Von Haunt Estate, Windenburg
He thrust another slice of pie towards Gwendolyn, “Your feedback, hellion.”
She took one bite and spat it out. “Gross!”
Vlad raked a frustrated hand through his hair. So far, he had managed to sneak out of the tent to bring Gwendolyn three different kinds of pie. Each time she made a face and told him how terrible it was. Lack of taste was a hurdle he had not considered when it came to baking. Call it hubris, but he thought his memory combined with his other senses would be enough.
He did have a fantastic sense of smell, could tell if something was burned or undercooked, but he found that his memory of flavors was the emotions they evoked, not the actual taste.
He remembered chocolate as utter decadence. It was expensive in his day and reserved for formal occasions. His mother used to ask the palace cook to melt it down and serve it thick and piping hot.
Blackberries evoked memories of lying in the sun with William and Tobias in between training sessions. They would gorge themselves after convincing Neva to steal a bucket from the palace kitchens. His younger sister had demanded payment, usually in the form of extra ink and parchment. What she did with it, Vlad never knew. And probably never would.
Her death had been an awful thing, a deep wound that never healed.
He looked at Gwendolyn, biting back a laugh at the way she gingerly shoved his pie off of the table.
A deep wound, yes, but perhaps it was healing.
“Pie,” Akira repeated, staring at his sister so hard his eye was twitching.
“Yes, pie. Everyone knows the gnomes covet that which mortals value most. We steal some of the hermit’s prized apples and deliver them a pie. You’re fast enough to avoid the bear, aren’t you, brother?” Titania could not have looked more self-satisfied if she tried.
Plans to present a softer, more refined version of himself forgotten, he growled and grabbed her arm, pulling her outside.
“I got one chance, Titania, thanks to your fuckin’ oracles and prophecies. One chance to get this right. You told me there are no do-overs,” he pointed at her angrily, “So if you know that, why can’t you find it in yourself to give me a fuckin’ break!”
Titania slapped him. Akira was stunned. A blast of power, icicles at his head, even fire was an acceptable response, but a slap was personal. Titania was truly angry.
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. When she opened them, they were shining and cold. “You’re a big idiot; you know that? You don’t think Miko would have left you behind the first chance she got? She’s been giving you the slip for centuries, that isn’t going to change now just because she needs something.”
Akira took a step back, unsure of what to do with his emotions. He hadn’t considered Miko leaving again. “You think you get a pass from having my back because you’re family!”
“No!” Titania snapped, “I think I’m your family because I never get a pass, and I always have your back!”
She turned and stomped back towards the house. She paused at the front door, and Akira had to strain to hear her.
“She doesn’t deserve you. She’s selfish and manipulative and always thinks about herself. But you want her like you’ve never wanted anything in our entire lives. So be glad we’re here, brother. You need us. You need Oberon telling stories and making you look good. You need me to keep an eye on your wife, so she doesn’t up and leave you.”
Akira stood in the snow for a moment, battling with his pride. He could stand out here and fume, but Titania was right. There hadn’t been a day in all his eight centuries that she did not have his back.
“Alright,” he said, coming into the cabin and leaning against the door jamb, “How the fuck do you propose we get the ingredients for this pie?
Von Haunt Estate, Windenburg
“Yo, vampire, are you listening?” Gwendolyn demanded. “It’s rude to ignore someone.”
“I am a king, I don’t answer to you,” he lied.
Like Alice, the power Gwendolyn wielded over him was immense.
She seemed to know it. “Do you want to win or not?”
“Of course I want to win,” he shot back, tone incredulous, “What in the worlds do you think all of this effort is for?”
She shrugged and then reached under the table and pulled out a freshly baked pie. It was piping hot with a perfectly browned crust. Even with no sense of taste, Vlad was sure it was good.
“Where did you get that?” he pointed angrily.
Immediately, Gwendolyn began whistling and looking around as if the ceiling required her undivided attention. “Nowhere, just a pastry chef who bakes pies for a living and accidentally left this one outside to cool.”
Vlad very much doubted that, but he couldn’t chastise her for it. He had a very “by any means necessary” approach to life.
She clasped her hands together and gave him a look of utter piousness. “Alice said no pie schemes of any kind, but….”
“Oh, just give it to me,” he growled, snatching up the pie. “What’s your angle, hellspawn, what plasma debt do you demand in exchange for this act?”
Gwendolyn smirked and quirked an eyebrow. The memory of Atorn flashed bright in his mind.
“I’ll let you know.”
Vlad sighed. He had taught her well. Too well.
RABBIT FACTS! They’re fastest when they’re doing something they’re not supposed to and you’re trying to catch them before you miss the bus. Sneaky bastards, too: you find a chewed-through plastic bag of cashews in the kitchen, yards away from any surface their furry little paws can get traction on, and weeks later you find a half-eaten cashew in a totally different room and you’re like what the fuck. Their diet consists of hay, treats, yoga mats, my couch, and half a cashew. They will play with the $80 toy you got them but not immediately. They’re gonna build up to it. Rabbits don’t have much body language, being burrowing animals and all, but the body language they do have is eight increasing levels of throwing shade. As a rabbit owner, you are expected to both never pick them up for any reason ever and to brush them at least once a week. Rabbits can learn to recognize their names. For example, Grace Hopper is a good name for a rabbit, but it is difficult to get a rabbit to respond to that name if they hate everyone and everything.
Shoved his pie off of the table: I LOVE IT. Is she a cat? (Another rabbit fact: while cats shove things off the table, rabbits pull things off the table with their lil’ teeth.) Major TAKE IT OFF MY FORK vibes.
Dylan getting all telekinetic at the ingredients and … is Vlad wearing Docs
is Vlad wearing fucking Docs
ok I know Alice is causing the apocalypse or w/e but Vlad’s shoes omg
Ok, I’m the last person to prevent Vlad from stealing this kid, I’m noticing a ‘we’ in ‘we collect Gwendolyn.’ Dang. The mortal vessel of fear moves fast.
About the owl thing: I had to go back and and check because I remember Ben and Vlad both referencing a sculpture. Red herring? Who could’ve planted that? Guess I’ll think about it once I calm the eff down about being in the Von Haunt Estate again. And while trying to draw fluff because fluff keeps us all going. Kind of.
Okay I know I said the Moschino jacket was the last Vlad clothing thing but like, I can’t stop. He lost all his clothes in a fire! Some Britechester student is missing a pair of Docs and Vlad is not going to return them.
Hahahahaha fucking rabbits. A friend of mine has them and this is 100% inspired by her rants. Like cats, Rabbits are straight up rude. (Ugh Grace Hopper is such a good name, how could they not appreciate it?)
Vlad is on the “we” train. The amount of chill he has is zero. He knows it. Alice knows it. Everyone knows it. There was a version of this scene where they really get into that conflict but I jettisoned it because fluff and the heart wants what it wants right now.
It’s not just Alice, tho, as far as Vlad is concerned, Caleb and Deacon and William are on this train too. Which should interesting given Caleb’s plans to move out…
Honestly, I’m just having fun writing him as a literal ball of fluff who will also eat a man’s heart.
Speaking of fluff, yes, yes, the drawinnnngggggg I wants it!!! Really though, the world is very hard right now and we should all just make and do the thing that keeps us going.
Hehe. The Owl. I mean…Alice says it’s a statue and Ben is like: “uh…yeah…a powerful object that you really need. Also, don’t worry about all the things I’m not telling you.”
These characters are all doing a lot of assuming. They’ve all got like, 1/8th of the picture. Soon, they are going to have to put all those pieces together so they can know what the fuck is going on.
If only they would just stop getting distracted! ::shrug:: long lived supernaturals, they’re just like us.
I guess I’ll have to give them something to really focus their attention. 😌🧐😉
Ohhh the bunbuns. I hope your friend’s bunnies will at least sniff and nudge you. In our pandemic bubble, we’ve got one stormcloud who would eat dark matter out of Jeffrey Dahmer’s hand and one misanthrophic princess who only eats 3%-moisture-content food that a choir of angels sang to under a full moon. But that’s what she gets because she’s SOOOO FLUFFY-WUFFY ADORABLE.
I got over Vlad’s Docs long enough to realize that Gwendolyn got that ultra-sparkly super special awesome pie before Akira and Miko got to make their ultra-sparkly super special awesome pie, and now I’m wondering whether there are two ultra-sparkly super special awesome pies in play here or if Gwendolyn’s doing weird time shit. And I’m leaning toward the latter. Or maybe I missed some timestamps. Or the story itself is nonlinear. Nice that Vlad’s including Deacon in the gang, too, as he should.
We should all just make and do the thing that keeps us going—true. Realizing that my OTP and my college bestie’s OTP symbolize the four classical elements completely on accident gave me enough energy to contact my senators twice, so, yeah. But I’ve also gotten it into my head that a young woman having a Sims blog would be more damaging to her credibility than a man owning 12 pedophile islands, and have to get over that shame.
At first, I was aghast but I’m starting to come around to the rabbit’s point of view. I mean…is that 2% moisture content you’re trying to feed me? TWO? And where the fuck is the heavenly choir?
Hehe. Nonlinear. I mean, someone is doing some weird time shit. That’s for sure.
I have not been able to muster up the wherewithal, but I will. Fucking kudos!
You could have just said, “being a young woman is damaging to her credibility,” and it still would have been true. Ugh, some days I’m not sure what fucking planet I’m on.
I almost forgot about Jimena, and the baking contest, with everything going on, wow. Testament to how packed Baking by Death is, that I forgot about… baking 😀
Jimena likes to play all plotty, but what’s her end game here? She must realise that Miss Hell will just dispose of her once she’s served her purpose. Hopefully she has some kind of backup up her sleeve. Not that I’m rooting for Jimena, hah. Also, I suppose it’s those we underestimate that we need to watch out for the most, so who knows, for all I know Jimena may be the last one standing when Alice gets near the owl…
“A small, cookie-wielding tyrant.” Love it 😀 And aww, Alice and Vlad talking future. They would make a lovely murder monster family with Gwen, yes. And William and Caleb can be the deranged god parents haha.
Not sure if I agree with Titania here – even if her and Oberon do really “make Akira look good,” without alone time for Akira and Miko to actually address their past, all this may do is stick a temporary bandaid on and ignore the issue, not really mending anything at all. But perhaps that’s what Titania wants. I can’t say I’m mas that she’s there, she is fabulous. I’m just hoping Akira and Miko do wind up getting that crucial time to air out things in private a bit, otherwise there will be no Akira and Miko beyond the here and now. And that’s just too upsetting! (I mean, I’d deal. But I’d rather see them try and fail than not even properly have a go.)
Hahaha I know! I wrote a baking scene and I was like: oh damn, there is a baking contest, remember?
It is packed! I’m trying to learn my lesson and pare down Underworld Summer Vacation. I love complex, meaty stories, but my lore has even gotten a bit much for me to handle lol.
Miss Hell does not play around! Jimena’s end game will be revealed very soon. But as with most things in BBD, it’s not what she wants, it is how she goes about doing it.
Hehe. Last one standing. Hehe.
I am forever referring to Vlad/Alice/Gwendolyn as murder monster family omg perfect. Deranged god parents! I love it!
Characters are sometimes adamant about things, but that doesn’t mean they are right! I can say, you and Akira want the same thing. He’s…er…working on it.
But you know, addressing issues means telling the truth…about everything…so Miko is going to have to meet him half way.
::maniacal author laughter::
Oh wait, the owl is a person? I completely forgot that was mentioned in a previous chapter. And Jimena seemed to refer to the owl as a her, unless I was misreading that. And how would that work when someone wins the owl? Now I’m super confused, and have lots of questions. I suppose Jimena could by lying and manipulating Miss Hell. And the fates are running the contest. But then, that would mean that Miko would have a hand in the contest, yet, I don’t think she’s really said much about it, but I could be forgetting a part of the puzzle.
Vlad and Alice should totally steal Gwendolyn. She’d have a way better life than with her current set of adopted parents.
Hehe, oh you caught that, huh? The Owl is a magical creature of some kind. Morgyn can be magic in a human form, why not The Owl (which, coincidentally, is made from untamed magic)? Caleb and Deacon confirm this when they go to visit the professor way back in like Chapter 10. He tells them The Owl is not an object, it may manifest that way but it is a creature of some sort. It’s not 100% clear how it would work to win The Owl…but all will be revealed, I promise.
Um, GOOD EYE! THE FATES ARE RUNNING THE CONTEST. Miko knows, they are her family after all. Though to be clear, Miko is junior to the Fates so it’s not like she can stop them from doing…well…whatever they want.
Thank you for joining the club Dolly and I started called STEAL THE KID!!!!!!!!!!
I could have sworn I commented on this chapter yesterday night. Did WP eat my comment? Dangit, it was a long one, too.
Anyway. I loved the fluff. Gimme all the fluff. It’s been a rough time here too and the fluff this chapter (especially the banter between Vlad and Gwen, man I love those two together) was a great distraction. I am officially getting on the “STEAL THE KID” bandwagon, haha 😁
YES!!! ANOTHER STEAL THE KID CONVERT!!!!!!! I really love writing Vlad and Gwen, they just bring me joy. Whenever I’m having a rough time, I write one of their scenes.
I read both pie scheme chapters, so this might be semi jumbled. I find Jimena annoying. I don’t hate her like her bitch mom, but she’s the kinda sim I’d like to see turned into a cockroach and have Miss Hell squish with something strappy and spikey on foot. She’s so much flash and no substance, and her Mommy issues are just …. yikes. At first, I thought she was doing the bidding of her mom b/c Elymra cherished Jimena. Uh, no. She might share blood but she’s just…. well, it’s not much different than Miss Hell collecting vampires to overthrow Vlad. She’s just…. cannon fodder. 0.o So uh…. I hope there’s a squish.
Miko. Hahaha. Oh yay…. unexpected guests. God, I feel you, Miko. “She doesn’t deserve you. She’s selfish and manipulative and always thinks about herself.” Daaaamn. I’m kinda curious what is selfish and manipulative about Miko (she manipulates time, sure, is that what Titania means?). Because I haven’t seen Miko be either of those things (to Akira at least).
“I am a king, I don’t answer to you,” he lied.
Like Alice, the power Gwendolyn wielded over him was immense.
It *seems* like this is to insinuate that he would do anything for Gwen because he *cares* for her as he *cares* for Alice, but I am reading MORE into it than just that flaky layer of pie crust. The filling. The FILLING. What IS the hold that Gwen has? Hmmm.
Lol Alice faking a potty break so she can harvest apples from a freshly made tree.
Looks like Vlad is set to be a dad and pull a “Three Men and a Baby (child/hell spawn),” with himself, Caleb, and William. Kinda seems like Alice is an afterthought in that fantasy.
“Because I haven’t seen Miko be either of those things (to Akira at least)” – just you wait. There’s a reason why Titania HATES her.
What is the hold Gwendolyn has? HAHAHAHAH I mean listen, Gwendolyn is magical. But Vlad is also just a family-oriented sim. Even this very of the Vlad (the most rough around the edges) loved his family before he lost them. Gwendolyn and Alice quite literally have his heart.
(dang, why didn’t I write Three Men and a Baby Hell Spawn? Is it too late?)