CW: Strong language, adult situations, violence, gore, sexual situations, discussions of grief, trauma, and severe depression.
Just a reminder that the post on August 21st will be the “mid-season” finale. I’ll be taking some time off to refill the creative tank, do a little site maintenance, and knock off annoying organizational tasks like updating my cc folder and backing up my sims. I plan to return at the end of September for the second half of season one.
And apologies that this chapter is late. I want to make up a good excuse but mostly my brain has just been very tired and I’ve been having a lot of fun with the high school pack (bugs and all).
Don’t worry, though! I’ve got big plans for the second arc of this season, including some machinimas that’ll thrill(er) you.
That’s all. Stay cool this summer, y’all. It’s a wild world, and we gotta take care of ourselves.
Selvadorada, William & Morgyn’s House
“What’s the tea?” Morgyn asked when Latimer logged onto the virtual chat.
“Ginger hibiscus and lemon.”
“No,” the spellcaster waved a hand, “I mean—”
“I know what you mean. You do realize I am the youngest one out of all of you?”
“You never let us forget,” William called out, sharing an amused look with his spouse. They smiled at each other until an irritated shriek cut through the air. “Go check on her!” he mouthed.
“You go check on her!” Morgyn mouthed back, their expression making it clear they had no intention of getting up.
With a sigh, William headed for the kitchen. There sat Sulis eating a bowl of edamame with raw eggs and plasma, the sight of which turned his stomach.
“Is there something you need?” he croaked.
“Yes,” she sniffed, “Cheese. I can’t have plasma, edamame, and raw egg soup without cheese.”
William prayed for his dinner to stay put. This is for the baby, he told himself.
And it was. For centuries, he’d been desperate to start a family, and finally, Morgyn agreed. They even asked a dear friend to be the surrogate. Had William ever met this friend? Absolutely not. And he couldn’t comment on it because that would involve bringing up the time in the 40s and 50s when they were apart. Not that it was strange. Plenty of immortal couples spent decades living other lives; they took lovers and kept secrets. It was natural. It was fine.
“I’ll not be bringing you cheese,” he snapped. “The other day, you demanded an entire wheel and then forced me to throw it away because the verra knowledge that cheese existed offended you.”
Sulis swallowed her last dripping spoonful, taking care to lick her utensil. “Things change.”
William’s eye twitched. Why did his journey to fatherhood have to be so fraught? Vladislaus had literally snatched Caleb and Lilith off the street without knowing a damn thing about mortal children. Anastasia didn’t even want children. In fact, she still hated ones who weren’t her own. But William, who’d spent decades upon decades doing careful planning and preparation, waiting for his spouse to be ready, had to deal with this?
“I’ll place a llamazon order later,” he bit out.
“You won’t bring me the head of a virgin acolyte, you won’t let me cut the throats of my loyal worshippers, and now you begrudge me cheese?” she rolled her eyes and crossed to the fridge, presumably for another serving, “I don’t want it later; I want it now.”
This was what he kept trying to explain to his spouse—Sulis was insane. But Morgyn always gave him the same excuse: Their friend was another spellcaster lucky enough to come across a death relic. Her strangeness was due to her advanced age, which they should accommodate.
“No one is accommodating of my advanced age,” he muttered under his breath.
“What was that?” Sulis asked.
“I said: ‘can you not see that I am busy?’ And why in occult’s tits are you drinking plasma? You are not even a vampire! That cannot be good for the babe!”
“Are you questioning my judgement about what my own body needs?”
William took a step back, knocking into the side table. He gasped when the vase crashed to the floor and then proceeded to reassemble itself and float back into place.
He should have been relieved, but the sight filled him with anger. He told Morgyn to baby-proof the house, as in get rid of all this inane priceless clutter, not enchant the fucking furniture!
He stormed upstairs, ignoring the sound of Sulis’s laughter. It took him ten minutes to calm down before he logged on to the chat, but it was necessary. He didn’t want anyone in his family picking up on his frustration. Morgyn disagreed but William was firm on keeping the baby a secret. He needed time to develop ironclad boundaries, there was no other way to keep their child from inheriting his family’s madness.
A century or two should do it…
…and maybe a moat.
William tuned back into the conversation.
“—Then they got kicked out of hot yoga, and Vlad apologized to management and wrote a check for the damages,” Latimer said, barely able to contain his laughter.
“Did you say apologized?” Morgyn was shocked.
“Yes,” Lilith added, eyebrows raised, “and ‘wrote a check for damages’ not burned the building to the ground and danced on its ashes?”
“He was inside of a yoga studio?” William repeated in disbelief. “Why?”
Nyx’s Yoga Palace
Vlad scowled from the moment he picked her up at her house until they reached the yoga studio in downtown Windenburg.
“Do you want to purchase matching yoga mats?” Alice asked, trying desperately to keep a straight face.
His eye twitched. “I would be delighted to get whatever you want.”
She gestured at the apparel hanging on the wall. “Okay, I’m thinking that, or the pants with ‘sun salutation’ written on the butt.”
His expression said he’d rather be dragged over hot coals than touch a single thing in this establishment. His eye twitched again. “If it would make you happy.”
It wouldn’t. And he didn’t mean that, but Alice still had plenty of time to wear him down. It was clear from their dates over the last couple of months that Vlad was trying his hardest to do everything she wanted and never disagree with her. That was okay in the beginning when she thought their relationship was going to be just sex. But now, her stupid heart had taken a liking to him, and she didn’t want him to be perfect.
Mostly because she was not perfect. She was a criminal with a toddler and way too many overdue bills, who embarrassingly, peed a little when she laughed too hard because giving birth was a nightmare. How could Vlad be into the real her? She was ornery and hot-tempered and honest-to-llamas out of her mind.
Salim was perfect when they first got together—catering to her every need, making her feel special. Despite that, Alice couldn’t just be chill. She pushed and pushed until their relationship broke. She called him an asshole, but she was well aware that if she was a different sim, it wouldn’t have turned out that way. That’s why she needed to see Vlad’s true, hot mess self, which would, fingers crossed, be crazier than hers.
Then it wouldn’t matter how much baggage she came with. And she could be sure that he wasn’t a) some deadbeat who was pretending to be decent just to take advantage of her or b) actually a good guy who would break up with her because she was insane and he was just some hella sexy, super-caring eccentric bazillioniare who wanted love and commitment.
It was just her luck that hot yoga was failing to break him. The temperature in the room was sweltering, leaving her pouring in sweat while Vlad—stupid, stupid Vlad—was flying through the movements as if the heat didn’t phase him.
And the man was wearing socks!
Who the fuck wore socks to hot yoga and didn’t break their neck? He was graceful and lovely and not at all losing his shit.
No, the only sim who was grumpy and annoyed and ready to scream was Alice.
“Okay, class. Let’s wrap things up with some quiet reflection in corpse pose.”
Alice breathed a sigh of relief at the instructor’s words. Yes, corpse pose. That’s what she needed. A chance to turn off her brain and relax.
She turned to Vlad, plastering a “see, I’m totally calm and chill about this too” look on her face, but he wasn’t doing at all what she expected. Worry crept in. He didn’t look relaxed about the end of yoga class, he looked alarmed.
“It’s only called corpse pose,” she whispered as they laid down on the floor. “You’re not actually going to die.”
Vlad didn’t laugh. In fact, his whole body was rigid with tension. Instinctively, she grabbed his hand. When his head lolled to the side, his eyes were glassy, unfocused.
Holy shit! “Get up,” she insisted, tugging his arm.
“I’m f-fine,” he tried to pull away, but he was literally shaking.
“You’re not.” Guilt sank it claws in deep. “This is just not your vibe. I’m sorry I dragged you here. Come on.”
He followed her to the entrance like a zombie, his tall frame collapsing against the wall as he fought to hold himself up, a trickle of plasma running from his nose.
“What’s going on?” the instructor demanded.
The other students sat up, and she immediately softened her voice. “Maybe I didn’t explain it well enough. There’s no special move.” Her smile didn’t quite meet her eyes. “You just lie back, close your eyes, and let the world wash over you. It’s soothing, it’s—”
“He doesn’t need an explanation,” Alice snarled. Couldn’t this idiot see that he was freaked out? “He gets it, and the answer is no. No corpse pose for either of us.”
“But you’ll bring down the aura of the class and make everyone uncomfortable!”
Most of the other patrons were now openly staring. This was hands down, Alice’s worst nightmare. For the past two and a half years, she’d done everything to avoid a crowd of sims pointing and whispering at her like she was a freak. She glanced back at Vlad, who was frantically trying to stop the bleeding. There was no way she could leave him like this. And really, hadn’t any of these assholes seen a panic attack before?
Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out a small lighter and held it towards the ceiling. Flicking it open, she counted down until the sprinkler system activated.
“What the fuck??!?!” The instructor crouched down like she was being scalded, “What is wrong with you, you fucking psycho?”
Well, that wasn’t very zen. Alice smirked, calmly pitching her voice over the sound of sims shrieking, “Now we’ve made everyone uncomfortable.”