Chapter 16 begins with more fucking waiting around. This time they’re waiting for the cops to come back after escorting their bespelled colleague away. Merry is all nervous at the fancy cup/chalice returning to her, because with it brings heightened magic, and that’s the last thing they needed while trying to solve a murder. Also, like 90% of the time, LKH refers to it as “the chalice” but every so often it’s just called “the cup” and it just brings me so much joy.
It’s like you have this all-powerful being, and everyone is terrified of it. Legends are spoken of this being’s awful, terrible power, and what it had wrought upon the world in prior ages. Finally, the hero come face-to-face with this celestial being, and it’s just like “Hey guys, I’m Greg. Bow before me?” That’s the sort of reaction this magical cup brings me.
All the guards notice that Merry’s feeling anxious about something, but her most trusted me are holding them back, which just serves to piss them all off. Instead of starting a big, pages long argument, Merry wisely just reveals the chalice to them, and they’re all awestruck.
Then the chalice begins… pulsing with power. And with every pulse it brings Merry close to orgasm. Oh great. Merry needs to focus all her attention on the crime scene when the cops arrive, which means that she must have sex! And soon! Otherwise the magic fuck-cup is just going to preoccupy her thoughts.
Amatheon finally spoke as if to himself. “The chalice returned to Meredith’s hand. How can this be?”
I looked up at him, watched the struggle in his flower-petal eyes. “You mean that the chalice would never return to the hand of some mongrel half-breed like me.”
He swallowed so hard it looked as if he were choking on years of prejudice. “Yes,” he said in a voice that was a harsh whisper. He fell to his knees as if some great force had knocked him down, or he had lost the strength in his legs.
He gazed up at me, and the many colors of his eyes glittered in the light, not with magic, but with tears. “Forgive me,” he said in that same harsh whisper, as if the words were being torn from his throat, “forgive me.” I didn’t think it was me he was begging forgiveness of.
The chalice moved toward him, my hands held it, but it was not my will that moved it.
He buried his face in his hands. “I cannot.” His broad shoulders began to shake, and I knew he was crying. I let go of the chalice with one hand, so I could touch his shoulder. He sobbed, and threw his arms around my waist clutching me so hard and sudden that I half collapsed against him. The chalice touched the back of his hair, and that was all it took.
I love how most sex in the LKH world starts with a big strong dude sobbing.
Anyway, the touch of the chalice transports Merry and Amatheon to a huge, barren plain. The same hill that Merry and Mistral fucked on in a previous chapter is in the distance. The plain they stand on is barren and dead. Amatheon says that nothing will ever grown on it again. Merry tries to respond, but her voice is different. Why, it’s the Goddess, speaking through Merry again. Merry starts rubbing the chalice all over Amatheon. Then, after the Goddess/Merry tells Amatheon that they need him, he offers her his sword so that his death can return the life to the land.
I understood then what he was offering, and with the Goddess riding me, I knew that his blood would return life to the land. He was Amatheon, a god of agriculture, but he was more than that. He was the spark, the quickening, that let the seed grow in the earth. He was that magic bridge between dormant seed, dark earth, and life. His “death” would bring that back to the land.
I shook my head. “I just saved his life, I will not take it now.”
Her voice came from my lips again. “He will not die as men die, but as the corn dies. To rise again, and feed his people.”
Amatheon’s new nickname in this series is Cornboy.
Merry keeps arguing with the Goddess, that she refuses to kill him. After all, she vowed to protect the lives of all who joined her, and no matter what, no matter who requests it, she will let no harm come to them. As a way to convince the Goddess to let Amatheon keep his life, she totally pulls a standard abusive move.
“Will you leave the land barren?” the voice said, out of my mouth. Having both sides of the conversation coming out of my mouth was a little too psychotic for comfort. And this energy, this Goddess, felt heavier, not just a comforting presence.
“Why are you not happy with me?”
I dunno, it could be that you’re explicitly going against her wishes? The Goddess eventually tells Merry that she believes Merry is using her powers in the wrong way. Instead of focusing her time on things that can be solved or resolved via technology, like the murders, Merry should be using her abilities to help the Goddess heal what has been damaged in faerie. So, Merry is about to swing the sword down on Amatheon’s neck, when she’s struck by another idea.
I leaned over him and pressed my mouth to his. His eyes opened, wide and startled. I think the kiss surprised him more than any blow could have. [Note: lol] I smiled down at him. “There are other ways to make the grass grow, Amatheon.”
He stared up at me, uncomprehending for a moment. Then the shadow of a smile caressed his lips. “You would refuse the call of the Goddess?”
I shook my head. “Never, but the Goddess comes in many guises. Why choose pain and death when you can have pleasure and life?”
The Goddess agrees to this and eventually leaves them be. This causes the chalice to awaken with the will of the Goddess, and it forces its will upon Merry and Amatheon.
I think the sex would have been slow and gentle, but I held the symbol of the Goddess, and I was the living symbol of the Goddess. An impatient Goddess. The chalice pulled us backwards as if there was some huge magnet underneath the ground. When the chalice met the earth, it went into the ground, and I was left holding nothing. Amatheon’s back hit the spot where the chalice had vanished, and his spine bowed, eyes fluttering closed, his fingers convulsing against my back, his body pushing against mine. The strength of his hands, the solidness of his body, and the raw need in his face, all of it pulled me down to him, put my mouth against his, my hands eager on his body. When my hand slid between our bodies so I could cup the hard, thick length of him, he shuddered and cried out. His eyes were wild when he looked up at me again.
“Please, Princess.” His voice was so hoarse it didn’t sound like him.
“Please what?” I whispered against his mouth.
“I cannot promise how long I will last.”
“What do you want, Amatheon?”
“To serve you.”
I shook my head, so close above him that my hair brushed his face when I did it. “Say what is is that you want, Amatheon.”
He closed his eyes, and swallowed so hard it sounded painful. When he opened his eyes again, he was calmer, but there was something in those flower-petal eyes that was still cautious. His voice was a whisper, as if he didn’t want to speak his wish too loudly, as if someone might overhear him. “I want you to ride me, to press my naked body into the dirt. I want to watch your breasts dance above me. I want to feel your body slipped over mine like a sheath to a sword. I want to watch your skin shine, your eyes and hair dance with power while I shove myself into you as far and as often as I can. I want to hear you cry out my name in that voice that women use only at the height of their passion. I want to pour my seed inside your body until it spills down the sides of you, and trails down my own hips. That is what I want.”
So, sounds about right for a LKH sex scene lead-up.