Burned Chapters 15 & 16

Chapter 15

Stark is waking up from a dream where he’s sleeping next to Zoey. Even in the blissful state of slumber, the poor bastard can’t escape Zoey. I wonder if the yoke Zoey placed on him will ever begin to chafe. Stark might enjoy the constant thoughts of her now, he us young an inexperienced. But twenty years down the line? A hundred? Aphro then awakens Stark.

“Finally. You know, you red vampyres might be all strong and whatever at night, but during the day you sleep creepily like the dead. Hello, I have one word for you: stereotypical.”

Says the girl with the L.A. ditz accent who’s friends with Damien and Jack, the most stereotypical gay guys ever put to literature. I don’t know what’s worse, that PCK has the lesser vampires as stereotypes or that they’re hanging a lampshade on it.

Aphro is sitting there drinking tea which gets more description than most of the faceless mooks that stumble in and out of the plot. She asks if Zoey has woken up at all, referring to Zoey. Apparently Stark was sleeping next to Zoey’s unconscious body. Stark says no and tucks the blankets around her.

It’s a good thing they’re keeping her out of a hospital. You wouldn’t want her body to receive the best care available until she wakes back up. I’m sure she’ll be fine, passed out and shitting the bed. Stark says they now have six days to get her back to her body.

Aphro tells him to snap out of it and stop being so sad. She then says they’re going to a place that’s dank and dark like a dungeon. Starks asks “a human high school”? Your wit is ever sharp, PCK. At least humans don’t have to worry about a malfunctioning gas lamp filling the halls with carbon monoxide. Though no one would complain it one wiped out a school of vampires.

They go down to the basement where Beavis is comparing a picture of an old priest to Cher. Then Butthead says she got weird which upsets Damien. Because, like all gay people, he likes Cher. People who have a common sexual preference are of a hive mind, right? I guess I should just be happy it wasn’t a reference to Barbara Streisand.

They start talking about Barbie’s, Jack had one too because of course. It’s like PCK assumes gay guys are just women with penises. Like there’s no way a homosexual can enjoy things like cars or sports because straight guys like them. They go on for fucking pages, talking about how they all had differing Barbie dolls and what shit they had for them. Stark yells at them for wasting time, talking about toys when they should be focused on Zoey.

Into the shocked silence, Thanatos’s voice sounded abnormally loud. “No, Warrior. They’re not focusing on toys. They’re focusing on life and being among the living.” The vampyre stepped from the doorway, where she and Darius had been silently observing the kids. Darius followed her, placing a tray filled with sandwiches and fruit in the middle of the table. He then joined Aphrodite’s side of the wooden bench. “And take it from someone who knows more than a little about death—focusing on life is what you should do if you want to keep drawing breath in this world.”

Yeah, Stark. They’re not wasting time, they’re focusing on life! Besides, they just need to fuck around long enough that the author tires of it and has a book fall from a shelf, open right to the page with the information they need. If they’re really lucky, it’ll hit Neferet on the head and knock her out as well.

Then the slaves make fun of Stark, saying they were studying while he was sleeping. They go over what they learned which is less than jack. They repeat how the “warriors” tied to a priest have died after soul shattering happens. You know, the same thing we learned from Thanatos towards the beginning of the book.

After PCK pads with that, they also repeat the bit about Stevie summoning the bulls and repeats the part that the white bull told Stevie. Everyone gasps and sits in awes of Stevie’s ability to summon the bulls. Someone has to stand in for Zoey’s unicus. They start trying to figure out what the bridge is that Stark can use to get to the island. And then they show notes where they’ve put things under light and dark with some things in the middle. They put Aphro in the middle, figuring she’s “like Rachel from Glee”. I don’t know what that means and I’m not looking it up, PCK. Fuck you and your weak pop culture references.

They babble and just happen upon the fact that Stark is of Scottish decent. It turns out he just happens to be descended from the clan that was—is?—sworn to Sgiach. How convenient is that?

Chapter 16

Now we’re back with Zoey, unfortunately. Heath is sleeping and muttering about football practice. Just like Damien and Jack, Heath has only one facet and that’s jock. Can I ask why the hell Heath is sleeping when he’s dead? Do spirits have to take a nap? I thought Heath had made it into vampire heaven.

We’re reminded that a dark shape chased them into the grove and didn’t follow in after them. Then Zoey says she can’t sleep and whines about all the things she can’t remember. Like the color of her eyes or why she doesn’t trust Stevie. Because she’s a better character than you. She also says she can’t remember what her mom looks like but that’s because she’s refused to talk to her and Zoey doesn’t keep pictures.

Then Aya shows up. Yes the ancient soul that Zoey used to be which was in love with Kalona. Zoey says it’s her fault she trusted Kalona. Aya says she made Zoey feel compassion for him and when Zoey lost her she lost her compassion. Zoey says no, she still cares about Heath. Aya asks if that’s true, why she won’t let Heath move on. Zoey says that Heath doesn’t want to leave.

A-ya shook her head, causing her long, dark hair to flutter around her waist. “You haven’t stopped to think of what Heath might want—what anyone besides you might want. And you won’t, not really, not until you call me back to you.”

Don’t lie, Aya. Zoey won’t give a rat’s ass what other people want even once she has her “compassion” back.

Then nine year old Zoey shows up and babbles. Zoey says she doesn’t think she deserves to be happy. Then a taller, red haired lady shows up saying she’s Zoeys strength. She must look anemic as Zoey has no use for her. Then Heath is awake and says they need to get moving again.

Back with Stevie, Dragon is shouting about hunting down the raven who killed his “mate”. No one wants Stevie to go out and about while Rephy is possibly out there. They all remember him and don’t trust him being as he was so cocky. They’re all still in a tizzy about the supposed raven attack Stevie endured after she summoned vampire satan.

Which is odd because you’d think they’d be far more worried by the summoning rather than the raven. ‘Oh hey guys, just got back from summoning the very aspect of all evil in the world.’ ‘That’s nice. Did you have a good time?’ ‘Yeah, but then a raven showed up…’ ‘Oh my god! A raven?! The end times are upon us! Get the guns and gather in the bunker! Anyone who’s not there in five minutes doesn’t get in!’

Stevie says she’s going to visit grandma then and no one will stop her. They say that getting back to a regular schedule will be good for everyone. They also decide to keep Zoey’s condition a secret for the time being. Then Kramisha says she’ll come along with Stevie. Though Dallas wants to talk to her before she goes.

Dallas takes her aside and says they don’t have to stay together. Stevie is shocked and asks what he means, Stevie being on the wooden side of thick. Dallas says they seemed to be going out but that he hasn’t been able to protect her and they don’t have to stay together. Stevie, having learned everything she knows about romance from Zoey, protests and says she doesn’t want to break up. Dallas asks if she’s sure, Stevie says yes and they kiss. All the while she regrets how they really can’t be together, remembering her debt to the black bull as they walk to Zoey’s car.

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