Dottie's breakdown here
"Musette stood by the white brick fireplace. It had to be her, because she was the only little blond Barbie doll in the room, and that was how Jason had described her. Jason had a lot of flaws, but describing a woman inaccurately was not one of them."
O...kay. I mean, that last line doesn't make any sense does it? I think it's one of those lines that sounds good at first, but when you're staring in to the fridge later wondering if you bought milk it hits you that it doesn't work on any level.
Despite Anita having already described Musette in a nice little package (what Western reader doesn't know what a goddamn Barbie doll looks like?) she goes on to natter about how Musette has blond hair but dark eyebrows, so maybe she dyed it or maybe it's real or maybe it's Maybeline.
Musette's pomme de sang is a "girl" of indeterminate age who is sitting at Musette's feet like "a pet." Be assured that Anita will be judge-y as fuck about this any second now even though she has several people enslaved through her magic woo woo vag powers. I really wish Anita would stop assuming that everyone she comes across that's fulfilling a subservient role doesn't want to be there. I'll give her the pass this time because Musette is supposedly a heartless murderer and maybe-pedophile with mind control powers, but in general Anita's gross oversimplification of BDSM dynamics continues to piss me right the fuck off.
There's some huge dude here with a long black braid and "dark" skin though in Anita's world being dark skinned means you "tan easily."
Everything and I mean everything in this room is either gold or white. If the descriptions had more life to them perhaps I would find this as amazing as it's clearly meant to be, but as it is I just wonder why no one has shot J.C.'s decorator yet. I mean, people have been shot for less in this series.
Musette and J.C. speak French at each other. J.C. explains Anita doesn't speak French but Anita can apparently understand it anyway, presumably thanks to her bond with J.C., so whatever. Musette switches to English but she has a heavy accent, despite most vampires doing away with theirs. Why? It makes no sense to me that vampires would all want to speak American broadcaster English. They're portrayed as arrogant and selfish creatures, and proud to a fault. Why would a vampire work to drop their accent for a short term visit? If anything a being convinced of its own supremacy would look down on others if they didn't have the same accent as they do.
We learn that Damien's maker is an abusive mistress named Moroven. Anita previously told us that this same vampire is a night hag, or able to feed off of fear. So, we can guess what Damien's life with her must have been like. Musette knows it too and torments him by asking questions about why Moroven would turn down a Council seat. Anita tells her to back off and Musette turns her attention to Anita.
Of course Musette is wearing high heels and sashays across the room, because all female villains in the Anita verse have to be conventionally feminine temptresses with the morals of a moray eel.
Remember the "dark" guy from the beginning of this chapter?
"The tall dark and scary man moved behind her like a shadow."
Anita also throws some shade about how obedient Musette's pomme de sang is because unless Anita herself is demanding such obedience, it's "yucky."
J.C. presents Anita as his human servant and Musette digs at him about Julianna. Julianna was Asher's human servant, and she, J.C., and Asher were a happy little poly triad until Julianna was killed. It's a sore spot and Musette is going after it as hard as she can. You know, for a vampire she's not very subtle at this whole manipulation thing. Then again I guess she doesn't have much incentive to be subtle, if she thinks no one here will raise a hand against her.
Musette natters on about how Asher and J.C. must prefer dirty, dirty peasants. Anita laughs and tells her that's not an insult, because her family line has worked for everything they have and they're proud of it. Coming from Anita's mouth this just reads like some bullshit conservative thinker fantasy about how she's self made and no one ever gave her a hand up, despite having damn near every unearned advantage possible.
The reality is none of us are self made. Success always involves help from others. We all have more hands up than we realize. While the struggle belongs to us, and while we often have to accomplish parts of our journeys alone, the contributions of others always factor in. We're a collaborative species and we're at our best when we help each other.
Musette and Asher make dumbass comments about how Anita can't understand showing proper respect because she's American and Americans have never been ruled. It's not as if we're incapable of understanding a simple concept like noblesse oblige or what being a vassal means. It's not an excuse for Anita to act like an idiot. They're acting like she's missing the part of her brain that processes hierarchies.
Musette's scary shadow-like black servant is also like seven feet tall. Yeah, that's not problematic at all. I mean, Musette could certainly be a racist and choose her servants accordingly, but that is a level of nuance I don't think LKH is capable of. Oh, and his name is Angelito.
There's a picture of Asher as Cupid over the fireplace where the picture of Asher, J.C., and Julianna usually is. It's a depiction of Asher before he was scarred and he's eerily beautiful, naked on a bearskin rug. He has wings. This is seriously silly, but okay let's just go with it. Jean-Claude is in the picture too, as Psyche, and is wearing makeup. What? What is happening here?
These books take themselves way too seriously. This would be awesome if LKH just opened all the floodgates and let it be as weird and over the top and as grossly sexual as it wants to be. Instead we're stuck walking some kind of flaccid middle line that doesn't satisfy on any level.
Hey, kinda like sex with Anita huh? Amirite?
Turns out the picture is a present from Belle Morte.
They also have a present just for Asher, which is a picture of him naked standing by an anvil. All his scars are fresh in this one. This makes me think vampires are really in to awkward naked photo shoots with random objects. Is the next one going to be him riding one of those mechanical horse things they have outside of grocery stores while sucking a lollipop? Or maybe he'll be wearing a cowboy hat and chaps with the ass cut out while bending over a hay bale. Except he'll still have the big white wings from the Cupid picture because, well, it makes me laugh.
Anita gets a random memory of Asher being tortured and she and J.C. fall to the ground. Man, people fall down in these books a lot, don't they?