Seduced by Moonlight – Chapter 17

Chapter 17 begins the next morning with Maeve Reed crying at their kitchen table, and LKH sets women back a thousand years:
 
It might have been baby hormones, but then again, it might not. Maeve liked to pretend that it was Gordon who’d been the brains of the two, but the truth was that when she wanted to, she had a very good mind. A logical mind, a dangerous mind. She was trickier to deal with when she was thinking than when she was seducing. Crying meant either real emotion, or she was about to try to manipulate me.
 
Maeve sees Merry standing in the doorway and insults her by simply saying “I see you’re dressed to go.” Merry had obviously dressed up for her trip to Faerie, so she knew she was looking good, and Maeve doesn’t bother complimenting her on it. It’s a stupid fucking insult to the sidhe.
 
Also, what the fuck is Merry wearing?
 
A black, ankle-length skirt hugged my hips and flared out as it flowed down my legs, in a material not found in nature so it wouldn’t wrinkle on the plane. A black leather belt with a matching buckle was cinched tight at my waist. A green silk-and-spandex T-shirt was topped with a black bolero-cut jacket. Antique gold-and-emerald earrings picked up the green. Calf-high black boots showed under my skirt. They had three-inch heels, and the leather was shiny, and gleamed when the light caught it. I’d thought the emerald-green skirt brought out the green of my eyes, and the fit, along with the scoop neck, showed off my breasts. I’d normally have worn a shorter skirt, but it was January in St. Louis, and showing off my legs wasn’t worth risking frostbite.
 
I live in motherfucking Wisconsin, and I’ve worn short skirts in sub-zero January temperatures, so stop whining. You will not get frostbite by being outside for all of fifteen minutes, especially wearing leather boots and likely a leather skirt. Shut up. ALSO I hate the way that description is written. The clothes aren’t wearing you, Merry, you are WEARING THE CLOTHES. It’s so try hard and terrible and I hate that this woman makes money off of her novels. 
 
Anyway, Merry calls Maeve out for not complimenting her, and Maeve tells her she’s blunt. No shit. Turns out Maeve is pissed off that she had sex with Sage the previous night, and she’s blaming Merry. If Merry hadn’t invoked her godhead or whatever, she wouldn’t have desired the need to be comforted by anyone and wouldn’t have taken Sage to her bed. She begins sobbing and Merry asks her if Sage hurt her.
 
She’s sobbing because the sex was wonderful, and it shouldn’t have been amazing because the demi-fey are not as amazing as the sidhe. Or whatever. Maeve is pissed that she had sex with a lesser being. Sage had only been an illusion of a sidhe, not a true sidhe, much like the apple tree that had grown in the hallway during Merry’s sex romp with Maeve. The tree had disappeared overnight, and Merry is confused by this. She touched the tree and felt its leaves. Maeve explains to her that once the sidhe could create illusions that were physically real, that’s how strong their magic once was. Maeve thinks that magic is starting to return to the sidhe, through Merry.
 
“You have brought that back to us, Merry, you and your magic.”
I shook my head. “No, not me, the Goddess. I couldn’t do any of this without divine help.”
“You are too modest,” she said.
“Maybe,” I said, and I couldn’t help myself, “though of course when you have such bad taste in clothes, it’s hard not to be humble.”
She wouldn’t meet my eyes for a moment. “I am sorry, but I wanted to hurt you.”
 
Oh boo hoo fucking hoo. THIS IS NOT AN INSULT. This is so dumb.
 
So they talk about how Maeve is upset that she had sex with Sage some more. Maeve tells Merry that she’s upset that Sage isn’t a prince, and no matter how much time passes, he’ll never truly be a sidhe either. Then Frost enters the room and is like “SEE HOW HORRIBLE THE SEELIE SIDHE ARE”, because of course Frost needs to enter all whiny. He didn’t learn anything from the previous night’s conversation, apparently. This causes Maeve and Frost to fight.
 
Merry tells Maeve that she doesn’t care that Frost wasn’t born a sidhe. It changes nothing to her that he became a sidhe through magic. This astonishes Maeve. She doesn’t know how any sidhe could not be bothered by that.
 
“You don’t understand, Merry, how could you? Sleeping with a human would be forgiven, but not fucking a demi-fey. My need outrode my common sense last night. I was power-drunk. This morning, I’m sober.”
“But you’re exiled from the Seelie Court, Maeve, and the Unseelie Court doesn’t care about origins, only about results. It’s not where you come from, but what you can do for us.”
She shook her head. “I can’t shield my eyes. I can’t make my glamour cover them this morning, and I don’t know why. I’ve worn this glamour for decades. It feels almost more real than my true form, but I haven’t been able to cover my eyes again. You gave me power, Merry, but you stripped me of things too.”
“So it’s my fault that you fucked Sage?”
“Maybe.”
 
Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
 
Frost decides to throw Maeve’s misplaced anger back in her face.
 
“I was once a member of the golden court,” Frost said.
“You were never a member of the court, Jackie Frost. Never!”
He gave her a cold smile. “Allow me to rephrase. I was once barely tolerated at the court of beauty and illusion. Tolerated because as others faded in power, I grew. Not through some other sidhe’s powers, but through the minds of the humans. They remembered me when they’d forgotten all of you beautiful, shining deities. Little Jakual Frosti, Jackie Frost, Jack Frost.” He stepped in close to her again, and this time she shrank back from him, just a little. “But who still speaks of Conchenn? Where are your poems, your songs? Why did they remember me, and not you?”
 
Ohhhh snap, Frost. I might like you just for this. But then for some reason, Frost starts glowing, so he goes over to Maeve and kisses her. As they kiss, Maeve begins glowing while Frost’s glow fades, and when he ends the kiss it is only Maeve who is glowing. Maeve admits that she never took any of the lesser fey to her bed during her exile because she hoped one day she’d be invited back to the Seelie Court. She then begs Merry not to return to Faerie, to instead stay out in exile with her.
 
Doyle then enters the room and tells Maeve that Merry will someday rule in the Unseelie Court, and she cannot start her rule showing any fear to Taranis. Maeve asks him if he fears that Taranis will kill Merry when she gets to his court, and Doyle responds that if he does, Queen Andais will kill him.
 
“For slaying the heir to the throne, I think Andais would do one of two things. Either challenge him to a personal duel, which Taranis will not want; or have him assassinated, discreetly.”
“You mean you would kill Taranis,” Maeve said.
“I am no longer the Queen’s Darkness.” He came to stand next to me. “I have heard that she has a new captain of her guard now.”
“Who?” Frost asked.
“Mistral,” Doyle said.
 
OH GOOD, MISTRAL.
 
I remembered Mistral. He was everything the queen abhorred, loud, bragging, quick to anger, unforgiving. He was almost the epitome of a bully, but he was too powerful to be refused entrance to the dark court once he’d gotten himself kicked out of the golden. Queen Andais made sure we accepted all who were powerful, but she didn’t have to like them, or use them much. She could make sure they were always seated far away from her and given duties that kept them from her sight.
Mistral had been so out of favor during my lifetime that I barely remembered his face, and could not truly recall ever having spoken with him. My father had thought him a fool.
 
I like how Mistral is the epitome of everything Andais hates, because he’s just like everything they’ve described Andais to be. She’s loud, bragging, quick to anger, unforgiving, etc. Mistral had done something to piss Andais off, so she had him sent to the Hallway of Mortality for seven years for punishment. Maeve announces that she refused to be a part of a court that embraces torture as punishment.
 
Maeve has apparently refused to return to Faerie with the gang, even though she’s aware that Taranis may try to have her killed again once the guards leave. Maeve is instead going to fly to some other country with some human guards. She tells them that she is afraid to go to the Unseelie Court because she fears Andais would hold her prisoner.
 
“You wouldn’t be a prisoner, Conchenn, you’d simply embrace the dark, because the light won’t have you. Many a Seelie lord and lady has found that the dark is not half so ugly as they thought, or half so terrible as they were taught.” [Frost] took a step toward her, and she took a step back.
“They embraced the dark because they had no choice,” she said in a voice that was almost choked. “It was the darkness or be exiled from faerie forever.”
“Exactly,” Frost said. “There are not prisoners among us. Whisper could have fled the Unseelie Court. The queen would not have pursued him, for she knows that for a sidhe to leave the Unseelie Court is to have no place to go. No home in faerie. We take the queen’s laws, not because we have no choice, but because even seven years of torment is better than being cast out, as you were, by your king.”
 
Because staying with your abusive significant other is better than being alone, right?
 
Maeve flees the room in tears after Frost tells her this. Frost thinks Maeve is being foolish for refusing to go to the Unseelie Court with them, and Doyle responds that it’s no more foolish than them visiting the Seelie Court.
 

 

The chapter ends with Frost hoping that the worst horrors they see on their visit to Faerie is at the goblin court, but he fears that the true horror will be at the Seelie Court, and no one can argue with him. 

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