We rejoin Zoey as Darius is about to remove the arrow. Mind you, this is all part of a flashback that Zoey’s having which started in the last chapter. Something PCK should have finished the flashback before the end of chapter two. Mostly because flashbacks that span multiple chapters can be confusing. Unless PCK is going for a narrative that’s confusing and stupid. If that’s the case she’s right on track.
Zoey asks Darius if there’s any other way. In fact there is, Zoey. Cut Stevie’s head off and stuff her into some trash bags. Or you could just stop being such a wuss and give him a hand. Zoey suggests a more “hospital-like way” and Darius says they can’t.
Or he would if he weren’t a giant wuss. PCK won’t let anyone on Zoey’s side show her the slightest disrespect. Darius tells her that they have limited supplies and heading aboveground to a hospital would probably be a bad idea. It’s okay, PCK. Darius can call her a dumbass for being stupid and it won’t change our opinion of her. In fact, it might make their interactions more believable.
Then it gets even stupider. Stevie then has to explain that, even if the apocalypse weren’t going on outside, it would probably be bad for her to be out when the sun comes up. Something about her propensity to flash fry at the merest hint of sunlight and all. Then PCK spends a half page telling us how the arrow removal will go. Darius says it will hurt and Aphro says she’s there to help and will scream along with her if Stevie needs.
There are two things wrong with this scene. Normally, this tired old cliché can work well when done right. PCK has done two very important things wrong which make it a waste of time rather than a gripping slice of drama. For one, we already know that Stevie is going to be okay. We saw her earlier, after the arrow had been taken out. Secondly, it’s taking way too long. There shouldn’t be this much discussion between Stevie and everyone else if she’s really that bad off.
Now that they’re done discussing the method, Darius stops and warns Stevie that he must bare her breasts. He says not to worry about it though as him and his brothers have all trained as field medics. Stevie says that, as long as he’s acting in the role of a physician of sorts, she won’t worry about it. Ok, PCK, I get what you’re going for here. You’re trying to show that Darius is incredibly considerate. But if this arrow is really such a life threatening thing, propriety would be the first thing to go out the window.
Aphro makes a comment about hoping Darius hasn’t been too well trained. It’s supposed to be funny because she wants to titillate Darius. Which is actually creepy, when I think about it. Aphro is the same age as Zoey and she desperately wants to bone Darius a who-knows-how-old vampire. Then they, finally, get ready to remove the arrow.
It was about then that I really started to worry. Back at the House of Night the undead-dead Stark followed Neferet’s pain-in-the-butt orders and shot Stevie Rae, blood had spilled out of her body at an alarming rate, so much so that it had made the ground around her look like it was bleeding, which fulfilled the stupid prophecy to free the stupid fallen angel, Kalona, from his gazillion-year imprisonment in the earth. Stevie Rae looked like all of the blood in her body had been left on the ground and even though she’d done pretty well up until then, and been walking and talking and mostly conscious, she was quickly fading into a ghostly white nothing before our eyes.
‘No, really. Though we’ve been dicking around for so long this scene is totally tense.’ And I love how Zoey narrates this like a teen in a TV movie on the Hallmark channel if they’d taken a brick to the face. I mean, “pain-in-the-butt orders”? Who were Neferet’s orders a pain in the ass for? Stark didn’t seem to mind too much and he was the only one ordered around. As far as the prophecy goes, blame your author for its stupidity or at least Nyx.
They clip the arrow and push the shaft through the rest of the way and it’s very sad and dramatic and clearly PCK has seen a few westerns where a cowboy must minister his friend who’s taken an arrow to the thigh. The thing I don’t understand is why they had to do this. I’d wager Stark was using the arrows they had lying around which should be practice tips and most of those are round headed and would come right back out. And if he was shooting her with a broad head, why didn’t he aim to kill?
We skip forward to Stevie being passed out. Zoey acts incredibly concerned about her. Everyone does their best to assure Zoey she won’t need to go looking for another personal shopper. Darius says that they’re lucky Stark missed his mark and Zoey starts thinking about his power. Clearly he didn’t mean to kill her because it’s impossible for him to miss. This means that Stark must be partially in there somewhere and Zoey starts gushing about their “weird” chemistry.
Darius snaps Zoey back to reality and says that Stevie needs blood now. Zoey offers her own but human blood would be better for her. Zoey says they’ll get some from the fridge but Darius says fresh would be better. They all look at Aphro who’s none too thrilled that they’re forcing her to become a blood donor. Stevie’s eyes come open as she bites Aphro on the wrist and glows red. Zoey says that Aphro moans and leans into Darius who starts making out with her while Stevie’s drinking from her. Zoey says that she can’t deny the “undeniably sexy beauty” of what’s happening between them.
Look, PCK. Stop narrating this like it’s still aimed at kids. Once you’ve decided to add sex to the mix you can start using the grown up words. Then the other slaves come in and make very weak jokes that earn every character a stake through the neck. I say neck because otherwise there’s a chance they could talk and letting these characters talk is like dumping poison into an aquifer.
They mix Stevie a glass of blood/wine and Zoey pries Stevie off of Aphro. They both snarl about it because why not. Then Darius licks Aphro’s wrist and figures out she’s human. For being the observant muscle head who attends all of Zoey’s whims, he didn’t notice that Aphro’s back to normal until just now. He says no matter, it won’t affect them. The vampire who hold no qualms about screwing a teenage girl is the kind of vampire that needs to be murdered.
There’s much talking and someone fetches Stevie a shirt and then talk some more. Then someone makes a crack about not having enough cheap wine to go around. This summons Venus who will replace Aphro as the queen bitch opposite of Zoey. She sniffs the air and says “very interesting” which makes Zoey panic that she’ll reveal Aphro’s human. But then she says that Stevie and Aphro have imprinted and PCK ends the chapter there.