It's kind of interesting, how very much I did NOT want to do this chapter. This is the chapter that made me quit reading.
I did not get that the scene immediately prior to this was a traumatizing fuck-up that would leave any woman screaming in terror the first time I read it, because I was ninteen and thought that "rape" was that dramatic thing that gives a woman a Tragic Backstory. I did not understand what it really is: A dehumanizing act that leaves its victims feeling like somebody else's kleenex.
See, where no actual, onscreen penetration occurred in the previous chapter, there were a lot of hard, naked dongs, and Anita was naked too. And asleep around all those hard, naked dongs. This is the kind of thing that makes someone freak out. Which she did. And then her lover Jean Claude, a man she is supposed to trust mind raped her into feeding off of Micah. That is a violation of every single thing a lover is supposed to be about. And it doesn't help Anita at all. How do I know she had issues with this?
I’d cleaned off, scrubbed myself thoroughly, but I felt like Lady MacBeth screaming “out, out, damned spot!” Like I’d never really be clean again. I sat on the tiles under the hot, beating water, hugging my knees.The thing I remember the most about the assault that happened to me was wanting to brush my teeth. I knew I couldn't. I spent the hour between when I called the police and when they finally showed up spitting into a disposable cup. I was not going to swallow again until after I'd brushed my teeth.
My point? You don't react like this to normal sex. You don't react like this when you do a favor for a lover. You react like this when you have been violated.
This is never addressed in the text.
Anita has to be comforted by one of her wereleopards. There is a lot in the text about how this is a violation of the natural order of pard structure, and how neither one of them care about that right now. There is nothing about how Jean Claude just fucking broke her trust to get something he wanted out of her. How do I know that Laurell intends never to address her Main Character's emotional breakdown?
Because Micah walks in and Anita gets all flustered over the thought of having sex.
Jean Claude is in jail for murdering Anita. Somebody saw him and her both covered in blood, she never shows up at a hospital, people put two and two together and come up with dead Anita. Meanwhile the wereleopards are all scared because Anita got cut by one of them during the fight, and that plus her sudden ability to heal like a madman, MIGHT have given her lycanthropy. Meanwhile, Micah, this total stranger she knows nothing about, now knows everything about her because he was involved with the talks with doctors that lead to an assumption of lycanthropy.
FYI, I hate it when customers know my name and use it. I hate it when people at my job ask about my personal life, and vice versa. I have told a grand total of two people at my job about my self publishing books, and that was because I knew they were the two least likely to care. My boss still does not know (mostly because you'll see the nuclear cloud from where you're sitting). I am a very personal human being. A lot of other people, including Anita, are too. And yet she does not melt down.
And now we get to what made me quit reading this series.
Understand, I spent nine books watching Anita deal with Richard and Jean Claude. I watched them slowly, carefully, and painfully dramatically, come to a situation where the three of them--two people who loved each other and a fuck crazy vampire--could have something approaching a life together. They had issues--Anita spent all of one book saying "I trust you, Richard," only to run straight to Jean Claude's bed when Richard shifted (...on top of her, which was gross, and he also promptly ate part of a dead man. She had excuses)--and it took another two books for them to kiss and make up. But the resolution was on the horision, and I wanted to see how that relationship would go.
But this...ugh, let's just sum up.
Richard realizes that Gregory may have turned Anita into a wereleopard (Spoiler: He didn't) and goes ape-shit. His pack decides that Anita can't be Lupa and a wereleopard (Why is never explained) and decides to punish Gregory for hurting Anita. The pack decides that Anita going wereleopard (which she won't) is some kind of metaphysical murder, and so he'll have to be killed, and Richard has gone batshit insane and has done something to the pack structure so that he rules them but he doesn't really rule them, and...yeah. I don't think I can make this make sense. So basically we've gone from having to rescue the wereleopards from the wereheyenas to having to rescue the wereleopards from the werewolves, and Anita could be a wereleopard now (She isn't.)
And then Micah starts putting the moves on Anita.
Now, in his defense, she seduced him a few moments ago. The problem is, that was Jean Claude doing some metaphysical mojo because he was hungry and she was there.And....gah, I'm not addressing this now.
she calls Richard, who says that 1. she isn't Lupa anymore (duh) 2. the pack won't let him date her if she's a kitty cat (She isn't) and 3. they want him to pick a werewolf lover right now, fuck the nine gazillion things his being with Anita has won the pack, fuck the fact that he is a human being and should have his own choice.
And he doesn't really care because if he stands up to the pack, he ruins everything that he's built with them re: making the pack a democratcy.
I am now LONGING for the kind of violent sanity I got out of Mercy Thompson.
Anita tells Richard the vote thing might be a power play within his pack. She then recommends he kill the most likely player, somebody she's never met, because of a might-be.
Richard lets Anita talk to the possible power-play dude. She threatens him. For about four pages. It runs a little like this:
Anita: I'll kill you
Dude: then you won't be lupa.
Anita:I don't care. I'll kill you.
Dude: And then you won't be Lupa.
It's like Captive of Gor all over again.
Finally, she tells him that if he doesn't help her save Gregory, she'll kill him very dead, if he tries to hurt Richard, she'll kill him very dead, and if he challenges Richard before the next full moon, she will kill him extreamly dead. And the chapter ends.
And the one thing that I got out of it? Anita weren't never going to be with Richard again. I put the book down, walked away, and have not gotten any further since then.
And boy am I glad I did not, because the rapening? It happens again in the next chapter.