House of Night Chapter 8:
Kramisha tells Zoey that she just writes whatever comes into her head, and she shows her some haikus she wrote since becoming a red fledgling. Everything is all about Kalona of course. Come on Kramisha, write about something besides a boy.
Zoey asks if they can copy down Kramisha’s poems and says that Nyx has given her a gift. Join the club. Erik snidely says that Kramisha is a contender for Vampire Poet Laureate and “a major improvement over the last one.” Can’t argue there, Erik.
Zoey gives him a look, and Erik is all smiles like, “LOL I’m just gaslighting you, it’s cool, it’s cool.”
‘Kramisha, I’m going to make you our first Poet Laureate.’
‘Whaaaaat?! Are you kiddin’? You kiddin’, ain’t ya?’
‘I’m not kidding. We’re a new kind of vamp group. We’re a civilized new kind of vamp group, and that means we need a Poet Laureate. You’re it.’
Sure, why not? The one thing this band of misfits, on the run from ancient evil forces, needed all along was a Poet Laureate. Jack reminds Zoey that the council needs to vote on this, and the closest thing they have is their Prefect Council, so Zoey has to actually consult other people for once to make this very boring decision.
After this, Jack takes Erik and Zoey up to the depot, which also has a gym and a locker room. Zoey thinks that this would make a great school, which seems like an odd thing to think but is clearly hinting that somehow this is going to become the next House of Night or something. Why? Who knows! But you heard it here first.
Then, for the second time in recent memory, House of Night manages to actually tastefully handle Zoey’s conflicted feelings about her relationship with Erik:
I started to turn away and Erik’s touch on my arm stopped me. ‘Hey, we’re together again. Aren’t we?’
I met Erik’s eyes and saw his vulnerability through the pretend confidence of his smile. He wouldn’t understand if I said I needed to talk to him about, well, sex before I agreed to get back together with him. That would hurt his ego as well as his heart and then I’d be back where I was before, with me kicking myself for being the cause of us being apart.
So I simply said, ‘Yeah, we’re together again.’
Now that is interesting, realistic, and written with no stupid asides or any other distracting, goofy commentary. Zoey’s making a decision we can easily argue is selfish, we know it’s inevitably going to cause more problems down the road, but you can see the ways it makes sense, the ways it’s not completely selfish, and why Zoey would do it.
They say goodnight, and then Zoey frets a bit about the sexual tension between them. Even though I’m rolling my eyes a little every time Zoey thinks, “Erik is a man now! An adult vampyre,” it also makes sense she would fixate on this and wonder about his expectations about sex. We don’t talk about this much anymore because the book has rapidly moved past it, but what Zoey experienced with Loren was pretty traumatic. He took advantage of her, humiliated her, caused her (and Heath) physical pain when he broke their Imprint, possibly intentionally Imprinted with her himself so he could further his mental control over her, and HIS POETRY WAS FUCKING SHIT.
Erik was a man, I repeated the thought to myself. I already knew from the disaster with Loren Blake that being with a man was different than being with a boy or a fledgling. Erik was a fully Changed vampyre, like Loren had been. The thought sent nervous skitters through my body. ‘Like Loren’ wasn’t a particularly good analogy. But Erik definitely was not Loren! Erik had never used me or lied to me. Erik was Changed, but he was still the Erik I knew and might even love. I really shouldn’t be stressing myself out with worrying about this. The sex thing would work itself out.
I really hope this gets addressed in the form of an Aphrodite/Zoey/Stevie Rae optional conversation. I could also see Damien being really empathetic and calm about it, so actually I think an Aphrodite/Zoey/Damien conversation would be a really cool one.
Or I guess she could have a really deep heart to heart with the twins about it since they’re so thoughtful and mature. END POST TO RAUCOUS LAUGHTER.