Betsy asks Karen the British Prostitute to show her to the library after they share some tea. Surprise, surprise, the library was right out of a nineteenth-century catalogue. Dark walls, lush wine-colored carpet which I sunk into up to my ankles (what the fuck? Am I alone in thinking that’s weird? Whatever), mahogany furniture, and shelves of books. The desk was big enough for three people to work at comfortably without ever brushing elbows. Ridiculous! If I didn’t know for a fact that Sinclair didn’t have to compensate for a darned thing, I’d sure have wondered. Meanwhile, I am still wondering. I mean, who needs a three-person desk? And an entire garage full of ridiculous luxury cars. They seriously have every single dumbass luxury car you’ve ever heard of, and some you probably haven’t. And a Jetta. Yeah, in a later book Betsy whines that the romance is dead because they take a Jetta for a road trip, and why does he even have that with all his other bullshit cars? How big is the garage?! We will never know.
The only photo is some old sepia-toned picture of four people; the men both look identical to Sinclair (one is him–as a teenager–so that makes sense…except for a plot point later on, but we’ll get there), and the other are two dainty, petite women with tip-tilted dark eyes and hair…so also kind of like Sinclair, except small and womanly. Only the teenage girl is smiling. “She looked about thirteen,” I’m just putting that here for what I alluded to before.
Anyway, he has a bunch of books, some you’d guess like the complete works of Shakespeare, some you may not like the complete collection of an author named James Herriot, which/whom is a Yorkshire veterinarian? I guess? Betsy told me as much, so who know. He has an entire wall of floor-to-ceiling CDs, but Betsy thinks that after that car ride they’re hopeless, The Canterbury Tales, Dante’s Inferno, some atlases…she finally stumbles upon a shelf full of vampire history novels. Like, actual written by vampires for vampires history novels. Back from Death: Vampires of Historic Note; Walking with the Undead; The Vampire’s Guide to Man; The Church and the Undead: A History; Living Dead and Living Well. She pulls down Vampires of Historic Note and finds it is worn and well-used; it falls open to a heavily marked page with a bad picture of Nostro scowling up at her, with this written underneath:
Nostrodamus(sp), formerly known as Frederick O’Neill. DOB: February 14, 1627. POB: London, England. DOD: December 26, 1656.
She laughs at his name, as earlier on she said he’d probably been born with some dumb, average name and I think Fred was even one of her examples, and that he’s a Valentine’s baby, who died the day after Christmas. She wonders why he doesn’t have even a trace of an English accent, but thinks maybe 200 years in the United States got rid of it. My main surprise is that he doesn’t play up his accent–a thought Betsy doesn’t ever come to, but she should. I mean, c’mon. She whines about stereotypes and misses kind of a big one here! Whatever.
She discovers that little is known about his mortal life, but he’s been a vampire of note for his entire undead lifetime: he led The Undead Uprising of 1658, which you’ll notice is only two years after becoming a vampire. I will note, they’ve stated over and over that newborns are intolerably feral and have an insatiable bloodlust for somewhere between 5-10 years. Somehow, he managed to rally 6,000 vampires into his terrible two temper tantrum “in a very short time,” and was only defeated once the Catholic Church joined forces with the status quo vampires.
The Catholics and the vampires had to team up once again two years later, The Maypole Massacre of 1660. There was egregious loss of life, but taught Nostro how to be more clever. Betsy stops reading once she gets to the line, “In a stroke of cunning, Nostrodamus (again, sp) took the town’s children and–” and I have some idea of what he did, as earlier Tina mentioned that she saw him torture and kill vast numbers of children, even going so far as to break their bones and suck on the marrow. This couldn’t have been that time, as Tina wasn’t born until the Civil War.
Forty years pass, and Nostradamus smuggled himself to “The New World” inside a cargo compartment.
“Nostrodamus quickly established a foothold in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. This time he was able to keep control of the town for fifty-six years, before being driven out by settlers and Native Americans, who set fire to Plymouth during daylight hours and staked all who were left alive that night.
This is the first known record of Native Americans and colonists uniting against vampires. Nostrodamus sacrificed most of his followers to ensure his escape. Many of them were left behind for the townspeople to–”
And then Betsy slams the book shut, appalled. Sinclair sneaks up behind her, and once again she internally drools over him while admiring his clothing. This is a common thing in these books–constantly describing exactly what someone is wearing, or how they did their hair, and I kinda hate it. Unless there’s some outfit-based plot point, who cares what people dressed like. But no, always always always y’gotta inform the reader of what someone is wearing, often in depth. And I get that this is a silly, shallow, ‘fashionista’ book/character so maybe it makes some sense they’re included…but they’re in just about every frickin’ genre book ever, and I do wonder if anyone gives a shit? Is it just me? Also, Sinclair wears a suit. That’s it. It’s just another tailor-made (his shoulders are apparently too broad for off-the-rack) black suit with varying colors of shirts, or the occasional tie. That is it. He never wears anything else–he has an entire closetful of incredibly expensive suits.
He tells her that Mitzi (the angry bathrobe harem-member) is now quite terrified of her, and didn’t realize that Betsy is apparently, allegedly super important. So, cool…if she hadn’t been the vampire queen, she wouldn’t have raged at her? She thinks that’s acceptable behavior as long as the person she’s talking to is beneath her. Cool!
Betsy asks if vampire publishing houses exist, and he says of course. They banter back and forth a bit (at one point she has the gall to claim, Have I mentioned I hate banter? I’m leaving, as if she’s not constantly bantering, as well as whoever she’s talking to. She asks to borrow some of the vamp books for the night to study, as she hasn’t found any useful information otherwise.
He acquiesces that she may, and says he will quiz her tomorrow. He suggests that the penalty for wrong answers ought to be kisses, but she isn’t taking that shit. Y’know, yet. She again says she’s gonna take off, but he silently refuses to leave the entryway so that she will have to wiggle all over him to slip by. She wipes the smile off his face, however, when she says she’s going to have to borrow one of his ridiculous cars.
She’s driving and going through the CDs in his car, tossing out the ones she doesn’t like. She throws them out the damn window, and like…what a bitch. A cop pulls her over, a male cop, and she claims internally The oops, silly me, but I’m not in the habit of breaking the law, so how about you let me off, you big strong sweetie? Routine had a sixty-seven percent success rate, particularly when I was wearing my suede miniskirt. Well that sounds like the ugliest kind of miniskirt one could have. I mean, suede?!
Yep, that’s gross.
She admits she doesn’t have her license or the car’s registration, but he doesn’t give a shit as he’s already in the “you’re pretty” routine. She cheers to herself that she now has a hundred percent success rate. He keeps doing that drooly shit, and when she asks if she can go, of course he lets her. But before she takes off, she says to him, “Step back. Get into your car. Don’t set any more speed traps tonight,” which is a little mean, considering cops have some kind of quota (I’ve been told, anyway) and basically she’s fucking with someone’s livelihood for no reason because he already let her go, and she’s not going to be back on this road anyway. But whatever. Chapter 21 ends, and I finally get to go to bed.
COMING UP: Betsy and Jess have some girl time