Tempted Chapters 30 & 31

Chapter 30

We pick up right where we left off, with Zoey having a dream. She’s at the island where the original vampire council was. She can smell the oranges and feel the presence of Nyx and blah blah blah. Also, she’s dreading looking around and facing the audience and being made to atone for her crimes. Lucky for her, it’s only the non-villain known as Kalona.

Kalona knelt by the edge of the castle’s toothlike roof. His back was to me and he was on his knees. He was dressed, or rather, undressed, like he’d been the last time we’d been here—he had on jeans and that was it. His dark wings spread down around him, leaving only his bronze shoulders visible. His head was bowed, and he didn’t seem to know I was there. As if I couldn’t stop them, my feet moved toward him, and as I approached, I realized that he was kneeling exactly where I’d been standing when I’d flung myself off the rooftop.

Just jeans. Can I ask a stupid question, PCK? Why does Kalona like wearing only jeans? He’s ancient and, presumably, figured out his preferred garb back before the written language. Why not have Kalona wearing something a bit more primitive to convey his sense of age? A loincloth might seem a bit cliché but it would be more fitting than a pair of Levis.

When Kalona looks up, Zoey can see that he’s crying. He sees her and gets himself under control. ‘I know I’m a loser but I promised myself that I would cry in front of the protagonist.’ He was upset because he watched her die in the dream. Zoey says it was just a dream and Kalona says it’s part of the “otherwold”— Tel’aran’rhiod?—and not to underestimate what happens there.

Zoey asks how she can be there when she’s not sleeping alone. It’s called consistency, something your author never heard of Zoey. Kalona says that he can invade her head. Zoey says that’s not what he said last time. Kalona says he lied but he’s telling the truth now and he wants to show her something she just has to take his hand.

Zoey is hesitant but he promises that his touch won’t burn her with the passion and liust he feels for her. So she takes his hand and sees Kalona as he once was with white wings. Remember kids, darkness doesn’t represent evil unless the author is feeling lazy and then it totally does. He looks “every bit a true Warrior”, according to the narration.

It turns out that Kalona was sworn to Nyx. Zoey sees visions of him fighting some sort of amorphous evil that exists. Kalona says that’s what Nyx needs a warrior for. Then we see the part where Nyx casts Kalona out of her realm. Apparently she’s mad at him for being a horndog, even though she made him that way. She uses the “freewill” card as a source of blame and banishes him.

Nyx wasn’t mad that Kalona wanted women, she was mad because he was jealous of Erebus. No doubt PCK will reveal that this is merely his side of things and the visions he’s showing Zoey are biased and Nyx is still the best god in the universe. Zoey is shocked that she’s feeling sorry for him. As am I, it must be gas or something as Zoey can’t feel empathy.

They blather a bit more and Zoey says he must know he’s being evil. Kalona asks what if that’s just how he is with Neferet and that maybe he could choose good with her. Zoey protests and Kalona says she made it happen when she forced Stark to swear to her. Zoey says that Kalona is far more evil than Stark. Redemption is only allowed as long as it’s for little things, I guess. Kalona begs her to save him, Zoey screams no and wakes up with Heath.

Heath tells her everything’s fine and calls Nala a traitor because she’s sleeping with Stevie. Then she goes back to sleep.

Chapter 31

Zoey wakes back up, making it an official new day by telling us it’s dusk. She shakes Heath awake and tells him he needs to call his parents now and talk to them about the trip. While he showers, she doesn’t tell Stevie about the dream because she doesn’t want to be told not to worry. Stevie would only be saying what I would as both of us know Zoey has no need to worry.

Heath calls his mom and gets permission to go. He lies and says it’s a school thing which makes her say he has to ask his dad. Heath talks to his dad and gets the final go ahead. Which means he’s coming along because Zoey is stupid. Why Zoey doesn’t just order Darius to tie him up and have Lenobia let him go once they’re gone is beyond me. Stevie says it’s a good thing that he’s coming along though.

“Z, he’s your Imprinted human. His blood is super-good for you. You’re going into a dangerous situation, with confronting Kalona and Neferet and the High Council, so you might need some super-good-for-you blood.”

Can you please read the damn handbook already, Zoey? That way PCK can’t keep making up rules as they go along. Oh, they’d find that too restrictive. Stevie then tells Zoey to tell her about the dream she had that woke her up. That way PCK can pad this chapter out without having anything actually happen.

They talk about the dream a bit but it amounts to nothing we don’t know already. Then the rest of the slaves show up. Aphro is dragging a carryon bit of luggage that is packed full. Zoey says that looks like it’s cheating. Which is stupid because they’re flying by private jet, not commercial. Can’t they just bring what they need or want?

They head to the cafeteria where Zoey gets some bacon and eggs. I see we’ve decided to ignore the previous books and the supposed dietary restrictions on the kids. Some of the slave whine about being the rest being under mind control but Zoey says it’s their choice. She says that, maybe Kalona started it via mind control but they’re “choosing their own paths”.

I’m still waiting for you to explain that in a way that makes any sense, PCK. If they were tricked into following Kalona, then how is what they’re doing voluntary from this point on? Unless they’re doing something which goes against basic morality, like murder, then I don’t see how they’re supposed to know something is wrong. I think they’re just saying that so PCK can declare them as “haters” who are just jealous of Zoey.

Stark makes his entrance and gets the status on Heath. Everyone is shocked that he’s coming along and Zoey says she’s not talking about it. Also, Stevie is staying behind. Damien repeats what Zoey said earlier about the other undeadlings being, possibly, unsavable. She says she’s going to try and Jack says she needs to promise that she won’t go back there alone. Erik then swings by to wish her good luck, much to the shock of everyone.

Stark escorts Zoey as they leave the cafeteria and he says that she didn’t bite Heath again. He starts whining about Aphro’s visions and how he’s worried and she needs her strength. Zoey says that Aphro’s visions can be changed and even if she ends up drowning, she’s sure Stark will find a way to save her. She says that there’s no one else she’d trust like him and they hug.

Stark feels better and says that they’ll figure this out as “a warrior and his lady”. It’s very simple, Stark. You bludgeon her over the head with the same shovel you’ll use to dig her shallow grave.

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