Of Love and Monsters

Chapter 22, Part 2: For All The Marbles

Windenburg Central Train Station


Windenburg Central Train Station

He was riding high when he escorted Alice off the train. Higher still when she asked him if he wanted to get something to eat, and then furtively whispered “not for you but for me,” as sims rushed past them. 

And his mood continued to soar all the way into the station.

Then he saw Jimena.

Quickly, he pushed Alice towards the restroom. “You must want a moment to refresh yourself after the ride,” he insisted, ignoring her squeak of protest as he opened the door.

As soon as it shut, he turned to face Jimena who smiled like the cat who caught the canary and slid her arms around him with an equally feline grace.

“I missed you on the train,” she purred while he frantically thought about all the possible ways to extract himself from the situation.

Death, he decided, was not off the table. 

“It was not a particularly long ride,” he replied, making his voice cold and detached as he pulled away.

Lie. The ride was ten glorious hours! Most of them spent with Alice tucked against his side, her pulse fluttering and calling to his fangs in a way that made him think filthy things. She spoke Ye Olde Simlish for sage’s sake! He didn’t think she’d eat someone’s heart, but she wasn’t disgusted by it. As far as organs went, Vlad preferred them. They were full of warm, delicious plasma and—

What if Alice didn’t want him to eat anyone’s heart?

The thought arose unbidden, but Vlad seized on it. She said it didn’t bother her but he hadn’t asked her specifically about his diet. He could.


Vlad was not used to asking anyone’s permission to do anything. He was a king! A monster! No one leashed him!

But if she didn’t like it…

It was not like he consumed organs often, he wasn’t a werewolf or, sages save him, one of the gnomes. He could give it up. It wouldn’t be a change really, just a small adjustment on his part—

“I had no one to talk to, or sleep with,” Jimena continued, her fingers tapping a pattern down his chest. 

The move brought Vlad back to reality. Had he wanted this? Something, not his conscience because he had conquered that, reminded him that this was exactly what he wanted and he used every tool in his arsenal to ensure that this exact situation happened.

Alice was rinsing her hands but the soap dispenser was broken. He could hear her muttering to herself about it. Perhaps he had…inadvertently caused this situation but, Vlad thought to himselfnot his conscience because that 100% categorically did not exist— now he was ready to un-cause the situation.

Just as he was seriously considering disappearing into a mist, he spotted William and Caleb walking down the hall. They made to turn around when they saw him saw him, but his panicked look froze them in place.

He had maybe thirty seconds before Alice came out and it was all over.

“Do something!” he mouthed, eyes frantic. Caleb purposely pretended not to know who Vlad was talking to while William tried, and failed, to hold back a laugh.

Some Sim asked Alice if she had some chapstick. Would that buy him another minute? Still, what to do with Jimena?

Caleb shrugged, preparing to walk away. 

No! He needed…

Vladislaus tried a word he was never inclined to use.

A word he hated. 

A word that caused him physical pain.

“Please,” he mouthed.

William elbowed Caleb who rolled his eyes but sped over to Vlad and Jimena with unnatural speed. 

He tapped Jimena on the shoulder and lightly took her arm to steer her away.

“Unfortunately, Vladislaus has a business call, but we’ll see you settled and arrange your transportation. He insists on it…”

The relief Vlad felt when they rounded the corner was dizzying.

Alice stepped out of the restroom and looked him up and down. “What’s your problem? You see a ghost?” 

She laughed at her own joke as she started down the hallway leaving Vlad staring desperately behind her. 

Straud Manor


Straud Manor

“Well that was stressful,” William commented as he stepped behind the bar.

Stressful was an understatement. Vlad had not enjoyed a single second with Alice. He was constantly bustling her from one location to the next, trying not to run into Caleb or William.

“Is that why you gave me that jaunty wave at the baggage claim? Stress?” Vlad snapped, but the back of his neck prickled with self-recrimination.

“No,” Caleb said, “He gave you that jaunty wave to remind you that we were forced to assist you in keeping your two lovers separate and it was a poor use of our time.”

“I don’t love Jimena,” Vlad replied automatically, glancing anxiously around the room.

He pinned himself into an impossible position. Seduce Jimena to get the Owl but lose Alice. Don’t seduce Jimena, get Alice, but lose the Owl. How was he supposed to play this game and win?

And why did Alice feel like the only thing worth winning?

He forced himself to steer his thoughts back to the Owl. Vlad had never given up an opportunity to seize more power. It had been his way for centuries.

“Vladislaus, I see those wheels turning. You can be a right bastard when you don’t get what you want,” William said, interrupting Vlad’s thoughts. “You cannot have all the things.” 

Once upon a time, that had been true. But back then, Vlad was a mortal man. Weak. Barely three decades of life experience under his belt.

“Find out when Alice will be at the mansion for filming,” he instructed. 

“I can’t have a hope of courting her if I’m so far away,” he finished.

William stopped mixing his drink to give Vladislaus a look that roughy translated to: are you fucking kidding me?

“What?” Vlad snapped.

“Oh nothing,” he replied, shaking his head.

Caleb sighed and handed William a stack of simoleons.

In Between Inn


Day before the final Baking Show auditions in San Myshuno

Miko took her morning coffee in the game room. It was close to the chess board, which she found helpful for directing her thinking; and the McDillan’s Single Nect, which she also found helpful for directing her thinking. She poured a heavy dose of the latter into her coffee cup just like Grandma Ojo taught her. 

Timing. That was always the most difficult part. She had been moving her pieces around on the board for decades now, but she still couldn’t get the timing quite right. 

Her Aunt Ami thought it was Miko’s greatest failing. A fact she communicated (passive-aggressively) through a series of endless observations about Miko’s cousin.

“Hiro found two extra minutes in 1963! Hiro stopped the Great Selvadoradan Fire of 1850! Hiro saved the planets from colliding during his own wedding!” Miko mocked, doing her best imitation of Aunt Ami’s voice.

Blah, blah, blah! If only there was a way to kick family members off the Ojo homestead.

Miko sighed. She tried, really she did, but no matter which way she moved, she couldn’t make it work. Even her father, who always told her she could be anything she wanted as long as it was between the hours of 10am and 2pm, had begun gently suggesting that she might not be up to the task.

“Miko, darlin’, you know I love you. But you’ll be 10 minutes early to ascension and 48 hours late to your funeral with the way you manage time.”

Which was true.

She could get to her funeral and her ascension, but not both at the same time and certainly not on the same day, even with time being a flat circle. Whenever she showed up too late or too early, her family just laughed. Recently, they had taken to setting up lawn chairs and narrating a play-by-play of her sliding into her coffin a good forty-five minutes behind schedule. 

It was humiliating. Threads maintained timelines. Created them even! They weren’t, as a rule, supposed to be defeated by them.

The clock in the corner chimed a cheerful tune. Miko took a rebellious swig of coffee anshot to her feet, and began to pace. She wasn’t doing so badly!

In fact, she was beginning to believe that the problems with her timing had been greatly exaggerated! So she was a smidge behind the 8-ball…or ahead of the 8-ball, so what?

Or maybe she was kidding herself.

She flopped back down into the chair, careful not to spill any coffee. 

Sparks filled the air and Penny appeared wearing what she affectionately referred to as her “Mistress Means Business” dress.

Miko froze. Penny was here? Already?

“Is she up?” Penny demanded.

Gods in the elder realm! Aunt Ami was right: her timing was shit. 

“Darn it! You’re four days early. It’s not time for that yet,” Miko groaned.

Ignoring Penny’s outraged look, Miko ran her fingers along the flow of magic in the air, searching for the mainspring. When she found it, she pulled the click back and used her fingers as the winding key. The magic slowly unspooled and Penny dissolved.

“Oh hell. Best to get this whole shebang back on schedule,” Miko said aloud, mostly to herself.

She was going to try the game again, of course. She had even gained a viable God of Death this time, and Alice was her most important piece.

There was no shortage of obstacles. But the kitchen golem notwithstanding, they were surmountable. Mostly.

Yes, Miko reckoned it was worth giving it another go.

And this time, it was for all the marbles.


Couple Poses with Sofa by MaryGelal

15 Sitting Poses by lsims1357

Posepack 20 by Katverse

Sims 4 Custom Couple Animation Pack: Sitting on Sofa by Gaming Tweety

From the fantastic and amazing Simmerberlin (I’m sorry she stopped making poses but I completely understand!)

By the additionally amazing JoanneBernice (thank the stars for these facial expressions)

Mug Pose Accessory by soloriya

I need more Coffee poses by Lilit Creative Shop

from the sims 4 gallery

Hogwarts Express Train by leena3 

Newcrest Train Station by Scheinheilig1603 

Train Station Park by black_odile 

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