Chapter 18 begins with Rhys undressing. They’re still in Kitto’s bedroom, so Merry thinks that she wouldn’t have been able to share the bed with any other of her men. You know, since Rhys and Kitto are both so short. I wonder if there will be mention of how any other of her men wouldn’t be able to lay on top of her. I haven’t heard that in a few chapters. We’ll have to suffer through a bunch more “I love them, just not like I love Doyle and Frost” first, though.
Only now, as Rhys and Kitto ran their hands over me, laid a kiss on first one shoulder, then the other, did I realize that it wasn’t about sex today. It was about needing to be held, needing to be cared for. Was I so weak that I needed this, even when the man I said I loved was injured? Would I ever be truly content with the touch of just one man, no matter who it was?
I didn’t love Doyle any less as I lay between the two men, but they gave me something he could not. They gave me uncomplicated touch. I did not love either of them in that way. I loved them, but… but their tears did not cut my heart. Their sorrows made me sorrow, but I did not bleed as they bled. Love makes you weak and strong. There had been that moment earlier today when I’d thought my Darkness was no more. It had been like losing a piece of myself. It had frozen me, made me lose focus. Dangerous, it was. But hadn’t I done the same thing when Galen had nearly died by assassination in faerie? Yes, I had. I’d loved Galen since I was a child. A part of me would always love him. But it was the love of a child, and I was no longer a child.
What sort of fucking word salad was that I just read?
Anyway, Rhys whines that Merry is not giving them her full attention. Kitto replies that Merry likes to touch him while she has to think, because it helps her to clear her mind.
I looked down my body to Kitto. “Do I truly use you simply to clear my mind?”
“I cannot be king for you, we all know that. I am content to have a place in your life, Merry. I wait upon you, and do tasks that most of your noble-born lords deem beneath you. I can be your lady-in-waiting, and no one else could do that for you.”
“We have several sidhe women now,” Rhys said.
I love how Rhys just doesn’t seem to get, at all, what Kitto is trying to explain to Merry.
Kitto further explains how much he cherishes how Merry treats him.
“You do not touch anyone else but me to simply clear your head. You come to my room when you need to hide from the demands that the others put upon you. You come to me when you want to think. You touch me. I touch you. Sometimes there is sex, but often there is just the holding.” He snuggled his cheek against my thigh. “No one has ever held me for comfort before. I find that I like it, very much.”
It’s because you are essentially a puppy to Merry, Kitto. A puppy she fucks.
“I thought you hid in Kitto’s room because it was the only one without a mirror,” Rhys said.
“That too,” I said.
“She does not just come to me in my room. She pets me when I am sitting under her desk. She has gone from seeing me always at her feet as a burden to counting on me being there to touch and be touched.”
“Do the dogs ever crowd you under the desk?”
“The dogs don’t seem to stay under the desk when Kitto is there.” I looked at him, my fingers playing in his hair. “Did you do something to the dogs?”
Ahahahaha. I can’t even believe this conversation is happening.
“My place is at your feet, Merry. They cannot have my place.”
“They are dogs, Kitto, no matter how special and magical they may be. They are dogs. You are not.”
He smiled, and it was a little sad around the edges. “But dogs fill many of the needs I fill for you. I have seen you stroking them, watched it calm you.”
“Are you more jealous of the dogs than the rest of us?” Rhys asked.
“Yes,” Kitto said.
Kitto eventually tells them that the goblins used to eat the magic dogs, and so warns Merry that they should watch the dogs more closely when Holly and Ash are there. The two are bring with them some Red Cap goblins as guards. Rhys had totally forgotten about the Red Caps. He tells them that when all the goblins were torturing him, the Red Caps were the only ones who did not partake.
So Merry begins to comfort Rhys and caresses his scarred eye. Rhys tells her that no one else would ever touch him that way, and then goes on to explain that he had asked Merry’s father to consider him as her fiance. Which makes Merry wonder why her father selected Griffin as her fiance, way back when, and how Griffin eventually treated her. Rhys and Kitto notice that Merry’s thoughts have gone back to a sad, hurt place, so Rhys tells them that he doesn’t think sex is the right thing they should be doing this afternoon.
“What?” I asked.
He smiled down at me. “Your mind is full of all that has happened today, as a queen’s mind should be. It makes for a good ruler, but bad sex.”
Ah, okay. So when Merry is pushing for no sex because she’s a) getting sick, b) has too much on her mind, and c) is worried sick about Doyle, all the guys gotta whine about it and push her into it. But once they realize that her mood is gonna make the sex bad, oh boy, Merry should get some rest!
I truly hate this book.
Rhys wants to learn how to have a place in Merry’s life. He knows he’ll never have Merry’s heart, but he wants to be more to her than a good fuck. Kitto tells him that he won’t let Rhys take his place, but he then excuses himself from the room so that Merry and Rhys can comfort one another. And so the chapter ends with Merry telling Rhys to “Make love to me, Rhys, now, just you. Be with me, help chase my thoughts to stillness.”
So, at least we didn’t get a Kitto sex scene. Thank god.