Chapter 27 begins with Rhys telling the group that when he escorted the police out of the sithen, the FBI was still there outside. Merry believes that the FBI agent was being too persistent, but Rhys explains that only a couple minutes had passed outside the sithen. That faerie seems to be playing with time moreso than it used to. Since the fey had come to the US (I think sometime in the late 1700s?), faerie was always on the same timetable as the rest of the world. Now, however, with Merry helping to awaken the powers of faerie, time seems to be changing.
Everyone seems really worried about this and they’re not exactly being forthright about why. They determine that they should start posting a guard outside the sithen so that they’re able to monitor the passage of time outside, so that they can see how truly bad the time warp is getting. They also remember back when the king of queen could control the speed of time within the sithen. Then, it dawns on them.
“Did you at any time tonight say out loud that you needed more time?” Doyle asked.
“I might have said something like, we don’t have enough time to investigate the murder and play court with the queen. Not those words, but…” I looked at Doyle. “Are you saying that I might have wished this into happening?”
“You did make a mirror appear in your room,” Doyle said, “simply by wanting to see what the cloak looked like.”
I was suddenly so scared that cold tingled down to my fingertips. “But Doyle, that could mean that anything I say could be taken literally by the sithen.”
Yeah, you guys already came to this conclusion back when that mirror scene happened! You even warned Merry to watch what she said while inside the sithen. This should not be a surprise to anyone. Anyway…
“Once upon a time,” Doyle said, his voice seeming deeper, as if the low-growling echoes needed to fill all the small room, “even if you fought your way to the throne, or were elected by all the other rulers as high king, or high queen, you still could not rule a faerie mound. You could not sit on the throne of a specific sithen unless the sithen itself accepted your right to rule.”
Turns out, before they were forced out of Europe, the European sithen had accepted Andais as its queen, but the American sithen hadn’t. They all assumed that it was because they were all forced to lose some of their power to come to America, so the sithen not recognizing the chosen queen made some sense. This story had been forbidden to tell amongst the sidhe, so Merry had never heard it. This is because a court without a chosen ruler begins to fade.
So, not only was the Unseelie court fading because the sithen was not ruled by its recognized queen, but the Seelie court was also suffering the same fate. However, if the sithen had recognized another as ruler, Andais had agreed to step down. It hadn’t, and thus she continued her rule. Taranis, king of the Seelie court, instead cast out the one sidhe the Seelie sithen recognized. Aisling.
They then discuss how they will accept the invitation to the Seelie Ball that Taranis had sent Merry, but Merry wonders what would happen if she brought along Aisling as one of her guards. But, in order for her to bring Aisling along, she must first have sex with him. Even with his stupid magical ability of turning people’s minds to mush on first sight.
But, this sort of talk can wait! The bath Kitto was drawing (Master needs a bath. Kitto will draw Master a bath!) is ready and Merry and Galen and Nicca and Royal must do things in it. What fucking size is this bathtub?
Before they do, though, there’s definitely gotta be several pages of men whining. It’s an LKH tradition! All the merry men must whine before, during, and after sex. That’s just how it always is! This time, they’re all whining about not wanting to have sex with the demi-fey in the room, and not wanting to be forced to watch Merry fuck other guys, and not liking that Merry has to use her body to force alliances. Merry is a big fucking girl, she can do as she pleases, men.
Eventually everyone but Merry, Galen, Nicca, and Kitto are left in the bathroom. The chapter then ends with Merry worrying about how she’s going to handle her future as a potential ruler, what with everyone either trying to kill, fuck, or form alliances with her. It’s a good segue to sex, right, worry?