We’re still in fluff land, but I’d say this chapter is gruesome fluff—the kind you hopefully love if you read BBD. There is some angst. Sorry about that. I hope all the warm and fuzzy moments make up for it. Also kissing.
I mean, y’all know who needs to kiss, right?
Anyways, this chapter was a BEAST. I put in two action scenes, and one is a machinima. It was so much fun but also so much work. It was also building up to a huge reveal that has required me to run multiple different save files and I’m just so relieved to have it over with!
That means it’s hiatus time for the next month. I’m working on some very cool projects at work that I’m excited about, but it means my days are insanely busy. I also have some plans to make some future machinima scenes, and the coast down the hill to the final chapters is gonna require a heck ton of screenshots.
TLDR: I need some time to catch up on chapters and get ahead (I am definitely writing faster than I can pose in-game lol).
Don’t worry, I’ve got some entertaining BBD AU Halloween stuff planned starting October 1st, so there won’t be nothing happening this month. If you missed this week’s bonus post, it’s here.
Hopefully, though, this monster chapter will tide you over for a few weeks while I take a mid-season break!
Windenburg Arcade & Fun Zone
“It’s an arcade,” Alice explained, gesturing around the room.
“I understand what it is. I am not an imbecile,” Vlad snapped.
But he didn’t understand. Not really. It was too loud, too bright, with an almost disturbing number of children and teenagers. Her Majesty, as Alice had taken to calling Gwendolyn, had exacted a high price.
“Don’t snap at me,” Alice retorted, giving him a dark look, “We wouldn’t even have to be here if you would just admit it!”
“Admit what?” he asked, pretending to have no memory of his recent victory.
“Just admit you didn’t bake it!”
Alice fancied herself level-headed and laid-back, but she was, in fact, none of those things. Vlad was delighted by it. “Why, Alice Martin! Such a breach of decorum is unseemly for a god, don’t you think?”
“Honestly, Vladislaus, I will show you—”
“Hey!” Gwendolyn shouted, placing herself in between the two of them, “This is about me now!”
Alice glared, but Gwendolyn took no notice of it, grabbing Vlad’s hand to lead him across the room.
“I am appalled that you would think me capable of such a crime,” he called over his shoulder, enjoying Alice’s growl of frustration.
Gwendolyn stopped at a loud, flashing machine in the corner. Vlad could admit to being a bit hasty in his estimation of the modern era’s value. There were many things about it that he now enjoyed, though he could say, categorically, that arcades were not one of them.
“You’re orange, and I’m blue,” Gwendolyn insisted, pointing at the machine’s buttons.
“The orange controller,” she said, rolling her eyes as if it were obvious.
That he was to inhabit a small orange stick was not evident at all. Vlad frowned, “Show me how this inane contraption works, hellion, I grow weary.”
She laughed, a hysterical childlike guffaw that triggered a memory of such joy and grief; it went straight to the space that would have held his heart.
The snowfall was soft and steady by the time they started making dinner. Oberon poured ingredients into mixing bowls while Titania set the table. Akira brought more wood for the fire, and Miko surveyed it all like a general watching a battle.
After he got sober, Titania kept him embroiled in wars and conflicts. She feared he would relapse with nothing to do and no Miko to see his improvement. She wasn’t wrong, but it meant Akira became a shadow, floating from one task to the next, motivated only by the idea that his path would cross with his wife’s one day.
That day had finally arrived. Miko was here, in the flesh, and whatever anger he held for his sister melted because he was sure what she said was true. He’d need every tool in his arsenal to win back his wife.
Once they all piled enough ham onto their plates, Oberon launched into a story about Akira training baby dragons back at the palace. “Those little motherfuckers lit him up good! Came back every night lookin’ like a piece of kindling. Took him three months, but they finally learned how to fly—”
“And—” Titania started.
“And shit everywhere for miles on end,” Oberon cackled, refusing to give up the punchline on his story, “No one told him you gotta potty train ’em first. Like, come on!”
The whole table roared with laughter.
“I didn’t know you had that kind of patience,” Miko gasped, wiping a tear from her eye.
He didn’t. Not before. It was astounding what you could discover about yourself with a clear mind.
“Well, since we’ve had our customary laugh at Akira’s expense, I think it’s time we get down to business,” Titania announced.
Akira grimaced. She was about to show him up. Titania always had a head for strategy, even as a child. Centuries ago, when they first had to negotiate with Josef Straud, she was in the throne room with her parents. After one visit, she refused to return. He is immovable, she said.
Turned out, Titania was right.
“This better be good,” he grumbled, frustrated that he had no choice but to accept whatever plan she laid out.
His sister continued as if he hadn’t spoken, “Miko, you’ll be the distraction. The hermit can’t know what’s going on until the last moment. Oberon is on getaway duty. I’ll take care of the alarms. We don’t need word getting out to other hermits. You know they love a brawl. And since Akira is the fastest among us, he’ll snatch the apples from the bear.”
He rubbed his temples. Akira had forgotten about the bear. Every hermit had a robust defense system; it was the only way to keep the position. Any mortal who could manage to do it was guaranteed an immortality potion from the Granite Falls coven.
“Arrows ain’t gonna cut it, I’ll need—”
“Poison,” Titania finished. “I know. I’m already working on cooking something up.”
“Not the fire leaf stuff,” he warned, “The last time—”
“Are you ever going to let me forget that?” she snapped, stabbing her fork into her vegetables.
“No,” Akira smirked, “Ya fuck ups are few and far between, so it’s up to me to keep track of ’em.”
Oberon nearly spat out his drink out laughing so hard, but Miko just looked worried.
“Are you sure this is a good idea?” she asked quietly.
“Why?” Titania purred. Her voice may have been innocent, but the look on her face was pure aggression, “Have you traveled into the future and seen that it will fail?”
“N-no,” Miko sputtered. “I just…what if Akira gets caught?”
Her face was so earnest. Akira took in the two high spots of color on her cheeks and felt his heartbeat a little faster. She did care.
“I’m not gonna fuckin’ fail,” he laughed, “What do you take me for? Two hundred?”
Miko frowned, “Two hundred? You were fast, but…” her breath caught. He knew the memory she recalled—him, running through half the fae realm to stop every clock. If I get them all before you get to the front gates, you owe me dinner, he told her. It was their first date.
“Well, if you thought I was fast then,” he replied, holding her gaze, “You should see me now.”
Windenburg Arcade & Fun Zone
Many games later, Gwendolyn was infuriated. Even with no understanding of the game, his vampiric reflexes allowed him to beat her every time.
“You’re a big jerk!” she cried, stamping her foot. “You can’t even let me win just once?”
“Winning was not part of the bargain you struck,” Vlad replied smoothly.
“Let this be a lesson, my dear hellion; in future extortion schemes, you should be more specific.”
She growled. “I’m going to play another game. And you’re not invited.”
Vlad laughed and went to join Alice at her table.
“Done so soon?”
“She is a poor loser,” Vlad sniffed.
“Old enough to lose with more grace than that,” he replied haughtily.
Alice laughed, but her expression quickly sobered. “I can’t stop thinking about that dream about the woods. I mean, I’m calling it a dream, but it felt real. It’s like I have two crystal clear memories of what happened that night, but they don’t match up. It doesn’t make any sense.”
Vlad nodded. His memory was equally worrying. Or maybe more so, given that it included the Good Order Monks.
“What about Phobos? I know you don’t want to talk about it…becoming him…but did you get new memories? Do you have his knowledge? How does that work?”
Vlad felt his throat close up. “It’s difficult to explain,” he said finally.
She studied him but didn’t push. “Okay, well, the least you can do is tell me about the scheme.”
Grateful to be back on safer ground, Vlad told her everything. “She stole a pie from a pastry chef downtown, and I snuck it into the baking tent.”
“I knew you didn’t bake something that good!” she exclaimed, “You’re a cheater.”
Vlad gave her a teasing smile. “You’re not angry that I cheated, you’re angry because Rory called my pie inspired.”
Alice sucked her teeth. “One day, you and I are going to have a long talk about the patriarchy. And your role in it.”
“I’m sure we will,” he replied soothingly, “But in the meantime, shall we discuss how you baked your pie?”
Suddenly, she looked down, deeply interested in her glass. “Hmmm?”
“You don’t know anything about the apple orchard that sprung up on the grounds of the Von Haunt Estate?”
“It’s as if by magic,” he gestured, adding an air of fake wonder to his voice.
“Ugh, fine,” she groaned. Climbing up on the table with her nectar, she motioned for him to sit. “But I was really trying to work on my powers. I’m also God of Agriculture, you know.”
“I do seem to recall that,” he whispered.
She snorted, but her whole body tensed when he leaned in, pausing only inches away from her lips. “I am, of course, unbothered by your cheating. It matters only that we win, not which one of us does it. Now, how would you like to go out and celebrate my victory?”
Granite Falls, Hermit’s House
Each time always felt like this—like it was the last time. Every once in awhile, Miko would even let herself pretend, let herself believe that this was true. It was easy enough. There were always surprises; for example, she had no idea if this version of Titania’s plan would even work. The result was still the same, though. The work had to be done, and she’d jump through time trying to stop it all from happening in the first place.
There are no do-overs.
Would, but that was true for her.
“You sure you don’t want some eggnog?” the Hermit asked, pulling her out of her thoughts. His long brown hair gleamed in the cabin’s warm light. Hermit was a title, not a descriptor, as evidenced by the fact that he was not at all a rumpled old man.
“Uh…no, thank you,” Miko smiled, but she wasn’t sure if it reached her eyes. She knew better than to take anything he offered. “I’ve just got butterflies waiting for the phone lines to go back up!”
Her voice sounded as shaky as she felt. In the distance, a growl tore through the air. Miko jumped to her feet. Was that the signal? Or was something wrong? Please don’t let it be wrong, she prayed to gods she fundamentally disliked and preferred not to hear from.
She wanted to see this through.
“Don’t worry none there, princess, that bear’ll only harm you if I tell ’em to,” the Hermit chuckled, his tone congenial even as his arms shot out and he wrapped his hands around her throat.
“And you’re not gonna make me tell him to, right?”
Akira held his arrow notched and ready to fly. The signal was taking too damn long! His eyes flickered back over to the bear.
Just a few more seconds.
He braced himself, bouncing on his toes and drawing back the invisible bowstring until it was so taut he thought it might slice off his finger.
The Hermit had not yet opened the door, and he worried that whatever horrors were in store for Miko would be conducted inside before anyone could get to her.
It didn’t matter if she could handle herself. Something about this entire day felt wrong.
Where in the fuck was his sister?
The Hermit dragged Miko’s limp body across the floor. Her head banged on a piece of furniture, but he kept going. Panic welled up inside of her, seizing her muscles, but she tried to stay calm. The bear hadn’t stopped roaring, which meant Akira had not killed it, which meant that Titania was late.
Miko knew what happened if they didn’t make it in time. She watched Hermit pause to tuck a hammer into his back pocket and swallowed down her nausea.
There! A flash of green light came from the edge of the field. Akira immediately let loose a hail of arrows, watching as they rained down on the small yard. The bear roared, attempted to pull them out before the poison hit its system, and the beast dropped to the ground.
Titania knew her poisons. Quick as a whip, he dispelled the bow and jumped down to the ground.
Landing softly in the snow, he stood ready to cast himself over the fence when he heard a growl behind him.
“Oh come on!” he hissed, pivoting to wrap his arms around another bear’s neck. Throw his weight forward, he flipped it over his shoulder and then dodged a swipe of its claws to snap its neck.
He spared not a thought for the second bear as he hurtled himself over the fence. Speeding into the small greenhouse, he stuffed his pack with apples but froze when he flung open the door.
He allowed himself to savor the experience of watching Miko sit up and hit the Hermit with a full blast of emotional confusion.
Thatta girl. He saluted her before turning to run back into the woods.
Miko didn’t waste a second longer than necessary, making sure the Hermit was disarmed.
While he was spinning in circles and talking to himself, she sprinted into the woods, halting a short distance from the property. Akira was already there, waiting patiently while leaning up against a tree.
“Fast as the Fae,” he said, lifting his eyebrows and gesturing to the pack.
Miko tried to frown at him, but instead, she found herself laughing, dizzy with adrenaline. She loved it. You could do a thing a thousand times and still find thrills.
“Your ego is so large as to be impolite, Akira Kibo.” But her voice held no real rebuke, only humor and something else.
He sensed it and in a second he was on her, invading her space. Sometimes he was so attuned to her emotions, she wondered if it was magic.
Feeling her pulse flutter, Miko bit her lip as he raised her hand and pressed a single, lingering kiss.
“You were fuckin’ magnificent.”
This time—this time, she was magnificent. And because she was selfish, she didn’t pull away and let him cup her cheek and rub his gloved thumb over her lips.
Please let this last, she prayed again, knowing there was no recourse and letting herself pretend that she did not have to try and stop the Good Order Monks and hunt down B’Ollithiranon and watch over Alice and make sure Vladislaus Straud did not let Phobos slip his reins.
“Some days, I dreamed it never happened,” Akira whispered, “I dream that I got it right, and you never left.”
Instead of letting her heart fall into a million little pieces, she told herself that they had this entire night ahead of them, that she would not have to unwind this timeline and start again.
Titania and Oberon broke the moment, pulling up on two brand-new snowmobiles.
“I think this is our ride,” Miko teased, stepping back. Titania revved the engine even though she stood beside it. Enchanted this time?
Miko gave Akira her most innocent look, “Last ones back build the fire!”
“That’s the thanks I get for risking my neck?” he smirked.
“Only if you’re the last one back,” she hinted, jumping onto the snowmobile behind Titania.
They shot off at full speed, kicking up snow. After a few yards, Miko peeked over her shoulder. Akira stood there next to Oberon, giving her a lopsided smile.
“Of course I’ve been to a nightclub,” Vlad insisted, his tone annoyed. It was mostly for feeding; he didn’t enjoy it, though Alice’s dress inspired him to a new level of interest.
“Well, that’s good,” Alice said, “Because this night out was your idea.”
Somewhat. It had been somewhat his idea. He did not envision celebrating would involve…so many other creatures. It was just as well. The end of the contest was closing in, as was William’s trip to the Library of Magic. They had so few carefree nights left, it would be selfish of him to insist that he and Alice spend them isolated.
Selfish? When had he ever thought about his actions in that light? His shifts in perspective were so jarring, it was hard to know exactly what kind of creature he was going to come out as on the other end.
“Lead the way,” he said, his hand on the small of her back brushing against the zipper on her dress. Much later, he intended to be pulling that zipper down with his teeth.
“As I was saying,” Caleb emphasized, continuing the thread of their earlier conversation, “Vladislaus being in the contest makes Alice less of a target, in addition to giving us a back up should she fail.”
“Hey! I’m not gonna fail! What the hell?” Alice folded her arms, “I came in second place. And he cheated!”
“Phobos is King of War,” William said dismissively, “Not King of Following the Rules. Of course, he cheated.”
Vlad kept his mouth shut. It was the first time anyone besides Alice had ever really referred to him as Phobos. He could not decide if it was good or bad or just…a fact. He was Phobos. Though whether he was Phobos wearing Vlad’s skin or the other way around was still up for debate in his mind. He felt between things, an agitated state only made calmer by Alice.
They had barely walked in the door of the club when Deacon stopped short.
“Hey, isn’t that Thorne Bailey?”
Alice looked around frantically, clutching Vlad’s arm, “And…is it just my imagination, or does it look like everyone is having sex?”
Vlad sighed—a long, frustrated breath. He delighted in bloodshed. Loved a fight. And yet…
And yet, he wished there could be some long stretch of quiet. Long enough to enjoy his newfound family and do all the things he wanted to do. Then go back to killing and murderous rampages.
“I did bring weapons this time,” Caleb supplied helpfully.
“Yes, well, a fine bit of good they’ll do against the sex magic,” William grumbled.
Alice ducked a flying limb, “I thought you said Vlad joining the contest would make me less of a target!”
“Well,” Caleb considered, “Yes and no.” He frowned at his shirt, dabbing at some plasma that spilled while he was drinking one of Thorne’s incubus buddies.
“What do you mean, yes and no?” Alice hissed. This entire evening had made her grumpy. Death by sex magic sounded fun, but it was…not.
“Yes, it drew the attention from you but also, if it weren’t obvious, lots of creatures hate him,” Caleb shrugged. No one ever doubted that Caleb believed he was the smartest creature in the room. Alice was beginning to see how centuries around the vampire could wear on your patience.
“Oh please,” William scoffed, wiping off his sword. “You make it sound as if Thorne Bailey and his ilk were not on our list.”
Vlad paused from terrorizing Thorne and folded his arms. “Yes, and I am right here. I can hear you.”
His wings weren’t out, and he wasn’t even turned. He clearly had no intention of eating the incubus for a long while yet. Alice shuddered and ducked another flying limb.
“Deacon! Would you please?” she screeched.
The zombie looked up from the pile of body parts he was tearing into. “Sorry, dude,” he mumbled, waving an arm. Whose arm? Alice wasn’t even sure.
“It’s just that…” he trailed off.
“It’s just that what?” Alice prompted, growing even more impatient.
He bit into the arm that had been laying across his lap. “It’s just that—”
Alice threw up her hands. “Are you fucking kidding?”
“What?” he asked, words muffled.
“You can’t hold off on eating that arm for five seconds while you answer?”
He made a guilty sound before slowly lowering the body part from his mouth.
“Trying to keep everyone from sexing each other to death really ramped up my appetite. I mean, Vlad had his hand up your—”
“We know what happened,” Alice interrupted, “We were there.”
She wanted to die of embarrassment, but instead, she was just going to have live with the fact that Deacon watched her hike up her dress and climb Vlad like a tree for all of eternity.
She sighed, “My point is, why is there a list? The twins thought about keeping me to do their bidding, but these assholes were actually just trying to kill us! What’s the point?” She stormed over to Thorne, staring him down so hard her eye started twitching, “Who sent you?”
“N-no one!” he cried, “I-I have m-money! I can pay you!” He stumbled back. “Listen, can’t we work this out? I can…I can give you a name!”
Vlad growled and grabbed the incubus from behind, preparing to sink his fangs into Thorne’s neck.
“Wait!” Alice shouted.
Vlad tossed Thorne to the floor. “Is this some sort of punishment?” he snarled angrily.
“No, no,” Alice soothed. They were not going to have this argument again. “Just let him answer.”
Vlad looked unconvinced.
“And then you can drain him.”
At that declaration, Thorne covered his head and began to whimper.
“Oh aye, you’ll never get a thing out of him now!” William chastised, “He knows you’re going to kill him. What motivation is that? You’re just as bad as Vladislaus!”
Alice put her hands on her hips. She did not need this shit, not today. She might still be learning how to be a god, but she wasn’t stupid. “I think any scenario where I encourage him not to play with his food is a win for the food.”
Thorne looked up, “Play? N-no, I have names, I can talk! I want to talk!”
Alice cocked an eyebrow and threw out her hands, “See?”
Deacon snickered, but Vlad grabbed her and dipped her, his hand dangerously high up on her thigh. “Why Alice Martin, I do believe that is one of the most romantic things you’ve ever said about me.”
Alice giggled and then gasped when his tongue darted out. He licked the pulse in the dip of her throat and she tried very hard not to moan. M-Maybe there was still a little sex magic in the air.
Lifting her, he smiled as she cupped his cheek. “You are not injured?” he asked, voice surprisingly gentle, given the direction Alice thought this was going. “The blast from the—”
“Hey! Get a fuckin’ room, will ya!”
They broke apart, finding themselves face to face with the Grim Reaper. His hood was pulled back, and Alice saw that he was sporting an eye patch.
“I’m just fuckin’ with ya,” he smirked. “Actually, I’m pissed you didn’t call me for the sex magic fueled orgy. What are we, enemies?”
Alice smothered a sigh of frustration. Now she could say with certainty that this night sucked.
“Oh shit, your little prisoner is trying to get away. Hey, asshole!” Grim shouted. Instead of reaching for his scythe, he waved his arms forward. A ball of flames shot up around Thorne, the blaze giving way to a fiery pattern of skulls that circled the incubus in an ominous loop.
Shit. She needed to learn how to do that!
“That’s the Grim Reaper?” William blurted out. Even Caleb wore a look of shock.
“Down an eye, thanks to this motherfucker, but yeah, at your service,” Grim replied. He made a rawr-ing sound at Deacon, who shot to his feet and blushed, arm still hanging out of his mouth.
“At your service, especially,” Grim winked.
He turned his attention back to Alice. “Freshly made? Is this your work? Can he date, or is this like a reverse harem sort of situation for you?”
“Grim, what the fuck are you doing here?” Alice groaned. The last thing she needed was for Grim and Deacon to date. She wasn’t really in a place to pass judgment on partners; Phobos was most definitely a psychopath. Still, Deacon was sweet, and Grim was a total horn dog. She didn’t want to have to comfort him when he got his heart broken.
“What?” Grim shouted, “I collect the fuckin’ dead, do I not? Besides, I wanted to see how your powers were doing. And great dress, by the way,” he added, “Your tits look—”
“Okay! Okay! So how did it go?”
Alice was forced to admit that his training had helped. “Not half bad,” she mumbled.
“Good, we can move on to interplanar travel, which you’ll need to get to the Underworld. Amongst other places.” He pointed a finger at Vlad, “You are not invited.”
“She is not going alone,” Vlad was steadfast.
“She’s a fuckin’ god,” Grim argued.
“And you, Reaper, are untrustworthy,” he flashed a cruel smile, “I have not yet eaten. I could always take the other eye.”
Alice bit her cheek, steeling herself not to interrupt. Be a god, Ben said. It’ll be fun, he said! He failed to mention that a lot of being a god was managing the egos of a bunch of bloodthirsty lunatics.
“Touche,” Grim shrugged. “Bring somebody else…Anybody else.” Inclining his head at Thorne, a terrifying stillness came over him. He licked his lips. “Can I keep this one?”
“No,” Alice smirked, with no hint of apology in her voice, “He’s Phobos’s dinner just as soon as he tells us who sent him.”
Grim leaned in and took a huge whiff, “No, really, can I take him? He’s gonna lie. Silencing magic. He couldn’t tell you even if he wanted to.”
Before Alice could even ask about that concerning tidbit of information, Vlad misted behind her. He reached a hand straight into Thorne’s chest and tore out his heart. For five minutes, there was only the sound of him chewing and Deacon making disappointed sniffles when he wouldn’t share.
He turned, swiping a hand across his mouth. “You were saying?”
Alice scrunched up her face. This was her life. Surrounded by creatures who could not manage to consume their meals without plasma, organs, or body parts being flung all over the place.
“I guess the rest is yours,” she muttered, looking at Grim and trying hard not to retch.
Grim cheered. Waving a hand, he guided Thorne’s body into the portal behind him.
“So long motherfuckers!” He shouted, giving Vlad the finger.
He flexed and then motioned at Deacon, “Call me!”
Back at the cabin, warm with cups of hot chocolate, they all laughed as they recounted their adventure. Even Titania seemed in good spirits, choosing to sit next to Miko on the floor.
“I didn’t just dip the arrows in poison,” she insisted, “That’s child’s play. I cast the poison as a solid. The entire arrow was pure, unadulterated, bone venom.”
Akira bellowed with laughter, an act usually reserved for Oberon. “How fuckin’ long were you waiting to tell us that? And why’d you let me waste so many arrows?”
Titania tossed her hair over her shoulder, but he saw her smile. Oberon, on the other hand, was subdued.
“It’s been a long night,” he said, rising, “Come on, babe, let’s go to bed.”
A small sound of protest turned into a yawn. She stood and joined him, resting her head on his shoulder. Akira had his problems with Oberon, but they seemed to make it work. His sister was happy.
“Don’t do anything we wouldn’t do,” Titania chuckled, “Seriously if we wouldn’t do it, it’ll probably kill you.”
Akira groaned. He tried to never discuss sex with his sister, and she wanted to make him brutally uncomfortable every chance she got.
Suddenly, he and Miko were alone. He stared at her for a long moment, drinking her in. When she got up like she was about to make her way to bed, Akira cleared his throat. “I would like my other prize now.”
“I don’t know what you’re—”
“Don’t pretend.” He and Oberon made it back to the house and put the fire on a good five minutes before Titania and Miko walked through the door. He had never moved so fast in his life; his lungs were still heaving. “Give me five minutes where you don’t pretend. What do I gotta do to win that?”
Miko dipped her head. Where before she had been playful, she was now wary. “Five minutes is a long time.”
“For you, but the rest of us poor fucks gotta make do with the time that is given to us.”
“The universe grants things to make up for that,” she said primly, “The fae have long lives and speed, vampires get strength and immortality, mermaids have—”
He held up a hand; tonight, there would be no tangent to distract them. Time worked differently for Miko; whole lifetimes could happen in the span of a minute for her.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m not here for a lesson about the Universe and the Fates and how they ordered the world. Your aunts—”
“Well, technically only Liberty and Summer are aunts. Rory is different this—”
“Fine, your two aunts and your uncle. My point is, I don’t care about them right now. I care about you. I don’t need a history lesson, and those assholes are always keeping secrets.”
Miko looked away.
“Let’s talk about it,” he tried, “You and I, let’s talk about us.”
She fiddled with her hands, “I don’t want to talk.”
Desire swept through him so quickly he almost fell over. All day he felt this rising anxiety but now, he could think about nothing except his hands on Miko’s body.
“Then we won’t talk,” he bargained. He said it with confidence and swagger, not the deep, pleading that resounded in his heart.
He just had to take it one day at a time. Each day he would fight to win her until they stacked up so high, she couldn’t possibly turn him away.
“I think my prize should be a kiss,” he held up his hand and counted off on his fingers, “Five minutes.”
“A kiss, but that’s—”
“I don’t need anything else,” he added quickly, maybe desperately. He crossed to her. “Just this, just once. Tomorrow we’ll see the gnomes, and things will be crazy again. A kiss, Miko. That’s all I’m asking.”
She looked away for a second, and Akira was sure he failed, but then she was on him. A kiss filled with such longing, it rearranged his entire conception of what it meant to have patience—of what it meant for something to feel good.
He would wait a thousand lifetimes for this: her lips pressed against his and the way her frame notched under him. They fit each other.
She tangled her fingers in his hair and kissed him harder, a desperate thing that shuffled between them, unyielding, and full of the sadness and hope and passion and fury that had defined their relationship.
Seconds passed. So many seconds, they might have been years. He might stop kissing her and find the season had changed and not be troubled by it whatsoever.
Fuck. Nothing had ever felt so good.
He started to pull back, but she held on for one more kiss before ending it. Panting, she kept her arms wrapped around his neck.
He stroked her cheek while his other hand gripped her waist. A kiss, yes. But he wanted to lay her down on the table and devour her.
“Best five minutes of this century,” he said, his voice hoarse.
She stumbled back, movements frantic—a strange, wild look in her eyes. “Five minutes, two-point six-nine seconds,” she corrected.
“Okay, sure,” he managed dumbly, unsure of what he saw in her eyes or how to slow down his pulse.
She looked sad, so hopelessly sad, he wanted to grab her and hold her and promise to make it go away.
“For what it’s worth, Akira, I’m sorry. I always loved you. There are do-overs. I get do-overs, and I’m sorry that this night for you ends here.”
Before he could move, she raised a hand, seeming to reach for something, and disappeared.
Akira stood a long time, waiting for anything she said to make sense.
“Miko,” he whispered, “What have you done?”
It takes a village, y’all. This chapter would have been IMPOSSIBLE without all of these incredible creators.
It’s a Date by Simmerberlin
Shopping Time by Simmerberlin
Emotions for Kiddos by Simmerberlin
Male Stand Pose 02 by Natalia-Auditore
Male Stand Pose 04 by Natalia-Auditore
Male Stand Pose 05 by Natalia-Auditore
Rain of Arrows by Natalia-Auditore
Saint Seiya Poses 20 – Arrow + Bow by Natalia-Auditore
Wrestling Poses by Princess Paranoia
Just Us Posepack by Katverse
Male Modeling Poses set 1 by Katverse
Emotions 9 by Simmerberlin
Vampire x Male Victim by Natalia-Auditore
Werewolf Posepack by Natalia-Auditore
Stand Male Poses by Natalia-Auditore
Carrying their Pieces by Natalia-Auditore
Body Parts by Natalia-Auditore
Cave Creature by Natalia-Auditore
Crying in Desperate poses by Natalia-Auditore
Reaper Eyepatch by PralineSims
Emotions for Couples by Simmerberlin
Mug Pose Accessory by Soloriya
Snuggle Party by Something Wicked Sims
Slouch on a Couch Pose by DeySims
Sims in Distress by JoanneBernice
Parkour Life by Quiddity
From the Sims 4 Gallery
Arcade and Bowling Hall by kapsejs
1800s Homestead by 241maxi0
WTF? Talking by Steven Studios
Realistic Dance: Brazilian Funk by Steven Studios
Sims 4 Animation Pack #1 | Karma is a b*tch Challenge by ConceptDesign97
Idle Animation Pack by Loovies
Action Movie Animation Pack by FlowersSimsFactory
Realistic Dance: Latin/Reggaeton by Steven Studios
Swordfighting Animation Pack by GamingTweety
Dramatic Badass Revange Look by Steven Studios
Angel Wings by Natalia-Auditore
The Sims 4 Mega Talking Animation Pack by FlowersSimsFactory
Sims 4 Action Animation Pack by SuperLadyBug
Music is “Thug Life” by Anton Vlasov