There are two hundred were-rats at this gathering. Two. fucking. hundred.
And there are six hundred werewolves. All of whom are here.
This is not a meeting, boys and girls. It's a fucking convention. There are eight hundred people in this clearing tonight.
HOW DO THE COPS NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS? WHY IS THERE NO COP PRESENT?!? DON'T YOU NEED A PERMIT FOR THIS? HOW ABOUT SANITATION? WHAT? WHERE? HOW! HOW IS THIS A THING!
I'm sorry. My brain got overloaded by stupid there for a second. These are gangs, boys and girls. And we are about to have a full on fucking gang war. You can float a feud between forty people past the cops, but not eight hundred.
Rafael gives Anita a body guard. Wisely, this is female. Also, apparently the pard cannot function because it has too many submissives and not enough dominants.
These are fucking leopards. They don't work that way, and even if they did, they could still eat a wolf.
Rafael points out to Anita that when she's Nimir-Ra in truth, meaning when she shifts (she won't) she'll have to advertise for "enforcers". And when your "pack" is so big you have hundreds of people in it, "advertise" is the right fucking word. Is there a were-whatever craigslist or something?
Nathaniel leaned into me, and said, “If you don’t give in on this we’ll still be standing here an hour from now.”
Given that they've already been here an hour...
Can we PLEASE move on with this? PLEASE?
And then a man guard walks up beside the woman guard. Anita agrees to have bodyguards. And then this happens:
I put my hand out. They exchanged glances between them, then shook my hand. Igor touched me like he was afraid I’d break, and Claudia tried to squeeze hard enough to make me cry uncle. I didn’t. I smiled pleasantly at her, because I knew she wouldn’t really hurt me. She just wanted to see if I’d squirm.
Way to enforce gender norms there, LKH. I'm not being sarcastic. The guy wants to protect fragile pretty Anita, and the woman wants to compete with her.
And then we have Magical Touch Therapy between Anita, Micah and the other wereleopards. All except for Gregory. You remember Gregory? The kidnapped wereleopard? If you do remember him, you might want to remind Anita.
And then it moves on to borderline sexy fun-times with Micah and Anita. And it might be fun for them, but it sure as hell isn't fun for me:
It was as if Micah’s body and mine were a door and we stepped into each other, closer than flesh could touch, closer than hearts could beat, and I felt his beast and mine roll through us, around us, as if the two great animals bound us together like a rope that ran through our flesh, our skin, our minds.
Fifty Shades of Gray had sexier scenes. At least we didn't have to dip into bad metaphores (like a door we stepped through? really? REALLY?) to describe Ana and Christian's fun with ben-wa balls.
And then Richard shows up! He watched the whole thing.
You want to know when I decided the Twilight series had no redeeming qualities? It wasn't the stalkering in the first book, it wasn't the blank-but-for-one-word pages or the halucination-triggering in the second. It was that fucking tent scene in Eclipse, where Bella almost freezes to death due to Edward having no body heat, and Jacob comes in and snuggles with her until she fakes falling asleep, and then Ed and Jake have a verbal dick measuring contest. It was contrived, illogical and shitty for every single character involved, and I hated every fucking second of it.
I bring it up because I saw the word "Richard" and immediately felt the same rush of throat-ripping rage. And Anita goes on about how much she loves and wants Richard, and it is finally time to bring this out:
The next several dozen paragraphs are "Should we rescue your cat? Let's go rescue your cat. Should we go? Yes. But should we?" I'm skimming.
A wolf goes up to Anita and says he's envious of how nice all the leopards are with each other. Anita blames Richard's morals for sabotaging their closeness. Because it's morals that prevent people from being close to each other.
And then LKH manages to throw me right off the deep end.
“I’ve benefited from your loyalty, your sheer stubbornness. What I didn’t realize until tonight is that you didn’t save me just because I was your friend, or just because it was the right thing to do. You didn’t risk yourself and your people to save me from torture because of the kind of moral rightness that Richard is fond of. You saved me because you could not bear the thought of leaving me behind.” He touched my face, very gently. “Not from a sense of right and wrong, but because you are just that tenderhearted.”Did the ten commandments bite you on the ass, Laurell? Did you lose a bet with a law firm? Did the Magna Carta run over your puppy? SINCE WHEN WAS DOING SOMETHING BECAUSE IT IS RIGHT A BAD MOVE?
Also...tenderhearted. Seriously? THIS IS THE WOMAN THAT JUST SHOT HER POLITICAL ENEMY IN THE HEART JUST TO WATCH HER SQUIRM.
Morality is wrong, blog readers. I did not know this. I have lived my whole life not stealing or hurting others or raping or murdering, but apparenlty all these things are wrong. I shall go out post haste and do something terrible. Like book burning. Book burning is morally wrong. Let's start with this one.
Oh, God it's still going on. Anita is so tenderhearted. It's one of her best qualities.
THIS IS WHAT THE TEXT SAYS. AND IT WILL NOT SHUT UP ABOUT IT:
ARE WE TALKING ABOUT THE SAME CHARACTER HERE?
“First I have to accept the fact that you’re kindhearted, now I have to accept the fact that you’re insightful as well. I knew you were powerful, ruthless, and pretty, but that you have a mind and a heart besides is going to take some getting used to.”
“Does everyone pretty much think I’m just a sociopath who happens to have magical abilities?”
YES WE DO.
God. Look, sometimes I write bullshit like that too. But I go back and take it out and spend five days trying to figure out a way to convey the same nonsense with showing, so that I don't look like an idiot by having the words and the actual actions of the characters be this badly paired.
And this is where I call bullshit on the "Morality is wrong" nonsense:
You can bandage a wound, set a broken bone, but not caring . . . you can’t cure that, and you can’t recover from it.First of all, 104 members of humanity need to grow up. Yes, that was highlighted too. Second, that's a moral judgement on your part. See, Anita, your issue with Richard isn't that he has morals. It's that his moral code does not agree with yours. Richard's code is just based on an outside idealism that he refuses to use. Yours, on the other hand, is based on your emotional judgements and your uterus. If you're screwing someone, or you want to screw someone, they are a good guy. If you're not, or they have no interest in you, or they want to screw one of "your" men, they're a bad guy.
Really. Out of all the things in this book, I think I am most disturbed by this growing theme of "having a moral code is bad." Richard is trying to make the pack a safe place. Richard's problem is that he's not offering concequences for bad behavior. Hell, his relationship with Anita has probably fucked him up so bad it's gotten in the way of him doing his job. The best thing he could do for the pack is separate from Anita.
There's probably shocking moments yet to come, but this is the first time I've felt honestly creeped out by this.
Oh, and Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and I hope you all have a very good day tomorrow. I will probably be posting pictures of swag.