Chapter 25 begins with Merry feeling hands sliding over her shoulder. She turns around and finds Amatheon standing by her. She leans into his touch, just wanting to be held and not worry about anything.
Amatheon starts kissing her, and Merry tries to stop him. She’s too emotionally worn out for any of that. She keeps pushing him away, when he suddenly pushes her into the ground. She starts yelling, and one of her dogs bites Amatheon. That’s when Merry hears him swear at the dog… but not with Amatheon’s voice.
He leaned over to force a kiss on me again. I raises my hands and tried to keep his face from mine. The moment the queen’s ring touched his bare skin, the illusion vanished. The sunlight seemed to dim for a moment, then I was staring up at the face of Taranis, King of Light and Illusion.
And her uncle, remember. Her uncle just tried to make out with her.
So, knowing that she can order the grounds of faerie to do pretty much whatever she wants, she tells it she needs Doyle. A door immediately appears next to her.
Taranis starts babbling about how “you want me. All women want me” because you know how sexy and alluring that is. The door starts opening, and Taranis slams it shut. Merry’s dogs start attacking him, and then the chapter ends with Merry blacking out after Taranis hits her with a blast of light.
This chapter was also only two pages long. And that’s two larger font Kindle book pages.
Chapter 26 begins with Merry waking up. She hears a voice tell her that he dimmed the lights in the room, and this causes Merry to open her eyes to find herself in a bed with Taranis. He’s laying next to her, the sheet barely covering his lower body. Merry then realizes she’s naked as well. After she reminds Taranis that he’s her uncle, she asks:
“Why am I in your bedroom?”
He frowned then, just a little. “I want you to be my queen.”
I licked my lips, but they stayed dry. Should I try to reason? “I am heir to the Unseelie throne. I cannot be both your queen and queen of the Unseelie Court.”
“You never have to go back to that awful place. You can stay here with us. You were always meant to be Seelie.” He leaned in, as if to kiss me again.
I couldn’t help it. I recoiled from him.
He stopped, frowning again. He looked like he was thinking and it hurt. He wasn’t a stupid man. I think it was just another symptom of his madness. He knew, in some part of him, that he was in the wrong, but his madness wouldn’t let him see it.
Taranis is genuinely confused by why Merry recoils from him. He forces Merry to admit that she finds him handsome, but he can’t understand why she doesn’t want to kiss him. Because, you know, we always want to kiss someone we find attractive. Taranis continues to pressure her, eventually telling her that together they will have a beautiful child.
Which immediately causes Merry to throw up. Well that and the fact that she sat up really quickly. She starts puking over the side of the bed. Taranis moves around the bed to try and help her, but as soon as he sees the vomit he steps back in revulsion. He eventually calls for a healer. Before the healer reaches her side, though, Merry passes out again.
She eventually comes to again, and the healer is sitting next to her. Taranis is screaming at the healer to, well, heal her. He starts ranting about how Merry was attacked by the Unseelie guards, but the healer doesn’t seem to believe that at all. Merry starts praying to the Goddess that she’s able to escape, and the smell of roses fills the air.
The healer (god I wish LKH had given her a name) tells Merry that there may be bleeding in her head, so she starts to mix up some herbal concoction for Merry to drink. Merry quietly tells her that she’s carrying twins. So the healer stops making the herbal drink, since she doesn’t know if Merry can have it now that she’s carrying children. The healer then tells Taranis that she has done all that she can for Merry, and he promptly starts freaking out.
“Many of the herbs I would use would harm the children she carries.”
“Did you say children?” he asked, and he sounded almost normal, almost sane.
“She carries twins.” She had simply taken my word for it. I appreciated that.
“My twins,” he said, and his voice was back to that arrogant crowing. He came back to the bed, sat on it, made me bounce. The headache and nausea roared back to life. I cried as he scooped me up in his arms. The movement was agony.
I screamed, and the sound hurt me, too.
Taranis seemed frozen by my scream. He stared down at me, almost childlike in his lack of comprehension.
“Do you want your children to die?” the healer said from beside him.
“No,” he said, still frowning and confused.
“She is mortal, my king. She is fragile. You must let us take her somewhere where they can heal her, or your children will die unborn.”
“But they are my children,” he said, and it was more question than fact.
She looked at me, then said, “Whatever the king says is truth.”
So Taranis is all happy and kissing Merry’s forehead, when he hears the Cu Sith start scratching at the bedroom door. Taranis screams at it, and yanks Merry off the bed as he rises. Which immediately causes her to puke alllllll over him. Taranis recoils in horror and drops Merry on the ground. Taranis then stomps off to go clean himself up, leaving Merry with the guard and the healer. The healer makes the guard carry Merry, and then exit the bedroom into a wide corridor full of magical faerie dogs. Also in the hallway are Hugh and a bunch of his allies. They tell Merry not to worry, and that they’ll get her away from Taranis.
We then learn a bunch of boring bullshit that doesn’t even really matter: Taranis had his press secretary (what) call a conference so that he could counter the lies the Unseelie Court was telling. Hugh and Co leaked that Taranis attacked Merry and Co back at the lawyer’s office in LA. Some of the Seelie nobles are helping Merry by giving her a shawl to wrap herself in so that they can take her before the press conference. Merry tells them that she’ll do whatever it takes to take Taranis down, even play damsel in distress in front of the press.
Then Hugh and Co reveal that Doyle was there all along. A giant black hound walks towards Merry and then transforms back into Doyle. He pulls Merry into his arms, and the chapter ends with Merry realizing he is crying.
UPDATE: So, after writing this post, I went to bed and had a dream that Taranis forced me to make out with him, and his tongue was like a cat’s tongue.
I think I need to take a break from these books.