in the open. We do not want to be around Taranis when he feels himself out of options.”
“Which brings me back to why he wants me to visit the Seelie Court,” I said.
 
UGHHHH NOT THIS AGAIN. Doyle and Sage begin arguing about how if the Unseelie Court falls and ceases to be, the demi-fey will fall with them. Sage is all “nuh uh” and this goes on for a page or so. And it’s finally dropped when Doyle is reminded of Taranis.
 
“Why not just refuse the invitation?” Galen said.
“We’ve been over this, Galen. If we refuse the invitation, then Taranis will see it as an insult, and wars, curses, all sorts of unpleasantness among the sidhe have begun over things like that.”
“We know it’s a trap of some kind, yet we’re still walking into it. That makes no sense to me.”
I looked at Doyle for help. He tried. “If we go at Taranis’s invitation, then he is guest-bound to treat us well. He cannot challenge any of us to a personal duel, or cause us harm, or allow harm to come to us while we are his guests. Once we step outside his mound, his court, then he can challenge us on the spot, but not inside his own court. It is too old a law among us for even his own nobles to stomach a breach in it.”
 
First off, it’s hilarious that you believe that Merry will come to no harm while inside the Seelie Court. They’ve done nothing but try to bewitch and try to harm her. Secondly, YOU JUST SAID THAT AS SOON AS YOU LEAVE THE COURT, YOU’RE ALL DEAD. What. In what world is that an acceptable thing for guards to do. “Oh you’re safe until we leave this place, then you’re basically dead. Guess we’re NEVER LEAVING” and this FUCKING CHAPTER IS STILL GOING. There’s pages left. I just scrolled to the next chapter in my nook and I hate this book so fucking much.
 
“We are endangering Merry by going to the Seelie Court, I know it.”
“You do not know it,” Doyle said.
“No, I don’t know it. But I feel it. It’s a bad idea.”
“Everyone agrees it’s a bad idea, Galen,” I said.
“Then why do it?”
“To find out what Taranis wants,” Doyle said, “in the least dangerous way.”
“If going to the Seelie Court and standing next to the King of Light and Illusion is the least dangerous way, I’d like to know what the
most dangerous way would be.”
 
THIS. THIS IS WHAT LKH DECIDES IS THE BIG PLOT. Ugh. This book could be so much cooler, but instead it’s “oh boy, what does my psycho uncle want? Better go find out!” I don’t even think they GET to the Seelie Court at all in this book, so this entire chapter is for fucking nothing.
 
Eventually Doyle says that the reason Merry has to go is because if she does not, it would give Taranis right to challenge Merry to a duel. And Merry cannot refuse a duel, because to do so would force her into exile, totally taking away her chance of ruling the Unseelie Court. Galen keeps trying to fight them on this, to make them see what a bad idea it is, and Doyle snaps at him. Merry apparently realizes that Galen had been trying to stand up to Doyle to protect her, so she goes over to him to comfort him. He begs her to not be mad at him. They finally go back to talking about the cup.
 
“The chalice complicates things, but it doesn’t really change anything.”
He gave a small nod. “As you say.”
“What if Merry keeps the chalice on the grounds that the Goddess gave it to her?” Nicca said. He’d gone to kneel by the table so he could look at the goblet more closely.
“I don’t think divine intervention is a good enough reason,” Rhys said.
“But it is our tradition,” Nicca said. “They may have messed the story up and confused it with other stories, but
Whosoever pulls this sword out of the stone is rightful king is still true. The Ard-Ris of Ireland had a stone that would cry out at the touch of the rightful king.”
“There are those who believe that when the Ard-Ri was no longer chosen by the stone, that is when the Irish lost to the English,” Doyle said. “They forsook their heritage, their great magic, and the line of true kings was broken,”
I looked at him. “I didn’t know you had Fenian learnings.”
 
WHAT THE SHIT IS THIS, NOW. Fenian? Really? WHY HAVE YOU NOT INTRODUCED THIS UNTIL NOW? Yet another awesome mythology that LKH failed to introduce to us at all, and instead just tosses it casually into conversation. Ugh. Now we get a fun history/cultural anthropology lesson on why the Irish will always lose, etc and this is all stuff that would be awesome to read in another story. Not in a faerie sex novel.
 
“Can Merry actually claim the right to keep the chalice on the grounds that it chose her?” Galen asked. “I’m not old enough to remember anybody getting to be king because some stone cried out, so will this actually work?”
“It should work,” Doyle said, “but I can’t say that the Seelie court will bow to tradition. It has been so long since the great relics have been among us that many have forgotten how we acquired them in the first place.”
“Forgotten because they wish to forget,” Nicca said.
“Perhaps, but just saying Meredith owns the vessel because it came to her from the hand of the Goddess Herself will take some convincing.”
“How do I prove that the Goddess gave me the goblet?” I asked.
Doyle waved a hand at the table. “The fact that we have the goblet is the proof.”
 
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
 
So they decide that while they must keep Taranis from obtaining the cup, they also agree that they cannot give it to Queen Andais either. Nicca keeps insisting that Merry absolutely need to keep possession of the cup.
 
“It vanished once because we weren’t worthy to keep it. What if Merry hands it over to someone else who isn’t worthy, and it goes away again?”
“I think our queen would allow Merry to keep the chalice on that logic alone,” Doyle said. “She would not risk the loss of it again.”
 
Because the queen is at all logical, right?
 
They finally decide to go to sleep and deal with the cup and the problems it comes with later. So, Merry asks what they should do with it. Doyle suggests wrapping it in a silk cloth and putting it in a drawer besides Merry’s bed. Merry wonders why not use the safe, but Doyle reminds her that anyone who would want to steal the cup could easily bust into the safe.
 
That finished, Sage decides to demand his taste of Frost’s and Rhys’s blood. Frost whines about this, but Merry puts a stop to that right away.
 
I loved Frost when I was in his arms. I even loved Frost when I was looking at his beauty, but I was beginning to not love Frost when he pouted; to not love him when he made simple things so much harder than they had to be. It made me question whether or not I had ever been in love with Frost, or had it just been lust?
 
NO SHIT IT’S NOT LOVE, MERRY. You have never once said anything positive about Frost other than he’s good in bed and gorgeous. That isn’t love. That’s a teenybopper girl’s obsession with Harry Styles-love. You’re a fucking moron.

 

The chapter finally fucking ends after Merry’s Frost-love bullshit, and I couldn’t be happier. 

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