There. Book time now!
One thing I've been doing with Overseer's Own in the editing process--one thing I do every editing process, actually--is delete large portions of text. Places where I explain something that is neither a part of the story nor clear enough to be good world building, and that information is not critical enough to be worth clarifying. Writing for pay--even if it's just twenty bucks a month--means that you're writing against time. And when you are writing against time, wasting it on something that doesn't actually contribute to the overall picture is bad. Seriously. It's If You Give a Mouse a Cookie only the mouse comes out of your head.
Why do I bring this up?
LESS THAN AN hour later Jean-Claude and I were in his room, alone. Damian was one of the guards outside our door. We’d split our vamps up among the wereanimals so that, hopefully, the bad vampires couldn’t use mind tricks on the wereanimals without the vamps knowing it. We’d done the best we could do, which had actually been pretty damned good. The ardeur was still in hiding. I wasn’t questioning it, just grateful.What the fuck does that have to do with anything? What does it mean? Why are we worried about what the bad vampires would know? WHAT THE FUCK DOES THIS CONTRIBUTE?
*takes deep breath*
You know, I'm not the best writer in the world. I know I'm not the best writer in the world. But you know what else? I'M NOT GETTING PAID HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS TO WRITE THIS SHIT. (Also: Google fu will not turn up any hard numbers on how much LKH IS getting advanced for this shit, so I am assuming it is a six figure amount. If it is otherwise please correct me, I will feel so much better about myself if you do) If you are getting paid massive amounts of money you do your fucking job and make sure that you clean the manuscript up until somebody like me won't choke on it.
We also find out that Jean Claude has that bed from First Wives Club, the one that Bette Midler sobbed over, only he had the canopy, pillows and bedsheets done in blue.
It's funny that I could swallow the clothes--I think they're insane, but I could buy Jean Claude being dumb enough to wear them to show off--and the living room, but I can't do this bedroom. I can't. Everything else could be a show, but no way is a male danger vamp going to have a princess's bedroom.
Anita asks Jean Claude if her and Jean Claude not sleeping with Asher means that Musette gets to have Asher again tomorrow night. Jean Claude uses a lot of words to say "Yep"
It is also confirmed that Musette is indeed a pedophile, only for blood and not sex. She has two vampires who are physically six and eleven, respectively. The boy is described as "precocious" and in need of a grown up lover. This paragraph happens:
“He looked like a child, Anita, and he would use that innocent face to maneuver women into compromising situations. By the time they realized that they were in danger of abuse, it was often too late. More than that, he threatened to accuse them of being the aggressor. There was no such phrase as child molestation in that century, but everyone knew it happened.Yep. An eleven year old child is capable of doing this.
Okay, having watched social work most of my life--both my parents are councelors and they ran a foster home for a while--I know that an eleven year old is capable of doing this...because they watch the kids who are abused report said abuse and realize it gives them a way to get power over the adults in their lives. In many of these cases, though, the kid doesn't really understand all the implications of what they're doing. And the only reason they DO know they can do it is they are living in a system designed to punish abusers. These kids are also very rare and do not grow up well.
LKH expects me to believe that an eleven-year-old medieval kid--we're talking Marie Antoinette era at the very very latest--would understand the social implications of sexual blackmail well enough to use it on his lovers to get them to sleep with him. In an era where marrying at twelve was perfectly acceptable.
How about the other child vamp? Somebody made her because she was pretty, and Musette gave her human nannies and human playmates until the little darling tried to turn one of her playmates into a vampire and killed the human nannie when she discovered that Valentina's little tea party didn't actually involve tea.
So at this point I have a question: Why involve kids? It made sense--sort of--with Nikolaus because it was unexpected and Nickolaus had a position of power. These kids are window dressing for Musette. It's like Ra surrounding himself with little kids in Stargate. I understand this, but I don't get this. It's not adding to the aura of scary. It's more...oh ICK than anything else. WHY DO THIS?
Anyhow, eventually it comes back to "We have to screw Asher to keep him safe." Oh, and this little gem pops up in the conversation:
To Belle Morte, if a man has an orgasm, then he must have enjoyed himself. It is her reasoning.”Hey, Laurell? You know that scene in Narcissus in Chains where Micah raped Anita in the shower? And she orgasmed so that make it all okay? Yeah. DO YOU READ YOUR OWN-- fuck, of course you don't read your own fucking books. You sent Affliction to your publisher the day you finished the first fucking draft. Oh my god, guys, do you know how happy I'd be if I could just proofread my books and publish them? I'd be so happy. The books would be a mess, but I'd be happy.
Finally, Anita decides that if they all sleep together tonight, Asher will be safe tomorrow, and that's enough justification to allow two men who love each other very much to have sex.
Anita is a terrible person. She admits that it isn't fair, of course, but she doesn't do anything to change that. And she's sleeping with everybody, so...
Chapter eleven, Asher comes in. They debate for a while about wheither or not anybody's going to have sex. Asher, being a human being with thoughts and feelings and emotions of his own, doesn't want to sleep with them just to be safe from Musette. He tells Anita to fuck off. Anita refuses because consent is for weaker people, I guess? She starts manhandling Asher while he backs up against a door. Finally, he starts emotionally blackmailing her by demanding she not "run" tomorrow, which I guess means he wants a blank check for sex in exchange for soothing her guilty conscience tonight.
They're both terrible.
And then Anita plays the Richard card:
“I let Richard walk out on me. I think he’d have gone anyway, but I just sat on the floor and watched him go. I didn’t stand in his way. I figured it was his choice, and you can’t hold someone if they don’t want to be held. If someone really wants to be free of you, you have to let them go. Well, fuck that, fuck that all to hell. Don’t go, Asher, please, don’t go.
ANITA: YOU RAPED HIM. YOU RAPED HIM. FUCK YES, HE LEFT.
LAURELL: STOP WORKING YOUR PSYCHOLOGICAL ISSUES OUT IN YOUR BOOKS AND HIRE A COUNSELOR. THEY ARE MORE EXPENSIVE BUT THE FANS WILL THANK YOU.
Chapter ends with Anita kissing Asher and murmuring "I love you" over and over and over again.
BONUS ROUND: Google fu could not uncover LKH's advance numbers, which I really wanted to know, but I found these two interviews and they are kind of precious. Enjoy!