Chapter 14: Seriously, book? Seriously?
(The Commissioner is still hoping for regular MWF updates, but can make no promises to said regularity for the next few months, alas. This semester, and the Commissioner's Real Job and other events, have been tough and threaten to continue to be. Also, for a mostly-unrelated but very cute picture of my vampire cat, check out yesterday's random Tuesday post.)
When we left off, Billie had just been revealed to have been standing behind a group of her friends(ish) bickering about her. Chapter 14, however, backs up a bit to when Logan first enters the party, as Billie is already there and is instantly aware of him as soon as he arrives. I’ll spare you the multiple paragraphs of praise for how well Logan has grown into a man and how she’s now a woman and not a girl.
Billie is alone at the party because Connor (Logan’s veterinarian younger brother) who brought her, has abandoned her for an animal emergency. (In case you’re wondering, since this is a Halloween party, Connor had been dressed as Superman.) Gerald, her sister’s creepy significant other, notices Billie all alone and checks on her, which is sort of nice of him, but Billie just responds by thinking that in his Rhett Butler costume he looks like an antebellum porn star. She makes her excuses to escape him, mainly so that Bobbi doesn’t get even more mad at her (the sisters are not talking, ever since the Public Display of Lust inna Driveway), and this is when Tracy calls her over….
Which means that Billie wasn’t actually standing right behind
Eric Toothless Logan
during the last chapter but somewhere vaguely nearby?
After admiring how Logan looks, although not knowing what he’s dressed as, Billie reflects upon the fact that there had been only a single, solitary costume at the costume-store in her size. Seriously? And what was said costume? Naughty angel. Because of course. So it consists of a nearly transparent dress, a body suit under it, feathery wings that are shedding, and thigh-high white boots. This is not Billie’s usual garb and thus she’s uncomfortable.
I can imagine a costume rental store being picked over, but completely out of any other costumes? And Billie couldn’t choose to instead just throw something together from her closet? I grant you, my closet (with my longing for a return to my goth days, random pieces from renaissance faires, and various pieces that have been used for plays and thus might be useful for another one) is probably more interesting than Billie’s, since her only interest seems to be hockey. But even so—surely she could throw something together. Or borrow something from a friend. (The thigh high boots are already borrowed from Tracy.) Something that she’s more comfortable in.
But no. That wouldn’t serve the plot or make Logan’s mouth water.
Logan and Billie make super awkward small talk about how Logan doesn’t know what he’s dressed as (he only wore whatever his mom sent), that Billie got home safely the night before, and her stitches (which have gone from 8 to 10 since actually getting them.) Then Logan says that the previous night shouldn’t have happened. He means that Sociopathic-Seth shouldn’t have attacked her, but Billie assumes that he means she shouldn’t be playing.
“Logan, I know I asked for it. I mean, I stole the puck off Seth more times than I can count. And I shot at Cronkwright real steady, and not just at Cronkwright,” she licked her lips but was unable to stop the train wreck that was her mouth. “I mean, I hit his helmet at least a dozen times. Hard. A dozen hard shots to the head and, well, at least five or six at his crotch. I…” (235)
Remember how I wrote in post 8 that I didn’t think it was a problem that Billie didn’t rein in her skill and played better than the others? I’m not sure I agree completely with myself any more. I mean, sure, steal the puck from Seth—that’s just playing smart. But to consistently aim for a goalie’s head kind of sucks. (There’s hints that the goalie is an asshat but it’s not shown so I can’t say whether he deserves it.) It’s also just bad playing. You don’t aim at the goalie. The goalie is there to stop the puck. The purpose of the game is to get the puck past the goalie and into the net.
Maybe Billie’s not in Sweden anymore because the concussion made her forget the purpose of the game.
Anyway, Billie gets cut off by Logan grabbing her arms in order to tell her that she did nothing wrong and that he’d told Sociopath-Seth that he has to behave or get kicked out of the league. Billie doesn’t seem to know how to respond to this and there’s a long moment of allllmooooossssst kissing, but they’re interrupted by Logan’s mother having taken the stage to announce that it’s time for the Live Auction and Billie immediately starts to get nervous.
Apparently Connor had talked Billie into auctioning off one-on-one coaching with her, as the auctioneer announces.
Silence greeted his words. Not total silence mind you since there were a few snickers that rang out (239).
Traditionally, as it turns out, the Live Auction is held late in the evening and Billie hadn’t planned on being there for it. But since Logan’s mom moved it up, she was still at the party. Even so, there were 20 minutes of auction between the announcement of “Hey, we’re starting the auction” and “Up for bid, Billie Jo Barker’s coaching skillz” so I don’t know why Billie didn’t, like, leave the party.
The auctioneer gets flustered, since no one is bidding.
“What is wrong with you folks? This is a great opportunity for your child or grandchild.”
“Or your husband,” someone quipped.
“Hell, maybe she’ll give a team discount,” Sabrina Fairfax threw in… (241).
Hey everybody! Public Slut Shaming! Fun! Isn’t this year’s Charity Fundraiser just the bestest ever?! Come on, everyone join in! Fear the potential for another woman’s sexuality! Billie wants to play hockey with men, that whore! So clearly she must be sleeping with EVERYONE. The entire team at once! Orgies in the locker room!
Seriously, I don’t get this book.
Bobbi-Jo, however, has had enough and she pushes through the crowd to snap at Sabrina. Weirdly, the text doesn’t say what Sabrina is dressed as (only that she has “candy red lips pulled back in a sneer”) but Bobbi-Jo is dressed as Scarlett O’Hara. I like to think she’s in the curtain dress as all this happens, but the text doesn’t specify.
The two women are snapping at each other and it seems like Bobbi might be about to physically attack Sabrina, so Logan bids a thousand dollars.
As one does.
Well, it’s pretty clear that Billie is the best player in the league so maybe he can learn from her. On the other hand, since I’m certain they will sleep together by book’s end, he’s also sort of proving Sabrina’s point.
Also? The auctioneer announces, “Sold! To the man in black” (242). So I like to think that the chapter actually ends here with Johnny Cash having purchased Billie’s hockey lesson.