Chapter 15: Good Girls Get Steak

San Myshuno, Ana’s Penthouse

Penny

“When did you buy this place?” Penny asked, surveying the apartment as Anastasia led her down the hall. It was covered head to toe in dark, expensive furnishings that managed a vintage look without appearing fussy.

“You like it? It’s all me. Jimena decorated that awful condo, but I’ve loved this place since I bought it back in 1925,” she looked over her shoulder and winked, “I was still flush with cash from my divorce, and my ex-husband was sleeping, so I took the opportunity to get out of town.”

They stopped in the kitchen which was filled with sumptuous black cabinetry and glass doors leading out to a balcony. Penny couldn’t imagine how much it cost or how to make sense of Ana’s answer. “Are you exaggerating? How can you buy and furnish a house overnight?”

“It wasn’t overnight. You can be in a vampiric slumber for years. In his case, sixty. He was very angry.”

“Angry?” Penny did a double take, “You mean depressed?”

“Why would he be depressed? We broke up. He was furious.”

Was this bitch serious? “No one takes a fucking sixty-year nap because they’re angry. It’s called depression. Your ex-husband was sad. What happened?”

And will it happen to me?

“I did something he didn’t like, and he did something I didn’t like.”

Penny folded her arms. “That seems like the understatement of the century.”

“Fine,” Ana tossed her hair. “He did something cruel, and unforgivable. He destroyed what was precious to me, and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t wake up dreaming of his suffering.” 

Penny sighed. Were all vampires this dramatic? “Nevermind. Sorry, I asked. What’s for dinner?”

“The chef delivered the oysters an hour ago.” There was a teasing glint in Ana’s eyes. “They’ve been on ice ever since. I suggest we down them before they take a turn.”

“Oysters?” Penny glanced around the kitchen, annoyed. She hadn’t said she was a werewolf, but her craving for meat was well known. “Are you serious? No steak? Do you want me to starve?”

The vampire’s eyes darkened, her mouth curving into a downright wicked smile. “Good girls get steak.”

Suddenly, Penny was intensely aware of her own heartbeat. “Is that what we’re doing tonight?”

Please say that’s what we’re doing tonight. Have mercy and tell me what to do.  

But Anastasia was not merciful. She raised a brow, putting the burden back on Penny. “Is that what you want to do tonight?” 

Mickey-D’s, San Myshuno

Caleb

Caleb read the sign on the building a third time. “Mickey-D’s? What are we doing here? I thought Bob lived in Willow Creek.”

“We can’t go to Willow Creek!” Bella threw her hands out and then froze like she was suddenly aware of her body. Straightening, she cleared her throat. “I mean, we can’t go to Bob’s house because he’s at work finishing his shift. Come on, I’ll buy you a cup of coffee and you can sober up.” 

Caleb didn’t bother to point out that he didn’t really need to sober up. It was a vampiric curse and a gift. Maybe if his hangovers lasted longer, he’d try to avoid them. 

“Here,” she handed him a piping hot cup. 

He took a sip and spit it out. Caleb didn’t have the same level of food snobbery as the rest of his family, but still. “Is this the swill mortals live on?”

She winked. “Manna straight from the great llama in the sky.”

Given the bitterness and strangely tangy aftertaste, Caleb was thinking it came from somewhere lower. Much lower.

Chuckling at his horrified response, Bella flashed her badge, and they headed into a room marked “Employees Only.” Inside, a man in a dirty apron was grabbing a bag out of a locker. He turned as they approached, expression morphing from tired to furious. “I thought I wasn’t a suspect!”

“You’re not,” Caleb said quickly, hoping to defuse the situation. “We just have some questions about your wife.”

Bob’s eyes darted back and forth between them, and he adopted a defensive posture. “W-what happened to the other guy? The surfer one? I liked him.”

Mortals were universally terrible at recognizing supernatural creatures, but some were smart enough to listen to the small voice in their heads that warned them of danger. 

“He’s sick,” Bella said. She drained the last of her coffee, a deceptively casual action. “Listen, Bob, we’re here because we need you to cut the crap, and as soon as you tell us the things you were leaving out about your relationship, we’ll leave.”

“I told you,” he began, hunching over as if he could make himself smaller. “We had issues. I’m a lazy, good-for-nothing, and we were getting a divorce. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go pick my son up from daycare.”

Bella scowled, tossing her cup down. “Bob, that’s bullshit. Your wife is dead, and we’ve got reason to believe that—”

“Marriage is hard,” Caleb soothed. “There’s no shame in that. We didn’t come here to judge you or even to pick a fight. We just need to know everything so we can find out who killed her.”

His chin trembled. “She was cheating on me. What a cliche, right? Like, of course, she was. Look at me,” he gestured at his slumped frame, “I saw him once. Abs of steel, perfect hair, probably half my age.” 

“Did you find out who he was?” Caleb asked, already knowing the answer. Bob had mentioned too many details for someone who didn’t investigate the man his wife was screwing. 

“I-I did,” Bob cringed. “I poured over social media; I guess I was a little obsessed. I found him: Salim Benali, bubble-blower dealer, petty thug.” 

Bella had been keeping her silence, but now she exploded. “Why didn’t you tell us? He could be a suspect! He could have killed her!”

“What?” Bob looked ill, “He was just some deadbeat she had an affair with. I didn’t say anything because…because I still love her. Even if it was true, I didn’t think her memory needed ‘cheating wife’ added to the mix.” He dashed away tears, expression bleak, “What the hell is wrong with me? I know it doesn’t make any sense.”

Caleb put a quelling hand on Bella’s arm. He didn’t think Bob had any more secrets and frankly, her reaction wasn’t helping. “It is possible to feel many things at once. And they may all be true,” he told the sim quietly. “Thanks for the information; we’ll let you know what comes of it.” 

    8 comments
  • Ninja Pink Sex
    November 20, 2022

    FINALLY!

    Don’t know which eff session I’m more excited to have seen, but FUCK YOU, MORTIMER!

    • Dolly Llama
      November 20, 2022

      team mort fuck u bella

      • feroshgirl
        November 20, 2022

        MY GOD LOOK AT THE CHAOS I HAVE WROUGHT (continues calmly eating popcorn, watching it all play out)

      • Ninja Pink Sex
        November 21, 2022

        I know we will always agree to disagree on Mort, but for reals may he be sent to AU BBD and “fall” in front of Bernard and have some cold Bernie ghost peen shoved down his throat as the melodious sound of Hot Cross Bun fills the air, played FLUTELESSLY.

  • Snow ~
    November 27, 2022

    I laughed so hard at Penny’s ‘well if you like him he’s probably got red flags coming out of his ass’-type response XD And Penny fake-ending the call when Alice says ‘well what about you?’ : P

    I really loved the scene with Bella and Caleb. IIRC, I feel like so far he’s not really been one to a) pour his heart out or b) properly give in to actually being in love with (no matter how potentially temporary) someone. Which for a vampire is rough, because eventually you have to lose them, but sometimes you just gotta take the chance. Even I forgot Bella was married for a moment XD

    Ah yes, every werewolf’s favourite snack- oysters! I love her inner thoughts about all vampires being drama queens and the ‘understatement of the century’ XD That house looks so nice though. Bella’s ‘cut the shit and talk’ attitude is a stark contrast from Caleb’s way of dealing with things.
    I just feel awful for Caleb. It’s one thing to have daddy issues, but when they go on for a vampire’s lifespan, that’s hundreds of years of unanswered questions and ghosting and shit.

    Gah so much I want to say about the …you know…scenes damnnnn ;o; I’ll keep it PG LMAO
    I had a feeling the rough exterior was there for a reason, but interesting to see Ana’s vulnerable moments as always. The joys of becoming a newly-fledged vampire in a house full of vampire hunters…

    • feroshgirl
      November 27, 2022

      LOLOLOLOL Yes, ummm, there were a lot of good scenes. Very plot. Much development.

      Penny is definitely the least willing to be vulnerable, which is funny because you’d think Ana would play her feelings close to the chest. But she is a lot like Vlad: no chill whatsoever.

      I am DYING at you forgetting Bella was married. So did Bella! I’m interested to see what you think of Caleb as the story progresses. I think he believes he is very closed off, but I would point to his parents and ask if that’s really possible.

      Ah yes, the age old “daddy issues.” I mean, you’re right, they don’t have a few decades of unresolved issues, they’ve got centuries worth. I think though, it’s still a question of what’s worth holding onto…

  • Yimiki
    November 29, 2022

    Woo! It’s early morning, I have a cup of hot tea and cake and nothing to do until right before office hours. Time to catch up! 😁

    Penny is giving out some quality advice and normally I’d giggle at Alice immediately going to complain to her about Gwendolyn but my gods that jumpsuit is distracting as all heck. Ha, something tells me that just toasting to her guest appearance is not what Ana has in mind for that night.

    Drunk Caleb is such an angsty moody teenager 😂 aw, and he’s calling Bella out of all people. Not sure if that means that he’s just really into her, or that Bella is the only person he has. Maybe both. That’s oddly sad. Oof – yes, as terrible as her marriage is, she is still married. Her coming over in the dead of night wearing barely anything after a drunken slur on the other side of the phone speaks volumes, though. This won’t end well will it? 😅

    Did… did Ana really not realise that going into a sixty-year slumber after leaving him (and doing whatever it was that she did) is not a sign of anger but of being utterly broken? 😅 Yeah, I’d be annoyed over oysters, too, Pen – oh. Oh geez 🙈

    Aaaaah fudge. Salim’s name pops up again. That’s not good. I don’t like how he’s quickly going from sleazy to deadbeat to criminal to possible murderer and is still connected to Alice 😣

    Not dating an actual sociopath? Are you absolutely sure about that, Penny? 🤣 I’m blushing all shades of red from both, erm, “encounters”, there but I’m also mildly disturbed by that little snippet of Penny’s mother actively knowing what her daughter is like in bed and scolding her for it/attempting to control her horizontal behaviour. That’s… that’s not normal.

    Huh. Part of my was wondering if Anastasia would drop Penny after bedding her, if her interest would fade after she got what she wanted, you know? Seems like the opposite is true. She’s opened up considerably. Some real backstory insight into her and Vlad there, too. Ah. Oh, Penny. Ana just bared her heart for you and at the first tug of her wanting you to do the same, you bolt. Literally. Ana might be unable to understand emotions very well but Penny is definitely the one in denial about them.

    Oooooh, gods, here we go. He’s connected the dots to his mother 😣

    • feroshgirl
      December 3, 2022

      YES! Hot tea is the perfect drink for this chapter. Well, I guess anything hot (hehe).

      Penny is a great giver of advice, but taking it? Not so much. Her mom is definitely not normal. Penny has a ton of shame and a lot of fear of losing control, and it came from somewhere. You’re for sure picking up on her vibes with Ana. She’s got a lot of walls!

      I love that you thought it was going to be Ana who broke Penny’s heart! That’s what I was going for! Really though, Ana and Vlad are more similar than not. They might be, uh, monsters, but when they fall, they fall hard.

      Speaking of which, Caleb has fallen. Both because he is a little drunk and because he’s got it for Bella bad.

      HAHA you noticed Bella’s choice of outfit, huh?

      Don’t worry about Salim! It’s um…all gonna be fine! Just like I’m sure it will be totally chill when Caleb confronts his mother. 🙂

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