Tempted Chapters 28 & 29

Chapter 28

For everyone in the US, happy Thanksgiving! For everyone else, you should have some pie. There’s never a bad time for pie.

I hate how lazy the internet gets on the big holidays. I know it’s not easy to get content prepped ahead of time. And I know that we’re all supposed to be focused on family and blah blah blah but we all need a break in the chatter. Or is it just me? A minor gripe in the scheme of things but one that never stops bugging me.

Back at brain trust central, Zoey says she doesn’t like the idea of having to go to Kalona. That doesn’t change the fact that there’s a prophecy and that means that it’s going to happen. So they start talking about how the two signs from Kamisha and Aphro can be considered a forewarning, if they can figure them out.

Look, PCK, fuck off with the prophecies already. You can try to justify them in retrospect but basically all you’ve done is found a way to tell your characters what to do. This has the twin effect of advancing the plot in the laziest manner and ensuring we never see the characters figure anything out on their own. It’s why they’re never worried about what’ll come next, they’ just sit around and wait for the author to whisper in their ear.

Zoey whines again about being tied to Kalona and being “meant” for him. Because that still doesn’t really make sense, PCK. If Zoey’s “soul”—we’ll pretend she has one for now—was once Aya but got reincarnated then what about all the other reincarnations she’s been? Did they feel empty and unable to find solace in their life? Or did that soul just not get used for a few thousand years because no one wanted it?

Speaking of Aya, it actually would have been incredibly awesome if Neferet was actually the reincarnation of Aya. It would explain why she sought him out in the first place and it would have an almost poetic undertone. Something along the lines of creating demons through good intentions or so. Plus that would explain why Nyx is working so hard to brainwash Zoey, because her other creation got out of hand and went to the darkside. All of Zoey’s slaves assure her they’ll stand by her.

“All for one and one for Zoey!” Stevie Rae said.

That’s a very telling line, Stevie. Everyone for Zoey, that’s why they exist and that’s why they die. Zoey says that it’s only later that she realized that Stevie said nothing about joining her. Which only serves to make Stevie even more awesome. They start talking about where Kalona could be and Zoey recounts her dream. She says he’s on an island and there are orange trees everywhere. A detail I don’t remember but I also don’t care to go back and check. Aphro guesses Florida or California but Zoey discounts that right off.

“He’s not in America.” My response was automatic. “I don’t know how I know that, but I do.”

‘I don’t know how I know that because then we might have to do research. This way we can just guess out loud for a few minutes until we receive divine inspiration.’ They do exactly that until Jack says he knows where Kalona is. Apparently the internet is back up and “vamp twitter” is buzzing about the death old Sheky. Also, Neferet thinks she should be the next “high priestess”. Wait, I thought she was? Or do you mean vampire pope like Sheky was, PCK? This is what happens when you don’t actually think the story through and give differing names to differing ranks.

They start mentioning Venice as that’s where the vampire council is. Because even those these vampires are “different”, they’re still based out of Europe as the author’s think that’s classy. And of course they would live in a tourist trap and not some boring place with modern architecture. I can’t wait to see them dressed in extremely fashionable garb so I can mark off my vampire bingo card. Oh and they figured out exactly which island Kalona must be on.

“San Clemente Island,” Lenobia said.

The one by Italy and not the San Clemente Island located off of California. It just so happens to be mentioned in their handbook. Damien drags it out and opens it right to the page where a picture confirms that’s what Zoey saw in her dream. Why is this listed in their handbook, PCK? Oh, you don’t want to give us details as that would be world building. Makes sense to me. Zoey whines about not being able to be left alone and this frustration is getting to Stark as well.

Stark didn’t say anything. He didn’t have to. His body language telegraphed frustration.

‘His body language telegraphed frustration. Not in a traditional sense like tightening or with clenched fists or even a furrowed brow, it was more literal. He was involuntarily tapping out the word “frustrated” over and over on an old Morse key. It was really quite distracting.’

They finally decide he must not be there but nearby on the island of Capri and that’s where they’re going. Aphro says that they peasants had better have their passports ready.

Chapter 29

“Oh, don’t be so hateful, Aphrodite,” Stevie Rae said. “You know all fledglings get passports as soon as they’re Marked. It’s part of the whole ‘I’m an emancipated teen’ thing.”

Wait, what? Are they expected to leave the country on a regular basis because that would be stupid otherwise. And did you really have to remove any impediment on their travels, PCK? Why not just do the Meyer thing and have them throw money at everyone.

Also, I’m starting to suspect I know how the vampires really make their money. A group of people who all have passports and travel the globe regularly and live lavishly? Yeah, they’re running drugs and whatever else the black market calls for. Oh wait, that would be interesting.

So they’re off to Italy and they’re going to take the private jet. Do all the vampire schools have a private jet? Do you know how much those cost, PCK? They start in the millions and go up from there. Then there’s hangar and maintenance, not to mention fuel, costs to be paid. I won’t count pilot as they probably make one of the men take flying lessons and fly everyone about for free. I still say all the vampires are all drug dealers.

Also, the kids will be without adults excepting Darius. Zoey worries and feels sick because people are smiling encouragingly at her. Then Stark mentions that she should stay away from Clemente as that might be tempting fate, staying where Aphro saw her dying. Everyone, including Zoey, dismisses this as they all know she’s shielded by the armor of the plot.

They decide to leave tomorrow and pack. Stark tells Heath to sleep duty with Zoey while he goes to patrol. Heath is excited but Zoey sends him off to get food so she can have grown up talk with Stevie. As soon as he’s gone, Stevie says she can’t go because the undeadlings, even the bad ones, need her. She says they need help regaining their humanity.

“Maybe they were meant to die, and that’s why they can’t get their humanity back,” I said softly.

If ever there was a shining example of compassion, Zoey’s certainly not it. Stevie says she can’t believe that and is going to help them. She leaves and we flash forward to Heath and Zoey in bed. Zoey tells him he really can’t come along because of school. Not danger, but school. Can’t have Zoey dating someone with a measly three point average, can we? She relents and says he can come along if his parents say it’s fine. Zoey falls asleep and the last line of the chapter I her wondering why she’s standing on the roof of the castle again.

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