Zoey tells Aphrodite she’s cutting her off, even though the last thing Aphrodite said was, “Yeah, they bite” about the red fledglings which doesn’t seem like a sign of someone being very drunk but a pretty basic and accurate comment.
We get a few reminders from Zoey that Stevie Rae is an adult vampyre now (I had completely forgotten that was a thing. Did anyone else remember?) and also that the red fledglings might be hiding something. She’s too tired to worry about the red fledglings being dangerous, so I guess she’ll just keep casually reminding us of this but not doing anything until the most dramatic time.
Aphrodite, despite Zoey’s admonishment to stop drinking, starts her second bottle of wine and bickers with Kramisha about using correct grammar. Yet again, Zoey/Stevie Rae need to calm everyone down and focus on the logistics. They figure out where they’re vulnerable in the tunnels and decide who is going to stand guard. I mean, I don’t know about you, but reading about logistics in House of Night is just such a treat.
‘Jack and I will take the first shift guarding the sealed-off entrance to the downtown tunnels,’ Damien said. ‘That is, if it’s okay with you guys.’
‘Yeah, we could even plan some menus and write down some things we need for the kitchen,’ Jack said.
Wow, these kids are so plucky and resourceful!
Anyway, since we can’t go two pages without hearing about Zoey’s love life, Johnny B makes a slightly flirty comment to Zoey, and this happens:
I stifled an eye roll. Even without the red fledgling issue, the last thing I needed was another football player-like guy in my life. My eyes slid over to Erik and I had to force myself not to jump guiltily. Yes, he’d been watching me. Great. He’d mostly ignored me since we’d gotten to the tunnels and chose the instant when some other guy was acting flirty to stare at me.
Why would she jump guiltily here? Stifling an eye roll does not sound like a flirty response at all, and Erik and her aren’t together!
More important logistics talk, which is a vehicle for equally important character development:
‘Where do we sleep?’
‘Good question.’ I turned to Stevie Rae. ‘Where do we sleep?’
Johnny B spoke up before Stevie Rae could answer. “For the record, I’m willing to share my bed. My heart is more giving than Kramisha’s.’
‘It ain’t your heart you wanna share,” Kramisha said.
‘Don’t go hatin’ on me, baby!’ Johnny B said, trying (unsuccessfully) to sound black.
Kramisha rolled her eyes at him. ‘You so crazy.’
Can someone explain what I’m supposed to be feeling about these characters right now? Actually, it’s Zoey’s narrative, so the “trying (unsuccessfully) to sound black” thing is more of her typical tendency to make ignorant comments like that.
‘Any of us who wanted his or her own room has one,’ Venus answered me. ‘They’re really not hard to fix up. In this part of the tunnels there’re lots of little dead ends. We’ve been turning them into real rooms. I definitely have my own room.’ She smiled at Erik. I had to remind myself it probably wasn’t ethical to evoke fire and have it burn all the hair off her bobble-head.
At this point I hope Venus and Erik just start hooking up everywhere so Zoey’s head explodes.
‘This is probably where most of the bootleg liquor was stored during Prohibition,” Damien said. “It’s logical because this is right here at the train tracks, and it would have been easy to sneak stuff in and out at night.’
‘That’s so cool and romantic!” Jack sighed. “I mean, the whole 1920s flapper thing and juke joints and gangsters.’
Damien smiled indulgently at Jack. “Actually, Prohibition lasted in Tulsa until 1957.’
‘Well, never mind. That’s not so romantic. That’s more like gay Bible Belt stuff.’ He giggled. ‘Gay! Hee hee.’
Is there ANY teen, especially one who is actually gay himself, who would say the word ‘gay’ and then follow it up with ‘Hee hee’. WHO IS JACK FOR AS A CHARACTER???? Aphrodite at least reacts by just saying, “Barf,” which is yet another basic and accurate observation from her.
‘Oh, and I have one more question,’ Jack said, frowning at Aphrodite.
No, don’t do it, Jack, please. Whatever it is, don’t!
As he started to put his hand up, I said, ‘Yes, Jack. What is it?’
‘Where do we potty?’
‘Potty? Did he really just say potty?’ Aphrodite giggled until she snorted. We ignored her.
So the Casts are aware he sounds ridiculous because they’re using Aphrodite as a mouth-piece here. So again I am seriously questioning why he has been written this way? Do the Casts think they are realistically representing a specific group of child-like teens who will be so happy to have someone in this series they can identify with finally? Like they have been searching all their lives to find a character like Jack.
It turns out there’s a fully functioning bathroom complete with hot showers in the depot upstairs. So lucky and convenient, wouldn’t want our beloved characters roughing it. Especially not fan-favorite Jack!
Dallas explains how he fixed the plumbing and the electricity, and Zoey again notices there might be something going on between him and Stevie Rae. I’m on the edge of my seat.
Everyone starts to disperse, and Zoey agrees to crash with Stevie Rae. Then Stevie Rae makes the mistake of offering Aphrodite a place to stay too, and the gay panic flows. Totally unclear since it was obviously just a polite offer.
‘An Imprint is nothing to be ashamed of, my beauty,’ Darius said, putting his arm around Aphrodite gently.
‘It is weird, though,’ Stevie Rae said. Darius smiled kindly at her. ‘There are many types of Imprints.’
‘Well, ours is not the drink-your-blood-and-have-sex-with-you type,’ Aphrodite said. ‘Of course it is not,’ Darius kissed her on her forehead.
‘Which means you can sleep in here without being freaked out,’ Stevie Rae said.
Wow, I love Darius and Stevie Rae in this scene. I actually could understand Aphrodite freaking out about an Imprint causing her to be sexually attracted to someone because of what is basically magic that the book sort of claims is science. Losing control over your body in this way does sound scary, and I really like how Darius frames it for Aphrodite and Stevie Rae.
Darius, who obviously adores Aphrodite, heads off with her to take first guard. Aphrodite belches away as they walk off together to find her a sleeping bag first. They’re my OTP.
For some reason Erik is still lingering in the room, and the chapter ends with this:
‘Better him than me,’ I heard Erik mutter as he watched the blanket swing back into place. I made no attempt to hide my smile. I was glad Erik wasn’t still interested in Aphrodite. Erik met my eyes. And slowly he smiled, too.
Um, yes better him than you, you jackass. You don’t deserve Aphrodite! Or even your own hand! YOU ARE TERRIBLE, ERIK, GO AWAY!
I’m curious, who is your least favorite character? Usually for me, I feel obligated to say Zoey, but right now it’s Jack.