Let’s just try not to worry about that other thing happening today, for like five minutes. How’s that sound?
House of Night (Hunted): Chapter 3
They actually take the arrow out of Stevie Rae in this chapter, for real, in case you were worried they’d just keep talking about it for another chapter. But first Zoey has a dumb question for the group.
“Seriously, Darius. Can’t we do this another way? Some other more hospital-like way. In a hospital.”
Darius has to remind Zoey that they kind of can’t do that because the world’s sort of ending right now, what with the return of an ancient evil murder god and his army of raven-people. I get that it’s important to remind the reader what’s going on at the start of the sequel, but usually it’s more subtle than the main character forgetting the events of the last few hours.
Darius and Stevie Rae convince Zoey that the arrow has to be removed right here, right now, in their underground hideout. Nobody has to convince Stevie Rae, who is the one actually dying of getting shot with an arrow, for some reason. Just in case you forgot how fucking important Zoey is. She’s the importantest.
Speaking of very House of Night-esque things that are all coming back to me, everyone is a teenager and making a real big deal about boobs.
Before Darius ripped off what remained of Stevie Rae’s shirt he said, “Priestess, I must bare your breasts.” (Note: I have zero fucking idea why Darius is calling Stevie Rae “priestess” all of a sudden.)
“Well, I’ve been thinkin’ about that while you’ve been workin’ on my back. You’re kinda like a doctor, aren’t you?”
“All of the Sons of Erebus are trained in the medicine field […] So, yes, you may think of me as a physiican.”
“Then I’m fine with you seeing my boobies. Doctors are trained not to care about that kind of stuff.”
“Let’s hope his training hasn’t been that thorough,” Aphrodite muttered.
Darius gave her a quick wink.
Don’t get me wrong, Aphrodite’s quip is actually a little funny. And presumably the rest of it is also supposed to be funny. But isn’t the tone right now supposed to be… you know… a bit more “Stevie Rae is literally dying”?
I’d pressed the gauze against the inch or so of the arrow that still stuck out of the front of Stevie Rae’s chest squarely between her boobies
BUT ISN’T THE TONE SUPPOSED TO BE THAT SHE’S DYING?
They successfully remove the arrow (and the Casts manage to not use the word “boobies” again during that description, which is a weird point of clarification to have to make), but Zoey realizes their troubles aren’t over yet because Stevie Rae lost a ton of blood.
“She’s not bleeding,” Aphrodite said in a low voice.
“She has nothing left to bleed,” Darius said as he taped the gauze to her chest.
“The arrow missed her heart,” I said. “Its purpose wasn’t to kill her. It was to bleed her.”
Darius points out that “it’s lucky” that the undead Stark “missed his mark” when Neferet ordered him to shoot Stevie Rae with an arrow. Zoey takes note of how this doesn’t make sense, because she knows that Stark had a Goddess-given gift to “always hit whatever it was he aimed at”. (Although “what he aims at” can take on metaphysical meanings so it makes astoundingly little sense in this story, but this is just what we’re gonna have to roll with.) Zoey wonders if this means that Stark might have held onto some of his humanity after all. This would be great news for Zoey, because she had all of one conversation with him and they totally made out, but then he died.
They realize that Stevie Rae – who has changed into a brand new type of Vampyre, so they’re still figuring this out – needs to have blood, immediately. The Twins are running off to get refrigerated blood, but Darius isn’t convinced that anything other than fresh, human blood will be effective.
He hadn’t so much as glanced as Aphrodite, but she definitely got the message. “Oh, for crap’s sake! I’m supposed to let her bite me? Again! […] Well, shit! This being one of the good guys really, really sucks. Literally.”
They decide the best way to save Stevie Rae is for her to suck some of Aphrodite’s blood. You might recall that (both in House of Night and in the vampire tradition in literature at large) bloodsucking becomes a sensual thing. So things get interesting.
It’s still kinda disconcerting to think about what happened next.
Not just because Zoey can’t narrate in a consistent grammatical tense.
When Stevie Rae grabbed Aphrodite’s arm I saw her entire expression change. She instantly went from my sweet BFF to a feral stranger. Her eyes glowed a nasty dark red, and with a scary hiss she bit the crap out of Aphrodite’s wrist.
Then Aphrodite’s yikes turned into a disturbingly sensual moan [and Darius] wrapped an arm around her and bent to kiss her as Stevie Rae continued sucking on her wrist.
The kiss between the warrior and Aphrodite had so much sizzle to it I swear I could almost see sparks flying.
Oh boy! Good thing House of Night is so progressive and chill about the ways people explore their sexuality that nobody is going to say something absurdly stilted or reductive about this. Lol jk we all know House of Night is terrible. All the other characters return at this exact moment and the gay stereotype characters gawk at it.
“Ohmigod, girl-on-girl action while the guy gets the benefits,” Jack said.
“Interesting… to think some guys would really find that a turn-on” Damien [said]
WHAT DOES ANY OF THIS MEAN? I mean, granted, these characters are all pretty young, and they did walk in on a moment that they shouldn’t have observed. So while it makes sense that they’re all acting really weird about it… why are they being this weird about it? Think about being uncomfortable. You, reading this blog post right now. Think about the last time you were in an uncomfortable situation. Was your gut reaction to kind of awkwardly, quietly wait for it to be over, or was it to describe the events happening and then weigh in on whether it was your cup of tea or not?
Zoey tries to get Stevie Rae to switch over to the refrigerated blood the twins just showed up with, but to her surprise both Stevie Rae and Aphrodite snarl at her.
I’d felt a prickle of unease skitter down my spine at the shocked expression on Aphrodite’s face, which turned out to be an accurate premonition of weirdness to come.
Spoiler for two pages from now, I guess.
We all looked up as a red fledgling entered the room, followed by several others […]
“This is Venus,” [Aphrodite said.] “My ex-roommate who died about six months or so ago.” […]
Venus paused and sniffed the air. […] “Well… well… well… how interesting.”
“Venus, do not-” Stevie Rae began, but Aphrodite cut her off.
“No. It doesn’t matter. Everyone might as well know.”
With a mean smile the blonde continued. “I was just going to say how interesting it is that Stevie Rae and Aphrodite have Imprinted.”
Fuck, the next chapter is just gonna be lesbian joke after lesbian joke, isn’t it?