So, short version is I was very sick. The hospital was involved, there were I.V. medications and a round of antibiotics that made me sick on top of everything else. Now though:
Aaaand we're back.
This chapter opens with some nonsense about splitting up the vampires and wereanimals on Anita's side so the "bad vamps" can't mindfuck everyone if they try. It irritates the shit out of me how Anita persists in using this kind of baby talk when referring to the people around her. "Bad little vampires" is especially grating. It just makes her come across as callous, to the point where she's gone right past anti hero in to cruel waste of space. These are the people she's tasked with executing and she can't be bothered to humanize them even a little. You can say that's how she has to approach it all you want, but Anita is clearly not doing it to protect her sweet little core. She's doing it because the only real person in the entire world is her.
She manages to work in some nonsense bullshit filler about what color the sheets on Jean-Claude's bed are. He "doesn't do" white sheets. What? This is the guy who owns an office that is all white. Is this meant to imply that he doesn't do white sheets because he gets blood on them? Because he doesn't understand how anal sex works so his lovers have a fifty fifty chance to shit the bed? Whoa, I think I just described the entire series.
"the rug was actually fur, thick and soft, and somehow just by touch you knew it had once been alive."
It's...a fur rug. Of course it was once alive. Because it feels like fur.
Anita only now thinks to ask what exactly Belle and Musette can ask them for while they're guests on J.C.'s lands.
1). SHE DOESN'T KNOW THIS ALREADY?
2). Assuming she doesn't know--despite how fucking stupid that is given her job--she only thinks to ask after she's completely fucked everything beyond all repair?
I know I have probably complained about this countless times, but her sheer incompetence is almost delicious to watch. Why? Because then I get to study all the ways LKH tries to make me believe that Anita is actually wonderful and I have just enough schadenfreude to find that amusing. When it doesn't inspire unholy rage, that is. (I almost mistyped rape instead of rage, which I think would have typified this garbage series a bit better than what I intended).
One of Musette's child servants used to use his boyish looks to entrap people. That's...actually awesome in a way. It is appropriately gross and dark. The thing is, I wonder if we really need a character who embodies all those stupid false accusation fears people always bring up when sexism is the topic of discussion. Then again, he's also firmly on the evil side so I'll give her a pass on that. This is the kind of thing LKH wants to write, I think, but she's not confident enough to just put it out there in all its sick disturbing glory. Either this series needs to just bite the bullet and be dark as fuck (in a way done with actual skill), or it needs to realize how silly and comic book like it is and just embrace that ridiculous kind of twisted that allows for everyone to have joke penises and so on.
As it is it's like that trifle from Friends that is half dessert half beef stew.
Apparently making children in to vampires is normally not done. In fact the last guy to make child vampires was using them for pedophilia purposes and when Belle found out, she killed him and tried her best to give one of his victims, Valentina, a normal life. And I am supposed to hate Belle and love Anita because...? This is also another time where I yearn for some world building that makes a modicum of actual sense.
Turns out Valentina is a little torture prodigy and has tortured J.C. Okay THIS IS GOING TO SOUND WEIRD, but finally. This shit is actually creepy as fuck, unlike the dumb werewolf nonsense about sticking people in holes in the ground and other B movie schlock that LKH thinks is darkity dark. Going after children and twisting them? I mean it's emotionally manipulative and kind of cheap, but it is effective.
Anita crawls over to sit beside J.C. as an act of comfort. That's very sweet and submissive of her, and I would probably like her more if she did things like this more often. Not that I expect her to be in the submissive role, but it's a lot nicer than constantly shaming everyone into BDSM. Which is particularly icky considering that described almost everyone she knows.
Here is another really interesting attempt at worldbuilding: "Belle's line is built upon sex, and it has become custom to offer any of Belle's line sex when they visit you." See, to me? That is damn cool. I love the idea that vampires can feed on more than just blood. I also LOVE making up new cultures and so this is the kind of stuff I go nuts for. It's just so sad that nothing will come of it. It's all set up to be convenient for the main characters. Musette will stick around precisely as long as she's needed to spew conflict in a completely unsubtle stream, like a fire hose of pedophilia and torture just spraying around totally unattended.
J.C. and Anita go through a list of people they care for and whether they are safe from Musette's demands. Anita holds forth about how forcing someone to have sex against their orientation is rape. Gosh, how evolved. Except a rapist is saying it, so it just makes my face turn in to a flaming skull.
Anita also says a bunch of simple crap about how they've managed to protect everyone and J.C. washes her balls and tells her she's as devious as Belle Morte. Okay.
"To Belle Morte if a man has an orgasm he must have enjoyed it."
Cool, I'm back to loathing everything about Belle Morte. But you're not off the hook Anita, because I know you and I know you believe this too.
Okay, I am going to split this chapter in two because dinner is done and I'd much rather stuff my face than put up with Anita's garbage.