Chapter 8 begins with Merry and Co entering Doyle’s hospital room. It’s packed full of medical staff, police officers, and the rest of her guard. It’s not really apparent if they’re in intensive care or not, but I’d probably guess they they are, since, you know, an all powerful faerie being is near fucking death. If you’ve ever been in an ICU, you know they limit the amount of people allowed at a time, so, like, what the fuck?
Abeloec is also in the room with Doyle, and he’s awake, laying on his stomach, and flirting with all the nurses. He had once been the god Accasbel, the physical embodiment of the cup of intoxication. Oh, okay, I think that’s the first time we’ve actually seen his god-name, which seems sort of odd, given that we already had his god-powers explained to us. Why just bring up his name now?
Hafwen (which was spelt ‘Hafwyn’ in the last book she appeared in), one of Merry’s healers who came from Cel’s guard, is standing beside Doyle, and she’s doing nothing. Merry is like “Wtf, dude?” because, you know, Hafwy/en could easily have healed him to almost 100%, but she hasn’t even tried. Turns out, the doctor in the room has barred any magic on Doyle. Great.
“I cannot allow the use of magic on my patient.”
I looked at him, gave him the full-on stare with the triple irises. Some humans, if they’ve never had to meet our eyes, are bothered by it. It can be a help in negotiations, or persuading. “Why can you not,” I read his nameplate, “Dr. Sang?”
“Because it is magic that I do not understand, and if I do not understand a treatment I cannot authorize it.”
All humans ever do in this series is fight against faerie magic. This is one of the many repeated plot-driving conflicts that curse both the Merry Gentry and Anita Blake series. Regular people just do not understand, and refuse to even try to understand, and thus we measly humans are always in the wrong and cause unnecessary conflict and drama. I hate this so much and it happens in nearly Every. Single. Book.
“She admits,” he pointed at Hafwen, “that her powers are not at full strength outside of faerie. She’s not certain she can heal him. The more often his bandages are opened, especially with this many people here, the greater the chances that he’ll get a secondary infection,” Dr. Sang said.
“The sidhe do not get infections, Doctor,” I said.
“Forgive me if I’m a little skeptical about that, Princess, but this man is my patient,” Dr. Sang said. “I am responsible for him.”
“No, Doctor, he is mine. He is my Darkness, my right hand. He would see himself as responsible for me, but I am trying to be his queen, which makes me responsible for all my people.”
So why did you even let the paramedics take him to the hospital in the first place?! Why did you not stand your ground back at the scene, where you were all fretting over your stupid fucking lover being injured and being chastised by Rhys, of all people, into acting like the goddamn queen you keep pretending to be? NONE OF THIS NEEDED TO HAPPEN. But LKH needed at least 1-3 chapters of how stupid we normal humans are for not bothering to try understanding that which we do not understand. Ugh.
Dr. Sang is getting pissed off at all the guards in the room, so he orders Merry and her guard out. One of the police officers disagrees with this, and so Frost steps in to say he must stand guard until his captain, Doyle, dismisses him. Since Doyle is obviously fucking unconscious, he and the other guards are staying put. Dr. Sang, being a MANLY MAN, gets all up in Frost’s face about it, which Merry has pointed out several times that Sang is much shorter than average. Which, being that average height in this book is probably like 5’6”, means he’s probably 5’4” or so.
Hafwen tells Merry that they don’t have time for arguing, as every minute that passes without them healing Doyle makes it harder for her to attempt to heal him. Merry tells the doctor that he needs to let Hafwen do her job, which he won’t do, so Frost suggests they remove him from the room. Rhys suggests that they don’t need to use violence to remove the doctor, and Merry gets what he is putting down. She calls out to the doctor, and then releases her magic.
I raised a hand to touch his face, but he grabbed my wrist to keep me from doing it. The problem for him was that I didn’t need to touch him. Him touching me was just fine.
His eyes widened. A look of near terror transfixed his face. He wasn’t looking at me, but somewhere deep inside himself. I was trying to be gentle, to use just enough and no more of the Seelie side of my nature. But fertility magic is sometimes an unpredictable thing, and I was nervous.
I thought it was illegal to use faerie magic on humans??? What the fuck was the first several chapters about, then?
Anyway, Merry takes a looksee into Dr. Sang’s mind and sees this woman who loves him and longs for children with him, but obviously the good doc is a workaholic and never sees her. So Merry tries to force these children onto Sang, saying this woman will only have these children if he “loves her”, and Sang starts shouting out “Stop it!” Which Merry doesn’t do. She just keeps pouring her magic out and it doesn’t stop until Sang himself wrenches his hand away from Merry’s wrist.
So Merry’s magical rape of Dr. Sang causes Doyle to open one eye, and everyone in the room starts freaking out. This allows Hafwen to start healing Abeloec (thought I thought that Doyle was the more gravely injured? Why not finish healing him?). Sang asks Merry about the vision, and wants to know if it’ll be a happily ever after for them, even though it totally doesn’t sound like he even loves the woman at all (“It’s not that kind of fairy tale. There will be children, and she does love you. Beyond that, I think you could love her, if you’d let yourself, but that may require work on your part.” What the fuck?!).
Anyway, the chapter finally ends with Sang leaving the room, allowing Hafwen to heal the men. Rhys and Merry have a moment where she realizes that Rhys knows he is in love with her, but she does not love him back, and so Merry wonders
What do you do when you know you are breaking someone’s heart, but to do anything else would break your own? I promised Rhys sex with my kiss and my body. I meant it, but it wasn’t lust that prompted the offer. I suppose in a way it was love, just not the kind of love a man wants from a woman.
What in fuck’s name is THAT supposed to mean?
Also, remember to check out my book giveaway, if you haven’t yet!
LKH, in the form of her avatars, has to tell people what to do in their relationships because she’s the expert of experts on intimate relationships. Except she really isn’t. She has a lot of nonsensical ideas about how relationships work. One of my jokes is that she was raised off planet by aliens and everything she knows about normal human relationships is what she learned from 1950s sit-coms.