Check out our episode here! Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Sydney Sage and her younger sister Zoe are awoken in the middle of the night by their father for what is surely important Alchemist business, either that or they're sending Sydney to a reeducation center… The girls meet their father in his study but are not alone. Three more Alchemists are there. Jared Sage is annoyed at what these other Alchemists are requesting of him, which is that Zoe be tattooed with the golden lily marking her as an Alchemist and sent on a mission. Since Sydney is already an Alchemist, it would make more sense for her to go on this mission, but with her running around and helping Rose Hathaway, well, her loyalties are in question. Alchemists are supposed to hate Moroi, Strigoi and Dhampirs, but really she only hates the Strigoi now, the Undead murderous vampires, like everyone else. The Alchemists decide that Sydney, being more trained, will go on the mission, but she must get her lily retattooed to strengthen the magic it provides, keeping her from getting sick, in peak physical condition, and from revealing Alchemist secrets. Her tattoo redone, Sydney finally finds out her mission. To go into hiding and protect Jill Mastrano, Queen Vasilisa Dragomir's illegitimate sister.
Some Moroi are upset with the crowning of the young Queen and, in order to dethrone her without attacking her directly, they have begun an attack on Jill. She's already been injured once, so the Moroi have decided to hide her and another Moroi, an Ivashkov for some reason, and a guardian, Eddie Castile, in extremely sunny Palm Springs. Keith, another alchemist, arrives. He's in charge of Palm Springs and is angry that Sydney will be on the mission instead of Zoe. Ugh. Keith. Sydney hates him. He stayed with the Sages when they were all younger and her father treated him like the son he never had. But Sydney knows something about Keith, something that he doesn't want anyone to find out, so he obviously hates her and doesn't want her to be a part of the mission. But what is the mission exactly?
Sydney will be Jill's roommate in a private boarding school and keep an eye on her to keep her safe. Wait. She has to go back to high school?! Maybe it would have been better for Zoe to be on this mission, but no. Sydney doesn't want Zoe to have to live the Alchemists' life, especially if it's with Keith. After she's sent away to pack her things, Zoe comes barging into Sydney's room, pissed that Sydney is going on the mission instead. This could have been her chance! Oh no... Hopefully Zoe won't be upset for too long, but now, it's time for Sydney to get in the car with Keith and drive to Palm Springs. What a joy this will be.
The drive is not as terrible as it could be, though Keith does make some off-color vampire remarks that Sydney doesn't agree with. They arrive in Palm Springs and get everything set up for Sydney, Eddie and Jill's arrival at school. They get fake IDs and fake last names and now, they're the Melrose siblings. They also buy Sydney a car and we all remember from way back in Spirit Bound that Sydney loves cars. The one she gets isn't super impressive... it's a brown station wagon she lovingly names Latte. The only thing left for them to do is to meet their charges, or Keith needs to meet them, so they go to the house of the only Moroi who lives in the desert town, Clarence, who will share his feeder with Jill. When they arrive, they are greeted by Adrian Ivashkov who pretends to be a scary vampire to taunt Keith and also Jill, Eddie and... Abe?
Sydney meets Clarence and his son, Lee, who is also there. Keith is rattled by this. Apparently he doesn't know everything about his region like he previously claimed. Also at this meeting is Rose. Sydney is excited to see her friend again, but has to make it seem like she's indifferent. Rose is there to make sure the house is secure and suggests changing a lock on the back door. Like that would keep Strigoi out, Keith muses. This sends Clarence off on a rattling discussion about how Strigoi aren't the worst things out there and that Vampire Hunters killed his niece. This is news to everyone, except Lee who is embarrassed. Vampire Hunters?
Clarence says his niece's throat was slashed with a knife and half her blood was gone. That doesn't seem very Strigoi like, but that's who the guardians claim was responsible. Keith starts talking then about how he fought Strigoi and they took his eyeball, but Sydney can't stand to hear this story again, so she goes outside. She later overhears a chat between Abe and Adrian, who's been outside all this time, about how he should have been inside meeting the Alchemists and being polite. It's important that he stay close to Jill, according to Lissa and Rose, and he's supposed to be Abe's eyes and ears here, so it's important that he's involved, even if he doesn't want to be around Rose. Abe tells Adrian he could be great, but he has to get over this hang-up with Rose. The two Moroi go inside and Sydney follows a bit later. Keith tells her they need to leave because he has important business to take care of, so they do.
Sydney hoped to get more details about exactly what happened to have Lissa, Rose and Abe hide Jill out here in Palm Springs, but no luck. Now on campus, she and Jill have to share a room, which freaks her out. She was able to get along with Rose well enough when she was helping her when she was on the run, but now, living with an actual vampire? It's a lot. Their first day includes an orientation and a tour of the campus of their school, Amberwood Prep. They are shown around by a guy named Micah who turns out to be Eddie's roommate. Eddie seems put off by Micah or maybe even afraid of him, but that can't be. He's just a regular lanky redheaded guy and Eddie is a guardian. Or... Almost. Eddie's been on probation since he killed the mangle hand man back in Last Sacrifice. But whatever, he shouldn't be afraid of this human guy who seems harmless anyway.
After the tour, Sydney gets fitted for her school uniforms which are pretty boring, but also pretty much what she would wear every day as an Alchemist anyway. She does freak out about being a size four and is jealous of Jill's size zero, though really, a four is still tiny. She gets her schedule and shocks the administration when she tells them she knows all the languages offered. She has to take tests to prove it and of course she passes them all. She also meets two girls, Julia and Kristin, who are very interested in her face tattoo. They offer to meet up with her for lunch the next day to explain why they are curious about it. That night, as Sydney and Jill get ready for bed, Jill seems to know a lot about what Adrian is up to even though she hasn't seen him or talked to him.
The first day of school goes by pretty normally for Sydney, except that she's obviously the smartest person in all her classes and the teacher's assistant in her history class, Trey, comments on her tattoo and Julia and Kristin ask at lunch if she's smart because of her tattoo. Uh... No? That's weird. She explains that she was homeschooled and her father was strict. The girls tell Sydney to meet up with them later and they'll explain more about why they're curious about her tattoo.
When Sydney gets to PE, she's shocked to find that Jill isn't there even though she's supposed to be. After meeting up with someone in administration to decide what to do in place of the language classes she tested out of, Sydney rushes back to her room. Jill is in there, safe and sound, but she got sent out of her first class and was made to stay in her dorm for the rest of her classes because she was hungover. Uh... No she wasn't! She was feeling unwell, but she definitely wasn't drunk. Sydney starts freaking out over Jill being punished for nothing, but Jill begs her to calm down. It was nothing, no big deal. You know what would help her feel better though? Seeing Adrian.
They go to Clarence's house and Sydney talks to Lee while Jill talks to Adrian. This does seem to make Jill feel better. Before they leave, Adrian asks to speak with Sydney. Sydney asks Lee to talk to Jill about feeling out of place as a Moroi in a human school while she and Adrian talk. Adrian asks Sydney if she can help him get his own apartment or bachelor pad or car or something because the only thing he has to do at Clarence's is drink all day and, well, he's almost out of liquor already. Sydney tells him no because Abe told him to stay here and she doesn't want to cross Abe.
The next day of classes is better. Jill actually attends this time, and while she's nervous about being so much taller and thinner than everyone, she makes it through the day relatively unscathed. Sydney secures an independent study position with her history teacher, Ms. Terwilliger, and will help her in writing a book, too. Sydney is thrilled by this, but Trey mocks her again about being so smart because of her face tattoo. She tells him that's not the case and asks what the deal is with everyone thinking her tattoo is why she's so smart. Apparently there are tattoos that increase abilities and everyone at school knows about them. A guy named Slade tells Trey he's going to get one that will make him football captain. Trey's better than Slade in every way, despite not having a tattoo, so he's not worried. Huh.
Later in PE, Jill is there, which is good, but they're playing volleyball in the full sun, which is not good. Micah takes care of her and covers her poor sporting ability, but Sydney doesn't like it. She talks to Eddie after class and tells him to make Micah leave Jill alone. Vampires and humans do not mix! He says he won't talk to Micah because Jill deserves to have some semblance of normalcy and if Sydney has a problem with them spending time together, she needs to talk to Jill about it instead. However, instead of talking to Jill, Sydney goes to see Adrian, hoping to get him on her side, which she does, but he tells her the same thing as Eddie, to talk to Jill. Then Lee comes in and says if they want Jill to have a date, then he'll ask her out because he likes her. Adrian flips at this because Lee is 19 and in college and Jill is 15. Then they talk about group dating or socializing since Sydney would definitely have to go chaperone, which gets Adrian excited since that means he'd get to leave Clarence's and have an evening out.
This planning doesn't last long because Keith comes in then, which is weird because he shouldn't be there, but Sydney shouldn't either really. Lee asks if Adrian wants to go to LA with him while Keith yells at Sydney for being a vamp lover and a sympathizer. She asked him for a note to get Jill out of outdoor PE, which he declined because he's a jerk. They go outside to leave but Keith keeps yelling at Sydney about sending her to a reeducation center. Adrian overhears and tells her that Keith is a jerk and that she's not bad for a human. He tells her she can say the same thing back to him, but, no she's an Alchemist, she can't say that. She does give him a small compliment though, which he delightfully takes too far. When Sydney gets back to her room, Jill is furious at her for going behind her back and trying to set her up on dates. Did Adrian call her and tell her all this already? Sheesh! Sydney apologizes and realizes once again, while just trying to protect her younger sister, real or Moroi, she's messed up.
Ms. Terwilliger calls Sydney then and sends her off campus to pick up coffee for her and makes her come to the library to assist with translations for her book. While in the library, Sydney runs into Julia and Kristin and overhears Slade talking about his new tattoo. She sees that it's metallic, just like her Alchemist tattoo, which means that it has some elemental addition that will give him a boost in some way. Sydney can't let on that she knows any of this, so she asks the girls about the tattoos. They explain that everyone goes to a place called Nevermore to get them and depending on what kind you get, you get different effects, like help with studying or with sports or just to feel good. They also say they don't last very long, two weeks tops, but people get them touched up all the time if they have enough money. Huh ... This tattoo stuff is really interesting, but Sydney has to get back to her room. Jill is now really upset and sobbing. She apologizes for being so mean to Sydney earlier and then spends the rest of the night staring off into space.
The next day is feeding day for Jill, so they all go to Clarence's after school. And surprisingly, or maybe not, Keith is there again. While everyone enjoys pizza which Jill asked to bring because Adrian doesn't like the food at Clarence's, Sydney talks to Keith about the strange tattoos that everyone seems to have. He doesn't think they're related to alchemist tattoos at all. When he overhears Jill talking about her PE classes, he jumps in, valiantly offering to take care of everything she needs. How odd that he would do that when just yesterday he was berating Sydney about it. Ahh... It's then she realizes that Keith doesn't want her there, which she already knew, but now he's trying to sabotage her and make her look bad. Good thing everyone knows how shitty he is. He spends the rest of the night texting and ignoring everyone.
Lee suggests that they all go out to play minigolf after dinner, and when Sydney checks with Keith to make sure she can go and it won't seem like she's fraternizing with vampires, he misses the mark and says he can't go because he's busy. Dude, no one was inviting you. Since Jill has had her blood refill, she's feeling better and more energetic and talks to Eddie about learning how to fight, which then spreads into Sydney learning too. Clarence thinks this is a great idea, but not in fighting off Strigoi, then he begins rambling about Vampire Hunters again. Eddie tells him he'll keep them all safe, which soothes the addled old vampire.
Minigolf goes well. Lee's interest in Jill is okay with everyone, even Adrian who snidely remarks that he's seen bigger age differences. Jill is very excited when she sees that the golf course has a huge waterfall. Being in the desert has been hard on her as a water user, so she starts manipulating the water which freaks Sydney out. Vampires using magic is so unnatural! She asks Jill to stop, but she doesn't until Adrian snaps at her. Later, back at their dorm, Jill goes on and on about Lee and apologizes to Sydney again for being hateful. The next day, Eddie trains Jill in self defense while Micah watches. Sydney gets coffee for Ms. Terwilliger and talks to Trey who works at the coffee shop, about Slade and the tattoos. She works on Ms. Terwilliger's notes when she gets back to campus and grumbles about having to copy down spells and rituals verbatim instead of just taking regular non detailed notes, but oh well. It'll be helpful to Ms. Terwilliger and her book and though Sydney has lots of her own homework to do, she'll get it all done eventually. The next day, Jill shakes Sydney awake, telling her that they have to rescue Adrian! He's in trouble!
He's not really in trouble. He's stuck in Longbeach after partying all night. Sydney asks Jill how she knows all this and Jill finally reveals that during the attack that got her sent away from Court, she wasn't just hurt. She was killed. Adrian brought her back to life using his spirit magic and now they're bound. Shadow kissed. Just like Rose and Lissa were until Rose died a little again. So, just like Rose and Lissa, Jill can feel everything that Adrian is going through and she really was hungover that first day of school because Adrian was. This really pisses Sydney off, so she goes to collect Adrian so she can yell at him for drinking and partying and doing whatever else he does since he knows it negatively affects Jill. She arrives and starts in on him, and he apologizes and begs her for help getting out of Clarence's, which she can't do. It turns out, he was cut off from the Ivashkov bank accounts and has literally nothing to his name. Then, one of the party girls starts screaming! One of their friends, another Moroi, was killed by Strigoi. And they sliced her throat. This sends Sydney into calculating Alchemist mode. Other Alchemists will surely take care of it, but wait... Strigoi don't slit throats.
Back at school, Sydney talks to Eddie about the idea of Vampire Hunters actually existing. She decides to look into Alchemist files about the attacks that killed Clarence's niece and this sorority girl. In her room later, Sydney receives more work from Ms. Terwilliger and then hears a commotion. She runs down the hall to find that Kristin got a tattoo and is having a bad reaction to it, but no one wants to risk taking her to the hospital if it would mean something bad for the shady tattoo parlor. Sydney runs back to her room and mixes up a concoction using her Alchemist kit that will negate the effects of the tattoos. She knows that it's rare, but sometimes Alchemists have bad reactions to the metals used in the tattoos, so she takes the concoction back to her friend and helps her. The tattoo looks disgusting and she has chemical burns, but at least she's no longer dying from her shitty tattoo.
A few days pass in which Sydney is oblivious to boys flirting with her and Julia and Kristin being really nice to her and offering boy advice. She's just not interested in boys or anything that will distract her from her Alchemist duties. When feeding day rolls around again, Adrian asks Sydney if she'll take him for cigarettes while Jill is feeding. It seems he's trying to distract her from the unholiness of blood drinking. He asks again for help getting out of Clarence's house, but the only assistance she offers is in helping him get a job. They drive to a convenience store nearby for Adrian's cigarettes when Sydney spots Nevermore, the tattoo parlor. She asks Adrian for help in distracting the shop owners while she sneaks in and investigates the materials they use in the tattoos. While Adrian is describing the most ridiculous tattoo ever, Sydney finds what she knew she would. Vampire blood. They're using vampire blood in their tattoos, just like her Alchemist tattoo. This isn't good. And neither is the fact that one of the owners is now trying to get in. Sydney makes a run for it and gets away, stealing some of the materials. She tells Adrian what she discovered.
Back at school, Slade and some other bros are upset because Nevermore is having some delays in getting materials for their illicit tattoos. Clearly they're also addicted to whatever is in them. Sydney's done research trying to figure out what is in the compounds and finds there's one thing used in the tattoos that she can't figure out. Jill meanwhile is pretty upset about school because one of the popular girls who also has a crush on Micah is bullying her, even calling her a vampire, but that's just because she's so skinny and pale. Jill gets back at her by freezing the water in her shower one day. Sydney is mad, but really, no one could possibly know Jill had anything to do with it. Adrian finds it hilarious though.
Sydney goes by Clarence's to take Adrian out to find a job and while she's waiting on him, Clarence talks to her about the Moroi who was murdered, clearly by Vampire Hunters. He tells Sydney that the hunters are more strict than Alchemists and worship the sun and kill Strigoi without question, but kill Moroi more strategically. Sydney finds it odd that Clarence knows so much about the hunters, especially since they don't even exist. She and Adrian leave then, in search of a job that uses all his made up skills Sydney put on his made up resume.
They go to several job interviews which Adrian fails spectacularly and Sydney yells at him for not trying. She was legitimately trying to help and he was just wasting her time. She drops him off and goes back to school where she finds out that Jill is missing. After some frantic thoughts from Sydney, Eddie, Micah and school officials, they realize Jill is with Lee and track them down. Lee brings Jill back to school where Sydney lays into her. Jill begins to complain about how her life at school is terrible and Sydney and Eddie only make her feel worse when Sydney tells her that she's the only one doing a job here and they're all acting like children. The spiel goes on for a while, but that's the basis of it. Then she and Eddie talk to Lee about how foolish it was to take Jill away without telling anyone. Things seem to be okay after that, but then Sydney gets a call from her father.
He yells at her about how she's failing at her job and how Keith is picking up all her slack, which definitely isn't true, Keith is actually sabotaging her, but she can't say that because her father adores Keith and wouldn't believe her. He tells her that he's taking her off the job and sending Zoe in to replace her in two weeks. No way! After the call, Sydney decides she's got to do something to make herself look good in the eyes of the Alchemists again and then realizes she has to figure out the tattoos. When she finally gets to sleep that night, she's met in a spirit dream by Adrian. She freaks out about being surrounded by vampire magic and begs Adrian to release her, but before he does, he apologizes for wasting her time and says he doesn't know why he does stuff like that. Then he asks her for help getting into a local college. If he's able to get loans and into school, he'll be able to get out of Clarence's and do something with his life. Sydney realizes that Adrian is a lot like her. They're expected to do certain things and act in certain ways and it's difficult when people don't listen or help. She tells him she will help him and the dream dissolves.
The next day, Jill explains to Sydney that while she was off campus with Lee the day before, he took her to a boutique where she was offered a modeling job in an upcoming fashion show put on by the owner. Sydney thinks this would be a fantastic opportunity for Jill since she's bullied for being so tall and thin, but they find out later that Jill is grounded by the school for sneaking off campus and she won't be allowed to leave. Uh oh. That also means she won't be allowed off campus for her feedings. Sydney scrambles and makes up religious services that they have to attend and can only get permission for Jill to go if they provide the school with a note from a parent or guardian. Sydney writes one and asks Keith if he will sign it. He's a shitbag about it of course, but offers to come to the campus later to sign the note. Sydney goes by Ms. Terwilliger's room and remembers that she said she knows people at the same local college that Adrian wants to go to. When Sydney asks if Ms. Terwilliger knows anyone she can talk to in admissions, Ms. Terwilliger offers to help because it's clear that no one ever helps Sydney with anything. Ms. Terwilliger says she's seen it all before, parents who don't care about their kids and the kids, who often work really hard, are always forgotten and never appreciated. The only thing she asks for in return is for Sydney to try to make one of the charms from their spells and rituals work.
Later, when Sydney waits for Keith, Julia and Kristin come by. They talk about Jill's fashion modeling opportunity and how she's upset that she can't participate, but the girls have an idea. They suggest that Jill join the sewing club and use the modeling experience as a volunteer opportunity. That just might work! Keith finally shows up and is of course shitty, this time about how he's always having to cover for her, which is definitely not true. He also mentions whatever happened when he lived with her family for a little while. Sydney tells him he's made her life miserable, and resolves, to herself, that if he gets her sent to a reeducation center, she's taking him down, too.
When Sydney takes the letter to the office, she asks about a student who died that one of the school officials mentioned when Jill was missing the other day. The student who died was murdered. Her throat was slit. This makes her wonder if the girl was a Moroi. Sydney talks to Jill about it later and they try to find out anything they can about the girl. Jill has an idea to check yearbooks and will look into it. Sure, it would be bad to find out three Moroi girls were killed in the same way in a short amount of time, but it might be worse, or it would make less sense, if there were two Moroi and a human. What would that mean?
Ms. Terwilliger calls Sydney and tells her to take Adrian to the college to talk to her friend there. Adrian learns that it's too late to start classes now since he has no paperwork or applications, but he can start auditing classes now and then be retroactively enrolled. He picks two art classes and he and Sydney leave. She is impressed with his drive to start classes and she's even more impressed that he has already been planning how to get to campus which includes riding a bus for an hour. He just really wants to be out of Clarence's. He mentions Keith coming by earlier to check on Clarence and says that Clarence isn't doing well. It wouldn't be good for their feeding situation if Clarence had to be taken to a Moroi hospital. Hopefully it won't be so bad.
Back at campus, Sydney gets to work performing the spell for Ms. Terwilliger. After two hours, she's completed it and now has a fire charm. Ms. Terwilliger doesn't want the charm, she only wanted to see if the spell worked, so Sydney shrugs and keeps it. What she's going to do with this ungodly piece of magic that probably won't even do anything, she doesn't know, but she puts it in her purse. She goes back to her dorm to find the door vandalized with bats and the words VAMP GIRL. Inside the room are school officials, performing a search. When they leave, Jill explains that Laurel, the bully, told the officials that Jill sold her alcohol. She also says that Laurel is working on a project for the yearbook club and that she has all the yearbooks that Jill wanted to look through. Jill tried asking nicely to borrow them, saying that she knows she and Laurel have their differences, but then Laurel told her she'd never get the yearbooks and now all this has happened. Is it possible that Laurel knows what's going on, or that she knows that Jill is actually a vampire? Surely not. Either way, Sydney is going to get her back.
Sydney's plan to get back at Laurel is a simple one: replace her shampoo with something that will make her hair look gross and that's exactly what happens. Trey talks to Sydney about coming to watch him play football even though he probably won't even get to play since Slade and his bros appear to have had their tattoos redone. She says she'll go after Trey mentions having a strict father who forces him to be in peak physical condition at all times. Kinda sounds like Sydney's dad. She's also curious about the tattoos and how they got back into business so quickly. Later, Sydney takes Jill to the boutique where all the schemes at getting her to be a model have played out perfectly. While Jill's practicing her model walk with Eddie and Lee to supervise, Sydney slips out and goes to Nevermore.
She has a plan to try to get a tattoo, but when she walks in, the tattooist assumes she's there, with her golden lily on her face, to give him more Alchemist supplies. She plays along with it and tells him she's just there to see how things are going and that not all the Alchemists think he deserves any more supplies after he let the last batch get stolen. The tattooist says the guy said everything would be fine, and could she please get whoever it is with the creepy voice to stop calling and asking about tall skinny people who look like vampires? Sydney has no idea what that's about, but realizes that the guy is Keith. She puts this together when she realizes that her dad told her he was replacing her with Zoe immediately after she found out about the tattoos and talked to Keith about them. Sonofabitch. Later, Sydney calls Adrian for assistance in pinning the tattoo stuff on Keith. When she goes to pick him up, he ushers her inside to see Clarence who looks really sick. He also says that Keith was there again and asks what he could be doing to Clarence to make him ill. Oh, he's definitely been taking his blood AND his saliva, the ingredient she couldn’t figure out earlier, which is what makes the tattoos so addictive and mesmerizing. This is about to get bad.
Before they leave to go after Keith, Adrian takes Sydney through Clarence's living room which is filled with different works of art, all painted by him. Sydney is impressed with how diligently Adrian has taken to his college art classes. Then they make a plan to lure Keith out of his apartment so Adrian can search for any clues or any materials Keith might have used to take Clarence's blood. If he finds anything, he will contact the Alchemists and let Sydney know. She drops Adrian off and heads to a diner about twenty minutes away where she will call Keith and ask him to meet her to talk about Carly. This gets him out of his apartment immediately.
While Sydney waits for Keith to arrive, she checks a voicemail that is from the college that Adrian is auditing classes at. The voicemail says that it's not going to work out the way they hoped and that he won't get retroactively added to his classes. That's bad, but there are more important things to deal with right now. Like Keith. When he arrives at the diner, he starts in on Sydney being a vampire lover and how he's going to call and get her sent to a reeducation center in the morning. She gets a text from Adrian that he found something and the Alchemists are on their way. Keith starts to leave, but Sydney stops him by mentioning Carly again. Turns out, while Keith was living with them, he raped Carly, her older sister. He says he didn't do anything to her that she didn't want and calls Carly a slut, which makes Sydney angry enough to throw her coffee at him. She says she wishes he lost both of his eyes, which makes him mad enough to leave. She tries to get him to stay again which makes him realize she's trying to distract him from something, so he leaves for home and Sydney follows. When they arrive, they are met by Alchemists searching all over Keith's apartment. He's been busted.
A little while later, everyone is at Jill's fashion show. While waiting for Jill's turn down the runway, Trey talks to Sydney about busting the enchanted tattoo parlor and ruining Slade's quarterback status and how he appreciates her for doing it, even though she admits to nothing. She teases him about a non-illicit sun tattoo he has which he gets embarrassed by and leaves. That's odd. Adrian arrives and is in a bad mood, but Sydney expected that and ignores him. When Jill comes out, she looks amazing and exudes confidence. Adrian however is surly and angry. It's a wonder that Jill's not experiencing his anger at Sydney for not telling him about his financial aid falling through. He's pretty petty about it and he and Sydney fight back and forth quite a bit, so much that Sydney decides to leave the fashion show after party so as not to ruin Jill's night and cause a scene. She tells them all she's going to go to Keith's to clean stuff up, but on her way out, she's stopped by Laurel who begs her for help with her hair. Ever since Sydney saved Kristin's life with her tattoo reaction, she's been known as the dorm pharmacist. Sydney planned for Laurel to seek her help of course, so she tells her that if she helps, Laurel will leave Jill alone, and she agrees. She also gives Sydney the yearbooks Jill asked her about, thanks her and tells her she's scary.
Sydney gets to Keith's and sees that he must have been making some seriously big bucks with the illicit tattoos. His apartment is full of fancy stuff. She decides to take the food in his cabinets back to Eddie and Jill and wishes she could take his giant tv and cushy recliner, but those won't fit in Latte. She curls up in the recliner to look at the yearbooks but is interrupted by Lee who knocks on the door and enters. He sees she's looking at pictures of the girl who was murdered and then sees her reaction to the girl's prom picture. From five years ago. And her date. Who is Lee. How is that possible? He's nineteen! And he looks nineteen in the prom picture too. Weird. Then he says he's sad that Keith got caught and pulls a knife on Sydney.
Turns out, Lee used to be Strigoi but some spirit user restored him. Since then, he's been trying, unsuccessfully, to become Strigoi again but it's not working. He's killed and drained Moroi, dhampir and a human but he's still not changing. He was going to drain Keith, thinking that an Alchemist's blood would be special and work. Plus, he was an asshole. But now he's gone and Sydney's the only Alchemist left in Palm Springs so it has to be her. He doesn't want to kill her because Jill likes her and he loves Jill and is going to turn her Strigoi too so they can be young and immortal forever. Sheesh. Luckily Adrian arrives then to apologize to Sydney, but now he's caught up in this fiasco.
Lee forces Adrian to handcuff himself and sit in the corner. He takes Adrian's tie and ties Sydney up with it, but he doesn't know that her super strict father taught her all about knots. She and Adrian try to talk to Lee to convince him to, you know, not drain Sydney, but he's got to be Strigoi again. Sydney realizes that maybe Jill is picking up on what's going on with Adrian through the bond and hopes that she and Eddie are on the way. Lee tries Sydney's blood and is completely disgusted by it and knows that it won't work to make him Strigoi again, but doesn't know why it's so gross. He gets furious now and calls some Strigoi friends, offering Adrian and Sydney to them in exchange for them biting and turning him Strigoi that way. Sydney gets her knots untied and smashes Lee in the face with a yearbook. She and Adrian try to run, but Lee comes at them again, so she punches him in the face, knocking him back into the comfy chair. Just as she and Adrian make it to the door, the Strigoi come in.
The Strigoi pretty much immediately talk about eating everyone in the room. Lee shrieks that they are supposed to change him first, especially since he knows where they can get more Moroi and a dhampir. One of the two Strigoi begins to drain Lee while Sydney watches, disgusted and terrified. The Strigoi then begins to feed her blood back to Lee... but nothing happens. He doesn't become Strigoi, he becomes a corpse. Sydney shouts that he was restored by a spirit user so he can't be changed back, which is kind of amazing, but not right now. The Strigoi move in on Sydney, but just like with Lee, they think she tastes bad, so they go for Adrian.
Adrian is of course delicious but before they can drain him, Sydney regains some composure and looks for any sort of weapon to use against the Strigoi. She doesn't want them to hurt Adrian. He's tried so hard to keep her safe! In her purse she finds the fire charm she made for Ms. Terwilliger. Sydney reasons that it won't work, but it's at least a bag of rocks, so she throws it at the Strigoi and chants the incantation that will supposedly ignite the bag. AND IT WORKS. It's not a huge flame, but it distracts the Strigoi enough to get Adrian free. Then, thank goodness, Eddie and Jill arrive. Sydney turns on the faucet and Jill uses her water magic to form a club to beat one of the Strigoi, then Eddie stakes them both. Once order is restored, Adrian begins to heal Sydney, but she freaks out about his vampire magic, so they decide they'll go to the doctor instead.
A week or so passes and Sydney spends a lot of time telling and retelling the story of what happened to the Alchemists. There are a few puzzles left unsolved, like how Lee, after being restored, seemed to stop aging and potentially lost his ability to use magic, and who was the spirit user who restored him? There is also the question of why Sydney's blood was disgusting to everyone. Also that fire that happened. That's the only thing that Sydney could answer, but she's keeping it quiet for now until she can get some answers of her own about it from Ms. Terwilliger.
The Alchemists are planning to work with Moroi spirit users and others knowledgeable about spirit use to try to solve these puzzles. Sonya Karp has agreed to assist, but Lissa is too busy being Queen. If only there was a spirit user currently here in town with nothing to do... Sydney thinks that Adrian would help if he could get out of Clarence's house. This is almost perfect because Keith's apartment is available, but they have offered Sydney his position, which would come with his apartment. They've also found a dhampir who will take over Sydney's role with Jill. Sydney doesn't really want to stop working with Jill, so she suggests staying at Amberwood, in a different room of course, gotta convince everyone that she's NOT a vamp lover, and give Adrian the apartment. With that all sorted, Sydney goes to talk to Ms. Terwilliger.
Sydney is upset with Ms. Terwilliger. Turns out, Ms. Terwilliger knew the spell would work and knows all about Sydney being an alchemist and that Jill is a vampire and Eddie is a dhampir. Sydney is mad that she was forced to do magic when she's so vehemently opposed to it, but Ms. Terwilliger knew that, as an Alchemist, Sydney would have the discipline to study and perform the spell correctly. It's a bonus that she apparently has innate magical ability, maybe even more than Ms. Terwilliger herself has as a Coven member. Sydney doesn't want anything to do with magic, but will continue assisting Ms. Terwilliger if she'll leave magic out of it, so they agree. She won't mention Sydney using magic again until she asks.
Back with Eddie, Jill and Micah, Sydney confronts Eddie about being in love with Jill, which she only realized during the Strigoi fight. He doesn't think he's good enough for Jill and wants her to be happy and Micah's a good guy, so it's fine. Sydney then confronts him about Micah reminding him of Mason, which she learned about during an unimportant conversation with Adrian. This is also true, but Micah is a good guy, just like Mason was, and he deserves the best. Sydney doesn't understand any of this, but she also doesn't understand love or relationships, so what does she expect? After this, she goes to Adrian's new apartment. He's completely redone the inside and gotten new-to-him furniture and seems to be doing very well. He and Sydney talk a little about the attack, then the respect that they have for each other, you know, for saving each other's lives, and then that possibly begins to become something more, but then Abe arrives with the dhampir who is going to be taking Sydney's place with Jill. It's Angeline, from The Keepers from Last Sacrifice.
Sydney, Adrian and Abe talk about how they've all been pulling strings and solving riddles about Keith and Clarence. Turns out Abe knew Clarence was selling his blood, and wanted Adrian there to keep an eye on Clarence, but he did not know Keith was involved. Abe knows about Clarence selling his blood because he was behind that and, as the Moroi Godfather Zmey, he didn't want anyone else involved with his schemes. We also learn what Abe has over Sydney which we've been wondering about since Spirit Bound. Knowing that Abe is the Moroi Godfather Zmey, Sydney asked for his help in punishing Keith for raping her sister. Abe staged the Strigoi attack in which Keith lost his eye and was the one to remove it. Now Sydney has to work for him. Angeline is standing in the background during this discussion and has no idea what's going on, but then, the rest of the Spirit Entourage arrives, ready to figure out all the restoration issues. Sonya Karp, who is a spirit user and who was once Strigoi and … Dimitri Belikov.