Chapter 32, Part 2: Trips and Manuscripts

Windenburg Island, Bjersten House


After she hung up with William, Alice turned back to Vlad and his little monster-in-training. She had to admit, it was kind of adorable. The fact that he insisted on real weapons because Gwendolyn needed to “learn the joy and folly involved in severing a muscle” was disturbing. But there were only so many edges you could round off the living embodiment of Fear itself. 

She worried about that…rounding those edges off. Vlad looked amused when she told him he couldn’t kill Gwendolyn’s foster parents, but deep down, Alice had been horrified. Sure, wielding her will wasn’t automatic but this was all so new. How would she know if she was doing it? What if she was unknowingly controlling him? She always felt safe around him, but she had never once considered if he was safe with her.

She wanted him to be free to move through the world and do things like teach Gwendolyn to defend herself even if Alice thought his methods were nuts. And she wanted to disagree with him, strongly, without being afraid that she was imposing her godly will upon him.

It was funny though, catching a glimpse of Vlad like this. Maybe it was because she was stressed out, but it made her think of her own father. Cyrus Martin taught Alice everything from riding a bike to picking a lock. The latter he considered a legitimate skill given his line of work, which was [redacted].

Every summer they’d drive out to Granite Falls for a father/daughter camping trip. Even after Maverick and Mayra were born, he kept it as a tradition between him and Alice. 

She loved getting up early in the morning and mapping out their hike. They’d sit at the table, her with her hot chocolate and Cyrus with his coffee, and discuss the news or school or whatever was on Alice’s mind. He treated her like an adult.

It was a tradition she kept until her 13th birthday. The summer came and Alice was friendless and miserable, scared of her new power. Her father made every arrangement for their trip but the morning of, Alice refused to come downstairs.

Her mother told him she just growing up and being a teenager but the truth was that Alice couldn’t imagine spending a weekend with her dad and not having her secret come out. 

The past was present sometimes. Here she was again, another summer, scared of her new power…

But not miserable…not alone…

She watched Vlad instructing Gwendolyn on the arc of her swing.

“Look alive, hell spawn, there are things out there that mean you harm. You will be underestimated because of your size. People will assume your only skill is magic—”

“But I don’t know any magic,” Gwendolyn interrupted. “My foster parents said I probably never will because I’m a covenless—”

“Not another word!” Vlad snarled, “You will never, never describe yourself as such. Do you believe you are wicked? Unworthy? Deserving of your abandonment?”

Sniffling, Gwendolyn shook her head and lowered her small sword. Alice held her breath, waiting for him to reel it back in.

“That phrase is superstition,” Vlad said, voice gentler than Alice had ever heard it, “Your foster parents said it because they are simpletons. But you are not a simpleton, unless I am mistaken?”

Gwendoyln growled.

“Good,” He shot Alice a wicked look, “Now, if you can manage to stab me in the heart, I’m sure Alice will bake you some cookies.”

Rolling her eyes but relieved, Alice walked back inside. Trying to make herself comfortable on the Bjersten’s formal bench-like couch, she dialed her home number.

Her mother answered, “Damn it, Sullivan, tomorrow I want iced coffee at the entrance of the lab not at my house. Why is that so difficult to—”

“Mom,” Alice interrupted, “It’s me.” She cringed a little, feeling bad for whoever her mother’s new lab assistant was.

“Alice!” she sounded excited. “Hold on!” she covered the receiver but Alice could still hear her as she shouted, “Cyrus, tell the secret service dinner can wait! Your daughter is on the phone!”

Her dad picked up the line, “Hey pumpkin, how ya doin’? We’ve been watching you on the show! You’re doing great.”

“Oh,” was all Alice could croak out. She hadn’t realized she was about to cry. 

“Everything okay?” her dad asked.

“Cyrus! What ails you? Don’t baby her. She’s a grown ass woman,” her mother snapped.

“Alice honey, are you okay?” her mother continued, “Do you have enough mace? Are you safe?”

Alice glanced out the window to where Windenburg’s Vampire King and Fear incarnate, sat on the ground with nine-year-old Gwendolyn Barrister discussing llamas knew what. Probably murder.

“Yeah, I’m good. I’m definitely safe,” she laughed.

“And happy,” she added after a beat.

“Good,” they both said at the same time.

“So you met someone,” Cyrus observed. Alice had forgotten how perceptive her father was. The government didn’t pay him exorbitant amounts of money to do undefined clandestine work for nothing. 

“Er…what do you mean? Define meet,” she stalled. 

“Oh. It’s that serious?” her father replied knowingly.

Alice was quiet for a moment. Serious did not even begin to cover it. But how did she explain Vlad? How did she explain herself?

“So how are you guys?” she laughed, changing the subject. “How’s home? I miss you.”

  • theplumbob
    Sep 2, 2020

    Ok, page by page comment time again, so hopefully this won’t turn into yet another wall of text.

    I mean, Dylan is cute, but nowhere near the calibre needed to match either Tobias, the soulmate from another time, or Morgyn, the freaking sage of untamed magic. William is definitely in denial if he thinks he’d do the trick. Look at me, agreeing with Vlad lol. But of course, Vlad is a sappy romantic. My thinking is aim a bit higher. Especially after a 100 year dry spell. I mean, come on, William is a catch.

    Lol Gwendolynn. I almost forgot about her, but she’s clearly still in top form. I also enjoyed that the part about Vlad killing her parents is the part where Alice suddenly decides to consult a relationship book or something (don’t discount your partner’s views as unreasonable, show that you’re listening and not making demands) and goes all “we should make decisions about killing people together” 😂

    Akira and Miko… ok, not the strongest start, yikes. But maybe all the ugly needs to come out first. It’s tough, because Akira’s main stream of thought still seems to be “ah, if only I could just travel back in time to hit the delete button and wipe all of my mistakes out of existence” – which I have a problem with, but then at the same time, he does have a point, how can he really prove to Miko he is sorry after all this time? Quite a pickle, that.

    Ok, back to Dylan and William… Dylan’s excitement when he cracked was kind of cute. But apparently not cute enough. That was cold, William. I stand by what I said above, but damn, let the guy down gently – he did just hand you a big piece of information. He’s gonna feel so used.

    Vlad and Alice again – ah, I see the relationship self-help book has now been promptly binned and the bin was set on fire. Lol these two…

    “like a llama speaking of tax evasion” Hahahaha just wanted to appreciate this for a moment…

    Aww I did not expect Alice’s trip down the memory lane. Explains how things got so strained with her family over time. The parallel with Vlad reassuring little Gwen in his weirdass way was really sweet.

    Penny and Miko may aswell be speaking a different language. I’m just waiting for Penny to completely flip the lid lol.

    I wonder if the three witches line does really refer to the sages (they would probably not appreciate being called that, I’d imagine). But I’m not going to complain about William going to see Morgyn haha.

    Oops. it is a wall of text after all. Oh well 😆

    • feroshgirl
      Sep 3, 2020

      HAHAHA I mean, who can compete with Morgyn as a love interest? NO ONE, that’s who. I mean, Vlad has read one self-help book and now he’s tossing out advice, but yeah, he ain’t wrong. Vlad is definitely a true romantic. And William is a catch, but he’s also learning about himself. Vlad starting to get his shit together is leaving William and Caleb space to focus on themselves and it’ll be interesting to see how they both struggle with that…

      Oh man, Gwendolyn is so fun to write. We are going to see more of her for sure over the next few chapters 🙂 Honestly, I think she might give Verena a run for her money!

      Vlad and Alice…well, I’ll say this: new relationships are hard. They are especially hard with you are an all powerful god and your lover is a conceptual entity who is bound to your will. It’s going to be awkward for a bit while they figure out that dynamic. And um…they are gonna need to figure it out because the alternative is…well…spoilers.

      I knew this was going to hit you! Akira and Miko have not really spent any time together for centuries so uh…yeah…things are a big rough to begin with lol!!! I’m so excited though, because that is exactly what I’m trying to point out about Akira! They both have some healing and growth to do…it will be interesting to see how they do it.

      HAHAHAHA William always act so mature and wise but then he has a one-night stand and he does not have the cajoles to even talk to Dylan about it. “I’ll call you.” Pshaw. Will that come back to bite him? Who knows.

      I’m having a blast writing the Vlad/Gwendolyn dynamic. In part because female characters are often the ones acting “maternal” and taking care of other people. But in this story, that’s really Vlad.

      I want to say so much about Penny and Mikel but I can’t but oh man, things are going to get very interesting.

      LOL, the Sages would definitely be pissed to know someone was calling them witches. But there was no way William was not going to see Morgyn. The heart wants what it wants…

      I love the wall of text! It makes me feel better for the 10,000 comments I leave on your story hahahahaha!

      • theplumbob
        Sep 3, 2020

        “I mean, who can compete with Morgyn as a love interest? NO ONE, that’s who.” – Well, yes, obviously. I’m just trying really hard not to have my personal predetermined biases come into play so I thought I’d throw in something about how William probably also loved his husband or whatever 😛 (I’m kidding. I know William loved his husband. And trying very hard not to swoon over Morgyn, especially since Morgyn is still such a wildcard in your story as far as intentions go)

        Yeah, surprisingly Vlad actually seems to be the one person that’s gone through the most growth in the story, when you think about it. Which is interesting, considering he was the one that started the most set in his ways out of all of them.

        Haha I can handle Miko and Akira not being sunshine and daisies from the get go, it would be weird if they were. Like you said, even the fact they are actually talking at all is a huge milestone for them. And you know, if I were to be completely rational, they might not be the best for each other in the end, but hell I do want them to try because the irrational side of me is all over them <3 But yes, I think that side of Akira's flawed logic has always been present from the beginning. Maybe one day he'll understand that to learn a lesson you have to actually live through it.

        Haha never apologise for mountains of comments, I loved them 🙂 And yeah, I have a tendency to leave long comments, but I don't want to gloss over anything, and this "writing my thoughts down as I go" approach means I don't forget by the time I get to the end – even if it means I end up repeating myself sometimes haha.

  • Dolly Llama
    Sep 10, 2020

    Oh man. Dammit dammit dammit. Now I usually just breeze on past romance tropes—lock eyes? Whatevs. Mutual blushing? Use sparingly, save it for tumblr—but my one weakness, despite having publicly called babies “screaming blood potatoes,” is watching someone get all domestic when they’re watching their partner/crush interact with a kid. Alice not getting outwardly sappy but reminiscing about her own father while watching Vlad with Gwendolyn… freaking catnip. More please! Especially after Penny’s comments, I’m with Vlad here. Steal. The. Child.

    Maybe it’s my lack of short-term memory talking, but I can’t help but feel we’ve met Gwen’s parents before, even if we weren’t explicitly told they were Gwen’s parents. Anyone? Bingers? “She’s a demon” is also a p. suspect thing for Vlad to say.

    William, dude, c’mon. That’s all I have to say.

    Ooh, I’m loving the tiny bit of distancing language where we get Alice’s dad’s name several times but not her mom’s. Valeria, was it? I think it was Valeria. No essay today because my brain is fried and arghargharghargh steal the child.

    • feroshgirl
      Sep 11, 2020



      I am not even going to disguise my goals lol. Don’t worry. MORE IS COMING.

      William. Ha. Like I said, all my characters are a hot mess. Even the ones who seem like they have it together.

      Yes! Alice’s mom is Valeria 🙂 thank you for noticing

      Ummmmmmmm……STEAL THE CHILD.

      Gwendolyn’s birth parents are not people we’ve met, but Gwendolyn’s adoptive parents are the Bjerstens.

  • Yimiki
    Feb 25, 2021

    Vlad, Alice and Gwendolyn together is oddly adorable, in a heartwarming but disturbing sort of way. Something tells me that Gwendolyn probably would be better off with them than with the foster parents she’s living with now, especially with how doting Vlad seems to be.

    Aww man, and that scene of Alice calling her parents. It tugged on my heartstrings, bad T.T Her mum telling her dad not to baby her and then immediately doing the same made me chuckle. I’ve clearly watched too many medieval movies and played too much D&D because the second I read “do you have enough mace”, my mind just instantly went to the weapon. 😂

    • feroshgirl
      Feb 25, 2021

      Okay, your comments are proof I have to very careful with you because you have a sharp eye and I will end up accidentally giving you a spoiler LOL.

      But man are you spot on.

      Vlad, Alice & Gwendolyn, my sweet lil murder family. Vlad is the most doting of guardians. Gwendolyn has him wrapped around her lil finger.

      Alice finally called home! It only took 32 chapters! Haha, her mom is a force of nature, right?

      Man, I wish I would have written a mace joke. What a missed opportunity! Also, the amount of BBD inspiration I get from D&D is crazy. Every time I need inspiration about a supernatural creature, I flip open the monster manual lol

      • Yimiki
        Feb 25, 2021

        Hehee, by now I’m getting close to being all caught up, so not many spoilers left that you can accidentally give me in advance. Unless you mean spoilers of chapters that have yet to be published, in which case… gimme alllllll the snippets 😁 *grabby hands*

        I know, right? It’s a fantastic source of inspiration, and sometimes it even works the other way around!

  • Ninja Pink Sex
    Feb 12, 2023

    Lol poor William. If ever the letdown existed, it is to wait a whole century to get your fuck on only to realize it wasn’t worth the wait. LOL ouch. That’s like the harshest Yelp! review. Damn, Dyl, not only was your sex unimpressive, but William can’t get out of the library fast enough when Dylan suggests they head back to the hotel. Bruh. That’s so cold. And funny. And relatable. And damn.

    William has it so bad for Morgyn it’s cute. It makes me all Hallmark-y warm and fuzzy thinking about them in The Strauds.

    Alice meeting Gwen is classic. Alice freaking out over Vlad teaching Gwen to use a sword is hilarious. Look, life skills, Alice. I mean it wasn’t too long ago Alice was willing swords into Vlad’s hands. SOMETHING is coming. Better not to send the child to her slaughter.

    Man the tension between Miko and Akira. Yikes and a half. Idk if I’m just a lovefool or wtf, but I’d give Akira a chance again. He seems to have repented and made actual attempts at redemption. He’s been sober. He’d do whatever it took to get into her good graces. Like man. He’s not all talk, and that’s a Pink kink.

    idk why but Alice watching Vlad and Gwen sword fight near a pool conjures the image of Alice walking/dancing/strutting on a plank over a pool in The Strauds. Gracefulness and a pool. Which is kinda funny in sim world b/c pools are deadly, perhaps a ladderless pool and enclosed walls were the go-to kill method in sims once upon a time. the juxtaposition between beauty and death.

    Ohhh, Penny’s potion is an undercover one. Interesting.

    • feroshgirl
      Mar 8, 2023

      I knowwwwww but also, William chose to hold off for so long and build it up into something one night with a rando could not possibly fix. He can’t have great sex when he’s so busy lying to himself.

      LOL Do you see why I could never let Gwendolyn go once she made her way into the story? Also yeah, ummm, everyone should be getting ready to fight.

      Your Miko/Akira opinions are FASCINATING. I think this is about the moment that I fell in love with Akira too. Like he just has a lock on me, now.

      Squee! It is a nice callback right? I never want to repeat scenes in my AU, but I do try to reference moments that happened in the other universe.

      Hehe ladderless pools. Best way to get rid of anyone standing in your sim’s way…

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