Alice’s House, Windenburg
Gwendolyn was already sleeping by the time Alice got home. While the agency confirmed Ben and Grim were the best babysitters they had—dedicated but unconventional, every interaction with them was still slightly unsettling. Like when she tried to pay them.
“No need!” Ben told her.
“Yes, need,” Grim said. He took the money and gave Ben a murderous look.
“Right, yes, we do need money,” Ben said slowly, “Because that’s what you get when you have a job. And you can use it to buy food,” his voice sped up as if a realization was coming to him, “Which is how you feed a corporeal form because it gets so hungry!”
“What the fuck?” Alice whispered quietly to herself as she walked them out the door and locked it behind them.
After a hot shower, she let go of the day’s craziness, stretched out on her bed, and dialed Vlad.
“Alice?” His voice sounded strained. She heard him drop something heavy. There was some muffled interference and then he was back on the line. “How was your day?”
“It was cool,” she tilted the phone towards her mouth, enjoying the sound of his voice on speaker, “How about yours?”
She waited for him to elaborate. He didn’t. Was this going to be their vibe forever? Secrets? Alice changed tact. “Actually, my day wasn’t cool. It was exhausting. The bar was crowded, and I cleaned up puke.”
Vlad’s hesitated, then sighed. “My day was awful too. I ran into an ex and made the mistake of wearing a starched cotton shirt.”
She frowned. That sounded uncomfortable. “Was it bad?”
“Yes. Starched cotton is the devil’s fabric. I shouldn’t even own it.”
Alice laughed. “No, not the shirt; I mean the break-up. Is that why your day was awful?”
“Oh. Yes,” his voice went tight, “One of many reasons.”
Alice twirled her braid, tapping a finger to her lips. She didn’t enjoy Vlad sounding stressed, but all her ideas for helping him relax included sex. “I’m sorry. You should try to do something relaxing.”
Vlad chuckled, apparently reading her tone. “And what, Alice Martin, did you have in mind?”
“Well, the bachelorette party was reading from Simsapolitan’s ‘100 Kinky Things You Might Be Into With Convenient Product Placement From Our Sponsors’ list”
“I’m intrigued,” there was a smile in his voice, “I was hungry, but I think I’ll have something to drink instead. How about you?”
“Ya know,” Alice didn’t even fight her voice going breathy, “Something to drink sounds good to me too. Give me a minute.”
Three glasses of nectar from the bottle she found under her sink later, they’d finished reading the whole list.
“So basically, anything that involves being tied down, whipped, or clamped is your vibe?” she teased, unsure whether she was burning up from the conversation, the nectar, or both.
“I’m partial to anything involving weaponry,” he purred. “And what about you? What kinks do you have?”
Alice was not a prude, not by any stretch, but talking about her own pleasure made her deeply uncomfortable. “None. I’m, uh, chill. I just like sex however it comes.”
It wasn’t like she didn’t get off; she just didn’t have a command of all the things she liked. At least, not anymore. She started out demanding all sorts of things with Salim, but once sex became the one place they didn’t argue, Alice didn’t dare introduce conflict into the mix.
Vlad made a noncommittal sound, “I’ll just mark that down as ‘to be determined.’”
Fuck. Was she really going to let Salim get in her head this much? “No, wait, hold on a second. I do have something. I usually prefer to be the artist, not the subject, but let’s try it.”
She turned up the R&B station and activated the front-facing camera before deciding not to look at it for fear she’d obsess too much about her stretch marks or mismatched underwear. Think sexy thoughts! she scolded herself. Doing her best to project utter confidence, she snapped a few pictures, growing increasingly bold as she did it.
“Okay, sent, check your phone.”
The sound he made on the other line was strangled.
Alice bit her lip, feeling powerful. “What’s a little phone sex without something to stimulate your imagination?”
Vlad groaned. “My imagination is stimulated. The list of things I wish to—” his tone changed, “Shit.”
“You don’t like it?” Alice gripped the phone tighter, “That was a purposeful nip slip!”
“No, you’re beautiful. Perfect, But I think your child…”
Alice turned slowly, pressing a trembling hand to her breastbone. Please no.
“Want snack!” Gwendolyn cried, “Need cookies!”
“Alice,” Vlad’s voice was calm. How the fuck could he be so relaxed? “It’s alright. I—“
“Why are you out of bed?” she whispered to her daughter. WHY? WHY? WHY?
“No bed.” Gwendolyn cackled, eyes suddenly going wide, arms spread as she prepared to make a declaration. “Mommy has small boobies!”
There was a distinct sound of coughing on the other line.
“I gotta go,” Alice mumbled, and hung up the phone.
NEXT TIME, ON THE STRAUDS:
Trailer Song: “Mannish Boy” by Muddy Waters
Poses & Animations
Pack #32 by SovaSims
Emotions (Seated) by Simmerberlin
A Little Emotion Seated by threethousandplumbobs
Bowing Down Poses by Atashi77
The Wall and Me Poses by Katverse
Talk and Punch by LUKA
No Mercy by Natalia-Auditore
Werewolf Posepack by Natalia-Auditore
Splitting Headache by Simkoos
Not Feeling So Good by Natalia-Auditore
Naptime poses by Katverse
Selfie Poses by Natalia-Auditore
Pose Request #67 by Sciophobis
Phone Talk Posepack by Natalia-Auditore
Press Conference Room by S_Rey22
Luxurio Spa Hotel by MartiniOlivia