Monday, July 29, 2013

Incubus Dreams--chapter 57-58

I don't think I've been as nervious about a book drop before, other than, you know, the first one. Paying for editing should be making me feel better, shouldn't it? Every other book has been kind of "Eh, they'll like it or they'll hate it." This one has been like "THEY WILL HATE IT AND NEVER READ ME AGAIN AND I WILL HAVE DESTROYED MY CAREER" and this time I'm not really sure why. I haven't done anything different. Other than, you know, paying for editing.


It's next Monday.

In other news, LKH has broken her world. Again.

See, Anita is in the shower, and her robe is on the door, which means Jean Claude put it there, which means she is sheilding so hard she can't sense him. Which is a problem, because that's what made Damian go berzerk.

If Anita does not suddenly have to have sex for the sake of Damian, the world is broken. If Anita does suddenly have to sex for the sake of Damian, I'm going to be royally pissed because this is already sex via blackmail, we don't need yet another layer of emotional manipulation just to make Anita get in the sack.

Anita debates about wheither or not she should have her hair up or down.

Second, I had only one boyfriend in the other room, not two. I wasn’t trying to look my best, just help Richard not have a fit about letting Jean-Claude touch him.
If he's not your boyfriend, Anita, what the FUCK is he still doing in the book. You have autonomy. You can tell him "Fuck no" and walk out every time he enters, and be perfectly within your rights no matter what he does. Your previous connection with him has no bearing on what you do for him now.

Though technically I should be saying that to Richard, given that you raped him and he is still coming to save you from your own habitual stupidty. (Anita: Eat. Pick partners you like who like you. Make safety arrangements before you start fucking. Stop raping people. Learn how to tell emotionally toxic people "no". Your problems are now solved. Seriously, every so-called "conflict" in this life is caused either by Anita's inability to set healthy boundaries, or her inability to respect them. Oh, and her inability to realize she might want to eat something.)

 Meanwhile, Jean Claude and Richard are arguing over candles. For romantic atmosphere. Because we want to drill home the whole "Richard is a homophobe" thing, because, you know, we haven't demonized him enough by now.

Oh, and Anita in her bathrobe now has Richard all ready and raring to go.

This is not how you heal from a bad relationship. This is how you maintain them.

Hey, what does Richard look like?

There were tiny folds in his stomach, like there are on real people, unless they have washboard abs, and Richard had better things to do with his time than do that many sit-ups. His stomach was flat and perfect, but perfect doesn’t mean perfectly flat. Lines are flat, people had curves and bumps and places to explore.

Because apparently we're too dumb to understand that flat means "without fat" and not "mathmatically perfect plane". Because it's not like the entirety of English lit uses "flat" to indicate "without fat" when applied to abdomens.

The preliminaries take a while. For example, it takes three paragraphs for Richard to take off his shoes and socks.

“Did you hear all that, Richard? He’s using vamp powers on you.”
 Richard gave me a lazy smile. “I feel calmer, less afraid, less conflicted. I hadn’t realized how bad I was still feeling until now.”
I want to buy every character in this novel bulk membership to a therapy club. Also: slipping somebody the metaphysical version of xanax so you can have sex with them is NOT OKAY.

Anita and Richard spend a minute "discussing" their sex lives together. It works about as well as it does here:

“Sort of, right now Nathaniel and I are estimating I need to feed the ardeur about every six hours, or I start draining Damian’s life energy. Since I can’t feed on the same person everyday, that still leaves me short.”

Why would you think that's a good idea? There's no reason for this. Anita should be having sex because she wants to, not because (la la la la) she'll kill a man if she doesn't. This is not characterization, this is an "Excuse Four Sex Scenes For Free" card that avoids the nasty issue of, you know, fucking consent. You can fuck four times a day and still be a good person. Probably a sore one, but still a good one. Needing an excuse to do what you want to do means you have issues that need to be addressed before they become really big issues.

...and then Richard starts barganing for an appointment to come to Anita's place every three days and have sex.

At this point I don't know who is creepier, Richard or Anita.

What I said out loud was, “It’s not just the sex I miss, Richard. I miss weekend movie marathons. I miss going places with you. I miss you, not just your body, Richard.” I almost kept the next part to myself, but I had to know. It was time. “Do you miss me, Richard, or just my body?” I managed to make it neutral, very neutral. Brownie points for me.

...WELL THAT TAKES CARE OF THAT BIT OF INDECISION. Also: No. That is not neutral. You both are terrible people and you should be locked up together with Jean Claude, Asher and Micah a la No Exit. It's the only fitting ending for this fluster cluck of a relationship.

Meanwhile Anita and Richard are now declaring their undying love for each other I shit you not. And oh my god is it creepy. And pointless. At this point Richard is so very much akin to John Norman's Strawchick(s) I kind of want to call him Strawwolf and get it over with:

“Because when I’m near you, all I can think about is the smell of your skin, and the way your hair spreads like black foam on my pillows. Because when I’m near you, all I can remember is how your body feels against mine. I have to be a bastard to you, so that I don’t fall down at your feet and beg you to take me back. Tell you that it wasn’t you I hated. It was me, and I’m sorry that I took that out on you. Sorrier than I can say. That you had the courage to make a life that worked for you, regardless of how far that life was from where you wanted it to be. Help me have the courage to do the same, Anita. Help me be who I am.”

Sorry. Real breakups don't work that way. Especially not when the person saying this is the one who initiated the break up.

Because. You know. You raped him. 

The chapter ends with all three of them snuggling.

I'd use the Applebloom pic, but I think she's a little too young for this.

 So the chapter opens with Richard flinching away from Jean Claude. Only now, because he has CONFESSED HIS LOVE it is time to make him a good guy again, so he reveals that he's having flashbacks. Specifically about being in bed with Rania and Gabriel.

And then Rania's ghost gives Anita her memory of what happened to Richard, so basically we get to read about Richard being raped again. And that is all I am posting on the matter because it's that freaking bad. 

Well, that and the fact that the cops in this universe should have a crime unit dedicated to inter were-pack assaults, given how frequent and fucking awful these assaults are. 

If there is any redeeming thing in this section, and by "redeeming" I mean "less bad than the rest of this shit" it is when Jean Claude confesses that he was raped by Rania and Gabriel too, and Richard points out that JC likes men, and JC says this:

“Rape is rape, Richard. Is a woman less raped because she likes men? That’s a question, Richard.”

I'd be more enthusiastic if this book hadn't done "you can't rape the willing" less than two chapters ago.

Then they start flirting again, and say "let's get undressed".

Transitions: We need them. (Actually, we need brain bleach and a pacifier)

The chapter ends AGAIN before they have sex.

I'm going to go find booze and drink myself relatively insensible.


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