You might be thinking, “But wait, Ariel, your last post was about chapter thirteen.” Correct, astute reader, but that is actually not a typo. Because thirteen signifies the age Abby somehow stole all of her father’s luck and began winning at poker games, and subsequently lost her father’s love (sniff), [Matthew says: BAHAHAHA! That is the reason we skipped Chapter 13? Ariel told me the book skips chapter 13 way back when we started this but only gave me the enigmatic “for a reason” to hold me over until now, and this is dumber than anything I could have imagined. Ariel says: What can I say, I kept my cards close to my chest.] Jamie McGuire has gone and written the chapter’s title as “Chapter
Thirteen Fourteen: Full House.” My kindle app’s table of contents is like, “Da fuq does this book want from me here?” So it just kind of mashed the numbers together.
That also served as your reminder about what happened last week, because that was the “important” bit of information we learned about Abby’s past.
Thirteen Fourteen: Full House
(I hate myself for even typing this out again.)
The chapter begins with America and Abby out buying incredibly short dresses for the party. I wouldn’t mention this detail except Abby makes a big deal to keep pointing out how short they are, so I figured I might as well give you the full experience.
When they return to the apartment, they find the menfolk aren’t there. Apparently, Shep has gone off with Travis to help him with another surprise for Abby!
I fidgeted with my hair and picked at my nails, unable to sit still while I waited for Travis to unveil his latest surprise. A birthday party, a puppy— I couldn’t imagine what could be next.
We’re as intrigued as you are, Abby. Let’s make some guesses!
If you guessed new couch and tattoo, then you’re correct! Congratulations, you win at obvious polls.
You may or may not have guessed what his tattoo says. If you guessed “Abby,” that’s not a terrible guess, but seriously. Come on. It’s Travis we’re talking about.
No, seriously. It’s written in the book in big, bold text. It’s like the book wants to rub in our face how unrelentingly stupid this is. If Travis and Abby ever break up (god willing), he’ll forever have to explain about the pigeon he loved and lost. Even if they stay together, he’ll have to explain why he has the word “pigeon” tattooed on his arm. No one’s first guess will be that it’s his nickname for his girlfriend. Everyone’s first guess will be that he’s a crazy homeless woman who feeds pigeons in the park.
“You had my name tattooed on your wrist?”
No, Abby. He had Pigeon tattooed on his wrist. There is a massive distinction to be made there.
“I tried to talk him out of it, Abby. He hasn’t done anything crazy in a while. I think he was having withdrawal,” Shepley said, shaking his head.
What does he mean Travis hasn’t done anything crazy in awhile? Didn’t he just punch that pirate in the face last week? Didn’t he beat the shit out of Chris at lunch the day before that? Didn’t he buy Abby the puppy like two weeks ago? The timelines in these books, man. [Matthew says: Also the standards for crazy behavior in these books, man.]
But wait, there’s more.
Travis stood, pulling up his shirt. His impressive six-pack stretched and tightened with the movement.
Travis turned, and on his side was another fresh tattoo spanning the length of his ribs.
“What is that?” I asked, squinting at the vertical symbols.
“It’s Hebrew,” Travis said with a nervous grin.
“What does it mean?”
“It says, ‘I belong to my beloved, and my beloved is mine.’ ”
I really hope it’s one of those cases where the tattoo means something completely different. Like the tattoo artist was like, “This fucking guy. I’ll write ‘pigeon shit’ in Hebrew and call it a day.” [Matthew says: You know how I keep writing in Ariel’s posts pointing out scenes that were omitted from the version of the story from Travis’s perspective, like “The fuck? Why is this not in Travis’s version of the story?” Well this is one of those times. When Travis tells the story, you have no fucking clue he got a goddamn tattoo on his ribs in Hebrew.]
Shep points out that this is what Abby signed up for, and Travis won’t be happy until he gets a ring on her finger. Abby rightfully feels like things are moving a little fast. But Travis has a great defense!
“Okay. I should have talked to you about it first, but I decided to buy the couch, and then one thing led to another. I got excited.”
Yeah, I sure get that. Last time I bought a couch I wound up in Tijuana. Nothing too crazy happened other than impulsively heading to Tijuana, but man, anything sure can happen when you buy a couch! [Matthew says: I mean, I’m a bit of a victim of “I went out to get this and one thing led to another” impulse buying too, but I think my wildest story is, “I went to Target to buy some poster frames, and then one thing led to another and I bought Mean Girls on DVD.”][Ariel says: That’s so weird, that’s exactly what happened to the Casts. One thing led to another and they wrote the House of Night series, which is totally unrelated to Mean Girls.]
Abby tries to have a conversation with Travis about how he’s freaking her out, but he makes out with her, so she forgets about all those reasonable issues and instead lets him carry her off to their room (to have sex I guess?) [Matthew says: To be fair, that is a super effective way of forgetting reasonable issues.]
The next night, Abby unveils the new dress, and Travis has mixed-feelings. He thinks she looks so sexy, but…
“Pigeon,” he winced with his next words, “I don’t want you to be mad, but I can’t take you to my frat house looking like that. I’ll get in a fight the first five minutes.”
Travis just wasn’t born with the gene that helps you stop yourself from punching people in the face. Since reading this book I’ve started a charity fund for it, but for some reason no one is taking my project seriously. Rest assured, whenever you buy a mug or an e-book from us, it goes a long way to helping people like Travis to keep fighting the good fight to stop getting into fights.
At the party, Trabby briefly encounters Blando and his date. I wouldn’t even mention it except it leads to this:
Travis wrinkled his nose. “He took one girl home for me once. Now he acts like he’s made a habit of swooping in and saving every freshman I bagged.”
I gave him a wry look from the corner of my eye. “Did I ever tell you how much I loathe that word?”
For once I have to thank Abby for saying what we’ve all been thinking, but where was this thirteen chapters ago, Abby?
Travis hounds Abby about where she sees this going, and she reassures him she sees him in her future. She has some deep thoughts about this:
Travis Maddox wasn’t afraid to fight or to defend someone he cared about or to look into the humiliated and angry eyes of a scorned woman. He could walk into a room and stare down someone twice his size, believing that no one could touch him— that he was invincible to anything that tried to make him fall.
He was afraid of nothing. Until he’d met me.
I absolutely love how this tries to glorify Travis’ shitty treatment of women. What is this shit? “He wasn’t afraid to…look into the humiliated and angry eyes of a scorned woman.” Good for him? Should we give him a medal? A standing ovation? A cookie? He’s so fucking brave, I can’t handle it.
I had become his weakness.
Just as I was to my father.
“Abby! There you are! I’ve been looking all over for you!” America said, bursting through the door. She held up her cell phone. “I just got off the phone with my dad. Mick called them last night.”
That is one of the worst transitions I’ve ever seen in a book.
America’s parents told Mick where Abby is, and now Abby’s like, “OH SHIT. We gotta get out of here if he’s looking for me!”
But I bet you’ve already realized that Mick is already here. HE’S CALLING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE. Or whatever the equivalent is of having you’re insane father show up at your party. Not only has he found the party Abby’s at somehow, but he’s standing outside showing a group of people her picture asking where she is. THIS IS THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER. Did McGuire write this with a straight face? There is no way. Absolutely no way. [Matthew says: So I read this scene and the first thing I thought of was LEGO Star Wars II‘s version of the “Luke, I am your father” scene…]
I sighed, impatient with the small talk. “What do you want?”
He held up his hands and shrugged. “I seemed to have gotten myself in a pickle, kiddo. Old Dad needs some money.” I closed my eyes.
“I was doing good, I really was. I just had to borrow a bit to get ahead and . . . you know.”
“I know,” I snapped. “How much do you need?”
It was like while she was writing the scene where Abby told Travis she saw him in her future she was like, “Oh…I guess I can’t really end the story here, can I? Guess I’ll…raise the stakes. Get it? Because poker.”
Abby says she’s got $11,000 saved up from better on Travis’ fights (I thought he only fought like twice since he’s known Abby? I don’t understand anything in this book). So now they have to go to Vegas to win the rest of the money for Abby’s dad so this mobster guy doesn’t kill him! Thrilling.
“You don’t have to give him a fucking dime, Pigeon,” Travis said, tugging on my arm.
Mick grabbed my wrist. “It’s the least you could do! I wouldn’t be in this mess if it weren’t for you!”
You know something is wrong when Travis is the voice of reason in a scene.
Abby agrees to win the money for Mick because it’s time to go to Vegas. [Matthew says: Because it’s not like the plot is going anywhere else.]