Chapter 24, Part 2: Destiny Is a Motherf*cker


Last time, Caleb learned some interesting information from the diaries of Eliza Pancakes. Bella spun some stories about Alice to save her job while Vlad and Alice had their playtime interrupted by parental commitments. Lilith was overcharged with magic, but her dad rode to the rescue. Meanwhile, Penny failed to warn Alice about Bella’s betrayal in time.

Main Campus, Britechester University


This chapter contains strong language, adult situations, violence, gore, sexual situations, depictions of grief, trauma, severe depression, and characters having thoughts of self-harm.


“I cannot believe you’ve deigned to set foot in a student pub,” Lilith teased. 

Vlad shook his head, giving her a mock-serious look. “Sacrifices must be made. If I don’t feed you, you’re liable to try and burn me alive again.”

His daughter laughed, but then her expression grew somber. “Aren’t you going to ask me if it’s growing harder to control?”

“It’s always hard to control. Hard and miserable and exhausting.”

She nodded, and for a second, she was sixteen again, confessing that she’d taken the carriage and snuck off unchaperoned, where things with her friends got out of hand. She’d worried about her power then, too. “There’s a monster inside me,” she told him, tears flowing until he let loose the beast beneath his skin and replied, “There’s a monster inside me too, and I promise we will learn to control it together.” 

It was a vow he’d been desperate to keep, and even now, he was unsure if he’d ever forgive himself for breaking it.

“Why are you looking at me like that?”

Vlad picked up his nectar glass, smoothing out whatever wistful look was hanging on his face. “I’m being sentimental. It’s a peril of parenting. Ignore me.”

“If you say so.” Slowly, Lilith dipped a finger into the icing on her cupcake and began swirling it around. “I don’t know why I was so worked up. I suppose I was feeling jealous. You’re always so worried about Caleb, but not me because I don’t ignore you. I’m here, and you don’t even meddle in my life.”

“Ha,” Vlad threw back his head, “I meddle in your life constantly. In fact, I only got this degree because I was meddling in your life. Or have you forgotten the lecherous, idiotic lout I told you not to date?”

“He was not idiotic!”

“Idiotic,” Vlad repeated. “I got this degree to spend time with you and to watch him like a hawk so that when he undoubtedly broke your heart with his casual attitude towards monogamy, I could break his legs—which I did. And you cried for him, declared I ruined any chance you had at happiness, and told me you hoped I burned in hell.”

“I did say that, didn’t I?” Her eyes twinkled. “Well, he was awful. Cheated on me and then had a hissy fit because I dumped him and started dating one of our professors.”

Vlad snorted.

“What? I missed my chance in 1995, and although 60 was treating him quite well, I had a feeling things were going to go downhill, and I was right. Heart attack on his 65th birthday.”

Vlad couldn’t help but roll his eyes. “Oh, I remember. You camped out in my guest room for three months, forced me to unpack your mourning garb—which you’re lucky I kept, and then paced my hallways sobbing about the ‘callous nature of the universe’ while blasting grunge music like some sort of 90s Goth Victorian ghost.”

“You’ve made your point,” she scoffed. “I will admit that in the past, you have occasionally been right and occasionally meddled in my life.”

There was nothing quite like the feeling of your children agreeing that, yes, you did, in fact, tell them so. It was a rare occurrence, and Vlad intended to milk it for all it was worth. “Meddle. Present-tense. Don’t forget about the house I advised you to forge a deed for fifty years ago.”

“My house?” Lilith cried. “What do you mean by that? I didn’t need a forgery! The University deeded the land to me after the developer changed course and broke off their deal.”

“The developer was bought out by me. Which, now that I think about it, was a terrible investment because students are awful tenants.”

“B-but…the conference,” Lilith sputtered, “You left because you didn’t care, and right when that asshole was—”

“Harassing you with a series of comments that weren’t actually questions. I know. I watched the live stream from my hotel room. He and I had a long talk.”

“But he’s not dead.”

“No, he’s not,” Vlad didn’t bother to hide his disappointment, “I made promises to Latimer. I am trying to keep them.” 

Lilith laughed, “You look so put out. I’m sorry you didn’t get to kill Byrington or whatever his name was. And I’m sorry I was pissed.” She leaned back in her chair and gave him a sheepish look, “Caleb did come to see me. He’s working a case and running down something about the Ultimate Vampire Tome for the Sages. Do you know anything about it?”

“About a book written by a mortal with a hard-on for patriarchy?” Vlad smirked, “Are the Sages seeking advice?”

Lilith’s response was a pleasant smile that he knew he couldn’t trust. “Fine, keep your secrets.”

Translation: I’ll ask you again when I know enough to make your denial impossible. Vlad tucked that problem away to deal with later and changed the subject. “So, are you excited about this semester?”

“No, I’m not teaching. I’ve…I’ve taken a sabbatical.” She was back to swirling her icing again, “I don’t know what I’m doing with this job anymore. I said I would die on this campus in this house, and now I feel like it’s suffocating me.”

Caleb’s ennui hit in the 1840s. For decades he moped, unsure of what to do or how to find some happiness. Back then, Vlad only knew to do what his father did and shove him out the door. Hard. But he’d learned since then. “Come home,” he told his daughter.

“Ew, no. You have a new lover,” she made a face, “Why do you have a new lover?”

“Why is none of your business. I’m not discussing my sex life with you.”

“So it’s just about sex?”

“It is not just about sex. Am I to repeat myself?”

“Of course not, father. What about Ethren?”

Lilith.” Vlad tilted his head back in exasperation.

“You’re so sensitive,” she groaned and swiped another finger through her icing. The cake had begun to crumble after her repeated ministrations. She pinched off a small piece and popped it into her mouth, seemingly lost in thought.

“Take the cottage in Brindleton Bay,” Vlad said softly, “You like fishing. I’ll come over on the weekends and make you something suitable to eat, and you can discard all my excellent suggestions for your next life.”

“They won’t be excellent. You probably want me to reinvent myself as an art dealer or, occult help me, a musician.”

“See?” Vlad raised a brow, “You’ve already started.”

A smile tugged at her lips, and suddenly she was ten in his mind’s eye. He’d taught her to swordfight, and she was sulking because he bested her, so he took her to see the witches dueling in the Magic Realm. She didn’t hate him yet, and regaining her good favor was as easy as stepping through a portal for an adventure.

Maybe it could be again. Maybe this could be the start of the one century in which their relationship didn’t fall apart.

“I suppose it’s a good idea,” she allowed. “I haven’t been there in decades. And I do like your cooking.”

“It’s settled then,” he agreed, picking up his phone. “Excuse me for a second.” He wasn’t expecting Alice to call from the pub, but when he answered, it wasn’t her on the line:

“Vlad? It’s Sarah. You have to come to the bar now. Alice has been arrested, and they just took her out.”




Penny ran until she fell through the front door, sick and shaking. Ana rushed to her, face a mask of worry and confusion. It was terrible to be looked at with this combination of things she always pretended not to want: concern, affection…relief.

“What are you doing?” she snapped, “I’ve called you a thousand times. It’s a full moon! We had a plan.”

“I know what day it is!” The pain in Penny’s chest doubled her over. When she could finally stand again, she’d found a small slip of indignance to hold onto. “My friend is in trouble,” she sneered, “I can’t worry about the full moon; I have to fix it.”

If she thought the vampire would be bowled over by a show of indifference, she was wrong. Ana was firm. “You can’t fix anything, Penny. You’re covered in sick; you’re a new werewolf; the full moon cares about you. Tomorrow you can—”

“I know I’m shit at being a werewolf! You don’t have to keep telling me!”

Ana’s expression darkened. “What.”

“I’m shit at being a werewolf. I can’t keep this fury under control because I’m not strong enough.” Penny stumbled towards the living room, hating how her voice wheedled. “You won’t even spar with me!”

Ana followed behind her, “You said I was hurting you, and beyond that, training wasn’t helping.”

The reasonableness in her tone made Penny feel insane. It didn’t help that the vampire was staring at her like she’d gone over the deep end. “You stopped sparing with me because I’m weak! I’m trying to get stronger, and I need you to help me, but you won’t!”

“I won’t what?”

“I told you what I needed!”

You’re gaslighting her.

“I needed you to train with me, to help me get stronger and figure this out, and you did nothing!”

You’re gaslighting her. The thought struck Penny again, and she batted it back down, watching with a sick feeling in her stomach as Ana tensely apologized and asked what she needed.

“Can’t you see I’m freaking out? This is all my fault! I thought Bella was a friend, but she’s not. She’s a bitch. And my real friend, the one I care about, is in trouble.” 

“Who is Bella?” Ana lifted a brow, “And if she’s such a bitch, why are you risking a full moon for her?”

It was a reasonable observation, one Penny was kicking herself for not having. Why didn’t she see what Bella was?

Because she’s like you. She’s a monster.

Heat tore up Penny’s spine. She dipped her head, pinning Ana with a glare. “What are you feeling?”

“What?” the vampire froze, looking utterly perplexed. “Right now?”

“Yes, now! What are you feeling?” Penny screamed. “What do you feel about me? About anything?”

Ana reached for her, but Penny snarled, knocking the vampire back with a swipe of her claws. Anastasia landed smoothly, hair barely ruffled.

“Enough,” she hissed. 

But it wasn’t. Penny’s rage was like an inferno. She barreled forward, tackling Ana and clawing at her throat with wild abandon. The wounds healed quickly, which just made it worse. Nothing stuck because the vampire felt nothing.

And meanwhile, Penny was stuck here feeling everything.

You are a monster.

“You don’t care about me!” she cried, trying to sink her teeth into Ana’s shoulder.

Suddenly, she was airborne

Crashing into the bookcases was not enough to quiet the screaming in her head. Penny jumped up, swiping and snarling, only this time, Ana dodged every blow.

“Stay down,” she warned.

But Penny fought harder. She was gasping for breath by the time the vampire pinned her to the ground with her foot, stiletto perilously close to an internal organ.

“Whatever you are doing right now is over.”

It took Penny a minute to get to her feet. One second she was a raging beast; the next, she felt wrung out. “I don’t understand,” she whispered, her tears flowing so freely they made a mountain of salt in her mouth. “Why is this happening to me? Why am I like this?” 

“You’re just new to it,” Ana held out her hand, “Let me walk you to the room before I leave.”

This time, Penny didn’t argue. She let herself be led upstairs and then watched, almost outside of her body, as Ana opened the door. The vampire didn’t mention the decor, though; Penny noticed she’d painted and had new floors installed. When they first sat down to make this plan, she’d been adamant that it not be a sterile room or look like a dungeon.

“Are you alright with doing this alone?”

Now, free of her rage, Penny could smell the puke on her clothes. “Yeah. I don’t want anyone here. It’s too much.” Embarrassment scalded her as she took in Ana’s makeup, jewelry, and gown. “Why are you dressed like that?”

“It’s the Starlight Accolades…I…I’m up for an award.” 

“But you didn’t ask me.”

“No,” Ana’s expression was unreadable, “I didn’t. You made your thoughts on the subject clear.”

Penny had made it clear, and not in a kind way. Weeks ago, they had returned to the penthouse after a movie premiere that she insisted they attend separately. Her co-workers had gotten a whiff of her relationship, which was enough reason to pump the breaks. First her editor, now a celebrity?

Ana thought it was a sex thing, and Penny—who found she could only turn her brain off when the vampire had her fangs and fingers inside her—didn’t disagree.

It was all fine until they were lying on the couch, and Ana suggested a different game for another event she assumed they would attend together.

And that’s when panic set in, and Penny did what came naturally to her.

“I don’t want to be a prop at one of your bullshit celebrity events,” she shouted. “You want to use me. You spent all night acting like you didn’t know me, and now you want to talk about us? NoWe are nowhere near publicizing our relationship while you’re still so fucked up.”

The apology was on the tip of her tongue, but Penny couldn’t get it out. She watched as Ana armed the room and closed the door, leaving her in this horror show where she was a werewolf, and her girlfriend was a vampire.

You did this.

Penny couldn’t even argue with the voice.

She reached for her phone to call Alice again, but at the sound of her friend’s voicemail, her whole body erupted in heat. 

  • Snow ~
    Jun 17, 2023

    Finally getting around to this chapter! ~
    ‘“There’s a monster inside me,” she told him, tears flowing until he let loose the beast beneath his skin and replied, “There’s a monster inside me too, and I promise we will learn to control it together.” THIS HIT ME LIKE A FUCKING SHOVEL. A SHOVEL MADE OF GOLD. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. ‘ I love her bringing up Ethren again XD

    Oof, the fight between Penny and Ana…and a lot of words that Penny might come to regret later on being thrown around as well as throwing hands. The complete lack of control over such a thing as well, where even trying to control your emotions won’t work because the moon’s influence is too powerful…There’s so much conflict going on between these two, they both have a lot to work out within themselves, but with not being able to resist werewolf fury, and vampirism and a long life of awful events for Ana dulling her emotions, it’s rough.

    HOOOOO BOY Penny and Ana on the sofa X_X OuO I want to hug Gwendolyn ;-; Not sure how Lil will get on as babysitter, but we’ll see XD So Eliza killed herself by mistake? Still, even if Caleb thinks the case is solved, there’s still so much shit going on that they’ll both have to deal with. I really hope Alice can get out of this, but I don’t see it happening without Vlad doing a little sliver of murder.

    WOAH the end shot on the video…though i can’t make out which of 2 characters the guy is… excited for tomorrow after work!

    • feroshgirl
      Jun 19, 2023

      Thank you 😭 even though I hit you with a shovel!!! Haha I loved writing this scene and yes, the specter of Ethren is always hanging around 😈 I’m sure that won’t come back in anyway.

      Yeah, Penny and Ana are not in a good place at the moment. I mean I would not throw hands against Ana but you know, I’m not a werewolf on the full moon.

      Ummm I will not apologize for Ana and Penny on the sofa. This story is 98% thirst traps 😂

      Umm I think Ben and Grim should be more worried about Lilith than Gwendolyn 😈

      Lololol “a little sliver of murder” I am deadddddd

  • Yimiki
    Jul 2, 2023

    Vlad and Lilith’s relationship is a lot of things, but it’s not hatred. She seems to like ruffling his feathers and grows jealous every time she doesn’t immediately get the attention she’s hoping for, but she wouldn’t do either of those things if she actually hated him. You’re just fine, Vl- aaaaand Alice is in jail. Hoo boy. This will not be pretty.

    Lots of people feeling like monsters in this chapter. Penny is trying so hard to keep a grip on her “normal” and the only way she knows how to do that is to push people away and fix other people’s problems. I feel for Ana here – she’s trying so hard, and it’s all falling on deaf ears because Penny is stonewalling herself. Everything she does, Penny interprets in the worst way. Of course she’s not taking her to the accolades, it’s a full moon and Penny can’t control her werewolf side yet. But all Penny feels is rejection. And everything she accuses Ana of are things that she’s feeling about herself. X.x

    Whoa. Hol’ on. That “I’ll put a fire inside you” is what Miko said when she carved up Akira, isn’t it? Why does Vlad have that in his head? Did she do the same to him?

    Alice is amazing. It’s survival mode and she’s hanging on by a thread but it’s incredible that she’s even able to reassure her cell mate a little. The burglar getup from TS2 made me laugh 😆 Oof, yup, the sight of Vlad coming to her rescue was enough to make her crack. They’ve both gone through hell just now, for different reasons. I’m glad that they have each other.

    • feroshgirl
      Jul 9, 2023

      YES to so many things in this comment! I think you really nailed the theme: Lots of people feeling like monsters, and not because they are literal monsters.

      The Penny section was so hard because man, is she being awful right now. LOL thank you for also seeing how insane it was for Penny to complain that Ana wasn’t taking her to the Starlight Accolades…on the full moon…when she is a new wolf…and said she didn’t want to go.


      “I’ll put a fire inside you.” – Ooh you have sharp eyes. Yes, it is exactly what she said to Vlad! Vlad and Akira have both been under Miko’s thrall—though in Akira’s case there was a torrid love affair before she carved him open. Now as for “what” she put into them? Well, we know Vlad is a monster far beyond a vampire. And Akira? Well, I could tell you but spoilers 😈

      Alice in survival mode needed the TS2 burglar to give our hearts a break LOLOLOL.

      Seriously though, her and Vlad are 😍😍😍😍😍

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