Tempted Chapters 16 & 17

Chapter 16

Stevie is having trouble getting to sleep. She says, pardon the cliché, that she usually sleeps like the dead. But thoughts about Rephy are keeping her awake and she has no idea what she’s going to do. She thinks about telling Zoey but figures Zoey would freak out like a “long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.”

Two things, PCK. One, the saying is more nervous than a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. I’d expect an idiot cloistered in their own insular world to get it wrong. So, no surprise there, PCK. Two, I thought that the undeadlings had no choice but to sleep during the day? Now they can stay up and worry about things?

Did you know Stevie is conflicted still? And while Stevie is circling the same thoughts she’s been over before, at least she has emotions. Zoey claims to have emotions and we’re told they impact her. However, we never see that happen. Stevie, in the meantime, is having a reaction. She’s being kept up late by her worries which is something we can identify with.

Steive figures that, if Rephy had been trying to attack her, she would have gladly killed him. She doesn’t really want to protect him but she doesn’t want him to be killed mercilessly. So she’s going to find a safe place where he can heal and keep out of Zoey’s grasp. They might even gain an ally but if they don’t, Stevie’s not worried about it.

Why is Zoey in charge again? Stevie decides that she’ll tell Zoey to ensure vampires aren’t bothering Rephy while he heals up. She know Zoey won’t like it but that maybe Zoey will understand what it means to make decisions people don’t like. No she doesn’t Stevie. Everything Zoey does is sanctioned by the heavy handed typist in the sky. Zoey never doubts what she’s done is right. You, Stevie, are alone in this book.

Night is coming and Stevie guesses she’s got an hour to go before she can go above ground. She isn’t looking forward to telling Zoey about her “secrets”. Implying that there’s more she has hidden just as Zoey believes. Stevie is also less enthused about everything as she can tell Aphro had another vision and it was bad.

Screwing up her courage, Stevie finds a secluded place to open up a path to the surface and pokes her head out. She sees her shadow and that must mean six more weeks of winter. She wanders into the shed and smells darkness, because evil must stink like evil, and compares it to another smell she knows. She thinks it smells almost, but not quite, like the undeadlings she’s hiding from Zoey.

This makes Stevie panic and then Rphy says that, again, she comes alone. What a cliffhanger, PCK. I totally can’t wait until the next Stevie Chapter where we find out that she’s perfectly safe. The suspense will have to kill me in the mean time.

Chapter 17

We’re still with Stevie and we’re still supposed to be scared for her. I’m sorry, PCK. Stevie has control over earth which is their weak spot. Stevie might as well have a machine gun and body armor and Rephy is the unarmed civilian.  Better yet, Stevie is an aircraft carrier and Rephy has a single grenade.

Stevie says that he’s looking better and asks who he expected, “John Wayne and the Calvary”. Rephy doesn’t get the cultural reference. Stevie explains it means the good guys and he asks if she isn’t one of them.

He surprised her with his ability to have an actual conversation with her, and she thought if she could close her eyes or look away from him, she might almost fool herself into thinking he was just a normal guy. Of course she knew better. She could never close her eyes around him or look away, and he definitely wasn’t a normal anything.

Stevie is slowly learning that the monsters they hate so much are almost human. Why does she get the fucking arc, PCK? Is this you telling us that you’re actually a capable writer once in a while? Then why the hell do you bury it beneath all the bullshit? Why are we forced to slog through five books and endless whining from Zoey? I’m starting to suspect this was written as an avatar fantasy for the daughter and the elder Cast finally snapped and decided to put some real work into the series.

Stevie wants to know if he’s capable of moving and if Rephy can go underground. Rephy prefers the sky but says he’s capable of going underground. Stevie says that they’re taking him to where it’d be safe. Stevie double checks his bandages, tightens his wing and begins escorting him out. She makes him promise to not try anything once more. She also gets him a stick to use as a cane.

Stevie then wraps a blanket around him and hopes no one will wonder what’s up. He asks where they’re going and, when he learns, how she’ll keep him safe. Stevie says with the truth, that there are bad undeadlings who “haven’t made the choice for good over evil.” Because now it’s a choice and not a lack of humanity that makes them evil. Does that mean Stevie wanted to be evil and nosh on vagrants?

They get there, eventually, and Stevie points him to the room where they used to stay. Stevie says there’s food and water and asks if Rephy will be okay around the undeadlings. He figures they’re of darkness so he’ll be fine. He asks if she’s okay betraying her friends, Stevie says she’s not betraying and he asks if she might not be making a decision for evil. Stevie says that it’s on him then and that it’s his life and his choices.

As soon as she collapses the tunnel, Dallas shows up. He knows what’s going on and they recap what I just did. They flirt as well and Stevie thinks he’s wonderful and tries to forget about Rephy. Stevie asks herself how much trouble could a single raven possibly cause? Just enough for PCK to make another book.

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