Chapter 13: Academic Blues

Alice’s House, Windenburg

ALICE

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?”

“Good.” 

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


CREDITS

In addition to the  CC I regularly use in the game and buildings from the Fleuralia Save File, I also used the following builds and custom content:

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

Objects, Clothing & Decor

Softe by akalukery

Sitting Deco Sims by Elsa 

Office Deco Sims by StarrySimsie x LazySimmies

Anne Boleyn’s Dress by Linzlu

Dragon Sword by Natalia-Auditore

Builds

Press Conference Room by S_Rey22

Luxurio Spa Hotel by MartiniOlivia

    4 comments
  • Yimiki
    November 15, 2022

    Welcome back! 😄

    Freelancing business 😆 So far, Alice seems to be the better improvisor in a pinch. Or is it the better liar in a pinch? Eh. They don’t seem to be mutually exclusive with those two. To be fair, Alice, even the most stone-cold of bosses are no match for Tiny Toddler Terror.

    BEN! I weirdly missed him, infuriating as he was the first time around. Hm, he does look significantly less… healthy? Is that the word? And Grim downright knows the “previous” world to, it seems. Curious. Why are they specifically there for Gwendolyn, I wonder.

    Oh! Ethren the ex! My gods he does have a lot of… err, appeal. Did we learn why they split up in the first place? We haven’t yet, right? Wha- is that Miko? 😧 Nah, surely I didn’t see that right. Interesting bit of lore about the origins of werewolves and vampires there…

    With all the trouble that seeing dead people could bring, having someone get increasingly mad because they’re not getting a drink they can’t enjoy had not crossed my mind. Maybe they’ll realise it when someone sits down in their seat… though pearl lady doesn’t seem aware enough for that either.

    I should probably feel bad for the poor sod who’s about to get torn limb from limb by Vlad there. He’s hiding some pretty mysoginistic views under his “research” but that doesn’t warrant whatever brutal death is about to… well. If that helps calm Vlad down, then it helps calm Vlad down, doesn’t it? And the guy is still alive! I think! Maybe!

    Oh dear. Snapped a shot and then sent it over without thinking, and now he’s seen Gwendolyn. Let’s see how that plays out. Something tells me Vlad won’t mind nearly as much as Alice thinks he will. Bwahaha small boobies 😆 Gwen is adorable.

    • feroshgirl
      November 15, 2022

      Thank you! I am slowly returning to life and getting back into simlit again! I took a few weeks just to play the game without any worries of producing anything and it was glorious. I was admittedly burnt out. I hear there has been some Tales of Camelot in my absence so I am eager to catch up. Onto your comment!

      Ha! Alice is definitely smoother than Vlad, though I think he’s just exhausted by pretending with her. I think they are both exhausted by pretending with each other, which is why they need that kick in the butt to just be honest with each other.

      Mommy has small boobies is the best toddler line I’ve ever written LOL.

      And you’re right, Gwendolyn is not for the faint of heart. I don’t know anyone who could handle her, Vlad included.

      Haha, I do think if you saw the dead everywhere they’d be more annoying that scary. At this point, Alice is just like: can you all please stop talking at once and don’t bother me!

      I love that you “almost” felt bad, but couldn’t quite summon it up. I mean, I wrote it and SAME.

      I think if anything, Vlad is more enamored. We know he loves kids LOL

      • Yimiki
        November 18, 2022

        Just playing the sims with no screenshotting responsibilities is wonderful sometimes. I do that every once in a while, too. Glad to hear you’ve recharged a bit 😄 Haha, there has been, but it’ll still be there whenever 😗

        And now I want to see a filler episode with all of your cast just trying to handle Gwendolyn’s toddlerness, lol. Morgyn, Lilith, Caleb, Bella, Anastasia, Penny…. and they have to do it without harming the kid. I wonder how long they’d last before they go (even more) mental 😂 Mortimer, William and Vlad seem like they could actually pull it off, so they’re not allowed to participate. 🤣

  • Snow ~
    November 19, 2022

    Sorry I’m so late to these chapters ;-;
    I love Gwen constantly interrupting Alice when she’s trying to pee. Toddlers never need something when you’re not busy XD Ah yes, the joys of the toddler ‘why?’ BECAUSE I SAID SO KID! Ah yes the return of B’ollithranon! And now all of the wondrous crazy stuff from BBD is gonna bleed right into Strauds and I’m here for it. Ohh gosh I don’t even want to THINK about Olive Specter as a babysitter XD So much I can’t say cuz I don’t wanna spoil BB for other readers but yeah maybe Ben is not the best person to have as a babysitter. Then again…possibly a better option than Olive Specter!

    Even someone with as much life knowledge as Vlad seems so out of place in one of those pretentious-ass conventions.
    ‘No, I have not read this obscure-ass paper and could not give less of a fuck.’
    ‘No please! Discuss it with me! You HAVE to know how much smarter I am than you! I got full marks in a spelling test in Year Four!’

    Yes here he is, glorious Ethren Reyes! I love that he’s half-vampire, so damn much. And that flirty edge. Kinda like when Penny’s traumatic experiences slipped in during convo and now we’re seeing it with Vlad as well…I love how you tied in the Werewolves pack lore with the Magic Realm lore so much aaaa! Now that I think about it it makes the spellcasters seem a lot more terrifying to know that witches created werewolves and vampires. Sort of like their own little murderous Frankenstein’s monsters.
    Yess Vlad, go feral > : )

    Ohhhh I wonder what that energy was? Has the uhh…powers / senses she had before in another universe come back in some way? I like the tie of magic and logic as well, since often magic there is not really anything sort of logic-wise or explainable about it, it just…is. I wonder if trying to apply a ‘definite answers’ mathematical edge to magic would help Lilith understand it better, or if it’s misplaced effort. For me magic isn’t supposed to be wholly understood, but then that would come with vampirism wouldn’t it? You have all the time in the world, why wouldn’t you make an effort to try and understand every little thing and boil it all down to some kind of formula?

    I really love the vampire / patriarchal energy thing as well from the vampire tome, since that’s something that ties in with my own vampire lore and that will come up in a soon-later chapter- that privileged men make good vampires and are less regretful of vampirism because in reality, it’s little new to them. Because they have never had to hide their chaos, they’ve never had to tone themselves down, their violence is almost always justified on the grand scale. It’s no different to before the turning other than the immortality and the drinking blood.

    I love that they’ve both had fucked-up days and they’re both like ‘yeah it was alright honey!’ XD ‘100 Kinky Things You Might Be Into With Convenient Product Placement From Our Sponsors’ list’ made me laugh so fucking hard XD Right alongside ‘You Are Perfect The Way You Are Queen! Now Buy This £4k Dress Or Men Won’t Want To Fuck You.’ GWEN! TIMING! Ohhh my gosh XD And the ‘mommy has small boobies!’ I’m gone XD

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