Ruben kills people in the process of doing violence to another person. Mean, terrible violence. Right? Right.
So what if the attack were something akin to what Ruben is doing? Like, a bunch of people were lynching a pedophile who'd been caught in the act or something? How do you think Ruben would react?
Yeah, so now Ruben's freak out over passing on the Chrism continues. He bit a kid and now the kid is going to go all wolfy. He believes the kid will die, due to what Marrok said, so he panics and tries to find Felix. Surprise, surprise, Felix has already left the fucking country. He continues to panic and deals with it by, I swear to God, groping Laura.
He grabbed Laura in his arms, and ran his hands over the thick gray sweater she wore, clutching at the high neck under her chin, then ran his hands down her long pants; warm enough.What is this I do not even. I am all out of even.
And then he changes into the wolf, gathers Laura into his arms, and sprints off into the night.
Please don't let this be a preamble to a sex scene PLEASE don't let this be a preamble for a sex scene.
So he takes Laura high up into the trees, asks her if she can see the sea from here--use your own eyes, numb nuts--and then meditates on how awesome the woods are from the top of a redwood.
And then Ruben starts feeling guilty over passing the Chrism on to the boy. Again with the nameless characters. Anyhoo, he feels guilt.
This is a perfectly natural and good reaction to have when you've ruined another person's life.
...what ISN'T natural or healthy is how Ruben then prays to the woods for his conscience to stop hurting him.
Yes. He ruins someone else's life and decides that his biggest problem is the pain his conscience is causing himself, and he decides the solution is to make the bad feelings stop because that will make everything okay.
Then he drags Laura around like a rag doll for a while. Seriously. Her entire participation in this chapter has been to drive, to be pawed by Ruben and to be lugged around in the forest while he tries to make his conscience quit telling him that he's an asshole.
And then we get more hot werewolf groping action, this time through Laura's clothes.
This paragraph sums up Laura's entire character and purpose:
For a long moment he looked at her, lying there waiting for him, her hair loose and snagged with bits of aromatic leaf or petal, her eyes large and drowsy yet fixed on him.
Laura is an object that exists to decorate Ruben's new life. She is not a person. She's a cardboard cut out holding up a mirror. Laura does not decide things. Laura does not do things. Laura does not get to take her own fucking clothes off. No. Ruben must do this for her because it is Ruben's pleasure we are here for.
And basically Ruben fucks his conscience away over the course of several very very purple pages. At one point he thinks "Get thee behind me tragedy" while sucking on Laura's breasts, which sets my teeth on edge. It's like putting a hat on a duck. Christ said "Get thee behind me, Satan" because he'd just told the apostles that he was going to be arrested, tortured and killed and Peter said "Oh, no. Not YOU Lord" and...yeah, Theology. Most of the sources I've studied agree that it was the temptation not to go through with the crucifixion that had Jesus so irritated. That, and Peter's long, long history of mouthing off. (Seriously. The guy had perpetual foot-in-mouth disease)
Ruben is telling the fact that he just ruined a teenager's life to go away because it has put a hitch in his sex life. We've got a bible quote being employed to justify ignoring the worst thing Ruben could possibly do.
So after they're done fucking he tells Laura that he's bitten a boy and that things have basically just gotten real, and the chapter ends without resolving a fucking thing.