So Merry and company get Hafwyn to heal Galen, and she says she's got one more healing left in her. I guess healing magic is kind of like a tube of toothpaste. Merry asks who else is hurt and one of the prisoners says "The guy who attacked you."
Hey, weren't there cops? And a murder? And a lot of other interesting things?
Merry says "No."
This is rather reasonable, seeing as how he just tried to kill her. However, instead of moving on this gets drawn out over several paragraphs. Apparently we need to know that Merry will NEVER help anyone who has tried to kill her. Which is weird because she's helping Hafwyn, but whatever.
Anyway, it comes out that the prisoners think a pure-blooded Sidhe--which has been established as not existing--is better than a half-blooded Sidhe. Which is, like, all of them.
Cops. Upstairs. Plot. Please.
Merry lectures a random male for not wearing armor. He says armor would have been useless. Yeah, but it could have slowed shit down or deflected it, so yeah, you should have been wearing armor.
Another of the Fae complain about having the forensics teams--he calls them "human spell casters" and I'm totally cool with that--in the fairy mound. Dude, the Cahokia were there first. You don't get to bitch.
Then they point out that they're gonna be fine after attacking Merry because she and the Queen have a long history of letting people get away with shit.
I am now hoping that he will be proven very wrong, and equally terrified that it'll just be more talking, talking, talking before we get back to the murder plot.
Rhys calls and says that he had to physically (and magically) restrain the cops to keep them from coming after Merry, who was screaming.
...I thought the cops were outside the Mound right now? If the cops can hear Merry's screams, where the fuck are Andais's guards?
Anyhoo, Rhys has figured out how the reporter managed to get through all the magic protections that the Fae put around the reporters when they (sigh) brought them into the fairy mounds. He did it via the complex, high-tech, difficult method of...sticking iron thumbtacks in his shoes.
Seriously. Merry says "he really did his research" as if the whole 'FAIRIES ARE HURT BY COLD IRON' thing isn't a part of, like, every fairy story in the history of things. Seriously. The might of the fairy courts have been defeated by thumbtacks in the shoes.
Meanwhile it turns out that Random Man B is THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MAN IN THE WORLD and has to wear a naqib to hide his beauty lest he bewitch every man woman and child alive simultaneously. And he's bleeding, but he won't show the healer where because his bare chest might be enough to make Merry jump him.
Merry has screwed about three different males in about as many chapters. I can't decide if this is a reasonable concern or just bullshit. I really want to go with the latter.
AH, but apparently her ability to look upon THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MAN IN THE WORLD will allow her to prove that she IS! NOT! MORTAL! (except that she totally is.)
She offers to kiss one of her wounded soldiers. Because...this is signficant. And one of the other men scoff at her because...this is not like the Sidhe. And Merry argues that they're not Sidhe, they're deities and nature personified and she can kiss who she wants, so there.
I think one of the things that REALLY bugs me about this whole "prejudice" narrative is that Merry isn't flaunting the status quo because it's wrong and stupid and needs to die. She's flaunting it because she has the power to do so. There's nothing much in here about actual change that will mean something to everyone else. Merry is constantly proving that she is More by doing things (that are entirely pointless) so that she can continue to tell the Powers that Be to go fuck themselves...but the only thing that gives her the right to do so is the fact that she's got power. It's exactly the opposite of what I think Laurell is trying to achieve and that...is something.
I don't know what, but it's something.
Hey, we haven't done iffy consent in a while.
Merry needs to find out why they're targeting Galen. Apparently the fact that he's green has something to do with it. The Faerie who knows won't talk, but she's straight and female, so Merry has THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MAN IN THE WORLD show her his face. This makes her fall INSTANTLY in lust with him, so much so that she betrays every loyalty oath she's ever taken. It also makes the woman scream bloody murder because she knows exactly what is happening.
OUR HEROINE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.
Turns out that Galen was a threat to Cel because of a prophesy, so Cel ordered him killed.
Because random prophesy is random, I guess.
Merry promises--AGAIN--to sleep with whoever wants to escape from Cel. And that's the end of the chapter.