Chapter 1.45 – Not All Roses

April had the house to herself. Lilith had left on important business and despite her best efforts to convince him to stay, Caleb had departed to run around through the trees and look up at the moon with Melinda. April really didn’t understand what was so fascinating about an eclipse, especially a lunar one. It was clearly just a thinly-veiled excuse to get away from her for the evening.

Melinda said they’d be back within a couple of hours. Lilith didn’t say how long she’d be. She never really said much of anything. She had no idea where Faith was, but it wasn’t unlike Faith to disappear for a while. She’d probably come back with a wild story about something abhorrent she’d done with a random man somewhere. April usually hated those stories but it would certainly break up the dullness.

Goodness. Who knew that being an undead creature of the night on the run from committing the murder of the decade would be so… boring?

April had tried watching the movie alone for a while, but it wasn’t any fun without anyone she could pretend to be scared around. She knew how to play chess, she would occasionally play with Broof at the park when she was younger, but she couldn’t say she enjoyed it. Especially when she had no one to play with.

She’d seated herself at the organ and tried to play but Mother wouldn’t shut up from the second her fingers had graced the keys. Fifteen years of piano lessons and you’re still awful at it. Why do I waste my money on you?

April wandered upstairs. She lingered on the landing, looking at the door to Lilith’s room.

Strictly off-limits. As curious as she was, she really didn’t want to get on Lilith’s bad side.

April didn’t like her, didn’t like the way she treated Caleb, but Caleb adored her for some reason and she had been kind enough to let them live with her for a while. Oh and the whole saving her life thing was kind, too. Killing her own mother aside, April knew better than to bite the hand that fed her. Whatever Lilith was hiding in her room would remain hidden.

Caleb’s room however… Lilith hadn’t explicitly said this was off-limits. Surely it wouldn’t hurt to have a little peek inside?

She turned the handle and pushed the door open. How very bland it was, just like the rest of the house. If she didn’t know it was Caleb’s room, she wouldn’t have guessed. There were no personal artefacts, no pictures, nothing of interest.

April lay down on the bed and rested her head on the pillow. It didn’t smell anything like the cologne and decay scent of Caleb. It just smelled like detergent with the faintest hint of candied violets.

Melinda’s perfume smells like candied violets.

That was probably coincidence. She opened up the bedside drawer. It was empty except for a book called Unmasking The Face. Bizarre. She noticed that the bookmark was placed inside the front cover and the spine hadn’t been cracked. She flicked through but it looked incredibly dry. She replaced it and closed the drawer. There wasn’t anything in the other one.

What did Caleb do with all his free time? Did he really just go star-gazing every night? Is that something she was going to have to get into? Maybe Melinda could teach her a few things; her dad had been nurturing her love of astronomy since she was tiny. Melinda would often bore April with stories about constellations and galaxies until April physically shut her up.

She wished she’d listened, now.

April had often been jealous of Melinda’s relationship with her parents, with Faith. Even Lilith liked her. Now she was jealous of Melinda’s relationship with Caleb. The two of them got on so well with their stars and their running and their talking. Stupid Melinda, having interests.

She tried not to imagine the two of them in the woods. Alone.

A distraction. That’s what she needed. She opened up the closet and peered inside. She was hoping to see anything at all to show that Caleb had other hobbies that she could relate to. Books that she understood, a secret games console, music?

At this point she’d have even been relieved to see a dead body, at least that would give them something in common, but all that was inside was a rail of perfectly pressed clothing. It reminded her of her wardrobe back at the mansion; everything organised by colour, fabric, occasion. Broof was meticulous like that.

She thought of all her expensive clothing, poorly-folded and hastily stashed inside Marjorie’s suitcase and sighed. They didn’t even have similar levels of neatness. Maybe she should unpack. Hang things neatly in the wardrobe. Then they’d have something in common, however small. It would kill a few minutes. And hopefully stop these intrusive thoughts she was having of Caleb and Melinda.

Alone in the woods.

They’re not really looking at the moon.

Marjorie’s borrowed suitcase was battered and ancient and hadn’t been anywhere near large enough for all of April’s clothing, limiting her choice and meaning she’d had to leave a number of items behind. She didn’t understand how Melinda and Faith could happily get by with only a couple of outfits.

April and Faith were a similar dress size, so could swap clothes, but Melinda was so skinny that none of her things fit April. Melinda didn’t even need to wear a bra.

April wondered if her tiny frame was another thing Caleb preferred about Melinda.

He’s probably enjoying her bird-like bones and lack of bra right at this second.

April wondered if Caleb would have still chosen her if he’d met Melinda first.

Probably not.

This wasn’t helping. They were just looking at the moon. For some reason.

If you say so.

April started hanging her items in the wardrobe. This was even more boring than doing nothing. As a top slithered off its hanger she gave up and threw the balled up items in to the bottom of the wardrobe, along with her vampire book. She looked at the pile of clothing. Something was missing.

In her hungover state this morning she realised that she had neglected to pack the white dress that Caleb liked. Mother had bought it for her, for a recent awards show. April had struggled into it and thought it looked quite good, quite sexy, she felt very grown up in it.

The second Mother had laid eyes on her in it however, she had made her take it off. Trashy. Cheap. Desperate.

Mother had chosen instead a pink, frilly number that April had secretly hated. She hadn’t brought the pink, frilly dress but maybe she should have. Maybe Caleb would have wanted to rip that off for her.

She thought about the white dress, about what he had said. Seeing her in that dress just about finished me. Clearly he liked trashy, cheap and desperate.

It probably wasn’t a good idea to go back to the Davies’s house. That creep, Will, might be stalking around. But Caleb hadn’t shown any interest in any of her other outfits. They were probably too classy. And she was at a bit of a loose end. She could get the dress, doll herself up, wait for him on his bed…

She’d only be a short while. No one would ever know she’d gone.



Lilith was not having a great night. As amusing as it had been to wind up Caleb, it had stopped being fun the second she had seen Melinda’s face.

Seeing herself reflected badly in those big brown eyes had shaken her. The doubt, the disappointment. She felt that she had been here before.

That darn conscience was interfering again. She told herself that Caleb and April were capable adults, they had made their own decisions tonight, but she knew there was little truth in either of these points. She knew that she had made the decisions for them. But it was difficult to feel genuinely guilty knowing that her brother would be willingly spending his evening being stimulated by a woman’s mind rather than her body.

Finally.

She would talk to Melinda later. Explain, apologise. Somehow. But right now, there was someone else who needed saving from themselves.

There was a time when simply knowing that Lilith was in the vicinity was enough to send Seth straight to her. He remembered once abandoning a kill midway through as her urgent request to see him travelled across the forest.

He could sense her lingering around Hook Corner, like he always could. Could hear her scanning for that one memory that haunted her, like she always did. Thinking that was what attracted him, like it always seemed to. She could have been thinking her worst thought, or her best one.

With Lilith, he had always been watching, waiting.

Lilith was trying her hardest, he could tell. He gained a certain satisfaction from knowing she was hurting herself in an effort to reach him. How things change.

Unfortunately for Lilith, the final threads of her noose had been well and truly severed from his neck. She played by his rules now. Whatever she wanted with him tonight, and he had an idea, it would have to wait.

Seth had a new obsession.



They hadn’t locked the door when they had left Marjorie’s house; it had felt more abandoned that way. April let herself in and made her way upstairs in the darkness. Everything seemed just as they left it; the bottles were still on the table and on the floor, alongside a selection of glasses with their various remnants. Nothing had changed.

She flicked on the bedside lamp and felt around under the bed. Her hand landed on various soft items, but none felt like her dress. As she groped blindly through the darkness, trying to identify the items by touch alone, her hand landed on something that felt like a shoebox.

How strange. She hadn’t thrown any shoes under. She managed to get a hold of the box and tugged it towards her, bringing with it the white dress and a cluster of dust bunnies.

It was heavy. It certainly didn’t contain shoes. April hesitated. She wasn’t really sure she wanted to open a box from underneath her horny, lonely old aunt’s bed. She brushed the thick layer of dust from the top, revealing a list of what appeared to be movie names written in romantic cursive.

How strange. April lifted the corner of the lid, peered inside. The box was full of books, each similar in its colours and appearance. She pulled one out and looked at the pristine cover. Not All Roses by Marjorie Davies, featuring a young, blonde woman in the passionate embrace of a vampire.

Where did a solitary woman get inspiration for those?

April felt sick and yet curiosity had a hold of her. Did she really want to read this knowing who it was based on? She should put it back, shove the box back, forget about it.

Was it all fantasy or did you get her in the sack?

April couldn’t compare to Melinda or any of Caleb’s other ten thousand lovers, but maybe she could learn something about him from a previous one.

Maybe?

18 thoughts on “Chapter 1.45 – Not All Roses

  1. Oh yes, clever idea April, go back to Marjorie’s house alone, even though it’s you everybody is trying to protect by relocating. Fabulous thought process. I hope at the very least she will take the book with her and not linger in the house reading it. Sigh.

    Ah yes, Lilith the selfless, always trying to save someone. Actually, with the way it’s worded, is she actually trying to save Faith from herself, or did she mean Seth by that. I don’t trust you and your abrupt POV changing 😀

    Looks like Seth’s memories of that woman are getting very clear. Hopefully he’ll share who she was with us, I’m dying to know. She must be very important if she’s so deeply hidden. Wonder if she has something to do with his inability to lie even.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The lust is strong in Miss Moss.

      😂 There it is. You don’t trust me? 😇 If you think this POV change is abrupt, you just wait…

      He’s dying to know too. Gonna be a long night for Faith. I don’t think she’ll mind.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The situation exudes high tension. Everyone seems to be enveloped in a drama….

    April is struggling with her jealousy. She’s sure Caleb and Melinda are doing something together that’s not about looking at moons. Still, she cannot stand up for herself because she lets her mother’s voice dominate her when it really matters. It’s sad to be a spectator 💔
    I would say that I think the April / Caleb cocktail seems like a ticking bomb. How should Caleb be able to look after April when he can not look after himself? 🤨

    Caleb is unable to make an independent decision. He should choose April, but is led to make the “safe choice”.
    Lilith may have a bit of a bad conscience or it may be the annoyance of being exposed in manipulating with Caleb. Melinda sees it and shows disappointment.
    Lilith struggles with the shame of having betrayed Melinda’s trust …. and now she gets flachback to Seth again !?
    She’s betrayed Seth’s trust in the past? 😕
    Now we see the beautiful young woman again?
    Does she have a reference to both Lilith and Seth? New questions arise.

    Today, Lilith can not reach Seth. Faith overshadows everything.
    Faith’s romance with Seth. He has confessed that he is ruthless, which only seems to excite her even more …. who is the hunter and who is the prey? 😵
    Perhaps the question is losing its importance now 💞

    April puts safety at stake and seeks out Marjorie’s house to find her white dress …..As usual, she only has thoughts for insignificant things. Mother’s voice drowns out all reason.
    Now she has found a box of novels that can provide extra nourishment for her jealousy 🙄

    A lot of questions take turns in me, but I would say that several of the characters in the story balance on a knife edge.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Do you mind if I gently smack April with a newspaper? She really needs to start seeing the big picture, for crying out loud. Casually going back to Marjorie’s house even though they know that someone is after them. She’s the reason why everyone had to pack up and go to Lilith, and she’s the one everyone is trying to keep safe and hidden from her own crime. Gah, she even thinks about it herself at some point. xD Girl! Stop being so desperately thirsty! And give Melinda some credit while you’re at it instead of throwing mental daggers. Poor girl.

    Though I do really wonder what’s in Lilith’s bedroom now. Maybe she just likes her privacy. … Ironically.

    Wait, so Faith thinks she looks plain compared to April, April thinks she’s nothing compared to Melinda and in general, and Melinda thinks Faith and April are better-looking than her? Aw man. If only they’d have a conversation about that sometimes, honestly compliment each other, maybe they’ll all feel better about themselves afterwards. xD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, go ahead, might wake up a few brain cells.

      It’s probably full of dead hopes and dreams.

      I think Melinda’s cool with her cute, awkward self. But yeah, they should definitely spend some time bonding and complimenting each other. Once they stop being so, as you put it, thirsty.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Poor April. She’s so insecure, and so incapable of forming genuine relationships like Caleb, so desperate for affirmation. This ep made me loathe Sandy even more. And makes me wonder if Lilith infantilised Caleb the way Sandy did. Probably not the same techniques but Caleb is a shell of a man, so just as destructive.

    And now she has books to fuel her insecurities and hollow self-perception even more. Gah. You break my heart, Snuffy. She is going to think that stupid book should be a benchmark for the level of intimacy she expects from Caleb. And I doubt he is socially capable of rectifying the situation.

    I feel so sorry for Mel that I don’t even want to talk about it lol.

    Seth had been disappointed in Lilith too? Ah.. wifey. And yay! Lilith’s conscience lives! As muddled as she is in her own filth, she isn’t too deep, nor is she as numb as she’d like to be. Crossing fingers!

    I’m kinda liking what Faith is doing to Seth. I wonder if it’s her general ability, something she can invoke in everyone, or is it simply specific to Seth. Wouldn’t it be cool if she could awaken things in others the way she does him? If so, oh Faith you OP *bleep*. (Obviously I can’t let go of her being awesome. xD )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nothing good ever comes from building your life around a fantasy. But the story is not over yet… I don’t know if that makes you feel better or worse.

      Lilith’s pesky conscience. Too little too late?

      What -is- Faith doing to Seth? Hmm…

      Like

  5. I feel bad for April. This relationship with Caleb is making her even more messed up. It’s turning her into a clingy, jealous girlfriend. April, don’t let a dude do that to you. Dump him! Ah, she’s in too deep now, and I have a feeling she’ll just keep going down this self-destructive path. Reading that book is probably going to make her jealousy and self-hatred even worse. Caleb and April are the worst people for one another, imo. Yes, they are alike in that they are sheltered and had a guardian figure that held them back, but April wants validation and acceptance and I don’t think Caleb is capable of giving her those things. He barely understands emotions, and April is an emotional roller coaster.

    I am wondering why Lilith is looking for Seth? Is it to protect Faith? Or does Lilith want Seth for herself? Or does she think Seth needs saving? I’m not sure, but it seems like Lilith thinks she has to be the hero and save everyone.

    Seth is just sleeping with Faith in order to get the memories of mystery women back. Heck, he probably is not even thinking of Faith while he’s doing the deed and thinking of mystery woman. Gah. I don’t think Faith cares and knows she’s being used, so I guess there is that. But that’s also an unhealthy viewpoint to have. What all these characters need is a really good vampire therapist, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Caleb and April are certainly… something.

      Why Lilith thinks she’s looking for Seth might not be why she actually is.

      Seth wants what he wants and Faith is quite happy to go along with it. For now.

      They have a really good vampire therapist. Unfortunately, she’s also writing the story and having too much fun watching them crash and burn. I’m sure she’ll intervene eventually and stop talking about herself in third person.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. …Faith, as President of Seth’s fan club I feel compelled to tell you: you in danger, girl.

    I am here for Caleb’s haircut. I love that each one of these characters is so damaged and you are not afraid to let them be unlikeable.

    (okay back to reading)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The danger’s probably why she’s there. She’s a little fucked up is our Faith.

      Awesome. Not easy finding a hairstyle that worked on his big, weird shaped head. Caleb’s fan club very much approved of his new look, though. Even though they fought me at first.

      “You are not afraid to let them be unlikeable.” No, I am not.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. dklnerlgnelng SHE WHAT
    Mel? Okay so that’s why she liked April.
    Unless April is hallucinating.
    I would not put that past her.
    But then there *were* some tender moments before the turning

    Anyway April could be glad she didn’t find Mel’s portrait of Caleb…

    I wonder what Faith would think if she knew Seth thinks about another woman that moment 😏

    Liked by 1 person

  8. …a weird mention about a weird book gets me straight back to puzzling. Maybe it´s not important. Hasn´t been read… perhaps something Lilith wanted Caleb to read, but he didn´t.

    April /has/ dun goofed going out, again. But at least she´s attempting to fight her jealousy. Baby steps, right?

    And oh, those sad eyes. See, Lilith? You´re the one messing up now. /Again./ This bit makes me think about how Seth said he used to have a heart. And given we now know he can´t lie, he at least /believes/ that. Doesn´t mean he actually had, objectively, but it might be possible. Especially since, if he were always heartless, would Lilith ever have anything to do with him? Now if Seth´s past self is more alike Melinda than we dare think, here… that would be a very grim possibility for Mel´s future, now wouldn´t it? You better not let history repeat itself, Lils. …or go and do just that, if you must. Just don´t be surprised at the consequences, this time. PX

    And I´d second the hope that April will get the dress and the book(s) and get outta there… but this /is/ April we´re talking about here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s an actual book about recognising emotions and one of the worst things I’ve ever read. I thought it’d be fun for Caleb to have. 😆

      Baby steps. She’s fighting a lot of conflicting emotions right now; I’m sure she’ll calm down soon.

      Lilith doesn’t make mistakes; Caleb said it so it must be true. 😂 Ah, it’s been so long since I got Lilith rants, I did miss them.

      Yeah, the girl has no concept of consequence.

      Like

      1. XD Bahaha, that´s awesome. Poor Caleb. How can he recognize emotions when he has no concept of them, anyway?

        …well, I´ll take your word on that one. 😀

        Riiight. And you missed the rants? Well, you /have/ made her much more… I´m sure there´s a proper word for that. I was able to feel bad for her for a while there, is what I´m trying to say. But now it´s straight back to the hateable territory it seems. I´m actually almost glad. Makes things so much easier.

        Liked by 1 person

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