We’re back with the idiots and they’re all talking about how it’s a brilliant plan. Lenobia suggests that they take fewer horses because that will be less noticeable. She says they should ride double. I don’t know how that will be any less noticeable than everyone just riding out. I guess slower moving horses are harder to detect.
Can I ask the really obvious question, PCK? No, I know you don’t want me to but I have to anyway. Why are they bothering to ride anyway? From what the characters have said, the abbey is a half mile down the road. A half mile! All they’d have to do is walk briskly, around five miles an hour, and they’d get there in fifteen minutes. Even with all the ice they could just magic their shoes to melt and grip. That seems a lot easier than trying to slip away while riding a bunch of horses. Zoey asks how they’ll tell the other two teachers who aren’t around right now.
Lenobia’s brows went up again. “I don’t know if you’ve heard of this, but there is something many of us use, called a cellular telephone. Believe it or not, Dragon and Anastasia each have one.”
Uh, ha? That’s one of those things that makes everything going on right now, incredibly stupid. Why weren’t they using their phones to begin with? They didn’t need to meet suspiciously in one location where they could get caught. With modern technology they could have had this entire conversation from the comfort of their rooms and aroused zero suspicion.
They all get ready to go, with Zoey insulting Aphro’s current choice in footwear. They bicker for a few seconds then Zoey tells her to get some riding boots out of the closet. I guess they just keep a stock of riding boots in all sizes to fit everyone on hand. Then Damien expresses his fear of riding on the horse with Zoey and what if he falls off because horses are so big. Zoey asks if he’s worried about horse riding when there’s so much else to worry about and he says yes.
That’s all very interesting to your cats, I’m sure, PCK. How about you get back to the plot? We’re approaching the end of the story after all. They share a laugh and Damien threatens to have Jack never wrap her presents ever again. Whoa, easy there, cowboy. You might want to dial that threat back to an offense that Zoey won’t kill you for. Something like forgetting to put ice in her soda or dropping her bag of chips.
Lenobia wanders in and says that they’re almost ready to go but that Dragon is being held up. It seems he’s busy dealing with an “unusual vampire change” right now. She tells Zoey that Dragon told her to tell Zoey that Stark is doing fine. Then everyone wants to know all about it and so she tells them Stark is an adult now. Everyone bad mouths him for a bit and Zoey says he’s not like that. Aphro tells them that Zoey’s being soft on him because she loves him. Zoey doesn’t like Aphro spoiling her secret and all Zoey’s slaves protest.
This only affirms that Stark and her are meant to be. Zoey tries to explain that it’s like in the poem where she was supposed to save his humanity and she thinks she did. Darius says they caught him “abusing” a fledgling and how can she condone that. Zoey says she doesn’t condone it but says that it’s like when Stevie was lacking humanity. So now she’s willing to make allowances for him being a monster.
None of that is good enough for anyone so Zoey says that he gave her his “warrior’s oath”. A pity that’s not a euphemism or this would be much more amusing. Darius is shocked and says that, because she accepted it, he’s bound to her until she releases him from him. So like every man in her life aside from her dad?
They blab a bit about how maybe Stark isn’t a dick anymore because he’s an adult. Lenobia says that a vampire has to stay secluded in Nyx’s temple after they turn. Why? PCK would rather not come up with those details right now because that’s harder than telling us how hot boy X is. They saddle the horses up then Zoey says she’ll have to do the next part.
This involves Darius carrying Zoey over the wall so she can tell a tree to push harder on the wall. Why does she need Darius to do this? Surely she can just tell the very air itself to lift her up and deposit her safely? Or why not just tell the tree from the side she’s on right now? She also tells Butthead to get ready with fire when she gives the signal.
So then the stupidest thing that’s happened in awhile occurs. Darius hops over the wall, puts Zoey down by the tree and tells her to wait until he comes back. She watches him flash step away from the tree, grab a raven and slit its throat. Proving that the ravens are vulnerable just like anyone else. Would it be so hard for someone to shoot them with a rifle?
Once there’s a dead raven laying on the ground, Zoey feels she can move on. She tells the tree sorry but it has to fall over. Sure she could use earth to knock down the wall without killing a tree but it’s been a couple of days since she’s killed something. Zoey’s blood lust knows no limits. She knocks it down, breaks the wall and Darius tells her she did good.
I put my head down on his friendly shoulder, and only knew I was crying because I could see the wet streaks on his jacket. “Let’s get out of here.”
Why is Zoey crying? Is she finally feeling remorse for the deaths she’s caused? Maybe Zoey’s realized that she just killed a tree with the same ease she’s killed people and fledglings? Of course not. PCK doesn’t tell us, she just kind of cries and the chapter ends. Maybe PCK is trying to tell us that Zoey is emotionally unstable and prone to sudden outbursts. The kind that will end with her vaporizing her friends and then herself when someone forgets to praise her for opening a bag of chips.