Swallowing Darkness – Chapter 12: Hi, I’m Henry.

Chapter 12 begins with the healer entering the room. Merry had expected the healer to be another of the nightflyers, but it’s just some regular dude looking guy. Sholto tells her that the healer is a human, but he’s been inside the sluagh mound for so long he would never be able to leave. The healer greets Merry and Sholto, and then asks that they transport Mistral’s body to a private room, so they take Mistral to Sholto’s own room. As they get closer to Sholto’s room, they begin smelling herbs and roses.

They open the door to Sholto’s room, and two guards are standing inside: Sholto’s cousins, Chattan and Iomhair. Chattan starts prodding Merry, asking if it’s true that she is pregnant with Sholto’s child, and then they both leave the room so that the healing can commence.

Mistral is laying on the bed, naked and breathing shallowly. Merry moves closer to Mistral to be next to him, but Sholto moves her away, trying to get her to sit down because she’s gone very pale and is cold to the touch. She is having none of this and starts fighting him to stay close to Mistral.

“Meredith, if it comes to a choice between having the healer look at you and the babes you carry or saving Mistral, I will chose you and the babies. So sit down and prove to me that you are not going back into shock. Riding with the wild hunt is not often an occupation for women, and I have never heard of a pregnant woman or goddess doing it at all.”
I heard his words, but all I could think of was that Mistral might be dying.
He squeezed my hand hard. The pain was enough to make me frown up at him and try to pull away. “You’re hurting me,” I said.
“I would shake you, but I don’t know what that would do to the babies. Meredith, I need you to take care of yourself so we can take care of Mistral. Do you understand that?”

She doesn’t, but since Merry can have no agency of her own ever, she does what he asks/orders.

So, while Merry is sitting down trying not to focus on Mistral and the healer, she starts glancing around Sholto’s bedroom. It’s all burgundy and purple with a few other colors woven through. It reminded her of her own apartment back in L.A., which was shades of burgundy and pink. If I remember correctly, it was super 90s with huge flowers and brocade. Merry then thinks that whoever she ends up marrying will have a say in the decor of their home, which THANK GOD, because Merry’s proven countless time she has terrible taste.

Sholto brings Merry a cup of mulled wine, and she starts whining that she can’t have it because she’s pregnant. The healer tells Merry he’s worried she is going into shock, because he apparently has enough time to think about that while trying to heal Mistral. He tells Merry that one cup of mulled wine isn’t going to harm her pregnancy at all, and instead it will help calm her. She presses the healer on his past and learns that when he lived outside the mound, he was known as a witch. He had to flee the humans into the mound out of fear they would kill him for what he was. This is all great backstory but isn’t Mistral dying???

Merry finally drinks the damn wine and instantly feels better. The healer, which they’re now referring to him as a doctor, asks if she’s feeling well enough to join them on the bed for some kinky medical sex to be close to Mistral. As Sholto leads Merry to the bed, she becomes easily distracted by the ramp leading up to the bed.

Someone snapped their fingers in my face. It startled me, made me see the doctor’s face close to mine “The wine should have taken care of this distraction. I am not certain she is well enough to help us, My King.” The doctor, Henry, looked worried, and I could feel his concern. I realized that he could project his emotions. If he could choose what emotions to share with his patients, it must have made his bedside manner amazing.

The doctor also never introduced himself, and no one up til this had ever said his name, so way to write, LKH.

The doctor, otherwise known as Henry, tells them that the cold iron that has poisoned Mistral is replacing his magic, and the only way for Mistral to survive this is to replace his lost magic with new magic. The scent of herbs and roses again fills the room, and the doctor tells them that Mistral requires sidhe magic to help him survive.

The walls of the bedroom then began to change, stretching and pulling and moving the bed so it enters another, large room. They find themselves inside a garden. Sholto suggests moving Mistral further inside the garden, and Doctor Henry tells them that he cannot accompany them inside. The chapter ends with Sholto, carrying Mistral in his arms, and Merry walking into the garden most likely to get some freaky sidhe sex magic on!

IMPORTANT

Police defunding and reform is desperately needed across communities of the US. Here are some ways to inquire about it in your area:

Template for U.S. residents to inquire into how the police are trained in your city! Has info for Texas but pls research who your city rep is!

-E-mail templates to reform and defund the police!

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