Gordon Reed shows up. He's Maeve's husband. And he's dying of Plot Disease. Merry finds this out via Authoritius Lazitius, also known as the author didn't give a fuck, or a "true seeing", because letting Maeve drop the bombshell that the love of her life is slowly dying before her eyes would be giving a character who is not one of LKH's self inserts too much dignity.
And again, this is a novel written so that LKH's self insert could screw every major god in the Celtic pantheon. And it's a series begun not too long after she began studying this shit as a real religious option.
Christianity has fucked up a great many things for a great many people (My personal theory for the Garden of Gethsemane prayer is that Jesus wasn't saying "I don't want to die". He was saying "I don't want to be the root cause of mass genocide") but I will say this: We do not have new converts make cash by writing self insert porn involving Jesus. (Ann Rice doesn't count. She reconverted and she's batshit fucking insane.)
And I swear to fucking God if anybody links me to self insert porn involving Jesus I will scream. Seriously. I know it probably exists. I DO NOT WANT TO SEE IT.
Maeve Reed explains that she wants a child because Gordon's got six weeks left to live. Less than two months. And she wants to pay Merry to do a fertility rite to make sure she gets Gordon's kid.
HAS NO ONE IN THIS UNIVERSE HEARD OF IVF?
Guys, the potential of this plot just went way up. See, Maeve knows that her getting preggers will send Taranis over the edge (probably) but she doesn't care because getting "in the family way" is the only way to preserve a little bit of her love. She's willing to bring down the wrath of a very powerful monster, just so that she can hear the pitter-patter of her hubby's child after he's dead and buried. The emotional baggage here is beautiful.
LKH is ignoring this.
Meanwhile, we find out that Conchenn is the goddess of "beauty and spring."
...WHAT REFRENCE IS LKH USING FOR THIS? Seriously. If Neil Gaiman can write American Gods and have it be what it was (I can't really take Thor the movie seriously because every time I see Anthony Hopkins as Odin I think about two-man con jobs and vanishing gold coins and how the casting gods are mocking me and how Anthony Hopkins is a perfect Mr. Wednesday and Joseph Gordon-Hewett is fucking Shadow) then LKH could take nine fucking minutes to give enough 'fo about her research for me to track down who the fuck this goddess really is.
(...Nicole Kidman would be Easter. Christopher Heyderdal would be either Anubis or cameo Jesus. Dakota Fanning would be that fucking awesome lesbian chick that follows Shadow around and then is all kissy kissy with her girlfriend and makes Shadow realize something, though IDK what that something was. Laura would probably be Kristen Stewart in a dye job. All she'd have to do is act dead. Casting call is kind of my favorite game with books)
(Seriously. If they can turn the Host into a thing why oh why oh why can't we have American Gods as a movie?)
(Better yet, fuck American Gods, it was depressing and it didn't make that much sense, let's have Ananzi Boys as a movie.)
(Actually, we couldn't do that because Louie Armstrong is dead, and that's the ONLY man who could play Mr. Nancy. But if we could resurrect Louie? Noel Clarke is totally Fat Charlie/Spider. Hallie Berry is Rosie. John Goodman is Grhame Coats. Zoe Saldana is Daisy.)
(I have to start talking about Caress of Twilight again, don't I? Fuck.)
So the chapter ends with LKH confounding my google-fu re: Conchenn. We move on to Merry's apartment in 15. It's tiny, because Merry hasn't graduated to the Having Oodles of Money stage in Mary Sue progression. Galen, one of her other men (the one that got chewed on by tiny butterfly-fairies and thus was rendered impotent) is the Nathanial for this book. He's in the kitchen cooking.
Now, I know I am very white and very straight and very much not the person who should be making certain kinds of judgement calls, and I know there are lots of men who love to cook, both gay and straight, and in no way shape or form does a love of cooking have anything to do with masculinity (or, for that matter, does sexual orentation.) But all that Galen is missing are the pearls. Originally that line was "pearls and fluffy white apron" but then I re-read the text and he is fucking wearing the fucking white apron:
He was wearing a white lacy apron that was sheer enough that I could see the darker skin of his nipples, the curl of darker green hair that decorated his upper chest, the thin line of hair that traced the edge of his belly button and vanished inside his jeans.
(Hot grease splatters everywhere, kids. Think about it.)
Merry has known that Galen is cursed with impotence for three months and has done nothing about it. But because we're on chapter 15 now and we still have only general hints at plot, Merry decides that this has to be fixed now.
Hey, what's Kitto doing?
Only Kitto was missing, and I knew where he was, in his oversize, fully covered cloth dog bed.
It was like a small, snug tent. It sat in the far corner of the living room positioned so he could watch the television,
Guys, I read this a week ago. I have tried very hard to come up with something to say. And I have decided it can only be summed up by an epic .gif chain.
LKH, at this point I and most of humanity have one thing to say to you:
Merry demands that Doyle contact the demi-fae AKA the butterfly faerie's queen, Niceven, to lift the curse on Galen. Please note: Merry has information that could fucking destroy the Seelie court, that she could use to leverage bigtime concessions out of Taranis, and instead of actually doing it, she's focusing on fixing her boyfriend's penis.
Galen says he doesn't want Merry in Niceven's debit. Merry accuses him of disrespecting her, and we get a replay of the conversation that happened before Merry damn near forced Rhys to have sex with her and Kitto.
There is a place where Merry realizes that Galen would be a really shitty King, and she bascially decides that since he'd be killed if he tried to rule, she'll fuck him until she's just sick of him, and then drop him cold:
No, I could not have Galen as my king, but I could have Galen. For a brief time before I found my true king, I could have Galen in my bed. I could quench the fire that had been burning between us, quench it with the flesh of our bodies.
LKH has written a female character that makes the guys who spill drinks on girls in bars while trying to get into their pants look like fucking humanitarians. She should be so proud.
The chapter closes with Merry thinking about the protocols for keeping a "royal lover".
HEY, MERRY? IF YOU CAN KEEP A ROYAL LOVER THAN WHAT THE BLUE ROYAL FUCK WAS ALL THAT SHIT ABOUT MONOGAMY IN THE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK?
...also, should we update monogamy? I think we ought to. -gamy=girls, right? If a girl is in an exclusive relationship with a guy, wouldn't that be monoandry? So shouldn't it be monoamory now? Maybe monamory, so we don't have two conflicting vowels?
...I am rambling about gendering words refering to romance. This book has broken my brain.