BUCKLE UP! We’re coasting down the other side of the mountain.
Now, you’ll notice that I’ve posted all the final chapters at once, and no, it’s not an accident. Gorge them all at once! Take your time going through them! Whatever you want! Either way, I hope you enjoy the end of the first story. I’ve said it before, but THANK YOU for reading and going on this batshit bonkers journey with me.
I don’t think it’s any secret that I plan to take a much-needed break to fill my creative tank (and deal with some very insane but very exciting work projects). I’ve also got tons of simlits that I’m so excited to catch up on, and I plan on losing approximately 20,000 hours to the new game pack. And speaking of building and decorating, I’ve been building an AU BBD world where everyone is teenagers, and Brindleton Bay is basically Salem, Massachusetts. If I get really ambitious, I might do some build videos or release them on the gallery, but really, I just wanted a place to play the game for fun without worrying about screenshots and poses.
I’ve learned so much writing this story, and I’m excited to put those lessons to work in the next iteration. I’ve built a massive world (jeez, so massive) which has been so much fun but requires me to put some new tools in place to manage all the details. And don’t be surprised if you see some site updates going on over the summer as I update images and add more information about characters and the BBD universe.
Anyways, enjoy the final chapters of Baking By Death and stay tuned for Underworld Summer Vacation, coming Fall 2021.
Alice tore the trees out by their roots until she discovered the tiny terror crouched next to a bush, shaking.
Running on unsteady legs, she scooped her up. “You’re safe,” she repeated over and over until she felt Gwendolyn go pliant in her arms.
Gently releasing her, Alice turned to find Vlad behind her. “What the fuck was that?” she cried, but her voice sounded like it was coming from down a long tunnel.
He shook his head and motioned at his ears where a thin line of plasma trickled out. Panicked, she examined Gwendolyn to find her ears were bleeding too.
“Oh my llamas! Fuck! Does it hurt?” she frantically motioned at her head, trying to make her meaning clear.
One tear slipped out, then another, and the tiny terror nodded.
“Okay. It’s okay,” Alice soothed, “I’m going to fix it, I’m going to…” she trailed off.
What was she going to do?
Alice was a god, but she didn’t know how to use any healing magic. Why the fuck didn’t she know? Why didn’t Ben or Grim teach her something beyond her own powers?
She began to hyperventilate and Vlad grabbed her by the shoulders.
“Calm down,” he mouthed, holding her gaze until she felt her heartbeat begin to slow.
“I need help,” she croaked, “I don’t want her to wait to heal, I need—”
Morgyn appeared in a flash of light, cutting her off. They thrust out their hand murmuring a few words and instantly, Alice’s hearing returned.
“You can’t even cast your own healing?” they complained, “You’re a god and yet, you’re just letting it happen naturally like some sort of lesser being!”
Vlad’s lip curled, and Morgyn immediately amended their statement. “Not that that’s a problem. We’ll just have to add that to the list of things to work on.”
“My ears are back!” Gwendolyn shouted, her voice full of relief. Her joy only lasted a moment before another terrified look crossed over her face. She pointed at Vlad, “Are your ears broken? C-can you hear me?”
“Perfectly,” he nodded.
“And you?” she pointed at Alice, her hand trembling, “Can you hear my voice, or are your ears still broke too?”
Alice gave her a weak smile but managed to keep her voice bright. “Nope, all good. But maybe you should do a test.” She shared a look with Vlad over Gwendolyn’s head, “Sing a song, so we know our hearing works.”
“Yes,” he agreed, “Perhaps the Voidcritters theme song? I’ve forgotten how it goes.”
Gwendolyn narrowed her eyes in suspicion but couldn’t resist the opportunity to sing at the top of her lungs. Especially when she knew it annoyed Vlad, who played it up dramatically as they walked towards the cliff’s edge. Even though the sky was bright with flames and filled with debris, her concern about the explosion was forgotten.
Such were the gifts of children.
“We should head back to the cemetery,” Vlad urged, worry coloring his voice.
“It exploded,” Alice said numbly, watching the unmistakable shape of metal fall from the sky, “It fucking exploded.”
“Not only that,” Morgyn added, “Omar called forth the angels.”
The Old Barn
4 Hours Earlier
Mikel stopped just outside the barn door, stretching and rolling his neck as he ran through the final checklist. He was cutting it close, given that the escape pod still needed to be installed, but it was just a backup in case they did need to lure Miss Hell onto the ship and use the explosives. He doubted it would come to that.
In theory, it made sense to have multiple ways to eliminate a dangerous target, but that was if you didn’t have a tool like Vladislaus at your disposal. He’d seen the monster in all his grisly action. They didn’t need a plan B.
Besides, checking Penny’s favorite hangouts was more important. He knew he’d never forgive himself if he didn’t try to contact her before leaving for the Underworld. Though so far, he’d no luck. His old friend seemed pretty determined not to be found.
He was so caught up in his thoughts that he never even heard Miss Hell and Jimena approach.
“No!” he shouted, but within seconds they were on him.
The first hit was excruciating, but he dialed up his core system and increased the speed of his reflexes. He was bait, but that didn’t mean he had to take it lying down.
The last kick flipped him over, and he landed hard on his knees. Before he could recover, Jimena struck out her hands.
His body was flooded with a singular message: Surrender.
Slowly, he felt his core processing unit begin shutting down, the Sixam equivalent of baring his neck. He gave a gurgled cry before he slumped over, and everything went black.
Laurel and Hodges Funeral Home
3.5 Hours Earlier
Nearly every thought fled her brain as Vlad ran his tongue along the column of her neck. “We don’t actually have time for this,” she panted, pulling back, “Creatures are trying to kill us.”
“Creatures are always trying to kill us,” Vlad murmured, flipping her around and continuing his exploration. His fingers played across her stomach as he bit her shoulder, “The real challenge is that we have a precocious nine-year-old, nosy in-laws, the personification of your magic, and do not get me started on the Grim Reaper.”
Alice chuckled, “So you figure we’ll have a quickie at the funeral home in between skirmishes?”
Vlad turned her again and lifted her up against the wall, grinding his hips in a way that said yes, that’s precisely what he thought.
“Have you given any more thought to what I said about Miss Hell?”
He sighed and hung his head. “I bring you to a romantic location, and you bring up a vile creature I despise. Is sex not a thing you prefer anymore?”
“You didn’t plan this. It just so happens that location of one of our first dates is near the cemetery,” Alice giggled as he lowered her to the ground. “And don’t try to play me, I am always DTF.” At his blank expression, she elaborated, “Down to fuck.”
“That’s an actual phrase?”
“That an individual might actually say in real life?”
Alice pinched him, “Yes! Everyone says it all the time. It means I’m very interested in—”
“I know what it means,” he scoffed, “It just seems like such a ridiculous phrase. And ridiculous a word. Fuck.”
He looked so adorably perplexed and insulted, Alice had to bite her lip to keep from laughing. For whatever reason, “fuck” was not a word that Vlad said. “Can you focus? We don’t have time for sex, and I want to know if you agree with what I asked.”
A dark look crossed over his face, “Agree to let Anastasia sail on the winds so she can return on a breeze and stab us in the back?”
“You have the oddest sayings. And also, you don’t know that.”
“I do, in fact, know that. I’ve known her for centuries longer than you, so if anyone is an expert on what Anastasia will or will not do, it’s me.”
Alice clenched and unclenched her jaw. Holy llamas, he was in a strange fucking mood. “Why is it possible for Jimena to be a victim and an enemy but not Miss Hell?”
“Jimena is a valuable asset.”
“Yes,” Alice emphasized, “But we didn’t know that when you have her the benefit of the doubt.”
Vlad folded his arms, and she could practically see her line of argument sliding right off of him.
“No one knows her full name. Three hundred years you’ve known her, but who turned her? Why? I mean, can you for one second consider that you might be wrong?”
“Wrong about which part?” he purred, his silky voice dark and dangerous, “The part where she burned down my house and sent werewolves to kill me in hopes of getting our child or where she spent 300 years by my side spying for one of your unnamed enemies?”
Alice closed her eyes and prayed for patience. Miss Hell was dangerous but certainly not their biggest enemy. And to be fair, she wasn’t trying to steal Gwendolyn. She thought The Owl was an object like everyone else—including Vlad.
“Alright, not wrong,” she made her voice placating, “Just not getting the full story. She did those things, yes, but maybe there are complications. Maverick said—”
“I’ll take advice about our enemies from your brother after he’s actually had to fight them.”
“Wow, okay, fuck your attitude,” she shoved past him, “You haven’t even met my brother yet. All I’m asking is—”
“No, not all. You are never asking for a single bite. You, Alice Martin, require the entire meal.”
“What the hell are you even talking about?”
“I give you everything, Alice. I meet you more than halfway. I deny my instincts, needs, hungers constantly for you. Because you ask it. Because you require it. Because I belong to you.”
Alice could not wipe the surprise off her face. “We belong to each other. And deny your hunger? What are you even talking about? You hunt for you and Gwendolyn all the—”
“Nothing,” Vlad said, stalking away from her. “Nevermind.”
“No,” Alice insisted, “Not ‘nevermind.’ We should talk about this. We need to…” Her phone began to beep. She looked down at the notifications. “Shit. They’re at the barn. We need to go.”
The Old Barn
3.5 Hours Earlier
“You idiot!” Miss Hell shrieked, “He’s our ticket off this sage-forsaken planet.”
“And he remains a ticket,” Jimena replied, tone bored, “We just need The Owl first.”
Miss Hell shook her head, nostrils flaring. “The Owl, you spoiled little psychopath, is meaningless off this planet. You speak of realms, but there are whole other planets in this universe. Forget The Owl. Forget the Elder Realms. Wake up the alien, grab the suitcases and let’s go.”
She was surprised to find Jimena’s shoulders shaking with laughter.
“Oh, Somnus really did keep you in the dark. You are clueless.”
“I worked with the God of Sleep for centuries, and I was focused on a high-value target, not that it’s any of your—”
“Worked for, not with,” Jimena corrected, her eyes sparkling with malice. “And I know all about your high-value target. Did you think you were the only one trying to secure it? Though I suppose it’s fitting that Death would be the only thing Fear wishes to be inside of.”
“I don’t know what you’re—”
“Of course you don’t,” she laughed again, “Like I said, clueless. You see that alien over there? He’s not from some random planet; he’s from Sixam. Sixam has been in bed with the Gods since the forming of this world and believe me when I say, they know exactly what The Owl is.” She smoothed her hair down, “So you see, you’re not arranging for our escape; you were just fetching my transportation. Once I have The Owl, I’ll negotiate with the Sixam Empress for some kind of protection, and then she can do whatever she wants with this sorry little planet.”
“T-that’s impossible,” Miss Hell stammered. Dread gathered in her stomach like a lead weight. She tried not to think about Maverick and his desperate screams, but her mind wouldn’t block it out. “I made this plan up by myself. You…you were rotting a military facility. I rescued you!”
“Rescued me?” Jimena looked downright amused, “I’m a demigod. You don’t think I could escape from a mortal prison? Please. This was my plan; I just let it feel like yours.”
No. That couldn’t be right. How could that be right?
“Don’t worry,” the demigod whispered, cradling Miss Hell’s face. “I’ll still keep you. I’m the daughter of the Goddess of the Hunt, and you’re nothing if not an excellent hunting dog.”
They were outdoors, but Miss Hell felt like the space was closing in on her. The wind sounded louder as it blew through the grass; the glass panes on the old barn seemed to rattle ominously. “Miss Hell” was a name she chose to make her stronger, a moniker meant to remind her that she was not that naive country girl. But as she stood here with everything she thought she knew falling apart, it was alarmingly clear that she was still just Anastasia Barrister.
“I am not anyone’s hunting dog,” Miss Hell said, fighting to keep her voice steady.
Jimena smirked, but her expression quickly fell. “Shit.”
Quick as a whip, Miss Hell whirled around only to find herself face to face with Vladislaus and…was that Alice? She growled, slashing the air with her claws.
“I wouldn’t, Anastasia,” Vlad looked calm but furious. “Even if the God of Death is not in a killing mood, I am.”
“You can release her,” he said to Alice, “She won’t run. I’ve seen her fears, and she’d much rather come with us.”
Slowly, Miss Hell turned to find Jimena suspended in mid-air, clutching at her throat. She gasped as the demigod held for another moment and then dropped to the ground.
“We’re not going to kill you,” Alice explained, her expression pleasant, even as her eyes were still filled with flames. “If you come quietly, we’ll make sure you’re comfortable while we get in contact with Elmyra.”
“If it’s all the same to you, I’d rather the official story be that I fought tooth and nail. Oh, and I don’t want to be returned directly to my mother’s custody, no matter what she says. Have me remanded to one of her followers, or there’s no deal.”
Miss Hell did a double-take, “What?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” Jimena sighed, “She’s ascended. The God of Death has The Owl already. I’m negotiating the terms of my surrender.”
She turned back to Alice, “I assume you’ll take a palace when you visit the Elder Realms. If I’m still your prisoner when that happens, I’d prefer to stay at my condo. I’ll accept whatever guard you deem fit.”
Alice shrugged, “I don’t know what that means, but assuming it’s not annoying as hell to manage. Sure.”
Jimena nodded, held up her hands, and began walking slowly towards them. If she was concerned about what might happen to Miss Hell, she didn’t show it.
“What about Maverick?” Miss Hell asked, feeling idiotic as soon as the words were out of her mouth.
“Maverick? Oh, Maverick’s fine,” Alice answered distractedly as she checked her phone, “Contessa and I are old friends. That was fake. We just needed you to bring us Jimena.”
“Old friends,” Miss Hell repeated numbly. It wasn’t even real. All that grief she felt, and it was a ruse. She rubbed her eyes, as the sinking feeling in her stomach intensified. This was what gods did, toyed with the lives and emotions of regular creatures for their own amusement.
Alice motioned at Vladislaus, “Alright, we got what we came for. Can you grab—”
“We are not quite finished,” he said tightly, staring at Miss Hell.
Alice put her hands on her hips, “Vlad.”
He didn’t answer.
Phobos? Who the fuck was—
“I am not quite finished,” he replied, not taking his eyes off Miss Hell. She searched his expression for some level of recognition or warmth, anything that signaled to her that those centuries they spent together meant something. But his face…his face didn’t hold any of those things—not even anger, just…hunger, and she didn’t understand it.
Alice sighed and threw up her hands. “Fine! Do what you want! But we have a schedule, my dude. That awards ceremony is go time, and if you make us late, so help me…”
She let the threat hang in the air and stormed off, mumbling loudly about how he always did this and could he just not for once in his everloving life. Jimena laughed and followed behind her, never even bothering to spare Miss Hell a glance.
“I resent that,” Vlad called after her, his tone petulant. “And for the record, I have never once made us late!” He turned his attention back to Miss Hell, his face a mask of irritation. “Well? You heard the God of Death: time is of the essence. Run.”
2.5 Hours Earlier
The wings, the eyes, the tendrils of dark smoke—she didn’t know what he was, only that if he caught her, he would kill her, and so she ran.
It felt like he was everywhere, even as she managed to stay just out of his reach.
“Anastasia,” the trees whispered, carrying his voice like some sort of malevolent breeze.
She didn’t scream. Couldn’t. There was no space for words, only terror and the dark energy she called on to move her limbs. She feared it would fail, and when it did, it was almost mercy.
Almost a relief.
Vladislaus landed in front of her, stretching out his wings like a dark avenging angel. She could see the veins running through the milky white of his eyes, and some hindbrain part of her knew—Somnus had not sent her into the arms of a vampire.
He sent her into the arms of a monster.
“Are you afraid?” he asked, his voice terrifyingly tender.
“P-please,” she begged until the words blended together into one wretched, hysterical symphony.
A child’s frustrated growl, followed by a cell phone playing the Voidcritters theme, distracted her.
Vlad froze and frowned, patting his pockets until he pulled out his phone. He glanced down at it, the ghost of a smile playing at his lips. “Well,” he murmured, “It seems I lost track of time.”
Then he disappeared in a cloud of dark mist.
As soon as he left, she felt her limbs unlock. Slowly, she rose to her feet, unsure of what to think at the moment. She was relieved to be alive but could not fathom what was more important to him than killing her.
Do I mean so little? she thought and then immediately stamped it out, ashamed at herself for sounding so desperate.
“Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth,” she whispered, scolding herself as she turned and ran back towards the barn.
1 Hour Earlier
“You rang?” Vlad teased as he stepped out from the dark mist.
“You said I could call you anytime. What were you doing?” Gwendolyn demanded.
“A little of this, a little of that,” he replied cryptically. He could sense Alice nearby; why was Gwendolyn detaining him?
“I’m not stupid. You were doing something Alice told you not to do. She said we can’t kill everybody. I heard her yelling about it.”
“Oh?” Vlad replied, now feeling amused. Alice was sending their child to scold him, and he found it strangely endearing. “And did she happen to mention my excellent sense of timing?”
“I don’t know what that information is worth to you, so I’m not gonna answer,” she stressed.
It was absurd to be so prideful, but he couldn’t help it. Gwendolyn took to negotiation tactics like a duck to water. She would be formidable, and it filled him with joy to see her growing.
“So, what were you doing?” she asked again. “I need to know, and you still didn’t answer. Why aren’t you answering? What are you trying to hide?”
Vlad recalled the stage of incessant questions happening far younger than nine, but perhaps he was out of practice. He sighed, “What is this about, hellion?”
“You’re going to make Alice mad with you, and I don’t want it! I like this family, and I don’t want it to break up because I don’t have anywhere to go.”
Any annoyance he felt fled. “Alice is sometimes cross with me—”
“Occasionally infuriated,” he allowed, “But we love each other very much, so that isn’t going to break this family up.”
“But I see it in you.”
“The thing that’s like me. You were made to destroy everything.”
That brought Vlad up short. He didn’t know how to parse that statement, how to give her an assurance that he could barely manage to give himself. Destroying Windenburg Keep should have been a satisfying meal. Instead, it just ramped up his appetite, making him achingly aware of all the terror he could gorge himself on if he didn’t bother to stop himself.
“I hear the voice all the time. What happens if we don’t listen?” her eyes widened, “Are you gonna explode? Am I gonna explode?”
Despite how starving Phobos was, the taste of her fear was acrid. “Hellion…”
It was not in his nature to keep secrets from her, to lie to her. Pretty stories and false assurances would not prepare her for the world.
And yet her terror was something he could not abide, not for any reason.
“I was made to destroy things, yes, but I don’t have to,” Vlad lied. “I have reasons for not giving into my nature, so I won’t…how did you phrase it?”
“Yes, explode.” He swept her up, delighting in her laugh as he set her atop his shoulders. “That will not happen to either of us because we will both learn restraint.”
“Restraint? How are we gonna do that?”
Vlad had no idea. “We’ll stay busy.”
“Busy with what?”
He tried to think of something suitably benign and calming. “Gardening.”
“Gardening?” she scoffed, “The Underworld has gardens?”
“Alice is also the God of Agriculture, is she not?” Gardens in the Underworld was an educated guess. Alice had attacked him with a cowplant during an argument; it had to come from somewhere.
His answer seemed to please her. Gwendolyn begged to be set down and then took his hand. “Alright, so I need reasons. That makes sense. What are yours?”
“You and Alice,” he replied without missing a beat, “You are my greatest loves and the cause of all my agita and sleepless nights.”
“You don’t sleep. And you don’t have heart,” Gwendolyn grumbled, her tone accusatory. But she clutched his hand tighter and hummed happily.
30 Minutes Earlier
The sound of engines roaring woke him from his sleep. Groaning, Mikel sat up and tried to make sense of his surroundings.
“You know, TV has significantly undersold the spaciousness of flying saucers. I’ve seen San Myshuno apartments with less room.”
He gazed up to find Miss Hell sitting in one of the co-pilot seats.
“Had I known the technology came with a help feature, I wouldn’t have bothered trying to keep you alive,” she continued. “The number of hearts you have is downright vulgar.”
That’s why his chest was sore. Mikel set aside her rescue attempt and staggered to his feet. “Are you out of your mind? We can’t fly this ship. We shouldn’t be anywhere near it!”
With huff she surged out of her seat, “I think the phrase you’re looking for, alien, is thank you!”
Before she could read him anymore of the riot act, the first of several small explosions went off. Despite her excellent vampiric reflexes, Miss Hell hit the floor.
Mikel managed to stay upright, but just barely.
“What the fuck is going on?” she shouted, when the ship finally stopped shaking and she could get up
What was going on was that he was trapped in Plan B with Miss Hell and no escape pod. Something must have gone horribly wrong or he would’ve woken up in the Underworld with everyone else.
“This ship is rigged with explosives, and we’ve got a limited amount of time to find and dismantle the biggest one. So, if you don’t want to die, I’m going to need you to do exactly what I say.”
“Why the hell is your ship rigged with explosives?” she hissed as she followed him the bridge doors.
Was it just his imagination, or did she sound nervous?
Another one of the bombs went off. This time they both went down.
“I would’ve thought it was obvious,” Mikel grunted, climbing slowly to his feet. “We were trying to kill you.”
He didn’t know what response he expected, but a resigned sigh followed by a sharp nod was not one of them.
“Fair enough. What do you need me to do?”
He led her through the cargo bay doors. “See this wall? The main explosives are behind it. There used to be an access panel, but it’s soldered shut.”
“Alright, and what happens once I get them open?”
“Well, if they haven’t exploded, we cross our fingers and toss them out the airlock.”
While she worked on prying the panel open, he surveyed the equipment they might need. The landing could be rough; it might be a good idea to suit up.
“I’ve got it!” Miss Hell cried. She hadn’t just opened the access panel; she’d removed part of the wall. Her hands were raw and bleeding, but she clapped excitedly.
“Great! Let’s…” The words died on his tongue as soon as he saw the wires. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Mayra was an expert, of course she built an explosive that couldn’t be dismantled.
“What kind of bomb is this?” Miss Hell asked, “I thought there would be some sort of detonator or timer…”
He covered his face. “There is a detonator. In the engine system under our feet.”
“That’s not the bomb,” Mikel rubbed his eyes tiredly, “We’re the bomb.”
Miss Hell stared blankly, opening and closing her mouth a few times. “No,” she said finally, “Absolutely not. Not today. Maybe I do deserve to die, but I don’t want to. I’ve made it too far to lose out now. This is your ship, alien, think!”
“Think about what?”
“What would make us safer? What are our options?”
“Options?” he gave her a disbelieving laugh, “This whole ship is ticking time bomb, and if you hadn’t noticed, we are currently hurtling through the sky with no escape pod, so the options are actually zero.”
“The whole ship?” she growled.
Did she underestimate how badly they wanted to eliminate her? “Yes!” he shouted, “The whole—”
Not the whole ship.
She read his expression. “What? What are you thinking? Talk to me; you’ve got something, don’t you?”
“I don’t know,” Mikel ventured, “Maybe. Listen, Miss Hell—”
“Anastasia. Call me Anastasia.”
He balked. “Okay…Anastasia. Help me gather some supplies.”
As they worked, he explained it to her. Saucers were like two ships squished together, the design such that the cockpit could not be easily breached from the cargo bay. If they holed up in the bridge and hit the power thrusters in time with the explosion, they could lose the back half of the ship and limp along on the auxiliary engine long enough to land.
“Do you think this is going to work?” she asked, threading her fingers nervously.
Even with a name change, Mikel reminded himself that she wasn’t a sim; she was a stone-cold killer, and could handle the truth. “No,” he said simply.
15 Minutes Earlier
Alice was waiting for them further into the woods. Her arms crossed, eyebrows drawn in, she was the perfect picture of irritation. “Did you—”
“No,” Vlad replied.
“No?” Her mouth dropped open in surprise. With an excited squeal, she ran and jumped into Vlad’s arms.
“I got in your head, didn’t I? Admit it!” she cackled, peppering his cheek with kisses, “You thought you might feel bad.”
He didn’t lie to Alice either, but he was determined this not be a lie. He could change his nature—suppress it. Alice and Gwendolyn were everything he ever wanted.
But is that enough? A small voice inside him whispered. He tried to ignore it. “I admit nothing,” Vlad declared woodenly as she kissed his cheek again.
Taking a deep breath, he forced more lightness into his tone, “And I’ll thank you to note that I am not late.”
“No,” Alice agreed, turning his chin, so she could kiss him on the lips, “You’re not.”
Gwendolyn made a retching sound, “Gross! I’ll take myself to the cemetery!” she fumed, marching away from them.
“You don’t have to admit that you might be changing,” Alice said with a quiet laugh, “But it is your turn to walk with her. I already lost five games of I Spy and she thinks I’m pathetic. I’ll wait here for Mikel.”
Vlad pulled away and gave her a strange look. “Mikel?”
“Yeah, isn’t he with—”
An explosion cut off the rest of her words.
Laurel and Hodges Cemetery
“Are we not going to discuss this?” Morgyn said as they walked into the crypt, “Omar called forth the angels, which is going to be a headache because angels are vicious creatures, and that’s without the wings. I mean, the werewolves we planned for but—”
“Can you please just…” Alice trailed off. She didn’t know what she was begging for. A break? A lie? Relief from her guilt? “I killed him,” she gasped, covering her face.
“Killed who?” Gwendolyn lifted her head, giving Alice a curious look, “I thought you said—”
“No one,” Vlad interrupted quickly. “Gwendolyn, thank Morgyn for returning your hearing, and then take their hand. They’ll take you downstairs with everyone else. Safely.”
Something unreadable passed across Morgyn’s face, but they quickly buried it. “Come along, Gwendolyn.”
Alice watched them walk away, trying to swallow around the lump in her throat. She was supposed to be a god, but she let someone trying to help them die. And now she was going to rule over the Underworld? How the fuck was she going to manage something so vast? She couldn’t even handle this!
“You didn’t kill him,” Vlad told her quietly, “I did.”
But she did. Vlad didn’t keep track of other creatures; Mikel barely even registered to him. It was her responsibility to remind him, but she was so distracted by arguing about Miss Hell that she stormed off. What did it say about her that she’d forgotten? Or that Miss Hell ended up alive on a fluke? She promised Maverick she’d advocate for her and take care of it, but she capitulated in five seconds flat!
“Alice, are you listening? I am the killer. Not you—me, Phobos. You are a…” he searched for the right words, “A very soft-hearted god. You did not fail him.”
But her spiral of self-recrimination was too deep. “I did fail him! I fucked up, and I feel horrible about it. Everything about this is so fucking hard, I just wish my life was—”
Vlad’s expression was stricken.
She wished what? That her life was different? That she was “normal” and didn’t have to deal with any of this? No, that was the old Alice talking. The mortal Alice who didn’t have to worry about anyone but herself so she would make everything, even a death, seem like it was about her and her misery.
But that was not the way to honor Mikel and she still had nine other beings downstairs who were depending on her.
Wiping her eyes and squaring her shoulders, she took Vlad by the arm.
He stiffened, “You wish your life was different.”
“No,” she smiled, wrapping her arm around his waist, forcing him to walk with her, “I’m a god; I got a great kid, great family, I got you. Why would I want to give that up?”
He flashed his fangs and waggled his eyebrows, “I am a catch.”
“And modest to boot,” Alice laughed, “I love you and I wouldn’t take this batshit ride with anyone else. Now, let’s go give Omar an awards ceremony he’ll never forget.”
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New CC This Chapter
Forest by Bellopedia (Find it on the Sims 4 Gallery!)
Flying Saucer by ehaught58 (also on the Sims 4 Gallery!)
Butterfly 2 by Simmerberlin
Landslide by Simmerberlin
Dastardly Poses by Sewer Sims
Anger Emotions by WTS
Emotion Posepack by Cassandra Grusel