Tempted Chapters 24 & 25

Chapter 24

So I have a half-assed timeline put together finally. I needed some evidence of how screwy this series is when it comes to time. PCK is, if nothing else, terrible about fudging it. Just look at how Zoey and Erik’s relationship goes, for example. It makes me think the real reason they got back together was because PCK couldn’t stand the thought of a man leaving Zoey. So they get back together, PCK manufactures some faux “clinginess” and Zoey gets to breakup with him and maintain all the power always.

Anywho, Zoey is telling Stark she doesn’t need a bed in the infirmary. Because she collapsed last chapter and everyone worries about her. Even the kids who were wounded and didn’t just strain themselves using their magic as a cut rate anesthesia offer to hop out of bed so Zoey can have a lie down. ‘Well I lost a leg to a raven’s razor sharp claws but I’d gladly give up my bed so Zoey can rest.’ Zoey then shows us how strong she is by turning them down but everyone has to comment on how bad it must be.

“I think she looks worse than I feel,” said Drew from his pallet on the floor.

After climbing down off her cross, I’m surprised Zoey can even move, let alone walk. Oh the woes of being slightly tired after using your superpowers. Will Zoey’s tortures never cease? Jim Butcher doesn’t beat Harry as hard as PCK works Zoey over every chapter. By the time she gets to the final battle I fully expect her to be crippled save for the use of one arm that has no fingers.

Zoey tells them she’s fine and tells Stevie to get the undeadlings settled before the sunrises. She tells the injured that they’re all going to be fine and they tell her thanks and she’s doing a great job as high priestess. Because Zoey needs constant assurance or else her ego will collapse she’ll implode.

Zoey then stops and mentions how everyone but her friends and a few teachers were acting weird after Kalona appeared. So she asks the injured if they thought there was anything wrong with Kalona or the rest before Anastasia attacked them. None of them trusted him initially because Kalona and tha ravens are all gross and weird. That’s the takeaway lesson, folsk. If someone is gross or weird or even old then they’re evil. Zoey gatheres her closest slaves then and tells them they’ve got to clean up the ravens because the humans can’t find them.

“I’ll take care of it,” Darius said. “I’ll get the red fledgling males to help me.”

Because women can’t be bothered with manual labor? I don’t know who should be more offended at that, the guys or the gals. Also, PCK, saying “males” sounds incredibly formal. You can have your characters say guys or boys or something and no one will get mad. Never mind that Zoey is enforcing the veil of secrecy which keeps the humans distrustful of the vampires.

It’s not like people deserve to know the truth about what’s going on. Sure, the humans could defend themselves against the ravens as we’ve seen guns work perfectly well against them. That would take effort and might engender a sense of trust between the two groups. If I know anything about PCK’s vampires its that they don’t share anything, anything, with humans. Not even air if they can help it.

While they discuss what to do with the bodies, they’re going to burn them, Stark lurks nearby. I guess being sworn to Zoey means being a personal valet. Stark says she’ll be able to rest soon and he’ll find her something to eat and drink. Zoey finds this all incredibly attractive because nothing gets her going like a slave who has embraced their role and puts the ball gag on without being told. Stark pushes her into the cafeteria so she can grab a bag of blood to recharge.

Okay, I know it’s gross, but the thought made my mouth water.

Why is it gross again? Either Zoey has an interesting and, as yet, unexplored shame of being a vampire or the Cast ladies have been eating lead paint sandwiches. No one, and I mean no one, is surprised that a vampire like the taste of blood. No one out there is going, ‘ew gross, vampire drink blood?’ This hasn’t been a surprise to anyone since Bela Lugosi graced the screen over eighty years ago.

Except that she’s not going to get her blood from a bag. Instead, Stark had found Heath and sent him in to feed Zoey. Zoey says ah hell and the chapter ends.

Chapter 25

So, who’s up for some math? Specifically in regards to blood volumes? Zoey can and will drink an entire blood bag in one sitting without hesitation. We’ve seen her drink more, of course but let’s assume that each time she feeds off of Heath that she drinks at least, but no more, than a single blood bag’s worth of claret from our poor victim. First, they facts.

All of these numbers are quick and dirty google searches, by the way, so you’re welcome to follow along and check my results. A blood bag contains, on average, around 500 milliliters of blood. A healthy male around 180 pound male contains around 5.5 liters of blood. Also, the Red Cross advises that it takes about four to six weeks for your body to replace the blood cells lost in a donation. Lastly, 40% blood loss is considered the upper limit before death.

Thus armed with some facts we can figure out roughly how bad of shape Heath is in so far. Zoey’s fed from him at least two times that I can think of in the last couple of weeks. Once after she was wounded by the raven and again when she was feeling tired. I’m sure there’s more but I can’t think of any. We’ll say twice for the simplicity of math right now though meaning she’s drank a liter of Heath’s blood and he hasn’t had enough time to replace the cells, just the plasma. If this were straight blood loss he’d be well within the range of a class II hemorrhage having lost just over 18% of his blood.

But we can refine it if we make some more assumptions. The average quarterback, adult, is around six foot, two inches tall and between 220lbs and 270lbs. We’ll assume Heath is the average height and the high end of weight for the sake of PCK. Using this calculator, we can plug in the converted height(187.96cm) and weight(122.47kg) giving us around 6.9 Liters. Meaning Zoey’s drank approximately 14.5% if his blood in two feedings.

The point, aside from the one that I’m bored at times, is that Zoey’s drank a lot from Heath. Enough that it’s probably going to start having a number of ill effects on him rather shortly. Does PCK or Zoey give a tin shit though? Fuck no, Heath’s just a walking snack/drama factory for the story.

Anywho, we’re now over with Rephy form his point of view. He’s still very depressed about being underground and being unable to fly anymore. We learn that he isn’t made weak by being in the earth like Kalona he just hates confinement.

Rephy is thinking about Stevie as he’s sleeping on her bed and can smell her. He’s eaten food from a fridge, which are some of the things he loves about the modern age, but he isn’t sure if he likes it entirely. He whines about people not respecting the ancient powers and blah blah blah. Though I do like how he says the Ravens don’t count the vampires as they’re nothing more than attractive playthings. Which makes the ravens far more awesome.

Rpehy heads to the fridge again and someone puts a knife to him. He turns around and meets three of the undeadlings who don’t obey Stevie. He can see the presence of Neferet in their eyes for a moment and wonders if Kalona knows that Neferet has “attained the ability to protect herself?” How very cryptic and stupid, PCK. They want to know why he’s there and don’t believe that he fled there. So one of them grabs him and reads his mind and learns that Stevie healed him.

They want to know whether he’s with them or not. They say they’re going to kill Stevie and Rphy says Kalona wanted her alive to study and possibly use her. They say that Kalona’s not around right now and dead is easier anyhow. Rephy simply says he’s his father’s son and mentally worries to his father that Neferet is more than she seems.

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