Chapter 30, Part 2: Like Muscle Memory


Author Notes

Myself: So…you want to like make this the sex chapter? Really? Now?

Me: The heart wants what it wants.

Myself: But…this isn’t like one of your smutty romance novels. Your readers

Me: It says paranormal romance, my dude.

Myself: Can you just…can you like try to not go off the rails?

Me:…

Myself: [groaning] Why now?

Me: Oh, did you know that June 12th is the anniversary of the the Supreme Court decision, Loving v. Virginia? It made interracial marriage legal. Also, wasn’t that long ago.

Myself: Yes, and

Me: These characters deserve to bone. Content Warning. Oh, and Black Lives still matter. That shit isn’t over.


Von Haunt Estate

Alice

Technically, Vlad did fill out the paperwork. But only technically. After signing it, he glared at the producers until they suggested that maayybee it would be best if he just held on to it.

“Two more hours bakers! And then showstoppers have to be up front!” Rory yelled.

Alice cracked her knuckles and stretched. There was, weirdly, minimal interference from Jimena. Up until this point, every look had been downright hostile. Now, Jimena appeared thoughtful…calculating? It wasn’t because of Vlad, he and Alice kept a good distance from each other. Actually, everyone kept a good distance from him. He radiated a combination of confidence and terror that made for good television, but bad personal relations. 

Alice continued prepping her test bake. She hated being in the kitchen without Ben but if she dwelled on it for even a second, she feared it would pull her under. You don’t have time to mope, she reminded herself.

She was planning a gourmet version of french toast based on a recipe Contessa’s chef taught her. It didn’t need much time to prove or to bake so Alice was sure she could master it. She snuck a peek at Vlad. He glared at his oven as if it were an enemy before walking off and returning with an axe a few minutes later.

With a look of maniacal glee on his face, he swung with such force that the appliance practically splintered in two.

“What are you doing!” Bailee exclaimed as the cameras rushed over, along with a producer.

“You can’t do that! The destruction of property by contestants is strictly prohibited! You just signed a form!” Summer yelled, frantically waving her arms.

Vlad continued as if he hadn’t heard them. With a peal of unhinged laughter, he struck a match and set the entire hulking mass on fire. Alice groaned and pinched the bridge of her nose. Was this how Caleb and William felt?

“For the love of llamas someone call the fire depart—” Rory cut himself off when he noticed the cameras didn’t move. They remained focused on Vlad, who was now setting out ingredients and humming to himself.

“I-I guess technically he is baking…” Summer observed.

Assuming his phony megawatt smile, Rory strolled over and stood in front of the flaming stove. “Well, folks, we’re getting to see a real unique approach to baking! A bit old-fashioned but my producers tell me that this method was favored by 15th century nuns…”

Un-fucking-believable! Alice set her oven on fire by accident and she had to sit through a million lectures about fire safety and property damage. Vlad intentionally set his oven on fire and all of sudden Rory was calling it a “bespoke cooktop.”

“Well, they’d have a fucking heart attack if they knew he probably baked with those 15th century nuns,” Alice grumbled as she continued chopping fruit for her blackberry compote. 


“Very good, Alice, I’m surprised by the choice of blackberries but it gives the bread a very lush taste!” Marjorie cooed.

So far, Alice and Jimena were contending for the top spot while Vlad was contending for the bottom. As “entertaining”as it had been to watch, the bread he baked actually tasted terrible. 

“This week’s win goes to Jimena and her bread pudding! Alice, you were a close second, so you can consider yourself safe…for now,” Rory winked but it gave Alice chills. “Unfortunately, the judges have decided that Giancarlo’s blueberry bagels were uninspired and he’ll be leaving the show…”

Giancarlo looked sad, but not that sad. Alice let out a breath she didn’t even realize she was holding. 


“Have you never used an oven before?” Alice cried in disbelief when she and Vlad were finally alone. 

He shrugged, unconcerned. 

“And you depended on your memory to tell you how it tasted? What if they didn’t think it was good tv and you got eliminated?”

“Sages forbid,” he chuckled, still completely calm. 

“It hasn’t even been one fucking episode and you already forget the whole reason why you’re here?” Alice seethed.

If creatures want something to hunt, let them hunt me, I can handle a sage-forsaken pie,” she shouted, imitating his voice. “Ring any bells?”

“One, I most certainly do not sound like that. And two, being eliminated would not keep me from watching over you.” 

“That’s not the point! It would be harder! Anything could happen!” her voice grew high pitched, tight with a panic she didn’t know she was feeling. “What if you got distracted by something else? Or you weren’t fast enough?”

Vlad raised an eyebrow.

“If you get eliminated this early I’ll be here all alone!” She clamped a hand over her mouth and all the thoughts about Ben that she was supposed to keep buried came raging to the forefront.

Vlad’s expression softened. He pulled her close, rubbing a soothing circular pattern into the center of her palm. Alice closed her eyes, wrangling her grief back into something dull and manageable.

“You are not alone. None of us are, even me. And if an enemy approached you here, nothing would stop me from separating their spine from their body. I would do so gladly, and with great gusto.”

Alice laughed, “You know that’s not what I’m asking.”

“Fine, fine,” —he sighed as if it pained him— “I will endeavor to use this cursed technology so that I don’t get kicked off the show.”

Alice snorted, but she felt better. “I can teach you to use an appliance, but what are you going to do about taste? Your memory ain’t gonna cut it. The stew was great, but that bread was definitely not as good as you remember.”

“I have an excellent memory.”

Alice rolled her eyes, “Then sims lied to you.”

“They wouldn’t—”

“You were a prince. Of course they did. Maybe not your wife because she probably didn’t put up with your shit, but everyone else, yeah.”

Vlad looked thoughtful before something foreboding crossed over his face. “It will be done, I have just the thing in mind.”

Alice wanted to press him on it, but decided not to. His plan probably involved magic and blackmail and she was full up on knowledge about all of that, thank you very much

“Do you think Deacon and Caleb are finished searching the Pleasant house?”

“I hope not,” Vlad replied, flashing his fangs. The second those sharp teeth caught her eye, every rational thought left her head.

“I don’t want to presume,” he continued. “But would you like to—”

“Oh fuck yes,” Alice said quickly, grabbing his hand to pull him out of the tent.

    10 comments
  • Dragoncat
    June 14, 2020

    Woo. I’m so glad that I found this story.
    It’s inspired me to work on my own Simlit… complete with sappy romance. I just love writing romance. I’m writing another story, and accidentally (on purpose) made two of the characters fall in love. I also like supernatural stuff.

    And, I don’t even know what’s going on- I really need to reread this entire thing- but it’s still really enjoyable. The writing is really enjoyable and really clear. I like how you use the background sims, sims like Akira Kibo.

    The images are really clear too. I used to wonder how people got such clear images on Sims 4, until I realized that my camera was put really, really low. Now, I can’t go back to the low image quality, even though my computer sounds like it’s going to take off into orbit every time I play.

    • feroshgirl
      June 15, 2020

      Thank you! I’m freaking thrilled you like it and I’m glad you’re gonna write a sappy romance. I will be there to read with some motherfucking bells on!

      I didn’t start out writing simlit romance, even though I love it. I had this idea that it was too frivolous or silly (even in the land of fan fiction based on a video game with cow plants lol). I’m also a weirdo with a dark heart and paranormal romance is my jammmmmm so that was the only option for me if I was really going write something I enjoyed.

      I’ve had a “catch up on the story” post on my to-do list for awhile and you’re just reminding me that I should get on it. A LOT has happened and it’s hard to come into a story 30 chapters in lol. I’m glad the writing is clear and enjoyable, it makes the hours I agonize over editing feel worth it haha!

      Honeyyy let me tell you, I just got a new mac which has made screenshots look so much better and saves me hours of editing. But up until like Chapter 28, Part 2, I was working with a 6-year old mac that was dying. I used to literally get up and make a sandwich between load screens. So good luck! I feel your pain!

  • Dolly Llama
    June 17, 2020

    Happy June 12th to these guys from another couple with a O(100)-year age gap but it’s ok because supernatural! And happy Juneteenth! Man, this has been a good week in years that aren’t this one.

    “Alice set her oven on fire by accident and she had to sit through a million lectures about fire safety and property damage. Vlad intentionally set his oven on fire and all of sudden Rory was calling it a ‘bespoke cooktop.’” Gee I *wonder why.* But that was amazing, I didn’t know this but it was exactly what I wanted from murdery Norman. He’s still a few years from exotic flavors like pesto and lemon, hahaha.

    I’m with William/Aurelius here; there’s a lot of stuff going on that I haven’t given five minutes of thought to. No clue what triggers the god war but I’m sure there’s a breadcrumb trail somewhere. Dunno if I said this already but the show’s producers are looking suspicious. How’d they get their hands on the owl in the first place and why are all these supernaturals and deities happily acting as participants in the game instead of, I don’t know, trying to steal it? That goes beyond physical security, a bit mind-control-y even.

    Rory’s hatred of Alice now makes more sense given the time loop.

    Was the swordfighting on the date—was that—never mind, I think I know the answer, given the chapter theme. Bro. Morgyn both wins and loses points for the figure-skating costume with the pirate boots.

    • feroshgirl
      June 18, 2020

      I am pleased that Morgyn’s sartorial choices are both horrifying you and bringing you joy! I don’t 100% know what to call their aesthetic, I’m sure it will develop over time! The sword fight was definitely…er…symbolic. I told myself there could not be two sex scenes in one chapter.

      Plus, William needs way more romance and seduction than Alice/Vlad who, lets be honest, were DTF from day one lol.

      I have to admit, giving myself the “because time loop” is a powerful weapon that I am trying not to abuse. That said, yes, the visceral reaction they have to each other has been honed over multiple interactions.

      Also, Rory is the worst lol.

      You are right to be suspicious of the producers…who we have not yet met. But to obtain The Owl, the magic demands people meet very specific conditions: It must be earned or freely given. If you steal it, you’ve simply got yourself an inert object…at least according to the Sages…and we all *know* they’re trustworthy.

      There is a lot going on! Supernatural creatures are generally long lived and have time for copious numbers of complicated plots. But also, everyone is so busy just trying to get the things they want, they haven’t really stopped to think. That’s be design, because I’m evil, but also because I want them so cornered that they’ve got to get real creative with their solutions.

      The answer to bespoke cooktop is definitely “because patriarchy.” I’m so glad murder Norman is giving you what you need! Haha I keep thinking of increasingly implausible baking situations for him. Roasting bread over a stove he set on fire is just the beginning.

      Man, if 2020 wasn’t such a dumpster fire, this really would be the dopest week.

      I just want the Shallot-Lius and the Martin-Strauds (they are not married but you know) to go on a double date. For some reason, I feel like Alice and Bernard would get along.

      • Dolly Llama
        June 22, 2020

        I’m gonna assume the time loop is doing its thing in the background, but it’s not the only background thing going on. The producers—hmm, we’ve seen a lot of idea gods hiding in mortal beings, and possibly some of them are apocalypse-horsey-themed. And, gotcha. Not trusting the sages. To be fair, the only person I trust right now is Alice, possibly also Vlad and William. Deacon is acting a bit too stupid; love him but also keeping an eye on him.

        Supernatural spies have it made. There are so many shiny things happening at once, I’m like “ooh! Shiny!” while these shifts in power are happening literally out in public, in daylight, and there’s so much to keep track of that no one even notices.

        ‘Bespoke’ is a word I have to read nine times because it confuses me: I interpret it as a portmanteau, kind of, beween ‘betrothed’ and ‘spoken for,’ so it’s a hot minute before I realize Vlad’s stove isn’t in a relationship. Every time. This isn’t your fault, of course. This has nothing to do with anything.

        And are you kidding? It’s on. Xiyuan’s going over his copy of Canterbury Tales so he doesn’t forget which language evolution questions he wants to ask Vlad, and of course they’re going to be talking about that while Alice and Bernard jump the fence at a Victorian cemetery because ‘Nard wants to show off his grave. Of course vodka is involved. Tucking this away for once I get good enough at drawing to shitpost.

  • theplumbob
    July 9, 2020

    Hang on, is Vlad an actual contestant now? How does he completely overtake production somehow, first he decides he’s one if the judges, so he is, now he’s a contestant 😆

    Ah, my heart! Miko and Akira ❤️ This was so lovely. I am so rooting for them to reunite. I can just feel his love for her through my screen. So he slept with some fairies a few centuries ago… he loves you girl. Go take on the world with him. It’s not like you have another choice, since it’s the end of the world coming up… Just to point out I do not think you should forgive those who cheat…. but…. these two are so meant to be *starry eyes*

    Wait what??? William is Aurelius?!?! Oooh! Well I have already shared my feelings about Morgyn and I like William a lot, so I am very much down for this. Are there timelines William is not aware of? Or what is happening? Argh! 😆 Either way, you coudl carve the tension, before they even took those swords out!

    The Vlad and Alice portion of the chapter was hot, of course. Vlad is such a fomntic with all his promises. I’m still not sure if she deserves him! Hope his words about her being the death of him are not prophetic.

    Not sure what gives with Caleb, Deacon and the Pleasant twins but sounds like we’ll be jumping right into the action when season three starts!

    And… does this mean I’m caught up? Yikes! Thank you for the wild ride, it’s been a blast! ❤️ Sorry I’ve clogged up your WP comments feed, I have a lot to say, apparently 😆 Can’t wait for the next season!

    • theplumbob
      July 11, 2020

      Ahem, this was meant to say Vlad is such a romantic, not whatever on Earth I produced 😂 I apologise for my comments being so typo-tastic, lol!

      • feroshgirl
        July 11, 2020

        LOL I knew exactly what you meant! Vlad is romantic. A murder happy sociopath, but very dedicated…to Alice.

        Vampires are VERY charming. His powers don’t work on Alice but on everyone else, well, if Vlad says he’s a contestant, he’s a contestant lol

  • Yimiki
    February 19, 2021

    Oh lordy, here we go. Vlad in the baking contest. I’m sure this will all go NO. WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THAT AXE. VLAD. VLAD. NO. STAHP. Oh gods. 🤣

    You know, as ridiculous as Vlad’s llama vest looks, the picture of him pulling Alice close and looking into her eyes did manage to make me swoon a little bit. 😆

    Well, geez, Akira, of course she doesn’t want your help if you’re forcing it on her and literally not letting her leave until she has to resort to magic. There is such a thing as coming on too strong, you know. *grumble grumble* Heeeeeyyy, see, she actually came to you. There’s some buried feelings there after all (we know ofc, but he doesn’t). I’m getting weirdly invested in these two and I don’t know why. Ironically this chapters shows that, to fix things between them, neither of them needs the owl. They just need to own up to their mistakes, vow to do better, and start over. Dawww that hug, too.

    • feroshgirl
      February 20, 2021

      HAHAHAHA listen Vlad gets an idea into his had and he’s got to see it through.

      Man, you are really hitting on a theme here. I mean BBD is mostly about immortal creatures with crazy amounts of power and so they just sort of assume that they can bend the world their will. In fact, they find mystifying that they cannot approach relationships in the same way they approach everything else.

      I am so glad I have created another Miko/Akira fan!!! They are on a journey but oh, I love writing their story.

      Oh, you mean to suggest that maybe this super powerful item won’t magically solve things for these characters and they need to fix their own shit and perhaps the pursuit of The Owl as a means to fix all their own mistakes is itself a mistake?

      hmmmm :: evil laughter ::

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