Here’s an in universe question for PCK. Hasn’t anyone else noticed that all sorts of things have started happening since Zoey appeared? Think about it, here they are just going around being vampiric, wearing black, reading sad poetry by the light of gas lamps and lamenting the gift of immortality like usual. Then Zoey appears and students start getting turned into ghouls, kids are getting murdered off campus, teachers are being crucified and Zoey’s always the center of it.
Right about the second teacher’s murder, someone would have to be thinking Zoey’s doing something. ‘Hmm, every time something bad happens, Zoey is nearby. This is the same person we’ve put in charge of the DDs.’ ‘That’s just a coincidence, I’m sure.’ ‘Right, so first Zoey “discovers” Nolan’s body then Loren turns up dead after she slept with him, as it happens.’ ‘Exactly. How does that sound suspicious?’ ‘Look, just because your poetry final has been delayed indefinitely doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask questions.’
We rejoin Stark, already in the process of explaining his dark past. Which is the dumbest thing PCK has done…this chapter…so far. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I’m not good with human drama. But even I know that you don’t blow the dark past of a character three seconds into meeting them. Wring a little tension out of rumors and troubled looks. Then midway, make someone else, like Neferet, reveal it to Zoey so she doubts him.
Stark says, yeah, he totally killed his mentor because of his gift. Zoey says that he sounds casual but the pain it caused him is obvious. Not obvious enough to describe, just obvious enough to save PCK some effort. Both Zoey’s cat and Stark’s dog come over to comfort him because he’s so sad. Then Stark tells us all about how it happened and it’s done with about as much ceremony as Sheky got described.
Stark was competing in an archery contest with his mentor in the vampire Olympics and hea really wanted to win. This made him focuis on beating his mentor and not the target so when he shot, he hit the guy right in the heart and killed him. Even though the guy was nowhere near the target. So Stark tested it out and tried focusing on some train far away and when he shot, the arrow vanished. He found it the next day, stuck in the train.
Wait, so Stark has magic, teleporting arrows? And all he needs to do is think about his target while he’s firing? That’s not scary at all. Stupid humans, fearing vampire for no reason at all. Just because they could assassinate anyone at any time doesn’t mean they would. Also, isn’t that kind of cheating in an archery contest? Then it’s no longer a test of skill so much as who’ll take second place to the guy with magic.
Zoey says that’s no big deal, he just didn’t know his own powers and now he does. Then Stark starts whining how he can’t control them. He tried practicing on a tree and focused on hitting the “center” of the tree. This was a problem because the “center” of could also refer to the “heart” of a tree. This made Stark shoot an owl right in the heart. So basically, Nyx’s magic works whichever way generates the most drama. Stark looks into Zoey’s eyes and she says she’s never seen a gaze more filled with regret. Regret for killing an owl? I would have thought killing his mentor would have bothered him more but he must have really wanted to win.
Zoey suggests that maybe Stark stop shooting the bow until he’s sure he won’t kill random people. He says he would but he doesn’t feel complete when he’s not shooting his bow. Plus he feels like a coward for trying to avoid the pain. Zoey says that’s human to avoid pain, Stark says he’s a fledgling and Zoey says the best part of people is human whether they’re vampire or not.
With Stark’s backstory out of the way, conversation goes back to Zoey. She says she wasn’t always so optimistic and Stark asks her why. She says that it’s more stuff that she can get into and Stark offers to listen. Not that he has a choice in the matter. When Zoey wants to talk your ear off, she puts a gun to your head and makes you listen. She asks if he’d rather not be an outsider while complaining to the audience how easily he’s getting under his skin. There’s no mystery to it, Zoey. As long as you equate attractiveness with trustworthy, it won’t take more than a smile from any vampire to convince you they’re a friend. Stark says it’s easier that way and that’s why he’s not bothered by his move.
Zoey says she’s been meaning to ask Stark about that and Stark says he can ask him anything. It’s good to see that he’s already fallen under the spell of Zoey. Is that part of free will too, Nyx? What about imprinting? Anywho, he says that it might have had something to do with killing his mentor but all he really knows is that the high priestess put in for his transfer. He says they do that sometimes when scouting talent or sending them places better equipped for them.
Stark’s school was trying to get that “big time actor guy” Erik to come there but Neferet wouldn’t let him go. Yes, nothing says big time like high school performances of Shakespeare. I hear that’s how Nicolas Cage got his big break. Stark says that Tulsa wanted him and his old school didn’t fight to keep him so off he went though he’s starting to be glad he did.
“Yeah.” I smiled, totally off balanced by how connected I was feeling to him. “I’m starting to be really glad Tulsa wanted you, too.” And then my mind caught up with everything he’d said, and a terrible premonition washed over me. I had to clear my throat before I asked the next question. “Do all the vamps know how Will died?”
Hey, Zoey? Do you know what being on the rebound is? No, you’re right. It’s probably true love coming through and not teenage hormones. Sorry, Zoey. And how the hell wouldn’t the vampires know how Stark’s mentor died? Someone getting shot in the heart tends to make the rounds by word of mouth. It’s not like he had a stroke and died in his sleep.
Stark says yes and suddenly asks if he caught a weird vibe between her and Neferet. Stark must have read copies of the last three books on his trip.He asks if there’s anything he should know, Zoey says she’s powerful and Stark says all high priestesses are powerful. Zoey then just says to be careful and he says he will. They say their goodbyes and Stark asks if she’ll tell everyone about him. Don’t worry, Stark. Zoey’s good at keeping secrets but only if you’re sleeping with her.
Just to keep things stupid, the moment Zoey turns around she hears Stark cough. Of course in Zoey’[s world, no one can ever inhale some spittle accidentally or be in need of a lozenge. She turns around and finds Stark doubled over, vomiting blood. Zoey runs over to him and Stark whines about how he just found her and this can’t happen now while Zoey whines to Nyx to save him. Zoey calls for help by abusing her powers.
“Sssh,” I said. “I’ll call for help.” I closed my eyes and did the first thing that popped into my mind. I called Damien. Thinking hard about air and wind and sweet, beautiful summer breezes, I suddenly felt a warm, questioning wind against my face. Get Damien here and have him bring help! I commanded the wind. It whirled around me, tornado-like, once, and then was gone.
Screw cell phones, I’ll make the elements themselves carry my messages for me. He keeps whining about being too late and blah blah blah. I keep waiting for him to say ‘it’s getting dark’ and ‘so cold!’ He says he wishes he would have kissed more than her hand so Zoey kisses him because that’s not gross or creepy. He makes her promise to not forget him and to look after his dog which is the only parts she protests.
‘Ew! A dog!? How can I look after something that actually shows me affection?’ Zoey then realizes it’s rude to argue with someone who’s dying in your arms so she gives in. Then he asks her to kiss him again. Instead, Zoey leans down and says that this might not be the end for him, that he might get to come back to life. She quickly tells him about the miraculous resurrections that have been going on and he says he’ll come back for his dog. Then he expires just as Zooey’s servants and a teacher show up.
When’s Heath going to show up. Now that Loren has bitten the dust we need him to make up Zoey’s requisite three member harem. Seriously book, maybe you need to watch some Japanese harem comedies. They do the whole “everyone is in love with the protagonist” thing way better without making us hate said protagonist.
didn’t Heath die? or is his imprint just severed?
now that Loren isn’t there she needs her “forbidden love”.
Darius! you’re up!
His imprint was just severed and she hasn’t thought about him since until now. Though I like to pretend he was killed in a car accident when it happened.
As far as Darius goes, I bet he’s not quite special enough for Zoey. He might be fine for one of her servants but her forbidden love will probably be Ate or something.
Don’t give them any ideas. I can’t imagine what horrible cliches PCK would import into the series if they were exposed to anime of any kind.