Seducing the Saint (Melissa Schroeder in Charming the Snake) – Chapter Eleven

Okay, when we left BtA and Libby, they were just being escorted out of Funkaiville and BtA had just heard for the first time that Tony Freemont was with Libby’s dad.

So, what can he do about that? That’s right, he can walk sulkingly through the jungle with Libby, refusing to talk to her. Hey, I hear it works with two year olds, so why souldn’t it work for BtA? [Oh wait… It doesn’t work with two year olds…]

He’s obviously forgotten that, when Libby tried to talk to him, he much rather had sex with her. Not that I can blame him for that. But if you chose sex over talk, don’t be offended, when you don’t have all the information. Sex might be the language of lovers, but it’s pretty hard to convey “My ex-husband is with my missing dad” through fucking.

Finally, Libby can’t stand the silent treatment anymore and starts to yell at BtA that she didn’t tell him about it because she forgot. And she forgot because she was so worried about what BtA might do to the Funkai or the Funkai to him. And that she loves him.

At this, BtA kisses her in the middle of the rant.

“Lass, the woman I love tells me she loves me, I have to kiss her.” His voice was thick with emotion, and the sound of it made her eyes sting. “I’m sorry I was such an ass, but I was worried you were trying to protect your ex-husband.” [And it’s better to shut up and be angry and assume things than to just ask why she didn’t tell him.]
“I would never protect Tony. Anything that happens to him, he deserves.” [I’ve been noticing for a while – in Chapter Five, their divorce was still “polite and amicable”. Now, he’s become the biggest asshole possible and should be executed for pure awfulness or something.]

As these things go, in the middle of their declarations of love, Tony shows up. With three ruffians in tow. BtA introduces himself and Tony hits him, for some not closer mentioned mess in the past.

Tony looks unwell, he’s lost weight and hair. Libby asks about her father, but Tony doesn’t know where he is. Finally, Tony gets down to business and thanks Libby for bringing BtA.

“Your Saint is just the man I need. A direct descendent of Irish blood — royal, at that. He must go into the cave to retrieve my emerald.” [Oh, you’ve got to be shitting me! They are on some planet somewhere in the solar system, probably not even our solar system and the Legend of the Snake King requires an Irish nobleman to retrieve the emerald with which to rule the universe. Really? I mean, seriously? Who the fuck thought this story was fit to publish with that in it? If they said “It’s got to be BtA, because the emerald is in the middle of a sea of fire and through centuries of being firefighters, Irish became heat resistant”, it would make more sense than that.]

*****

So, they make their way to the cave, where the emerald’s supposedly at. Tony tells Libby that he’s had an argument with Sterling *cringe*, because Sterling *cringe* wanted to hand over the emerald, whereas Tony intended to keep it. So, Sterling had left him with a bottle of water and disappeared into the jungle.

I seriously don’t get this – why take a whole book and build up a character as the evil guy (Sterling *cringe*) and then get someone, who was hardly mentioned, but when he was mentioned didn’t seem to be such a bad guy, introduce them 2 chapter before the book’s over to the actual action and make them the villain (Tony)? Doesn’t make sense.

Anyway, they arrive at the cave, BtA says he’d rather not go in there, Tony pulls a gun and threatens Libby to make him.

*****

BtA tries not to explode at the sight of another male touching threatening his female. Tony tells him to go into the cave.

He curled his fingers into his palms, trying to fight the urge to wrap his fingers around the bastard’s neck. “You can come with me.” It was a spur of the moment idea, and one he hoped the jackass was stupid enough to take him up on.

Of course, the jackass is stupid enough and agrees to that. He tells his thugs that should BtA come out alone, they should shoot Libby. Then he and BtA make their way into the cave.

Brady walked into the cave, trying his best to fight the overwhelming sense that they were heading for a disaster. He just hoped he’d stalled long enough to give Libby some time to come up with a plan. [So, suddenly Libby can handle coming up with a plan? Suddenly she can take care of herself? What made you change your mind so quickly, dear BtA?]

*****

Outside the cave, Libby is shocked at how crazy Tony got. She starts to shiver in the sinking sun and tries not to cry. [Apparently, that’s all the plan she’s got.] Finally, she starts to study the bullies, deducing that they are big, so they must be stupid. So she tries to come up with a plan to outwit them.

Fortunately, she doesn’t have to. Because before she can come up with anything, there’s a rustling and a murmur and a horde of men in black [more ninja than Will Smith] decapacitate the bad guys. Among them – Robbie Masters [who obviously isn’t angry that BtA and Libby knocked him out when he offered to help] and John Hunter. Apparently, they have been working together and have been watching Tony Freemont for months.

They wonder about the best way to save BtA and Libby suggests that she should go into the cave.

“Yes, me. He hears you all, he’ll freak out and maybe kill Brady. He isn’t expecting me to pop into the cave, but he sees me as less of a threat.” [Excuse me, there’s a whole group of special ninjas, who just surprised three bad guys and they can’t go into the cave and overpower a single, albeit crazy guy, who’s not a trained fighter? And won’t Tony know that something’s wrong as soon as he sees Libby? What kind of stupid plan is that? You can’t convince me anyway anymore that Libby is actually able to fend for herself, as you have spent the rest of the book undermining exactly that impression.]
(… they agree and offer Libby a gun…)
He handed her a stungun, and she shook her head.
“Knives. I’m really good with knives.” [And I can only take either the gun or the knives, because I’ve used up my weapon points in this game and it’s always better to have weapons for close combat than just to shoot somebody.]

*****

BtA and Tony arrived at an underground lake, where the emerald is supposed to be.

Brady looked around the dim cave and tried to repress a shudder. The only thing he hated more than heights was dark, enclosed spaces. [He really must be a great adventurer.] It smelled of mold and salt. Strange, but he figured the pool Freemont was talking about was from an underground saltwater spring. [So, not strange, right?]

BtA gets into the lake and tries to stall Tony by asking, what Tony hit him for.

“(…) I hit you because the last time we made love was the first time she ever climaxed.”
Brady frowned. “And?”
“She called out your name.” [Okay, if you have to hit someone for that, you probably should have hit Libby, who said the wrong name and not BtA, who happens to have that name. But actually, the right course of action would have been to talk to each other about why Libby wouldn’t climax and Tony trying his best to get her to do that. Oh, well…]

Anyway, BtA laughs about it and tells Tony that he deserved that punch [yes, you did, but not for that reason].

Then they’re back to business. BtA worries about Libby while staring into the black water, looking for an emerald that isn’t there. He decides that should they both survive this, they will have to make it work and stay together forever.

He calls Tony over, pretending to have found the emerald.

A flurry of footsteps approached him, and when he knew Freemont was close enough, Brady turned, splashing his face with the salt water.
Freemont screamed.“Ahhhh, my eyes!” [OH NOES!!! ACID SALT WATER! Look, I’m not much of a badass, but even I manage to keep my eyes open while diving in the sea, whithout screaming…]

That’s the moment when Libby turns up, screaming BtA’s name. Tony turns around in her direction, still blinded by the acid salt water and BtA kicks the gun out of his hand. Unfortunately, Freemont manages to fire once before BtA gets the gun.

Brady lifted his head and was on his feet before he could think. Libby lay on her back, a burn on her shoulder. Real, mind-numbing terror rushed through him. Jesus, no. He knelt beside her and couldn’t think of what he should do next. She wasn’t moving. [YAY!!! SOMEBODY ACTUALLY SHOUT LIBBY!!! *dances*]

Thank goodness, that’s when Robbie and Hunter turn up and tell BtA that Libby’s shoulder wound doesn’t look to be life threatening. BtA doesn’t wonder about them being there, but tells them to not touch Libby and carries her outside.

Libby starts to talk to him and that’s enough relief for BtA to already start chuckling about the whole thing.

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