The mind works in mysterious ways...
I was lying in bed last night, curled up with my beloved on one side and a cat on the other (actually I think the cat was between us, but that's not overly relevant), drifting on the edge of sleep.
And suddenly I realized what was wrong with Threshing the Grain: the sex-magic element of Jaenna and Nikos' story isn't the one I'm trying to force it to be. Suddenly all the other elements fell into place, including a new title (Rain at Midsummer) and what the deal is with Nikos' maybe/maybe-not fiancee, and who the characters need to be for the original story concept for Threshing the Grain.
Mind you, I still need to write the bloody things--two stories now, not just one. But at least I know where I'm going with them and why they were fighting me so much.