Betsy wakes up the next nightfall with someone screaming, “Die, bloodsucking hellspawn!” and a stake descending towards her chest, so she tosses the intruder across the room by her wrist, and she flies into a stack of pillows obviously set up for just that purpose. It is Jessica, claiming she’s here to give Betsy practice against vampire hunters attacking in her sleep. She tried getting her up earlier but Betsy was, ahem, “dead to the world.” She didn’t even have a pulse, nevermind her body being room temperature.
Jessica casually mentions that she spent the day buying out the mortgage on Betsy’s house and her car (so I guess she does have one!) and is refusing to take payments for them because of her insane wealth (a theme seems to be, make it easy! Betsy faces little to no pressure in life because everyone else does everything for her, including spending their own money on her…a lot of their own money) and because she says Betsy can pay her back by fighting crime. Betsy apparently signed a lot of paperwork declaring Jessica as the executor of her estate, which she apparently thought was “a joke.” She considers bewitching Jessica into taking her money, but decides that would be mean. Jessica says she will be her financial backer, and Betsy can concentrate all of her time on taking down bad guys, like she did the trio of pedophiles from a couple chapters ago. Betsy is not so into this, because she doesn’t want to have to drink blood at all. She mentions her mom was totally chill with the whole vampire thing, to which Jessica says, “I can’t get over your mom. I’d give anything to–” and cuts herself off and Betsy turns around ostensibly to cut up an orange, but truly for Jessica’s privacy, as Betsy contemplates why the latter part of this sections chapter name is an awkward trailing off.
“And the thing that made her crazy, absolutely nuts, was when people fucked with kids. Because, as a kid, she’d been royally fucked with.”
“Her father invented some dumb little circuit board that every computer in the world needed to work right, and he owned the patent…Mr. Watkins was probably the only person on the planet who’d managed to outsmart Bill Gates. The money poured in. He was one of the richest men in the world; he made more in one year than Oprah made in ten.” And he spent a lot on charities, political campaigns, and cities. Betsy states that there are 6 parks, 4 schools, and 17 athletic fields named for him in Minnesota alone, and I bet only Minnesota since that’s where he’s from and remained, but whatever.
He married a gold digger Vegas showgirl and mostly ignored his only child, “until she hit adolescence. Then he took an interest. An extreme one.”
She explains that Jessica went to her own mother and told her “tell Daddy I don’t like all the grabbing and stuff, and he tickles too hard,” but her mother “didn’t want to upset the gravy train,” so she did nothing. She told her mother again when Mr. Watkins “started coming in her room dressed in only his tidy(sic) whities,” and I know this isn’t the point but why does she keep using that term?! And now incorrectly!
Okay, so, her mother slaps her and calls her a liar. But then, “The night (he) came in wearing only his birthday suit, Jessica was waiting for him with a baseball bat–the only weapon she’d been able to smuggle to her room without being noticed,” and beat him almost to death. At the police station she told the cops everything. “Due to the power of the Watkins name, most of the details were kept out of the newspapers,” but neighbors took care of Jessica while he underwent months of physical therapy. Jessica retained her own lawyer and sued her parents for emancipation. “(they) were served with the papers the day (he) was told he was able to eat solid foods again.
Mr. Watkins was so enraged that his daughter, his property, getting away from him for good with the help of the courts he had expected to control, he drove too recklessly to his favorite four-star restaurant, and plowed into the southside of the Pillsbury building. Neither he or his wife were wearing seatbelts. Mrs. Watkins died instantly. Mr. Watkins hung on for three weeks through sheer rage, then someone mercifully pulled the plug and it was over.
Jessica, at the age of fourteen, inherited everything.
She didn’t go to the funerals.”
And after digesting these disturbing recollections, Betsy immediately starts talking about how she hopes to be able to eat an orange without throwing up, and whines some more about how she can’t eat solid foods, although she can drink anything she wants. And, y’know, who doesn’t focus on selfish, petty bullshit immediately after silently but mutually recollecting the horrific, traumatic childhood of their lifelong best friend?! You might say, well she’s trying to distract her, and I will reply that clearly you do not know Betsy well enough yet.
Jessica reveals she also bought a blood bank earlier that day and presents her with a glass full of O-negative, with “…a green leaf stuck artfully to the side of the glass, which had been chilled, and its rim had been dipped in coarse salt.”
They exchange more of what the author seems to think is witty repartee, and Betsy discovers that she has to have live blood. Jessica is disappointed, and Betsy thinks to herself that she should call Nick as he would come bouncing right over, but instead the phone rings, and we are blessed with even more of what is considered witty repartee in this world (and this is the book where it’s at it’s best).
The caller demands to know why she answered the phone, and she whines at them because it rang, duh. They tell her but you’re dead, and she tells them not to believe everything they read. They tell her to get the hell out of her house and stop answering phones, and she declines and hangs up on them.
They immediately call back, of course, “and if phones could ring angrily, mine was furious.” They ask her again why the hell she’s answering, and she again points out it’s because they keep calling her. They then ask her to go feed, and then meet them at Barnes and Noble, in the cookbook section. She says now they’re just being mean, so they say okay, the humor section then. She, always focusing on the important thing, whines at them “that’s not much better. What, are you allergic to the romance section? And I don’t have to feed, I’ll just go right now.” They ask if she’s already fed, and she says no, she “can go a few days, it’s no big deal,” and blah blah blah, she finally agrees and hangs up and we end with her pondering how she’s going to get by Jessica again.
COMING UP: A filthy mausoleum, and Betsy stumbles upon a planned suicide! COMEDY!!