At this point we can assume "Everything" and move on from there.
Also, apparently Richard has no issue sharing Anita with other Alpha-males, because competition is fine, but he doesn't like sharing with submissives.
Anita accuses Jean Claude of playing Machiavellian mind-games with Richard.
Anyway, apparently it is somehow worse for Anita to sleep with a submissive than it is for her to sleep with another dominant.
I am completely baffled by this and I can't even begin to understand it. So I'm just going to move on.
Now, I have heard a few people argue that these books are not horribly mysogynist. Rapy, yes. But that Anita's role is an empowering example of feminine freedom and that the whole thing with Richard is about her bucking male chauvinism. Or something.
“I am, after all, a man, ma petite. I believe I understand the male psyche a tiny bit better than you do.”
I couldn’t argue with that. “Well, give me a heads-up next time you plan to do any maneuvering. You could have gotten one of us killed.”
OH yes you can, sunshine.
They continue talking about how much Richard might know about her and Nathanial. And CONTINUE TALKING ABOUT IT. Because it's not like we have a man lying on the verge of death outside on Anita's back porch. Yes, folks. NOBODY HAS HELPED GREGORY YET. We're hung up on Anita's fucked up relationships while Gregory is out back dying.
At one point in the conversation Anita says that sleeping with the entire pard is not sexual. It's like a "great big pile of puppies." And that is the yuckiest thing in the entire chapter.
I was shaking my head, realized he couldn’t see it, and said, “I don’t do casual sex, Jean-Claude, you know that.”
“Whatever you are doing with Nathaniel, ma petite, it is not casual.”
“I can’t use him as my pomme de sang. I can’t.”
“Your morals have reared their ugly heads, ma petite, do not let them make you foolish.”And that is the most rage-inducing part of it.
WHY is standing up for your morals such a bad thing? We're not talking about abortion rights here, folks. Anita is compromising a very important relationship that she still cares about under circumstances that make her feel very guilty. Every time any character tries to take a stand they get punched down for being wrong. Anita's entire character up until now has been about balancing a moral life with an amoral universe. Admittedly she's been losing ground the entire way, but she kept fighting.
If we were to translate this over into epic fantasy, it's like a knight being told "stop fighting" by his lady love, and he actually does it. Hangs up his lance and lets the big ugly dragon take things over because hey, why not? Fighting gets people hurt.
If Anita were to resist this until she found a partner she could have guilt-free sex with, this would be a much better story. If she were to do anything that would involve "keep fighting" it would be a good story. Instead, we've got her throwing down her guns. And how's that for male domination, folks? She stops fighting because Jean Claude tells her to. Not because she wants to.
And then we move straight from "It's okay to screw whoever you want to" into "Anita is the most powerful, uber special princess alive." Jean Claude tells her that she's aquiring powers faster than an Alpha or a Master Vampire would, and Anita is basically like "Yeah, so?"
And then we go from That into some bullshit about how the only reason Jean Claude isn't a tyrant like Nickolaus is because the wolves were too powerful and Anita kept him in line anyway. Which...is probably true up to a point, but I doubt that a truely bad vampire would have tolerated Anita hanging around his neck the way she does.
And then...honestly I can't figure out what the fuck this conversation is about anymore. They're touching on plot point--Richard won't be fed on--to plot point--Gregory's still dying--to plot point--uh...they have to find witches?--without a lot of purpose behind it. I've written conversations and pages like this, but it's usually when I have no idea where I'm going next and I'm planning things out. Second or third time around, I take that shit out. Seriously. Can we have a point sometime soon?
No. No. Now we're back to how to manipulate Richard into sleeping with Anita. And how the ardeur will override her self control and make her fuck anything with a penis if she doesn't screw somebody first thing in the morning.
And then we bring up the shower-rape YET AGAIN as an example of what happens when Anita seduces somebody.
Dude. SHE FUCKING TOLD HIM NO. That is not seduction. That is why women carry mace.
Richard comes in, Anita hangs up the phone, and that's the end of THAT chapter.
And it wasn't awful. Don't get me wrong. That was badly written and boring as fuck, but it didn't make me feel like I was watching somebody torture baby kittens. It won't last, I know, but it's nice to have the "vacation".