Seduced by Moonlight – Chapter 31

Chapter 31 begins right as they exit the queen’s bedroom. She stops at the newly formed spring and asks them how it came to be, and when no one answers her, she turns to Merry. “This is your doing, isn’t it?” she asks, voice somewhat full of contempt. Merry doesn’t answer her, so the queen asks her directly. Merry tells her that it was she and Adair who caused the spring to form, which causes the queen to turn outright bitchy toward Merry.
The gentle look left her face as she turned to me. “You must truly be a wondrous piece of ass. One quick fuck and he risks his life for yours.”
I was puzzled by most of what she’d said, but concentrated on the latter part. “If he fucked me, it was on your orders. The punishment of death for breaking his celibacy no longer applies. The guards were always allowed to fuck if the queen wills it.”
Yeah, except that’s not what the queen meant at all. Turns out, after Merry became injured, Adair threw himself in the queen’s line in order to stop her from attacking Merry. So the queen calls Adair over to her, and he goes to her like a guilty puppy. The queen seems angry that all the men in Merry’s personal guard, even those that were just “given” to her, tried to stop the queen in her frenzy, but none of the queen’s personal guard dared try to stop her. None of them threw themselves in front of Eamon or Tyler to protect them, when all of Merry’s guard did. Mistral, the new captain of the queen’s guard, tells the queen that she had ordered them to kneel and not move on pain of death, which is why they did not budge.
The queen then tells them all that she overheard when they were talking about how to stop her. Even in her frenzy she heard them talk about killing her, so she wants to know where they all stand right now before she accuses them of treachery. Merry tries to logic her way out of this situation.
“The spell was meant to make you butcher your guards,” I said, the way you’d talk to a slow child. “If you execute them now, you will be doing exactly what your enemies wish.”
She frowned at me. “There is logic in what you say. But talk of murdering your queen cannot go unpunished.”
“And what is the penalty for being forsworn among us?” I asked.
“An oathbreaker,” she said.
“Death or banishment from faerie,” she said, and her voice was very sure, but her eyes held something. Either she saw the trap or she was worried about something else.
“You swore to me that all the men who came to my body would be my guards, the princess’s bodyguards, no longer Queen’s Ravens.”
She frowned at me. “I remember.”
“You also promised that no harm would come to them without my permission, just as no harm can come to your guards without your permission.”
This happens quite a bit whenever Merry has a conversation with the queen. Lots of “you told me this” and then the queen goes “oh did I? Doyle, did I do what Merry is saying I did?” “Yes, queen, you did.” “I suppose I did, I did tell Merry this, therefore it must be true.” I swear it happens a bunch more in the upcoming books. I don’t understand how this can be viewed as well written conversation.
Anyway, the queen finally relents and since the queen was trying to violate an oath she had made to Merry previously, the queen owes Merry a boon. Merry asks that all the guards who spoke of killing the queen in her frenzy be forgiven, and the queen does so. The queen then turns to Merry and basically apologizes to her in a way only the sidhe can do.
“I am still not myself, Meredith. My mind is half besotted with the effects of the spell I have not allowed myself such a surrender to slaughter in centuries. Such should only be used against one’s enemies. … I feared for my son’s sanity, Meredith.” Her voice held a note of apology. “I allowed one of his guard to go to him and slack the lust of Branwyn’s Tears before he went mad.”
Turns out that Andais allowed one of Cel’s guard to go fuck him, to save his sanity from the Branwyn’s Tears spell, and that same night the queen is put under the bloodlust spell. Even the characters in this novel are smart enough to put two and two together and realize that CEL FUCKING ORDERED HIS GUARD TO KILL ANDAIS. The queen tells Merry that since she does not have children, she’d never understand how she could allow her son to get away with the stuff he gets away with. Then the queen tells Merry that she will have Nuline and any who tried to kill Merry killed for their actions.
“You decreed that if any of Cel’s people tried to kill me while he was still imprisoned, his life would be forfeit.”
She closed her eyes and leaned her forehead against the flat of the blade. “Do not ask me for the life of my only child, Meredith.”
“I have not asked.”
She let me see that famous anger in her eyes. “Haven’t you?”
“I have merely given the queen’s words back to her.”
“I have never liked you, niece of mine, but nor have I hated you. If you force me to kill Cel, I will hate you.”
“It is not me who will force your hand, Queen Andais, it is him.”
So they begin discussing what happened when Nuline brought Andais the wine. The queen tells them that Nuline spoke like she had been told what to say. They decide they need to learn who fed Nuline those lines, who gave her the wine to give to Andais. The queen asks Doyle if he could track the spell off of her skin. Doyle can’t track if off her skin, but is going to try tracking it from the wine bottle. The queen announces that whoever the spell leads to will be swiftly punished, and then asks Merry what she would do if she were queen.
Merry tells everyone that she would send for the slaugh. That with the slaugh and the guards at the queen’s back, no one would dare attempt a direct attack on the queen or Merry. Andais doesn’t believe that someone would dare attack her directly, but Merry is able to convince her otherwise.
“If the spell had gone its course, Aunt Andais, you would have slaughtered all your guards, and then with no one left to kill in this room, where would you have gone? What would you have done?”
“I would have found others to kill, any others.”
“You would have ended in the banquet hall where there are sidhe who would not stand idle while you sliced them open,” I said.
“They would have looked for a reason for my behavior,” she said.
“I don’t think they would. You have slaughtered and terrorized this court for a very long time. What you did here tonight is not that far from things I have seen you do before.”
“Before, most of the slaughter had a purpose,” she said. “My enemies fear me.”
“Slaughter done coldly, and slaughter done in the heat of madness, look much the same when you are on the wrong end,” I said.
“Have I been such a tyrant that the entire court would believe this of me?”
The silence in the room was thick enough to wrap around us all. To wrap us and choke us, because none of us knew how to answer the question without either lying, or angering her.
She gave a bitter laugh. “There is answer enough in your silence.” She rubbed at her head as if it ached. “It is good to be feared by your enemies.”
“But not by your friends,” I said, softly.
She looked at me, then. “Oh, niece of mine, have you not learned, yet, that a ruler has no friends? There are enemies and allies, but not friends.”
Andais and Merry continue talking about this for a few pages, and Andais is actually being sort of caring? Andais asks Merry for more advice on what she would do if the attack was on her, and Merry suggests also calling in King Kurag of the gobilns to bring more goblins to the banquet. They then discuss Merry’s alliance with the goblins, and Merry tells Andais that the alliance will be extended for every half-sidhe she turns into full sidhe. Turns out that Merry doesn’t plan on having sex with the goblins, but rather she wishes to turn them by fighting them. Only, she won’t be doing the fighting, she will make them fight a ‘champion of her choosing’, meaning either Doyle or Frost. But, that she will also need to fuck a few of the goblins.
She laughed. “Even I have not stooped so low as to bed a goblin. I would have thought it was beyond the pale for you.”
“I think you’d like goblin sex. They like it rough.”
She looked past me, and I realized she was looking at Kitto, who was trying to stay close to me and be as invisible as possible at the same time. “He looks a little fragile for my idea of rough.”
Kitto pulled back even farther behind me and Doyle, and Galen. I moved just enough to bring her attention more firmly to me. “When you have to lay ground rules that your lover is not allowed to bite off pieces of your body, I think that qualifies as rough.”
She looked past me again in the sliver of race that Kitto had left in view. She jumped, and said, “Boo.”
Hahaha, I love this. Child-like Kitto, victim of jump-scares.
Andais agrees to call on the sluagh and goblins for protection at the banquet, and then they spend a few pages talking about how important the goblins are for the Unseelie court. Stuff we’ve read over and over and over again in this series, how they’re the foot soldiers of the Unseelie Court. How they bargain for everything. How Kurag knows all the faerie laws, etc.


So the chapter finally ends with Merry deciding to call the goblins for Andais because she knew that she could get them to attend the banquet if she offered herself to Kurag. Well, not offer herself for sex, but rather allow Kurag to lick the blood off her body. 

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