Chapter 26: Devil and a Deep Blue Sea




Bella didn’t feel anything when she was fired. For hours, she’d steeled herself. Sacrifices had to be made. The chief had no idea what supernatural forces were at play, what lives hung in the balance. And so, when he laid into her, Bella left her body.

“Are you insane? We build cases based on evidence, Bella. Yes, there’s a little leeway to follow a hunch, but this is egregious!”

Bella nodded.

“Holy llamas! Even if we weren’t in danger of being sued, I’d fire you!”

Bella nodded again and kept nodding until she felt like a bobblehead doll.

The lawyers for Alice were expensive; they made her sign a bunch of documents that she didn’t read because what did it matter? None of them understood what was really going on. Alice probably didn’t. She was manipulated into joining the supernatural and was now stuck in a dangerous world she didn’t understand. Of course, she was throwing her lot in with Caleb and his father. 

Vampires were excellent liars. 

Her co-workers mostly treated her like she was poison. Assholes. The only sim who would answer her questions about Salim was the girl who came with the lawyers. 

“He’s lawyered up too?” Bella asked casually as she watched Salim getting checked out.

The girl looked angry at first but carefully schooled her expression. “No, we have no association with Salim Benali.”

Definitely a vampire. Bella nodded her thanks and made a mental note of the girl’s description in case she became a problem later. 

Something told her to keep an eye on Salim. She wasn’t sure she believed Caleb and his father. After all, the vampire openly admitted to lusting after Alice. His dislike of Salim was probably grounded in sexual jealousy. 

Bella followed the man back to his apartment and waited outside the building. When he walked out carrying a suitcase, she worried that maybe Caleb was right. If so, no one else but her was around to stop Alice’s ex from flying to Windenburg and murdering her.

Which was why Bella followed him to the airport. 



At the airport, Bella ducked behind a statue to give herself a minute to think. She had no badge, so if following Salim went poorly, she was on her own.

But then again, she’d never find him if she lost sight of him now. 

She had to do this.

How could she head back to some quiet life at home with her kids, knowing that Alice and her child were in the grips of dangerous monsters she had no hope of winning against?

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Keeping her head down, Bella ducked into line but couldn’t resist peeking over her shoulder. Salim wouldn’t notice her dressed in civilian clothing. In fact, he wouldn’t notice anything the way he was blithely staring at the vending machine.

Still, she had to get her hands on a change of clothes. 

And maybe a wig…  

A thrill went through her. 

“Can I help you?” the attendant asked when she reached the ticket counter.

“Absolutely,” Bella smiled, sliding over her credit card. “One ticket to Windenburg, please.”

  • Snow ~
    Jun 28, 2023

    I was meant to mention this last chapter, but I forgot- about the weigh-up between Alice and Gwendolyn, and Caleb and Lilith. Does he opt to help out his own children who, though are both grown up at this point, didn’t get what they needed from him back in the day and therefore he should try to be a better father now? Or does he help Alice and Gwendolyn, one just a toddler, and the other with a (almost) power that might get her killed if she doesn’t possibly learn to control it later?

    I felt kind of bad for Ana during the talk with Lilith. The reminder that she doesn’t hve any friends, but also that she keeps a lot of distance from most people. Which I get, because most people aren’t worth even attempting getting to know in any sense. XD And the whole ‘enduring cruelty’ thing, and how even if she used to come across as quite disturbing in the earlier chapters you can really see why Ana is like she is. She can either open up and maybe get lucky enough to feel again, or keep closed-off and vicious and protect herself, and honestly, I think the latter is safer- but she and Penny still need to try and sort things out.

    I’m wondering who that ghost was now… HOOOLY SHIT THE MACHINIMA WAS SO GOOD. Esp Vlad sneaking up on the military woman. AND THE ANIMATED WINGS HOLY SHIT. The fight animations are so good. And the zombies immediately gave me the best RE vibes ever, I loved it so much. I noticed one of Alice’s eyes were a different colour, I’m not sure if that’s smth that’s already happened and I forgot or… maybe magic stuff coming through : O BTW I cannot wait for Morgyn to come back.

    • feroshgirl
      Jun 30, 2023

      Oof, when you put Vlad’s options like that, it makes me feel like I’ve put him in an even more impossible position. I’ll hold in the evil laughter, but just know I’m doing it. LOL, seriously though, he does have a lot of competing priorities. And it’s also hard to know what is true: is he a terrible father? Or is he plagued by guilt? Did Caleb and Lilith really not get what they needed? Or do they have outsized expectations? I’m not saying yes or no, just that this family has a narrative about themselves that may or may not be true. And I’m excited to see how people react to that 🙂

      I am going to try not to tell you everything about Ana and spoil the story but gahhhhhh screaming at these observations. I’ll just say that after so many centuries, its hard to know what’s trauma and what’s just their personality. I’m not sure that Ana would consider the way she is to be a protective feature. We meet her at like age 10, and at that point she is already mystified by emotions, and learning how she is supposed to answer questions about her feelings vs how she really feels. Idk what Penny could do to meet her on that field and understand her experience. Idk if Penny even wants to do that. As you pointed out, homegirl has A LOT going on at the moment.

      Hehe who is the ghost? WHO INDEED? Stay tuned.

      ::sob:: glad you loved the machinima. It was my first time really trying to do some combat scenes and let me tell you, fights are hard to stage and film lol.

      Alice’s eyes are only just now a different color. The fight seems to have unlocked something in her. I’m sure it’s not a terrifying magic that will destroy the world tho hehe

      Yes, put on that Morgyn Appreciation t-shirt. IT IS THEIR TIME TO SHINE!

  • Yimiki
    Jul 4, 2023

    Oh my gods, Lilith told her those things on purpose just to get to Vlad, didn’t she? Ah, yup. Seems like Vlad and Latimer agree with me on that. Gods. I get that she’s hurt about Ethren but that is just being cruel when she does not need to be. Vlad is really caught between a rock and a hard place here; both of his kids want him to do what they want. But they are adults, immensely powerful and can handle themselves. Alice and Gwendolyn are truly in need. And now Vlad is stuck.

    And now we have Ana going after Bella for (perceived, at least) messing with Penny’s psyche. I wonder why Ana hasn’t tried going after Penny directly. Maybe she’s afraid of what she’ll find. Maybe she doesn’t want to think about getting rejected, and there’s no chance of rejection if she lets Penny come back on her own.

    Ooof, speaking of Bella, she doesn’t look too great. She can tell herself she’s steeled herself and is unaffected all she wants, but her face is betraying her big time. Oh gods, I hope her prophecy of Salim going to murder Alice doesn’t come true… o.o

    Ah, so she is going after Penny! Just… not the way I thought she would 😆 I agree with Ana there. Lilith means it. She seems to delight in being awful to people and hitting them where it hurts. I’d have forgiven her for that if she only did it to people that she had a history with, like Vlad and Ana. But she did it to Alice. Her magic doesn’t make her a monster, but that deliberate cruelty certainly does.

    Aww, Ana is bonding with Luna. She’s so stand-offish but she really does bond with anyone that shows her some affection, doesn’t she?

    OMG that ending! The combat scenes were amazing! Shoutout to Vlad casually hitting them with a log 😮 Looks like Alice awakened something in the heat of it all…

    • feroshgirl
      Jul 9, 2023

      But what did Alice awaken? Cue evil laughter!

      Seriously, I’m so glad you enjoyed this chapter and the machinima which of course, took me way more time than I planned because fight scenes are SO HARD.

      This was a real beast of a chapter. I wish I could tell you not to worry and that everything was going to be fine but…uh…yeah, even I can’t say that right now.

      “Her magic doesn’t make her a monster, but that deliberate cruelty certainly does.” – 😳 oh dear, you are so right, and Lilith is just getting started.

      “I wonder why Ana hasn’t tried going after Penny directly.” – oh just you wait. I think Ana is going to fast come to that conclusion. Now, is going after Penny directly a good idea? I mean, no. But is it the sort of idea that will at least allow her to have a healthy conversation with her? Also no.


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