The rest of the chapter.
Side note: Twenty minutes ago I finished part 1 of chapter eight. I scheduled it, checked the dashboard to make sure it was all fine, removed a few typos, and went to read something else to cleanse the palate. When I clicked “add new post”, my whole dashboard theme had changed. Thanks, WordPress. That’s helpful. You could have said something in advance? Now I have to FIND everything. Blech.
In this chapter, we discover that Clay bit Elena. He had proposed to her; they were engaged, and he brought her to Stonehaven to “meet his father”. What she thinks was a large, gorgeous dog interrupted and, despite Jeremy’s warnings, she went to pet it and got nipped gently. There was no accident. Clay bit her intentionally, in front of Jeremy no less. She passed out and remained unconscious for two days.
In light of what we just saw, this doesn’t endear me to Jeremy much:
I stared at Jeremy, then twisted from side to side, trying to get up [out of the guest bed]. Jeremy grabbed my shoulders and held me down. Panic ignited in me. I fought with more strength than I thought I had, flailing and kicking. He pinned me to the bed with as much effort as he might use to retrain a two-year-old.
This is immediately after she’s told she was bit by Clay, not a dog, and that he “changed form”. Which, I must say, Jeremy didn’t really handle the conversation well at all:
“He bit you.”
“I know the damned dog bit me. […] Answer my question. Where’s Clay.”
“He bit you. Clay bit you.”
“Clay bit me?” I said slowly.
Jeremy didn’t correct me. He stood there, looking down at me, waiting.
“The dog bit me.” I said.
“It wasn’t a dog. It was Clay. He… he changed form.”
This is when the thrashing starts. Jeremy haltingly explains that she’s turning into a wolf, and proves it by shifting in front of her.
I shut my eyes then and screamed until the world went dark.
So she’s back to screaming uncontrollably to deal with trauma. It took her over a year to come to terms with the changes, apparently, and that’s when she pretty much broke it off with Clay.
So to recap: Clay is a rapist whose desire to possess Elena totally overrules her best interests and her consent in favor of his plans.
Back to the present, she wakes up and slinks home, only to be interrupted by Jeremy, who asks her for an update on what they found last night. She doesn’t tell him about the rape, though she does get nervous that he’ll smell Clay on her. When Clay returns, she flees to her room.
I didn’t’ call Phillip, but it wasn’t because I felt guilty. I didn’t’ call him because I knew I should feel guilty, and since I couldn’t, it didn’t seem right to call. Does that make any sense?
It makes perfect sense. She was raped. It’s not her fault Clay disregards her wishes and ties her to a tree.
If I’d had sex with anyone other than Clay, I would have felt guilty. On the other hand, the chances of me cheating on Phillip with anyone other than Clay
And this is where the book lost me. That was supposed to be her consensually cheating on Phillip?!!?!?!
What I had with Clay was so old, so complex, that sleeping with him couldn’t be compared to normal sex. It was giving into something I felt so deeply that all the anger and hurt and hate in the world couldn’t stop me from going back to him.
That was supposed to be an expression of True Love?!!?!
She calls her office so she can hear her own voice on the voicemail, sounding normal and professional and human. Which is kind of sweet. But still. WTF book? What lesson am I meant to be taking away from this? Am I supposed to like Clay, even a little bit? Because there’s no redeeming factors other than “smart” which doesn’t remotely hold a candle to “rapist”.
Clay comes to knock on Elena’s door and she goes out the window to get away from him. The book moves on. There’s a newspaper report about dogs being spotted in the city from when she scared the boys. I don’t care. I’m still reeling from the idea that this is meant to be anything like love.
Oh look, Jeremy being an ass
“Three [wild dogs],” Jeremy said, his voice low. “All three of you. Together.”
“We were returning from the mutt’s apartment,” I said. “The kids walked into the alley. They saw me.”
“Elena didn’t have enough room to hide,” Clay interjected. “One of them grabbed a broken bottle. I lost it. I leapt at them. Elena stopped me and we took off. No one got hurt.”
“We all got hurt,” Jeremy said. “I told you to split up.”
“We did,” I said. “Like I said, this was after we found the apartment.”
“I told you to Change to human after you found him.”
“And do what? Walk to the car butt-naked?”
Then he stares at her for a full minute, and when that fails to cow the uppity female into submission, pulls her aside for a private chat in the woods for a lecture on how the Pack is now in danger because she’s been gone too long to remember to be careful. He also utterly dismisses her trauma from killing Carter, saying her only mistake was not calling and starting another lecture about her behavior instead of, you know, listening.
Then they smell human blood.
From here on in I’m slogging through this for you guys, readers. I don’t want to go where this book leads anymore. It’s glorifying rape, there’s not much it can do to come back from that.