Previously on Obsidian, Katy voluntarily secludes herself in the wilderness with Daemon AGAIN, where he helpfully points out a plot-important rocky outcrop nearby that OH SHIT BEAR.
Note: all direct quotes are either in bold or block-quotes. If something’s in quotation marks but not bold or block-quotes, it’s paraphrased snark.
All right, Daemon. You’ve just aliened yourself and Katy away from imminent death-by-bear, in probably the least subtle way possible. Let’s see how you talk your way out of this. Wait hold on let me get some popcorn first.
Okay, I’m ready. Go.
There’s been an abrupt, violent change in the weather: flawless skies are now snarled up with thunder and lightning and buckets of rain, which Katy notices when she opens her eyes to find herself . . . on her front porch, I think?
I drew in a shallow breath, confused.
My shoulder was pressed against something warm and hard. Turning my head, I felt the object rise up sharply and then slowly ease back down.
Oh my god, did the book predict my lol-need for alien robot piston erotica?
It took me a second to realize it was a chest my cheek was pressing into.
Katy and Daemon are on the Porch Swing of Surprise Cuddling, his arm “keeping [her] securely pinned to his side.” Katy’s digging it, and passes several delirious minutes feigning sleep while chronicling exactly how many millimeters of her are pressed into how many hard, musky millimeters of him.
His thumb’s sketching circles over her waist, and each circle’s totally-by-accident dragging the hem of her shirt up a smidge, until he’s caressing bare skin. This makes her “hot and shivery,” a sensation she “had little experience with.” Thanks, Katy, for your regular reminders that you’re a virgin (and therefore, according to misogyny, Pure and Good).
But, woe, his thumb ceases its circles, so Katy pushes herself away from his pillowy pecs and pretends that oh yeah she totally only just woke up, yep. And then it starts: she asks him what happened. (FYI, I’m jamming popcorn in my mouth, so ready for this conversation.)
And Daemon—oh, shit, really? Daemon goes all, “Uh, you fainted and the storm scared the bear off, and I carried you back home through the rain, yep, no alien powers here,” and Katy, bless her heart, is too transfixed by the image of his muscly biceps and musclier abs carrying her limp body through the wilderness to think about anything else. God damn it, Katy.
Katy remarks on the extremity of the rain (“This shit is wild”), Daemon acknowledges it’s not ideal (“Guess I’m stuck on your porch until it lets up”), and Katy, in prime form, immediately makes this whole scenario about her devastating insecurity (“I’m sure I look like a drowned cat”). Daemon’s all “Nah, girl, you look good wet” and nudges her with a few enthusiastic eyebrow wriggles (I’m exaggerating), but Katy scowlingly refuses to believe his cruel ego-boosting lies.
He shifted beside me, and without a word, I felt his fingers lift my chin toward him. A crooked smile lifted his full lips. “I wouldn’t lie about what I thought.”
I wished I had something clever to say, maybe even a little flirty, but his intense stare sent any coherent thought scattering.
They then proceed to spend the next full page sloooowly mooooving iiin tooo kiiiiiss, their eyes open and locked on their targets, each passing millisecond “tantalizing and torturing every breath [Katy] took,” even while she’s acknowledging things like “I didn’t even like him” and “He didn’t like me” and “This was insane” and “He was bad, bad news.” Jesus, how slowly are these guys moving?
And, oh lawl, Katy’s a hair away from discovering “if his lips were as pillow soft as they looked” when WHY HELLO DEE.
Daemon hustles his erection to the far side of the porch swing as Dee bounces up to greet them—the rain has miraculously stopped, by the way—and Dee curiously takes in Daemon’s crossed legs and Katy’s impending emotional meltdown at being thus tragically smoochblocked.
“Ho ho, what’s going on here?” Dee ho hos. Daemon buffs his fingernails and fixes his hair and douchily smirks, “Nothing. [ . . . ] Just earning bonus points,” before fleeing the scene. Katy’s left staring after him with mouth agape and one hand feeling around for the nearest potential projectile to heave after him.
Dee ventures a few probing questions about how Katy and Daemon spent the last week, and Katy says Daemon “was actually pretty decent” and that hanging out with him “wasn’t all bad,” then privately amends “If I didn’t count the fact he was being forced into spending time with me, had almost kissed me for bonus points.”
While I appreciate that Katy’s not looking back on their interactions with lust-hued blinders on, it seems to me that her list of complaints is awfully short. According to my calculations, the number should be closer to—let me check my scroll—everything he has ever done.
Dee eventually leaves, giving Katy a chance to reflect on the most recent Daemon-related developments:
Long after I’d gone inside and pulled on a pair of old sweats, I was still confused over Daemon.
Please be thinking about his supernatural abilities, please be thinking about his supernatural—
My stomach flipped thinking about how close his lips had been to mine.
God damn it, Katy.
Scene change! It’s, uh, some time later, and Katy and Dee are chilling in Katy’s living room, briefly talking college (Katy’s thoughts: “Lol, what’s college?”) and Daemon (Katy’s thoughts: “Why is he so hot, why do I care that I haven’t seen him in two days, is he flexing his pecs right now?”). Their totally riveting conversation is eventually interrupted by a glitch in Dee’s human-body-hologram:
She held her right hand against her chin, tapping her lips with one painted purple nail.
The finger blurred, nearly fading out. Air around her seemed to hum.
I blinked several times. The finger was still there. Great. I was hallucinating again. I threw the magazine aside. “I need to go to the library. I need new books to read.”
Ah, yes, the natural response to recurring hallucinations: eye-rolling disinterest and a change of subject.
Katy suggests a library trip tonight, but Dee cagily responds that, uh, she’s already got plans with, like, uh, friends who are in town from, uh, somewhere. “FRIENDS?” Katy silently replies, sulking a major sulk, “BUT I THOUGHT I WAS YOUR FRIEND. WHAT THE FUCK, DEE, THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE.” Out loud she wishes Dee and her so-called friends a fun evening together, and she’s still sulking when Dee packs up to leave.
Before she heads out, though, Dee fluffs her hair and turns straight to the camera and advises that Katy against going to the library on her own tonight, because there’ve been some plot-related disappeared girls recently, and if Katy gets nabbed this book might turn into gore-porn instead of the asshole alien romance it’s supposed to be. Katy rolls her eyes at the advice, but agrees to “think about it.”
If she doesn’t immediately head to the library in the next chapter, I’m going to be so disappointed in her.
But, hey, at least we’re now guaranteed to finally get into some plot-related excitement, right? I mean, we all know what Katy’s response to a potential kidnapper would be: “What a lovely rusted van you have, of course I’d like to go for a ride.”
I can only hope she musters enough strength to ditch the whole Passive Distressed Heroine thing she’s got going on, and claw her attacker’s face off. I hope for a solid face-mauling most ardently.