Of Love and Monsters

Chapter 30, Part 2: Like Muscle Memory

Author Notes

Myself: So…you want to like make this the sex chapter? Really? Now?

Me: The heart wants what it wants.

Myself: But…this isn’t like one of your smutty romance novels. Your readers

Me: It says paranormal romance, my dude.

Myself: Can you just…can you like try to not go off the rails?


Myself: [groaning] Why now?

Me: Oh, did you know that June 12th is the anniversary of the the Supreme Court decision, Loving v. Virginia? It made interracial marriage legal. Also, wasn’t that long ago.

Myself: Yes, and

Me: These characters deserve to bone. Content Warning. Oh, and Black Lives still matter. That shit isn’t over.

Von Haunt Estate


Technically, Vlad did fill out the paperwork. But only technically. After signing it, he glared at the producers until they suggested that maayybee it would be best if he just held on to it.

“Two more hours bakers! And then showstoppers have to be up front!” Rory yelled.

Alice cracked her knuckles and stretched. There was, weirdly, minimal interference from Jimena. Up until this point, every look had been downright hostile. Now, Jimena appeared thoughtful…calculating? It wasn’t because of Vlad, he and Alice kept a good distance from each other. Actually, everyone kept a good distance from him. He radiated a combination of confidence and terror that made for good television, but bad personal relations. 

Alice continued prepping her test bake. She hated being in the kitchen without Ben but if she dwelled on it for even a second, she feared it would pull her under. You don’t have time to mope, she reminded herself.

She was planning a gourmet version of french toast based on a recipe Contessa’s chef taught her. It didn’t need much time to prove or to bake so Alice was sure she could master it. She snuck a peek at Vlad. He glared at his oven as if it were an enemy before walking off and returning with an axe a few minutes later.

With a look of maniacal glee on his face, he swung with such force that the appliance practically splintered in two.

“What are you doing!” Bailee exclaimed as the cameras rushed over, along with a producer.

“You can’t do that! The destruction of property by contestants is strictly prohibited! You just signed a form!” Summer yelled, frantically waving her arms.

Vlad continued as if he hadn’t heard them. With a peal of unhinged laughter, he struck a match and set the entire hulking mass on fire. Alice groaned and pinched the bridge of her nose. Was this how Caleb and William felt?

“For the love of llamas someone call the fire depart—” Rory cut himself off when he noticed the cameras didn’t move. They remained focused on Vlad, who was now setting out ingredients and humming to himself.

“I-I guess technically he is baking…” Summer observed.

Assuming his phony megawatt smile, Rory strolled over and stood in front of the flaming stove. “Well, folks, we’re getting to see a real unique approach to baking! A bit old-fashioned but my producers tell me that this method was favored by 15th century nuns…”

Un-fucking-believable! Alice set her oven on fire by accident and she had to sit through a million lectures about fire safety and property damage. Vlad intentionally set his oven on fire and all of sudden Rory was calling it a “bespoke cooktop.”

“Well, they’d have a fucking heart attack if they knew he probably baked with those 15th century nuns,” Alice grumbled as she continued chopping fruit for her blackberry compote. 

“Very good, Alice, I’m surprised by the choice of blackberries but it gives the bread a very lush taste!” Marjorie cooed.

So far, Alice and Jimena were contending for the top spot while Vlad was contending for the bottom. As “entertaining”as it had been to watch, the bread he baked actually tasted terrible. 

“This week’s win goes to Jimena and her bread pudding! Alice, you were a close second, so you can consider yourself safe…for now,” Rory winked but it gave Alice chills. “Unfortunately, the judges have decided that Giancarlo’s blueberry bagels were uninspired and he’ll be leaving the show…”

Giancarlo looked sad, but not that sad. Alice let out a breath she didn’t even realize she was holding. 

“Have you never used an oven before?” Alice cried in disbelief when she and Vlad were finally alone. 

He shrugged, unconcerned. 

“And you depended on your memory to tell you how it tasted? What if they didn’t think it was good tv and you got eliminated?”

“Sages forbid,” he chuckled, still completely calm. 

“It hasn’t even been one fucking episode and you already forget the whole reason why you’re here?” Alice seethed.

If creatures want something to hunt, let them hunt me, I can handle a sage-forsaken pie,” she shouted, imitating his voice. “Ring any bells?”

“One, I most certainly do not sound like that. And two, being eliminated would not keep me from watching over you.” 

“That’s not the point! It would be harder! Anything could happen!” her voice grew high pitched, tight with a panic she didn’t know she was feeling. “What if you got distracted by something else? Or you weren’t fast enough?”

Vlad raised an eyebrow.

“If you get eliminated this early I’ll be here all alone!” She clamped a hand over her mouth and all the thoughts about Ben that she was supposed to keep buried came raging to the forefront.

Vlad’s expression softened. He pulled her close, rubbing a soothing circular pattern into the center of her palm. Alice closed her eyes, wrangling her grief back into something dull and manageable.

“You are not alone. None of us are, even me. And if an enemy approached you here, nothing would stop me from separating their spine from their body. I would do so gladly, and with great gusto.”

Alice laughed, “You know that’s not what I’m asking.”

“Fine, fine,” —he sighed as if it pained him— “I will endeavor to use this cursed technology so that I don’t get kicked off the show.”

Alice snorted, but she felt better. “I can teach you to use an appliance, but what are you going to do about taste? Your memory ain’t gonna cut it. The stew was great, but that bread was definitely not as good as you remember.”

“I have an excellent memory.”

Alice rolled her eyes, “Then sims lied to you.”

“They wouldn’t—”

“You were a prince. Of course they did. Maybe not your wife because she probably didn’t put up with your shit, but everyone else, yeah.”

Vlad looked thoughtful before something foreboding crossed over his face. “It will be done, I have just the thing in mind.”

Alice wanted to press him on it, but decided not to. His plan probably involved magic and blackmail and she was full up on knowledge about all of that, thank you very much

“Do you think Deacon and Caleb are finished searching the Pleasant house?”

“I hope not,” Vlad replied, flashing his fangs. The second those sharp teeth caught her eye, every rational thought left her head.

“I don’t want to presume,” he continued. “But would you like to—”

“Oh fuck yes,” Alice said quickly, grabbing his hand to pull him out of the tent.

Windenburg Village Motel


Akira picked another piece of glass out of his cheek. At least this would heal without interference from his sister. He grimaced as the cut closed up and began to scab over. He thought reaching Miko might be difficult but he had vastly underestimated just how difficult. Titania was right, she didn’t want anything from him, even if it was help. 

A knock sounded and Akira stormed over to the door, prepared to give the motel owner a piece of his mind. He paid in gold coins for this trash dump! And yet, the old lady still insisted on coming by his room every five minutes with a complaint. 

Probably because she knows you’re fuckin’ trouble.

“Listen, I ain’t got any answers for you old woman. I need you to get the hell off my—”

“Hey.” Miko gave a small wave. 

Akira sucked in a breath. When he could finally speak, his voice was rough. “I didn’t expect you,” he said, as he stepped back to let her into the room.

She poked at a large stain in the carpet with her foot. “Well this place is messier than a llama in a mud blanket.”

The back of his neck grew hot and prickly. If he knew she was ever going set foot where he was staying, he would have rented a godsdamned palace. He had the money. This place wasn’t about funds, it was about…punishment. His

“Just tryin’ to keep it simple.”

He quickly rushed to brush off a chair, his movements telegraphing his nerves. “Here, uh, this is clean. Have a seat.”

Miko folded her hands in her lap. She was big on manners. The first time she came for dinner at the castle, Akira and Titania attacked each other with daggers over the last piece of cake. Oberon was still covered in grime and guts from the battlefield which dripped all over the table, and all three of them argued and yelled and talked right over each other.

Miko was horrified.

She dressed them down in a way that would have had shame itself ducking around the corner. From then on out, dinner in the palace of the Fae was a family affair. They cleaned up, left disputes at the door, and agreed to stow their weapons.

“Do you want some water or somethin?”

She looked at him, surprised. “You really did get sober?”

“150 years,” he shrugged, like it hadn’t been the hardest thing he’d ever done, like it wasn’t a desperate temptation every day of his life. 

“I’m happy for you,” she replied. For a second, she looked like she wanted to say more but then shook her head. “I’m sorry about the fight. That was rude of me, I…I’ve been a bit…” she took a deep breath, “You were right, I’m in over my head. I-I’ve—”

“Seen what happens if Alice doesn’t win The Owl?” Akira finished. Miko froze, her eyes wide as saucers. “Yeah, I know. Titania went to see an Oracle. You got bigger problems on your hands, Miko. That’s why I’m here.”

He went on to explain everything Titania deduced along with Oberon’s warning. He didn’t hold anything back. Holding things back was what broke them in the first place. He thought he could keep his every failing, every worry, every darkness from her, but he buried it using a method that hurt her even more. 

“So…The Owl is just a means to an end?” Miko said numbly. “The gods…there’s no way to stop them…gods and swords and steel and death…no matter what I do there’s…it comes to pass.”

It was a lot to process. Miko must’ve thought that by saving Alice and making her the God of Death, the world would be set to rights again. Threads of Fate could travel in time, but creatures were constantly making little decisions that changed the future. He wasn’t surprised she hadn’t seen it. 

“Hey, hey, it sounds worse than it is,” he assured her, reaching out to gently grab her hand and pull her in close. She rested her head on his shoulder and he couldn’t stifle the flare of joy in his chest. I will not ruin this. “You wanted Alice to get The Owl. That hasn’t changed. And we’ll get an army. Titania loves a war and the Fae have favors to call in with creatures across the realms. It’ll be alright.”

Miko clenched his hand harder, her voice desperate. “But if Alice is supposed to get The Owl then I…Vladislaus is—”

“Big enough and bad enough to take care of his fuckin’ self,” Akira said firmly, pulling back to look her square in the eyes. “You said he’s supposed to watch Alice’s back and help keep creatures from killing her. If she’s with him already, then we should shift our attention to recruiting. Anyone who wants to hurt her will have to go through him and it’s good to have…” he cast about for the right description, “…that on your side.”

Miko looked lost. She swiped at her eyes and actually put her arm around him. Voluntarily! He started to ask her what was really worrying her, but he stopped himself. You just told her to prepare for war with the gods, idiot, of course she’s fuckin’ worried. 

The Fates might have been her aunts, but they didn’t tell anybody shit. 

“When was the last time you slept?” he asked, studying the lines etched into her face.

“Yesterday, six months ago,” she admitted.

He figured as much. “The bed’s clean. I promise. Get yourself some rest and I’ll go pick up some takeout.”

Morty’s Rooftop Garden


This was not a date. Even if William had taken the afternoon to go shopping so he could avoid showing up in college student cast-offs, and even if he taken an inordinately long shower that he was sure used up all of the hot water, this was not a date. He was simply preparing to meet an enemy…a well-dressed enemy whom William wanted to feel at ease to share useful information.

Yes, this was just William doing his job.

When he arrived the restaurant was empty except for Morgyn, who was waiting on the rooftop feigning boredom. 

“I had to pay to rent the entire place. I thought about freezing everyone with magic, but I felt you wouldn’t approve.”

“Do you think often of my approval?” William quipped, refusing to let the Sage know anything about his opinions on magic.

“You have no idea,” Morgyn purred, snapping their fingers to make two swords materialize out of thin air. “I thought a little sparring session would liven up this interrogation. I was trained by the last great knight of Windenburg, you know.”

I’m the last great knight of Windenburg,” William said tightly, but Morgyn only smiled and shrugged, as if to say, “sure, whatever you think.”

They tossed William a sword and he caught it easily. He knew this was about knocking him off his game, but if the Sage thought a little swordplay would distract him, he was vastly under-informed about William’s prowess.

“As you say, Sage. On your guard.”

It was more like a dance than a fight. Morgyn struck and William parried easily. William swung, but Morgyn dodged out of the way. 

“So you didn’t set fire to Straud Manor but you did want to get your hands on Vladislaus?”

“Of course, we planned to use him for nefarious purposes. L. Faba and Simeon believe that with a perfectly articulated wish, the Sages can maintain this form forever while still drawing on our infinite magical power.”

Infinite magical power? That was alarming. “And why do they think that?” William asked, thrusting out his sword.

Morgyn winked. “Oh, because I told them so and they believed me.”

Why would Morgyn do such a thing? There had been many Sages, but they mostly kept to themselves except to issue edicts. They were powerful, top of the supernatural food chain, and disloyalty was unheard of.

Morgyn took advantage of William’s shock and stabbed him in the gut. “You have grown slower over these centuries,” they whispered, so low that William was almost sure he imagined it.

Snarling, he brought his arm over and returned the favor, running the Sage through quickly with his sword.

They broke apart.

“I do believe I got first blood,” Morgyn preened.

“We never set those parameters,” William huffed.

“Fine, we shall continue. I’m sorry my good looks are so distracting. How long before you ask me what I mean by maintaining this form?”

The corner of William’s mouth twitched, but he refused to laugh. He also refused to notice the way Morgyn’s lean frame rippled under that suit. And refused to imagine running his fingers through that soft silky hair. William refused a whole host of thoughts, but his body didn’t get the memo.

“Well, this is an interrogation, so why don’t you tell me?” He swung and Morgyn blocked.

“An interrogation, yes, but that doesn’t mean I’ll tell you everything you want to know. You’ll need to explore alternative methods.”

He would not explore them, he would not even think about it. He was no young lad who couldn’t see when a tussle would be a bad idea. He tried to sweep Morgyn off their feet but the Sage was quick and caught William undefended.

“Who are the players, William?”

“I hate to inform you, Sage, but we have a list,” William ground out, keenly aware of how close the sword was to his throat. “Only a few crews are strong enough to be any real threat to getting The Owl. Sages included.”

Morgyn laughed, lowering their sword. “Yes, yes you have that small list, but making a God is the least of your worries. You need to know who the real threat is.”

William grunted and attempted again to sweep the Sage off his feet but instead of jumping, Morgyn floated into the air, magic pouring off of them in waves.

“You are still playing the small game. Acting as if the world ends and begins with supernaturals. What use is The Owl of Undoing to a god?” Morgyn sneered. “Why pour so many resources into securing a paltry token they could simply take by crushing this world?”  

William swallowed, trying to keep the anxiety out of his voice. This was a bluff, it had to be. “They couldn’t—”

“Of course they could! It’s not so hard!” Morgyn thundered. 

William dropped his sword but it didn’t clatter to the ground. Instead, it disappeared just Morgyn floated back down.

For reasons William could not explain, he didn’t step back when the Sage invaded his space. In fact, he welcomed it like Morgyn was a lover giving comfort, instead of a threat delivering a terrifying message.

“I could crush a world, Aurelius. Would do. Have done. Might do it again.”—They searched William’s eyes— “Find the Book of Longings. If you wish to be prepared for the fight, you start there.”

Before William could answer, Morgyn disappeared. It was becoming a pattern—Morgyn disappearing at pivotal moments in a conversation.

The Sage wasn’t wrong, though, William reflected, as he sped out of the restaurant. Actually, if he’d thought about himself for five minutes, he would have come to the same conclusion. The Owl was small potatoes for the gods but if making sure Alice got it was the least of their problems, then what was really going on?

He could find the Book of Longings, but he also needed to track Morgyn down. As he passed the fountain in the modern district, a thought occurred to him:

No one, save for Vladislaus when he was seeking a fight, called him Aurelius. If Morgyn knew that name, then they were close by in the 15th century. 

William had learned much about tracking from Vladislaus. The vampire was good at finding things. And if you wanted to find where someone was going, you started with where they’ve been. 

Even supernaturals were creatures of habit.

Britechester University


The house was quiet, a blessing perhaps, bestowed by deities long forgotten and unknown to the one currently grabbing hold of him.

He wrenched off her sweater, his shirt—that infernal cotton monstrosity. Eschewing it was a small thing, but it still made him furious.

He was always in state of agitation, between two beings, sometimes three: one that had died over 500 years ago, one that was reborn with fangs instead of teeth, and one that would never cease to be.

But the agitation, like the house, was quiet tonight. And so he whispered promises of romance and vows of dedication—to be as gentle or rough as she wanted, to lay the skulls of her enemies at her feet.

She was his god, he told her, the only one he’d ever know, and they belonged to each other.

“I would divine great tortures, deliver deaths if you asked it,” he promised. And if she did not think this romance, it was not conveyed by the way her kisses and small sounds grew more desperate.

When she licked the shell of his ear he felt at once infinite and brand new.

“Do you know the word please?” he taunted, loving the way she tried to climb him.

“I don’t think gods say that,” Alice panted, “And your ego is big enough.”

Laughing, Vlad lifted her against the wall and added “amusement” to the list of emotions he preferred. He liked the way her pulse jumped when his fingers found her center. Loved the way her breath caught when he curved those fingers.

“What will please get me?” she gasped, digging her nails into his back.

“Reverence,” he told her, tightening his grip on her waist so he could grind against her.

“Yes?” he checked again, as he carried her upstairs.

“Yes,” she confirmed, and reached for the button on his jeans.

“I want to bite you,” he said, as he laid her out on the bed and travelled down, down, down.

“Fucking finally,” she groaned, earning a nip on her thigh and another chuckle.  

Every flex of muscle brought him joy and grief. He was unraveled by the experience of pleasure. Violence was good, bloodshed was exhilarating, but this…this was what a conceptual entity like himself went to war for.

A yes, a yes, another yes. Her moan was a siren song and he only wanted to keep going.

Just a little more and a warm, high sound came from her throat.

“That sounded suspiciously pleading-like,” he teased.

“Check your hearing,” she laughed and commanded that he do the whole thing again.

Again was harder, even if her words were his to follow. And maybe he had been wrong earlier, maybe it was he who needed to learn the word “please.”

“Don’t move,” he begged trying desperately to cling to some modicum of control. He felt it fraying and floating away with every inch he worked inside her. 

She laughed and rolled her hips, doing the exact opposite of what he wanted. Capricious she was, like the gods of old, and when he clamped down on her neck, fangs meeting her plasma, he felt the thrill of worshipping her.

After, they lay stretched out on the bed, more whispers and promises and small jokes.

“If you leave skulls on my floor, I’m probably going to be annoyed. I can’t have someone over and then show them to my livingroom of skulls,” she said with a frown.

Vlad made no apologies, only kissed the corner of her mouth. “Why ever would you want someone over who didn’t approve of skulls?”

More worship, and then they moved on to discussing the room’s decor.

“Are you…are you telling me you hate Cape Lion?” she sputtered. “How? Their music is classic. You should try listening again.”

“Absolutely not,” Vlad answered, even as he was considering how she might begin to make the suffering worth it. “Hippies and sycophants, the entire lot of them. If you lived with Caleb in the sixties, you’d refuse to listen too.”

“Mmm. I can already feel you bending to my will,” she cackled as she turned on her side. 

“You’ll be the death of me,” Vlad muttered, and then stole another kiss.

Six hours and two additional sessions of worship later, Alice was sleeping. Her phone rang and when he saw it was Caleb, he snatched it up.

Even with vampiric hearing, it was hard to make anything out over all the roaring. “Change of plans,” Caleb shouted into the receiver. “We kill the basilisks tonight.”

Something shattered and landed with a thunk. Caleb cursed and sounded even more annoyed. “And tell Alice to bring my needle and thread. Deacon just lost his head.”


All Yours by Scylla

Like Honey by Something Wicked Sims

Fire Meet Gasoline by Simmerberlin

Beautiful Friendship by Simmerberlin

Sword Master Fight 1 & 2 by Natalia-Auditore

Witch Curse Posepack by Natalia-Auditore

Male Solo 6 Posepack by CassandraGrusel86

Model Poses No. 1 by Atashi77

Simple Sitting Poses by Atashi77

Couple Poses #25 by Rinvalee

Couple Poses #26 by Rinvalee

Draughty Doors by Quiddity

Emotions 10 by Simmerberlin

Male Stand Pose 4 & 5 by Natalia-Auditore

Buffy Posepack by Natalia-AuditoreEngagement Photoshoot by Atashi77

From the Sims 4 Gallery

Motel by Lisa271099

Mossy Lane Reno by Julie1112

Rooftop Restaurant by ellihp28

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