Chapter 27: Bring a Hammer

Vlad’s House



When Alice closed her eyes, she could still feel her ribs cracking, the shard of bone driving straight through her heart, and then…


No, that wasn’t true. There was only a split second of nothingness before she was everywhere—the trees, the grass, the fucking molecules. She zipped along the current until she found two little sparks of life. They were sputtering, floundering, begging for help, and she just…she…

“Contacts,” Vlad said softly, his voice grounding her. “Until you figure out how to control your form. No one will know.”

He seemed so sure this was temporary. Maybe because his beast was now tucked away beneath smooth planes of silvery skin. Alice traced a finger over the white spidery pattern that ran down her neck. 

“It’s beautiful,” he wrapped his arms around her, kissing her shoulder. “A battle scar, or, if you prefer, a tattoo.”

Alice nodded, but inside she felt numb. What did hiding her new supernatural scars matter when the problem was her? “I did something awful. I mean…I am something awful,” she corrected, voice barely above a whisper. 

“You are not.”

“I am! I was in their bodies! I used them, and then I tore them apart. I wanted to…” she bit back a cry.

“You wanted to what?” He held her waist, and even though Alice couldn’t see his reflection, she felt him staring. “Alice, you wanted to what?”

She tried to turn away, but Vlad held her firmly in place. “Did they smell appetizing?”

“What? No, I just—” she clamped her mouth shut.

“Why are you hiding from me?” Vlad nudged her head to the side, exposing her neck, his breath ghosting over her skin and making her shiver. He told her once that breathing was reflexive for young vampires, but he’d lain dormant for so long that it was now a purposeful act. He used it to blend, to express frustration, to seduce. “Why are you acting as if I don’t understand hunger for flesh? As if I don’t think every excited heartbeat is part of a wild chorus calling me to eat.”

Alice whimpered.

“That’s how I hunt,” he continued, his tone almost playful and still tempting, “I follow the rhythm. And if you wish, I will hunt that way for you too.” 

She meant to say no. She meant to tell him that she didn’t eat sims and that what happened in the woods was a mistake, but the sentence that slipped out was: “Brains. I ate their brains, and I wanted—I want—more.”

Vlad growled and spun her around, his lips crashing into hers. She leaned into the kiss, losing herself in it until she was gasping for breath, her mind scattered. “Oh fuck, am I a zombie?” She began to sputter, “Oh my llamas, I am a zombie! What if my skin falls off and I start to rot and—”

“Shhh,” he sat back on the bed and tugged her towards him, “I doubt very seriously that you are a zombie, but even if I’m wrong, you are by far the most enticing flesh-eating monster I’ve ever seen.”

She laughed as stepped between his legs and grazed his jaw.

“You kissed me,” he murmured, slightly awed, “On the beach.”

She had, with his face broken open in a garish grin—red flesh, sinewy muscle, rows and rows of needle-sharp teeth. “Because I’m in love with you, especially when you’re a terrifying winged demon who hunts my killers from the sky.”

Vlad sucked in a sharp breath as she slipped out of her towel and tore his off too. She pushed him back, climbing on top of him as he gripped her waist. With a deep groan, he released a full-body shiver, his fangs glinting in the light. 

Alice couldn’t stop staring at them. In all their time together, he had yet to bite her. But she was a zombie witch now, he couldn’t possibly hurt her. “Please,” she whispered. “I want you to.”

He gazed up at her, his expression at once hungry and reverent. But instead of sinking his teeth in, he pressed his lips against her neck. 

Alice rocked her hips, leaning back slightly so he could slide his hand between them. There were no words as they chased their pleasure. No whispers until his movements became jerky, and a last swipe of his fingers sent her careening over the edge. 

And then they were messy and still. Alice panting like she’d run a marathon, Vlad easing out of her with a shudder. 

They didn’t talk as they washed up and got dressed, but Alice could see the lines of exhaustion painted on Vlad’s face. He took a seat on the bed and pulled out a pen and paper.

“Why don’t you take a rest?” she asked.

He shook his head, “I’ll deal with the bodies. We’re probably being tracked, so we’ll need somewhere to go. And we should try to get a handle on the extent of your power, figure out your limits or lack thereof.”

Alice couldn’t argue with that. She didn’t want to feel helpless. Still, this wasn’t something for Vlad to solve alone. 

“Perhaps Morgyn can help,” he said, though he seemed to be talking to himself. His hand shook as he wrote. “I’ll make some calls.” 

“I can make calls. Or do something else. Vlad, I wasn’t joking. You should rest. You aren’t a machine; you’re—“

“Over a thousand years and used to this.” He continued writing. When his hand cramped, he switched to the other, still not bothering to look up.

“And what the fuck am I?” Alice glared. “In this whole little plan where you kill yourself taking care of everything, what do you think I’m doing?”

“Resting. Recovering,” Vlad stood and set the paper down, his eyes a storm. “I don’t know, Alice, I can’t figure all of this out and be responsible for how you feel about it too.”

“I’m not asking you to do everything!” She could feel her pulse speeding but fuck if she could calm down. “I’m asking you to let me be your partner. We were both just taking care of each other, and we’re better for it.”

“Yes, we had sex. It was a lovely diversion. But now there is the reality of this situation—a terrifying, complicated reality that is scarier than a night in jail, scarier than Operation Eternal Flame, scarier than—”

Alice reared back like he had slapped her. “Ok, homeboy, you can pump those fuckin’ breaks. In fact, I’m gonna give you the benefit of the doubt and say you didn’t mean that the way it sounded. I was upset about Operation Eternal Flame because it was a lot to take in.” She jabbed a finger at him. “Also, I thought I was a witch, so hearing that you basically hunted them to the brink of extinction kind of threw me off.”

“It was a war,” he growled, “Not a fucking hunting trip. And it is irrelevant except that it makes you upset, and I am trying, occult as my witness, not to put you through any more trauma.”

“Do you mean like someone killing me? Because that already happened.”

Vlad stared at her, the muscle in his jaw ticking so fast it seemed to flutter. “Yes. I know I was late.”

“And I know I was a mess,” she shouted, “Is that what you want me to say? I fell the fuck apart. But I don’t want you to do everything because you’re afraid—“

“I’m not afraid,” he snapped. Then scrubbed a hand over his face. “I’m irritable, yes, because I don’t want you to worry; I want—“

“WANT MOMMY!” Gwendolyn’s shrieks rattled the whole house, breaking up their argument. 

“Damn it.” Alice clenched and unclenched her fist, trying to calm down. “I’ll get her. Just don’t do anything until we talk, alright? My point is that—” she paused as Gwendolyn shrieked again.

Vlad winced and gripped the side of his head as a slow trickle of plasma began leaking from one of his ears.

“Shit! Are you okay?” she whispered, “Let me get a towel.”

Gwendolyn shrieked again, and he winced harder. “No, Alice”—he pulled away from her when she reached out—”I’m fine…just make it stop. Please,” he ground out.

Alice dashed downstairs, got Gwendolyn fed, and calmed. If her new look upset the Tiny Terror, she didn’t show it. Gwendolyn merely waved and blew her kisses while Latimer carried her down the hall. Grateful for his help, Alice gave him a thumbs up and then took the stairs two at a time but skidded to a halt when she got to the bedroom.

There would be no talking.

Vlad was spread out on the bed, snoring.

  • Yimiki
    Sep 10, 2023

    Oof. That little flash terror from Vlad at “I died” says it all. I have no doubt that Vlad blames himself for letting it get to that point, even though he wasn’t even anywhere near the place before and did all he could. He’s going into overdrive taking care of her, too. It’s good to be protective but overprotective would just make her feel like she can’t do anything, wouldn’t it?

    The whole scene with Anastasia and Morgyn hiding a baby is wild but I’m stuck wondering why on earth Ana is wearing a bird skull and antlers more than anything 😆

    A zombie. That’s a new one. I don’t think that’s it, Alice. She seems equal parts bothered about what she’s going through as Vlad is turned on by it 😂 I wonder if Gwendolyn always saw Alice like that and that’s why she’s unfazed. Or maybe it’s just because it’s Gwendolyn.

    Oh no, William is an overprotective dad 🤣 seems like it’s a theme in this chapter.

    [Let Vladislaus be happy in the one universe where his trauma is long past, and the love of his life is merely an anomaly] Dang, Morgyn knows exactly what is going on with everything. This is beyond fourth-wall-breaking. It’s dimension-wall-breaking. And completely in-character, too 😆 Morgyn and Sulis’s multi-dimensional talk is making my head hurt. For someone who claims he doesn’t play 18-dimensional chess, Morgyn sure is good at playing.

    [“I’m not depressed.”
    Morgyn gave her a cool look. “You came to my house wearing a bird on your head and an evening gown. You and Vladislaus are two little dysfunctional peas in a pod, wearing your hearts on your expensively tailored sleeves.”] My question has been answered. Oh, I laughed too hard at this.🤣

    Whoa! What is that red portal thing? And what happened to William and Will Jr? 😮

  • Snow ~
    Sep 11, 2023


    ‘They’re an old friend who hates me’ XD Morgyn and Ana looking cute as always < 3 smoochsmooch. Oooooh the veins and the eye thing on Alice… Yeah, this is going to be rough for a while. Don't worry Alice, the long-term 'monster' can help you get used to the 'monster-y' stuff. The guilt will bite for a long time, I guess kinda like with Penny…and they both have a lot to get used to with their new(ish)found powers. I love these two so damn much. The Operation Eternal Flame discussion was a bit yikes. That's the only problem with going out with someone who's one thousand years old. How much do you let slide as being 'in the past' and how much still stays with you as something to be very concerned about?

    Not sure if I trust the embodiment of Untamed magic with a child XD Good ol Latimer reassuring Alice < 3 Morgyn without magic is a depressing thought ;-; Though it…I want to say it would be good if they could get it back but…I'm not so sure XD Untamed and the Goddess of Reason…what an interesting combination haha.
    “Well, unless your friend Penny is a member of the occult, we can’t use her help no how.” FUNNY YOU SHOULD SAY THAT LATIMER! OH BOY! I had to laugh at the 'Latimer is the sanest person in the house' tag XD Burning humanoid flesh in a bonfire with a babbling baby on your back is so unbelievably The-Strauds-core LMAO.

    OKAY the falling into nothing freaked me the fuck out. All I saw was emptiness and then a blurred shoe and I actually shit myself because I thought I was seeing things X_X That kid is going on an adventure into…well…nothing…The portal rising out of the water was awesome, reminded me a bit of an Oblivion gate from ES.

    • feroshgirl
      Sep 12, 2023

      I love writing Morgyn and Ana together, omg they are the bffs we all deserve. They have similar parenting styles, I think lol. Although, listen, any child that has a thousand year-old vampire, the embodiment of untamed magic, and a goddess for parents is gonna be able to survive anything.

      I think Latimer is the most sane person in the house hahahaha. I mean, Vlad is not well, and we shall have to see what Alice evolves into. Her and Penny are definitely dealing with the same influx of information, but I think its gonna be interesting to see how they deal with it. We already know that Penny cannot process guilt in a healthy way AT ALL.

      I am coining Strauds-core as an official tag for chapters that are particularly unhinged lololll thank you

  • SirianaSims
    Sep 19, 2023

    Ugh, Vlad’s terror at Alice saying she died is giving me all the feelings 😭 Even though it didn’t “stick”, he will never forgive himself.

    I love Luna. Only someone who grew up in Jacques’ house could ever be this level-headed considering the things she’s seeing. I love Morgyn and Ana’s relationship, they just want to gossip over a glass of some unholy concoction and let their hair down, dammit.

    Seriously though, Vlad is like, the idea boyfriend for someone who just discovered they are some sort of monster or worse.
    But also PUMP THOSE BRAKES HOMEBOY. Still gotta work on that communication.

    I love that Gwen is unfazed by the way Alice looks. Of course she would be. Gwen was born unfazed. Except when Monster Daddy doesn’t have time to play (or refuses to buy cookies, wait, I am mixing up my universes again)

    You know Vlad has been through it when he sleeps. Damn.


    “If Latimer’s eyebrows lifted any higher, they’d be in space.” 😂😂😂
    Latimer has immaculate dad vibes though, 10/10. Definitely the only sane person around. Or at least the most sane-ish.

    OMG Sulis is a menace and I love her. In a cast of unhinged characters, she has utterly left the doorframe.

    “And then Vlad came through like a fucking wrecking ball.”
    FEROSH. GIRL. Twin, you can’t do this and not expect me to reply with THIS:

    “Justine,” Alice finished. “I know. Jerry’s mom was always perfectly polite, but at dinner, she’d be so on edge that Clive would ask her to leave the room.” Alice shivered, “What an asshole.”

    EYEPATCH MCGEE?? I DEMAND RESPECT FOR DADDY DON – except Grim is not Daddy Don and also that is fucking hilarious.

    “His son’s response was a burp and giggle. Typical of a baby to take Vladislaus’s side” lololol, To Be Named knows what’s up!

    OK so this red portal rising ominously from the water is cool as hell but all I can think of is Pink’s knife-dick Vlad rising slowly from a hot tub and I am dead 💀

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