Dottie's chapter here
Anita accuses J.C. of feeding off of Gretchen's energy, which apparently is "a line you do not cross." Shut the fuck up, Anita. Since when do you have any concept of boundaries? Would you like to float that line across to me again when you have sex with a sixteen year old boy later? I mean shit, you're a fictional character, do what you want. But don't insult me by giving me this whole good and moral crusader pap.
Anita stands over J.C. in a threatening manner. J.C. knocks her to the ground with him and pins her. I am sort of in J.C.'s camp on this one, considering Anita is essentially threatening him (and knows Judo, apparently, despite never demonstrating that knowledge in any kind of real time fashion). J.C. is the character I like the most in this novel, which is really sad when you consider the work overall.
He quite rightly tells her she has no idea whether that's true and that she's just wildly accusing him for the sake of it. Though, I don't know why she couldn't just you know, check, seeing as how she's a goddamn necromancer. No, LKH would rather J.C. and Anita rolled around on the floor some more, so here we are.
Anita tries to say it is in fact due to her necromancy even though it isn't and she's a lying liar who lies. In reality Gretchen's condition reminds her of some poorly described mummy monster with like forty heads hanging off of it that she presumably fought back in Obsidian Butterfly.
Anita talks about the Master of Albuquerque's power being like a flock of birds, and Anita lets this flock of birds pour in through an opening in her body.
There's water, and stars, and slamming, and darkness, oh my. J.C. sees all of Anita's memories about dispatching the many headed monstrosity creature...thing. J.C. tells Anita that he won't be blamed for what he did to Gretchen because as Master of the City, he has greater concerns than Gretchen's life or even Anita's feelings about it. He points out that she hates Gretchen, anyway.
J.C.? You are totally right. And you're telling Anita to grow the fuck up, which I wholeheartedly support. In fact, he's the only one willing to tell Anita she's wrong. If only he would stick with it and ditch her for a servant that is actually competent.
J.C. is actually pissed off for once because Richard and Anita keep telling him what he can and can't do to the point where it's crippling him and his hold over the city. Again, he is totally right. He is an ancient amoral apex predator, and god knows why Anita stays with him if that is so morally reprehensible and offensive to her supposed principles (I maintain she has no principles).
I also love that he's taking her to task because she enjoys denigrating Richard for having morals, but thinks it's perfectly fine to clutch her own pearls and hit people once something she doesn't like happens.
Having roundly told Anita off for once, J.C. gets up and goes over to the coffin to continue waking Gretchen.
"If she were stronger it would be a more dangerous feeding..."
What? Why isn't she more dangerous now, when she's withering away to nothing for want of blood? The second she realizes there's food nearby everything in her is going to want to drain Jason down to a husk. Book, you make no sense.
Jason is afraid to be fed on but goes along with J.C. offering Jason's wrist to Gretchen anyway. LKH punctures the tension balloon some more: ..."the thing in the coffin was a nightmare."
If you have to tell me it's scary, it probably isn't.
"Most of the time if you saw a vamp looking like something made of dried sticks, it was well and truly dead."
She might as well have said "Gretchen looked like she was made of dirty Qtips" and it would have had about the same impact.
J.C. realizes Jason is afraid and asks if Jason would prefer to be rolled, i.e. mind controlled before the feeding happens. MY GOD someone in this book actually asked before they acted on someone else! I never thought this day would come!
Anita watches Gretchen feed on Jason for a bit after J.C. rolls him. She turns away and Micah is randomly here, but she doesn't want to meet his eyes. She has a little whine about how she's been fighting not to be "anything to anyone" and woe is her, people are hurt now because of it.
"I hated having other people pay the price for my problems. It was against the rules somehow."
You heard it here first. It was against the rules SOMEHOW.
George Carlin has a line about how you can't just play the notes to a blues song and say you're "playing the blues." You can't just play the notes, "you have to know why they need to be played." That is the essence of having a narcissistic or antisocial personality disorder, right there. You realize there are rules to society, but you don't understand why, and you especially don't understand why they should apply to you. This is what Anita is doing. She perceives that there are guidelines to a successful social interaction, but she doesn't truly understand the purpose of those guidelines. What she means is she doesn't like it when the people around her suffer because it puts a burden on her. She might even have to apologize or make soothing noises in their general direction and let's face it, that shit is just such a drag.
J.C. does the vampire rituals to Gretchen in order to bind her, and Gretchen feeds from him and becomes whole again. Anita and J.C. tell her that she can be free of the coffin as long as she leaves Anita alone, which she agrees to.
J.C. says he needs to take Gretchen away and put her in a hot bath so the awakening will hold, and Asher implies he'll kill Damian if they can't fix him. Anita shrills about how they're not going to kill him, waaah. Even though he might be a murderous psychopath. For a book with the subtitle "Vampire Hunter" there sure is an extreme lack of vampire hunting.
J.C. tells her to shove it, essentially, that either Damian will come back to his senses or he will die. He stalks out with Gretchen in his arms. Damn, I like him in this scene. If only he were allowed to call Anita on her shit on the regular. And take away the rapist parts. Then this novel could actually be salvaged.
We all know that won't happen.
Anita has to decide who is going to feed Damian first.