Chapter 26: Devil and a Deep Blue Sea




“So you want to take a road trip because Penny left you?” Lilith asked as she took a sip from her cup. She was the only one with coffee. When Ana tried to order, her daughter deemed her entirely too antsy. 

“No. I want to take a road trip because Penny’s been kidnapped by dangerous bandits who I may or may not have to slaughter with my bare hands.”

“Is this a sex fantasy, or do you actually think something happened to her?”

“Both can be true.”

“No, they can’t,” Lilith rolled her eyes, exasperated. “Mother, you don’t have any proof she was forcibly taken. And no, damage to your apartment doesn’t count. Penny is a baby werewolf. I’m sorry she destroyed your things before breaking up with you, but that makes her a twat, not a victim.”

“You don’t know that!” Ana rubbed her forehead, a nervous gesture she didn’t usually allow herself. Lilith didn’t miss it. 

“Are you alright? You’re wearing couture, and you haven’t once asked me if Father met with some sort of unfortunate accident.”

“Hope springs eternal.”


Anastasia dug her nails into her legs. She wasn’t ready to talk about the effect of Vladislaus’s visit. It just reminded her of how upside-down everything was. She’d actually enjoyed his company, and it made her miss their friendship. Or perhaps more accurately, it reminded Ana that she didn’t have friends. “I’m fine,” she muttered.

“You are not,” Lilith hissed. “I’m going to tell you what no one else will since you’re so clearly being coddled. You are a mess. And you don’t know how to recover because you fall hard for anyone who shows you affection and is likely to break your heart. I’d tell you and Father to start a club, but you already had one. It was called your marriage, and it failed because both of you are self-centered and off your rockers. Why you brought two unsuspecting children into it, I’ll never know. And—” she broke off, finally noticing Ana’s expression.

“No, please, continue.”

Lilith faltered. “I didn’t mean it.”

“Of course you did. You always do. And despite my ill-advised decision to have a cup of coffee with my unsuspecting child, I will forgive you for it.”

They walked back to Lilith’s house in silence.

“I said I didn’t mean it,” she said again when they reached the front door. “I’m just…I’m tired of dealing with your drama and you bringing all of your bullshit to my front door! What daughter wants constant unannounced visits and nagging from her mother and all because she can’t stop slumming it with disinterested snatch?”

Lilith thought her dangerous magic made her monster, and cruelty was how she’d decided to live up to the title. But Anastasia had endured cruelty, and the same thing was true now as had been 950 years ago when she shoved a pocketwatch down that old nun’s throat: she didn’t take anyone’s shit.

“W-why are you looking at me like that?” Lilith gulped.

“No reason. Cheer up, daughter-mine. Perhaps one of these days, you’ll be so lucky as to have someone disinterested in you too.”

Ana waved Luna down from market stalls in the San Myshuno Fashion District. 

“I’m sorry I’m late!” The sim bit her lip, “Traffic was awful. It’s hard to get across the city; I don’t know how you do it.”

“I fly.”


“Yes.” Ana turned on her heel, “The last time I drove, some man called me a bitch, and I snapped his neck, so I figured flying is safer for all parties.”  

Luna squeaked and rushed to catch up, “W-what are we doing out here? Not snapping anyone’s neck, right?”

“Unfortunately, you are correct.” Breaking someone’s neck would put her in a better mood. She told Vladislaus he was being dramatic when he put Lilith out, but he was right; their daughter was in rare form. “We are out being photographed like the occult-forsaken studio wants.” 

Ana struck a pose, delighted when a sim pulled out a cell phone and snapped a picture. Hopefully, the happy little idiot uploaded it to Sims Tok or Simsbook, or whatever the hell everyone was using. 

“We’re being photographed In your ex-girlfriend’s neighborhood. Eep! I mean, um, girlfriend’s neighborhood?” 

Her assistant looked pained, and Ana took pity on her. Sliding off her sunglasses, she blew out a breath. “Is it that obvious?”

“Uh yeah,” Luna smoothed her skirt, “You went to the awards alone, you’ve been spending your free time with me, and I had to process the invoice for all the broken glass and furniture.”

“I see.”

“It’s not anything to be ashamed of. When Sergio—er, my ex—broke up with me, I wrapped myself in blankets and didn’t leave my bedroom for a week.”

“Why?” What had this Sergio done to make her hide?

“I was clinging to him too hard. And then he—” she looked up, panic in her eyes, “Please don’t kill him. It was my fault!”

“I would never,” Ana lied, “I don’t believe in over-involving myself in other creatures’ lives.”

“Great,” Luna let out a sigh of relief. “I mean, you are really busy…well, except for now…but that’s only because you exhausted all your other options.”

“Option,” Ana admitted. “I have one. The others don’t talk to me. Or they’re dead. Or I tried to kill them.”

“Oh, uh, that’s…uh….” Luna cast about for the right word, “Hard. If it makes you feel better, I finished packing up your old condo. I shipped that auction dress back to the Goths in Brindleton Bay. I even charged them for the shipping.”

“Why, Luna Villareal, I didn’t know you had such a mean streak.”

The sim shrugged, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend and all that. Or my friend’s enemies are my enemies”—she winced— “Not that we’re friends! I know you’re my boss!”

Her assistant was onto something. Friendship was a bond, but mutual hate was a bond too. 

“Luna,” she said, turning to sign an autograph for the one sim still standing, “Pack your bags. And make sure you have a passport.” 

  • 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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