No one made a move to help him, and she struck him once
more with her power. The red marble splintered where he hit it, spiderwebbing
toward me. With wave after wave she hit him. Rhys groaned.
“Stop,” I breathed, blood filling my mouth as I strained a hand to
reach her feet. “Please.”
Rhys’s arms buckled as he fought to rise, and blood dripped from
his nose, splattering on the marble. His eyes met mine.
The bond between us went taut. I flashed between my body and his,
seeing myself through his eyes, bleeding and broken and sobbing.
I’m just. Going to curl into a ball and cry myself to sleep okay? “No one made a move to help him” is just so…painful yet justified on their parts. Rhys has carved out this place for himself, this no-man’s land. And it’s what I talked about before with the question of how far he went and whether it was ever too far. And he walks an incredibly thin line here to truly fall in a neutral zone whereby no-one will help him…but they won’t help Amarantha either. But he’s alienated himself and I wonder about that over the last 50 years. With no allies but no real enemies either. Just emptiness. It’s not difficult to see how Feyre and Rhys bond so closely in ACOMAF with the similar experiences that they’ve had.
And I also love that the follow-up to this, to Feyre realising that no-one was helping Rhys…is to reach out and help him herself. Amarantha has shattered her bones at this point, tortured her far beyond anything she’s ever endured…and she lies on the floor, bloody and battered and exhausted and she asks her to stop…She asks her to stop hurting Rhys.
There’s some really painful parallels going on here? Rhys slaved for Amarantha for fifty years and didn’t dream of killing her for himself. He didn’t pick up that dagger for himself. He was content to let Tamlin have that final kill; he’d already told Feyre that. He picked it up for Feyre. He picked it up for his mate. Amarantha hurting Feyre was what pushed him into action. And that’s just. So important for their dynamic. Rhys saves Feyre in ACOMAF. But as I’ve said before, she’s already saved him in ACOTAR.
And I love that it’s at this moment that Feyre becomes fully aware of that bond and how closely it binds her to Rhys. She still thinks it’s the bargain, the tattoo, but she feels it in this moment. As they reach for each other. As these two neutral people, the ones that weren’t worth either helping or harming beyond what was happening, these two battered, broken souls made to feel worthless by the world, who won’t lift a finger to defend themselves, reach for each other, help each other and take that first step together down a very long road to healing.
Watch the Queen of Hearts, folks. She’s the money card.
“Who is that?” Mabel asked once she’d caught up and they’d ducked into a cafeteria. “Sam Lloyd.” Evie nearly spat the name. She told them about her encounter with him at Pennsylvania Station, about how he’d kissed her and picked her pocket. Theta sipped her coffee, leaving a perfect red Cupid’s bow mark on the white ceramic cup. “He looks like he could make off with more than just your twenty dollars, if you catch my drift. You better keep an eye on that one, Evil.” “I don’t have enough eyes to keep on that one,” Evie grumbled.