Oh man, oh man. Oh boy. Oh man. Uh….well, where were we? Oh yeah. Oh boy. Oh man.
So Chapter 18 kicks off with Betsy rolling up to her front door, having stolen one of Sinclair’s (excessive amount of) cars. She sees a giant crack in the middle of her front door and does a 180 back to the stolen Jaguar (fuck cliché, amirite?) til she hears and then remembers (in that order) that Marc and Jessica were also attacked, and maybe need some kind of assistance. At least a cursory glance, right?
Well, she walks in the door to see her two best friends hovering over what appeared to be a pile of rags on the floor, but in actuality it’s Detective Nick. Takes a bit more to cue Betsy into that, but hey, at least she constantly admits she’s not the brightest. That’s something, right? Self-awareness? Right? Oh, meh.
Nick looks like he hasn’t eaten in three days, slept in five, or bathed in ten. His bloodshot eyes lock onto hers and he whispers huskily, “More. Moremoremore.”
Betsy is grossed out and clueless, as usual, and starts whining over and over, “I can’t deal with this, you guys. I can’t deal with this! Not being able to eat and being dead and my dad scared of me and bad guy vamps throwing me into pits and Sinclair being a slut and a great kisser and Nick being traumatized, and me being a car thief again–I’ve had enough!”
Jessica’s eyebrows arched. “Err…who’s a great kisser?”
“Who threw you into a pit? Marc asked, interested. Then, “Car thief again?”
“More,” Nick whispered. His lips were dry, cracked. He smelled like a garbage truck on fire. “Betsy. More. Betsy.”
Marc is freaked out, and points out how Betsy fed off of him, too, and he wasn’t slowly turning himself into a puddle on the floor, which Jessica counters with he sure moved in quickly enough, and he doesn’t get how sudden and bizarre it is that he met a vampire and immediately moved into her home, and he’s a doctor! Meaning, hes’s supposed to be smart!
They bitch and babble back and forth for a short period before Betsy says to the newer, dumber, more pathetic Nick “”Oh, shit, Nick–I didn’t mean–what did I do? What did I do?”
Only to set up the smug, condescending moron I’m sure you know would’ve followed, Sinclair! “Exactly the opposite of what I do,”
Jessica sees him and says, “you must be Sink Lair,” while Marc starts falling all over himself like a six year old girl with her very first crush.
“That one is of your own making, I think…I can smell him on you. Under about six layers of dirt, that is.” He said it so carelessly I wanted to kill him. My hand went to the cross Tina had given me. Would he sound so cool and detached if I jammed this little trinket in his ear?
Sinclair goes over to Nick and calls Tina to help him. They all just hover over him for a while, I guess, as everyone in the room has a highly irritating conversation that goes on and on for a long while with no mention of Nick or what they’re doing to apparently help him, save the occasional, shrugging out of his top coat and putting it over Nick’s sleeping form. I counted how many back-and-forth had to happen before he ever made that one minute gesture, and it was 16. He walked over to Nick and told Tina to ‘help him,’ and then they managed to have 16 different replies before he even makes his first action. Just…hovering over a man sweating, drooling, sobbing, and moaning for more and completely ignoring him to be a vague bitch to someone else.
Betsy asks what’s happening to him, is he becoming a vampire? Sinclair tells her “no,” (coolly, I may add–everything he says is “cool” and detached because clichés are bad) and that he’s an addict now. Tina asks how many times she fed off of him and then the dumbass back-and-forth they know that she doesn’t understand, and has a damn good reason to not have understood but they speak to her as if she obviously should have that’s basically: once, once?, once, but you only fed off me once, once?, once, once?, once!, and then Sinclair starts up with the shame train while still leaving her in the dark, “You can’t just have them and release them, Elizabeth. You fled my home after you saw a–a certain aspect of the vampire lifestyle. But I would never do to mine what you did to yours.” As if she would have any idea of what that even means–as if they offered her a single bit of advice on what vampirism means and how they should behave and she ignored it.
No, he just sexually harasses her until she rightfully throws him into a cross, manages to get her out of a dire circumstance just so she will “owe” them, as if she even asked, force her to watch him have sex with three women at once (this threesome bullshit is never again repeated with any other vampires, including Sinclair, so no, you don’t have to have an orgy to feed here or anything, still tries to claim she will “owe” him, and just…never offers her help. Never gives her any tips on what to do–and let’s face it, most vampire lore follows “the more you feed the more attached they get” logic, and then try to make her feel like hot garbage for not knowing what she’s doing. Also it’s not like they didn’t give her a few days of solitude where she would obviously have to fend for herself, so of course something like this would easily happen and shut the fuck up about your ‘lifestyle’ you stupid, pompous fuck!
That stung. A lot. “He’s not mine. I barely even know him!”
“Well,” Dennis cleared his throat. He was crouching over us, resting his hands on his thighs. He looked like an undead umpire. “That’s worse, you know.”
“But I didn’t know!”
“I warned you,” Sinclair said. “You don’t know the rules. Most vampires would learn or die. But you were born strong, and you have few of our weaknesses. So while you are learning, the innocent are being hurt.”
And oh my god, fuck you dude, he never told her anything like this could happen, and it’s not like this is and always has been an altruistic offer: before she’s even undead for an entire week two feuding factions burst into her life and demand she choose to follow them, no idea why really, just I-hate-him-well-I-hate-him bullshit nonsense, clearly saying she has to make a decision she knows almost nothing about besides the occasional bits of hearsay that will affect her for her entire life–and “her entire life” just added several centuries to its quota! ‘The innocent are being hurt,’ you dramatic, idiotic, fuckboy piece of shit!
Anyway, he manipulates Betsy into throwing her allegiance in with him once and for all, as long as he helps Nick first. Even getting her to acquiesce is made worse by that ‘your word on this’ shit that always happens when some irritating melodramatic prat tricks someone into doing what they want, but at least Jessica seems to agree with me there as she interrupts with an apparently ice-cold, “She already told you she’d let you help. If that’s not enough, Sink Lair, don’t let the door hit you in your big white ass on your way out,” proving once again that best friends are…well…the best of friends. Here’s lookin’ at you, Heidi!
“Please don’t pronounce my name like that,” he sighed. He lifted Nick easily into his arms. Then, “Big white ass?” Yeah, Sink Lair, always focus on the important stuff. Oh P.S.–the implication here is that you’re only helping this man because you’ll get something out of it, not the fact that he’s an innocent victim of your kind. You don’t give one little fuck for this guy or his suffering, and you would absolutely take off without him, without helping him, if Betsy didn’t make one of the dumbest snap decisions in history. You can’t act all high and mighty when you knowingly let an ultra-powerful and entirely ignorant predator upon an unsuspecting, innocent populace. This is just as much your fault as it is hers, moron.
Anyway! Back to reviewing and not speaking directly to fictional characters, Tina says that she and Dennis will handle this if Sinclair will just put him in the bathroom. He does, she turns on the shower while Dennis is stripping him. And immediately Jessica loses cool points with an out of character (unless Betsy’s surmising is correct), “You–uh–want something to drink?” Jessica was standing in the bedroom doorway. She blushed, which isn’t easy to tell with her. “I mean, like, tea or something, Mr. Sinclair?”
I was shocked. That was a quick reversal, especially for Jessica “I can hold a grudge until the end of time” Watkins. Sinclair’s undead sex appeal must work on women like mine did on men.
“Please call me Eric,” the undead skunk was saying with convincing warmth. “After all, you’re a friend of Elizabeth’s.” Barf! Come the fuck on, dude.
“He likes plum wine, get him a glass of that,” I said irritably.
“I’ll get it!” Marc said. He’d gone to throw Nick’s rags into my washing machine, but leapt for the doorway the instant Jessica did. They became jammed at the shoulder, Three Stooges style.
“No, I’ll get it!”
“Fuck you, getting drinks should be beneath you, honey.”
“Fuck you, this is my house. I paid for it, didn’t I?”
They struggled, then both popped free of the doorframe. I heard pounding footsteps as they raced each other to the kitchen, and put a hand over my eyes. Friends…the ultimate mixed blessing.
“A pity you are not as fond of me as your companions are,” Sinclair said. Hardy-har. But if Betsy is correct in thinking that’s his undead mojo flowing, well…he can handle that. Unlike Betsy, he has control over whether his undead sex appeal infects the masses. So…he just intentionally hypnotized her friends, and she’s like oh, ho hum, whatever who cares as long as they’re not messing with my shoes or anything, tra-la-la! Also, there’s something incredibly uncomfortable about an intelligent, independent, badass young black woman and an intelligent, independent, badass young gay, suicidally depressed male doctor literally falling all over themselves screaming about which one of them gets to serve the rich white dude. I mean what the FUCK? Yeah okay, that probably wasn’t intentional, I hope, but read the fuckin’ subtext in your books before mailing them off to the publisher, perhaps?! Fuck, yeah like she’s capable of that when she’s incapable of even basic editing…
“They don’t know what a creep you are,” I said sourly. I was annoyed to see Giselle purring in his arms as he absently tickled her under the chin. Fickle feline tramp! I snatched her away and tossed her in the direction of the doorway. With a snooty backward glance, she went. “If they had the slightest clue how wretched and nasty and despicable you are…”
Then they have that stupid back-and-forth where he acts all cool and indifferent and condescending like the tall, dark, and handsome rich love interest dude always does, because SWOON apparently, and mid-conversation casually lets her know that the tiny gold cross came from him, not Tina, and that it originally belonged to his long-dead sister.
She attempts to return it but he says it’s hers now (bequeathing a highly personal gift to a woman whose life you’re trying to force your way into…gee), and she ends up asking why he didn’t “come tonight,” meaning come to Nostro’s to save her, just setting up his obvious, “I did come. More than once, in fact. I thought you were watching,” again like it’s a normal and acceptable practice to do invite someone over for essentially a business meeting then tricking them into watching you have sex.
I mean, am I wrong about this? Is that somehow an okay thing to do now? I know they’re love interests so her seeing him naked and thrusting is obviously going to become nothing new (although the image of him doing that to three other women may bother her later on) and I get that they’re vampires and vampires don’t have our stupid, human (American) hangups about sex, but…seriously? At a business meeting. A surprise sex-watching business meeting. Is that a thing? Is that consent? Surprise isn’t consent. And it’s not like they didn’t set her up to go up there and see that…the one vampire she’s met who ever did anything nice to her just took off and left her with a stockboy doing chores…who then also left her. In a place she didn’t want to be to begin with. And then they made sure to turn the sound on so she would definitely hear screaming with her superhearing. So, like…either she leaves, which they don’t want, or she wanders off to find them, or just to find out who is screaming.
And Tina’s just standing there, entranced, like a fuckin’ weirdo (I do not watch my friends have sex, personally–and later on there’s going to be a lot of ‘oh-no-I-didn’t-want-to-see-this-let’s-talk-about-it-mid-your-sex-having’ hilarity where even she implies that it is unpleasant and uncomfortable to see, but here MJD goes out of her way to describe her sweaty palm caressing the glass, and how she becomes so aroused she tries to force a kiss on Betsy, who says no but she ignores her and insists “I must! It’s just…one…kiss…” as if it’s not a violation of someone else’s autonomy if it’s just this once) so of course anyone with even the slightest inclination towards curiosity would go see what is making her dramatically touch the glass while basically drooling all over herself…just, what the fuck WAS that scene?!
Ahem. Well, anyway, he explains that Nostro, “…Likes to flaunt his power. Thus, although I can send envoys, I myself must stay clear, unless he violates my territory. And he relishes in showing off for my people. You might say he lives for it,” (wow, vain much?) “However, the mausoleum where you first met Nostro is neutral ground…any vampire from any city in the world is welcome there. There are such neutral places all over the place.”
“So you could come to the mausoleum for the—the party, I guess it was?” Lamest party ever, but oh well.
“I had no intention of coming, until I heard you were going to be there.”
“Oh.” Dammit! Hearing more details about how he got Tina away from Noseo–and how he wanted to meet me–made me start to hate him not so much. Which was not a good way to feel about a character as slippery as this guy. My hand went instinctively to the cross again. “Well, I’d thank you–”
“My heart! Can it stand the strain?”
“–except I know you’ve got some sneaky motive for helping me out.”
“My anti-Nostro, pro-Elizabeth stance has been clear for a few days, there’s nothing sneaky about it.”
“Sneaky’s your middle name–”
“Actually, it’s Astor.”
“–which reminds me, what are you doing here., anyway?” And wasn’t an astor a kind of flower? I made a note to look that one up ASAP. [She never does, and it’s not.]
“You have my car,” he pointed out. “I must insist upon its return. You don’t strike me as a sensible and sane driver. And you were certainly in a dangerous rush to leave.”
“Let’s not talk about it.”
“A prude born in the late twentieth century? I hadn’t thought such creatures existed.”
“Just because I don’t think you should be gaily boinking multiple partners–at the same time!–doesn’t mean I’m a prude.”
Well put that way, yeah it kinda does. It’s not really the action is reprehensible–all four of them seemed to be of sane and consenting mind, assuming there were no vamp hijinx going on–it’s more the fact he set her up to watch. I’m not the kind of girl who would be okay with that either, doing or seeing. I don’t wanna, no thanks, but go ahead and you do you, ménage à quatre-havers. It’s none of anyone else’s business and shouldn’t bother anyone in the slightest if consensual and happening behind closed doors. Not behind a two-way mirror that you’re intending nonconsensual women to witness. If Tina or Dennis wanna watch, that’s cool (as long as the women are aware of it as well), but setting someone up to watch you fuck three women is, again, gross and tacky. And some form of voyeuristic sexual harassment. So again, fuck you, fuck whatever you’re trying to explain, and fuck that scene.
He gestured towards the bathroom, where poor Nick was being ministered to by Tina and Dennis. “I don’t think you’re in any position to question my judgment. My ladyfriends know what they’re getting into.” AGAIN fuck you, fuck whatever you’re trying to explain, and FUCK THAT SCENE! Oh my god, Sinclair is such a detestable character. We are supposed to find him all suave-sexy-cool–this isn’t MJD trying to be subversive by any means. We are supposed to be on HIS side in this, and he’s such a smug eye-raping hypocritical piece of trash I just want to hop inside my book real quick and shove his face in dogshit.
I’m going to admit something embarrassing I did a long time ago. Okay. I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. I used to walk to school while reading–fellow kids always used to ask me how I could even do that, but they’ve mostly figured it out in the age of smartphones. Anyway, the point is, I read for fun and I’ve done it since forever. From what I remember I was already reading on my own at like 2? I don’t know. ANYWAY. One time when I was probably around 6 or 7 or so, I got so mad at a character that I punched the book I was reading! I PUNCHED a BOOK! And it felt good! So yeah, Sinclair makes me want to punch this book, and I’m now a known book-puncher.
“You’re still a pig,” I said bitterly. “I saw you. It didn’t matter which three women were there–you didn’t care. They were for you to use. That’s not how you treat a friend,”
“Well.” His brows arched in thought. “Perhaps I simply haven’t met the right woman.”
“Or perhaps you’re a pig!” I threw my hands in the air. “Did you really need three of them? I mean, come on. Realistically. Three?”
“Well.” He smiled slowly, and I felt my stomach tighten. “Does anyone ever really need a banana split, when a single scoop-sundae would do?”
“These. Are. Human. Beings.” I was pushing the words out past gritted teeth; I was so pissed my eyes were crossed. “Not. Ice cream. Sundaes. Pig.”
“Your tiresome preaching has made me see the light. I have the bargain of the century for you, Elizabeth. I will give up their friendship at once, and all others for all time. Tonight. If you take their place in my bed. For all time.”
This is so fucking stupid…and gross, and tacky! Again! Like, this dude truly is the Love Interest. We are supposed to be falling and swooning for him alongside Betsy–before Betsy, even! But instead of making him suave and charming, we see him as crass, gross brute hiding under a poorly taped on mask of sophistication. Oh, he’s soooo handsome and sooooo enchanting–he must be, because other characters say so! Pfft. Fuck you.
And I do get that oftentimes in vampire lore, the older a vampire becomes the less humanity or respect thereof they have, but come the fuck on. He wouldn’t even be dead yet if he were mortal, at least not of old age! For real, even at the earliest age he can possibly be in this book–and I do know when he ought to have been born now, due to information that comes later on–he would still be alive and kickin’ had he never even met Tina.
He doesn’t have centuries of humans coming and going, be born and in a blink of an eye at their deathbeds with whitened hair and acrylic teeth. He doesn’t have an indifferent heart hardened by centuries of forming relationships only to see them age and wither away–and bragging about your sexual conquests is never attractive, dude. It doesn’t make the average person “jealous,” it just makes the braggart look like an insecure loser, even if they “win” and “win”.
And, ‘the bargain of the century’? Not TOO full of yourself, are ya? Yeah, sure dude. Every single human who loves cock has always just been waiting for you. It doesn’t matter if they express disgust, if they ask you to leave them alone, if they tell you they hate you or even frickin’ throw you through a stone cross–we all want you, you, you!
Get fuckin’ real.
My mouth fell open and I gaped at him.A zillion emotions–outrage, curiosity, fear, lust, shock–screamed through my head in half a second, and before I knew I was going to do it, my hand leaped to his face and I slapped him hard enough to snap his head back.
“Nice,” was all he said (y’know, before he immediately says something else), “I didn’t see that one coming. Though I suppose I should have. You have, after all, done this before.”
I tried to say something appropriately haughty and scathing, but couldn’t think of a thing.
“Thank you,” he said, so polite, and took the glass Jessica was offering him. Marc was right behind her with a tray of cocktail accessories: maraschino cherries, lemon slices, olives. They hadn’t seen the slap. Heck, I had barely seen it–it was like my hand had moved quicker than thought.
“What was that noise?” Jessica asked (apparently also not having heard the immediate prior sentence. Whatever.)
“Never mind. All that stuff for wine?” I sighed, rolling my eyes and rubbing my palm. Smacking Sinclair had been like smacking a chunk of granite.
For spite, Sinclair carefully selected a lemon slice and dropped it into his wine. See, I was more questioning the logic of bringing foodstuffs at all, not just for “just wine.” It’s not like he can eat it. And it’s not like they don’t know that–Betsy whines about not being able to eat anymore all the time. You may point out that the lemons have juice and I ask, do whole olives? Do whole cherries? Maybe that’s why he chose the lemon. Or maybe they do and my drink ignorance is showing! Point is, I don’t understand how Betsy’s friends can go from defending her to falling all over themselves on how best to serve their new eyecandy–Sinclair is mentioned as being handsome and huge about as much as Betsy is described beautiful with huge tits–which is to say, often, and often without any relevance to anything else whatsoever.
Anyway, Betsy gets sort upset that they’re using her brand new loofah on Nick (“Thirty-seven ninenty-nine at The Body Shop, kaput,” while I’m sitting here wondering who the FUCK spends that much money on a LOOFAH) but accepts that she’s responsible for his condition so it’s only fair. She calls him ‘Sinclair’ to which he asks her to call him Eric as well, and no shit, this happens:
“Errrrrrric…” Jessica and Marc repeated in dreamy chorus.
No shit, exactly like that. I counted–7 R’s and everything! And still I sit here and wonder if Betsy will ever notice or give a shit that he’s apparently bewitched her friends, but I know she will not and now you do too.
She tries to convince them to leave the room, and they refuse. During their refusal, Jessica calls Betsy “Liz” for some reason, mostly so Sinclair can refer to her as “Liz” in his next sentence so that when she protests he can say, “then no more Sink Lair, yes?” and she agrees but that never happens. She continues with “Sink Lair,” and he completely forgets she apparently hates to be called “Liz.” Why that had to be included, I don’t know.
Anyway, Sinclair reassures them that Nick will wake up in his own bed with a week’s worth of stubble, thinking and feeling like he’s recovering from the flu. They will get him cleaned up and together physically, and then hypnotize all the bad memories away–including that she’s a vamp now.
He tells Betsy that Dennis or Tina will sate his immediate desire by feeding on him, and then Betsy needs to find “one–or two–or three lovers who don’t mind sharing blood along with their bodies,” to “use” as often as either she must or they wish. She asks how they wouldn’t end up like Nick and he condescends to her yet again, “Because they’ll have access to you. You won’t have fed once and then turned your back on them,” as if Betsy had any idea whatsoever this would happen or had been intentionally been ignoring his apparently now crippling need to fuck her. And yeah, it’s apparently a crippling need for a human to get fucked by the vampire feeding off them, except when it’s not. But we’ll get into that in a minute. Once again, we are about to get sidetracked elsewhere:
“Did you not eat meat before your accident? You were strong and to keep yourself strong, you used the weak. That’s what predators do. That’s what vampires do. Otherwise, you are like those fools in PETA, who think we should all nibble grass and drink nectar.”
“Uh-oh, here we go,” Jessica muttered. “Every dead guy for himself.”
“I’m a member of PETA! I ate meat, sure, but–” and I’ll save you the tangent, basically she is against making animals test makeup, or using their decapitated heads to decorate their walls, or test deodorant, or whatever. Sinclair thinks it’s funny, as he smiles because cool guys don’t laugh, and Marc flips the fuck out in abject horror that she didn’t tell him she was “one of those,” and how he wouldn’t have moved in with her if he’d known and blah blah, it’s not as funny as she thinks it is.
This PETA thing will get dropped fairly quickly, anyway. She mentioned it earlier, and now, and I think there’s maybe one more mention of them in a later book when she says she’s no longer a member as they became too extreme for her taste. Also, she’s a proud Republican for the first few books and then hopes you’ll forget that by making lots of super funny and super creative jokes about how even Satan herself (yes, herself) isn’t that evil chortle chortle chuckle chuckle. Whatever. I’m not a Republican by ANY stretch, btw, but I am a fan of continuity and it seriously just flips with no mention of like, oh yeah I used to be one but I don’t agree anymore because blah blah…no, she goes from being one, to acting like she wouldn’t spit on them if they were on fire (not that they’d mind anyway, cuz of all the HELLFLAME they better get used to, giggle giggle ha ha) and, well…if you’re going to write a cohesive story, perhaps you should also take notes on your own damn work so you can get who is who straight. It’s dumb, obnoxious, and boring when just by the simple act of reading one of your books I know more about the characters you’ve apparently created than you do.
Anyway, this conversation is what gets Betsy to take off for the bathroom and see how Tina is handling Nick. She’s naked in the bathtub with him (he’s using her breasts as pillows, of course rock hard as all these great virile sexy amazing gorgeous dudes all are all the time) and asks Betsy if she can assist her and Betsy seriously becomes afraid Tina might try to “molest her with the soap on a rope.” She does it, though, and Tina makes a joke about how now she shall fall upon her with ravenous hunger and hump her brains out, they share a laugh and end up apologizing to each other. Tina still just can’t get over it, though:
“I abused your trust and put everything in jeopardy.” Her voice was so bitter it shocked me. “All because I couldn’t keep myself to myself.”
“Hey, whoa, calm down, sunshine. You just wanted a kiss, it’s not like you tried to knife my kitty. Besides, I owed you a favor, right? From the pit?”
She shifted Nick as easily as a grown woman shifted a baby. “So,” she said, straight-faced, “I risked my life and faced the prospect of a horrible death to save you, and in return you rebuffed my advances, and now we’re even.”
“Right.” I smirked.
She rolled her eyes. “The devil help us if you really are the queen.” But she said it with a smile.
Tina tells Betsy to feed off Nick, and then she will “take him inside (her).” Betsy gets squicked out and doesn’t want to let Tina do that, as she doesn’t even like men sexually in the first place, and they talk for a bit. Tina mentions that Betsy doesn’t want to have sex with him either, and that at least two of her guests have very excellent hearing which would make it all the worse for Betsy, and not really matter to Tina herself. She explains that one of them must feed first, and that the reason you “have to drink and fuck” is that when you take from a human, they need you in a way they have never needed anyone before and they must “affirm life” in the only way they can–sex, as they can’t drink. Not having sex with them is like masturbating and then stopping before you have an orgasm. “We could take and not give ourselves to them in return, but it’s a rotten thing to do.”
One of the reasons I’m mentioning all this in explicit detail is that it never comes up again, really. Sometimes vampires have human lovers whom they only drink from, sometimes vampires live off of other vampires, oftentimes they go hunting late at night in the middle of the city, drinking from any rapist, burglar, carjacker, trespasser, or jaywalker they can find–anyone committing even the slightest crime, basically, and sometimes not even that. They act soooo high and mighty here about this, and then it never comes up again.
Oh, yeah, it probably bears repeating…sometimes vampires live off of other vampires.
Anyway, Tina finally convinces Betsy to bite him, and when she says she will owe Tina another favor Tina seriously demands “a kissing favor,” and how Betsy may find herself more flexible in sex partners than before. “That explains a lot. If a strange woman had tried to lay a lip lock on me two weeks ago, I would have clobbered her with my purse,” she says as if she didn’t have a bad, albeit admittedly less violent, just like an hour ago, “But here I was, extremely naked with a gorgeous woman and a guy who wasn’t exactly ugly, both of whom would have been thrilled to fuck me, and I was more than a little tempted to be the meat in their sandwich.
It was all very strange. Calgon, take me away!
She says they’ll negotiate later, and Tina says “of course. I’d want to wait until we had…leisure.”
“You know, those pauses you and Sinclair do before you finish a sentence are really terrifying.”
“Why do you think we do it? And who do you think taught him?” I mostly transcribed that because it’s pretty hilariously dumb, like…if it were real life and someone made a pregnant pause every other sentence or so, would you find it “terrifying,” or would you think they had an unfortunate learning or reading disorder? And I’m not mocking anyone who has any kind of disorder, but that’s the nicest thing I could say about the excessive use of long, dramatic pauses. It’s not cool, sexy, or chic (or original), but it would definitely be super irritating.
Anyway, Betsy finally drinks, and Tina calls Nick to focus on her instead. He starts fucking Tina, like…SUPER-hard. Nick lunged forward, picked her up, and drove into her.Her back slammed against the tile and her legs were forced up and around his waist. Tina let out a squeak of pain, and Nick started thrusting against her so hard I lost my grip.
“Oh my god, ith he hurting you?” I was horrified. I was ready to pull him off her and put him through the shower door, and never mind that he was the victim.
“Nothing. It’s nothing.”
It occurred to me that a woman who didn’t choose to couple with men was taking a pounding on my behalf, and didn’t even have the pleasure of the drink to ease things. Because she wanted me to drink. Which I had, like the selfish cow I was.
And you will receive no argument from me, dear Betsy.
It’s just…I hadn’t thought he’d be so rough! So–so brutal and mindless. Of course, he’d tried to be like that with me, but I’d given it right back to him and besides, I liked men. But Tina–
Then why the fuck did you think it would be different?
Nick seized her by the thighs and wrenched her further apart; she cried out before she could lock it back.
“Oh, screw thith,” I said.
I started to pull him off her, but stopped at her sharp, “No! Else it’s for nothing!”
So I held her hand instead. She squeezed back, tightening painfully as Nick speeded up toward his climax. Then he was done and collapsing to his knees, already half-unconscious, and I caught Tina as she fell forward. “That’s it, sweetheart,” I told her, brushing damp tendrils of hair out of her eyes. “That’s the last pounding you take on my behalf.”
We staggered out of the shower together. I remembered to turn off the water before Nick drowned. But I still felt like putting him through the wall–how’s that for irrational?
And that’s it. That is how chapter 18 ends. That sick, horrifying scene, fraught with gruesome detail and a horrible premise–made all for nothing, because none of that seemingly needed to happen. They never again act like taking one drink from one human is particularly cruel, and maybe it’s because Nick knew her from before?, except they later make it clear that Nick never did have that perceived crush on Betsy that she talks about earlier on in the book. He didn’t already have any lust towards her (which makes me wonder how the fuck this guy normally fucks, because what the fuck I just find that particular scene especially grotesque. Maybe it’s just me. I dunno. And yeah, I get Betsy didn’t think it would happen like that, and they seemingly felt like they didn’t have the luxury of other choices, but I’m sure–I’m sure–they could have taken care of it somehow without forcing a tiny little lesbian having her thighs wrenched apart, slammed into the tile. That doesn’t read to me as anything more than a raunchy, disgusting rape scene–and an unnecessary one, at that.
Fuck you for that one. MJD. Fuck you.