Chapter 1.48 – Self-Destruct

Violence, suicidal thoughts, Will (collective groan)

Joe looked up, expecting Caleb to take his usual chair by the fire, surprised when he took a seat at the bar.

“Bad day?”

“Just give me the bottle, Joe.”

Joe clicked his tongue. “That would be irresponsible of me,” he said, pouring one glass.

Caleb threw back his drink and Joe topped him up. “Trying to compete with your sister I see?” he joked. “I’m sure the pair of you are set to self-destruct.”

Caleb had chucked back his third and his forth. He could still see her.

He had left April staring into space in his bedroom. She had barely reacted when he’d broken up with her and had tried to follow him as he left; he’d had to beg her to not to. Somehow, he knew she was still there, by herself. He hoped that someone went home to her soon. Anyone. They could snap her out of this strange mood; convince her that she was better off without him.

He still couldn’t think of anything else. His mind had been pre-occupied with April Moss since he’d first laid eyes on her. He wondered if April would be his final thought.

“Get out. You’re barred,” Joe snarled at the patrons who entered.

Will casually crossed the room and dropped on to his regular chair as if Joe hadn’t spoken. “Gonna throw me out? No, didn’t think so. The usual, Joe.” Dale had followed his vulgar friend, like a shadow. Slipping in place beside him.

Joe mumbled to himself angrily as he poured two beers and set the glasses down in front of them. “Thirty simoleons,” he said. “Each.”

“I’m sure you just make up these fucking prices on a whim, Joe. No matter, gonna be buying this place in a few days.” He reached into his pocket and tossed the money carelessly on the bar, looking around for entertainment, noticing Caleb. “Hey, look who it is! Almost didn’t recognise you without your queer haircut, Vatore.”

Will nodded, amused by Caleb’s silence. “How’s your fit sister? You know she finally persuaded me to let her blow me, right? She’s crap at it, though. All teeth.”

Caleb clenched his jaw. He was used to Will throwing his weight around. He knocked back his sixth. April’s beautiful face still stubbornly clear in his mind.

“Hey, here we go,” Will said, nodding at the television.

Caleb looked up at the screen, where the news was rolling.

“They were all in here. The day before she went missing,” Joe said to Caleb “On the run? Shoot, do you think she actually killed her own mother? Do you think that’s what she’s running from?”

Caleb threw back his seventh.

“Oh, there she is, The Hole Of Forgotten Hollow. You know she’s turned to the game now? No self-respect.” Will smirked as Faith appeared on the screen. Caleb tried to remain in control, clenched his fist. How he’d love to throw it through Will’s face.

Will whacked Dale on the back as the channel displayed April, again. “Can you believe that this lucky bugger got April Moss in the sack! Look at her. Spoiled little princess must’ve been desperate for a bit of rough, am I right?”


“Come on man! Don’t hold back; give us all the details.”

Roxie was nowhere to be seen and the forest was deserted. Seth’s thirst was causing him issue however his main aggravation was a young woman with pale grey eyes.

Tonight had made it obvious; Faith needed change. Craved it. Seth could show her so much, teach her everything, gently lure her down the path of darkness. And if he got to enjoy the physical side of her, well, that was a bonus.

There were bonds to break in this endeavour, but he couldn’t just erase the memories of her family. Well, he could, but he wanted her to feel like it was her choice. It would take time, but they had it.

Alas, he knew himself well; time would cause his desire to manifest into yet another unhealthy obsession. It was somewhere he’d promised himself to never be again. But she was so tempting. He had always had a weakness for aggressive women, but one with so many secrets? What was a poor, mind-raping cretin like him to do?

Hanging around Hook Corner was fruitless tonight. He’d travelled instead towards the bar. It wasn’t his first choice to dine on the intoxicated, brawny men of Forgotten Hollow, but the night’s events had taken quite a toll and he could only hold out for so long.

It looked like he wasn’t the only one.

Seth sensed that Caleb wasn’t out here for his usual reason. Suspicion confirmed when that Wangshaft idiot headed down the path towards him.

“You’re a nut job, Vatore.” Will laughed. Caleb started to walk away, but Will followed. “What’s it matter to you if he fucked some rich bird? What’s she to you, anyway?”


“Bullshit,” Will said, blocking his path. “You don’t throw a punch like that for no reason; they’ll be finding his teeth for weeks. You know her, don’t you? April. You know where she is.”

“No, I don’t.”

“Really?” Will swaggered up. “Doesn’t matter that the cops are on their way to yours as we speak then, does it?”

Caleb was clenching his fists. “You didn’t.”

“Oh I fucking did.” Will feigned concern. “Couldn’t leave the poor girl trapped forever in your dungeon, could I?”

“I’ll… I’ll…”

“You’ll what?” Will was right in his face now. “Gonna suck me dry, vamp boy?”

When Seth hunted he would terrorise his prey and wouldn’t mesmerise them; their fear provided a most stimulating dining experience. But Will was the foolhardy type and Seth had been aroused enough for one night. He didn’t have to lift a finger to render Will mute and immobile. Seth smiled at Caleb and waved an inviting hand towards the helpless man.

“You first. Let the end be on my conscience.”

Caleb looked between Will and Seth. His rage turned to laughter. “What the heck Seth? You know I don’t do that.”

“Of course you don’t,” Seth humoured him, like he had all the other times. “But if you were to want to this time, do go ahead. No one need ever know. And I mean no one.”

Realisation dawned on Caleb. “I’ve done this before.”

“You have.”

Caleb shook his head. “I need to get back. The police know April is at mine, they’ll be there any minute.”

“They won’t. He was lying to you.” Seth smiled as he rifled through Will’s memories. “He doesn’t know where you live. Barely remembers where he lives.”

“Is that any way to speak to your wife, Will?” Seth tutted as he read. “Hell, we’d be doing everyone a favour draining this one.”

“I can’t…”

“Last chance.” Will’s racing pulse was starting to overwhelm them both. Seth watched Caleb fight with himself. He pitied the poor man, his tone far more gentle than usual. “We cannot be tamed, Caleb.”

“I need to keep trying,” Caleb vowed, walking away down the path.

“Well, that makes one of us.”

Before she had arrived home that evening, Lilith had been enjoying her day. Her new therapy was proving to be a hit. It was based on the flimsiest of research that said that losing a measured amount of blood was beneficial for the body. It was all a sham; the only bodies it would be benefitting were that of her vampire family, but it hadn’t stopped thirty senseless celebrities booking themselves in for ‘treatment’. She knew that Melinda would probably question the morality of it, but Lilith wished she’d thought of it years ago.

Now, after her unfavourable behaviour this evening in front of Melinda, her confrontation with Faith and her inability to reach Seth she was back to wondering what the hell her existence was becoming. There was not a thought to be heard in the dark house, so she assumed that April had joined Melinda and Caleb, after all. She found herself alone in her living room, staring at that plastic box. If she stared at it hard enough, maybe it would explode.

Lilith heard the front door bang shut and it startled her. She waited a while to see if her visitor would come in, but they didn’t. Cautiously, she wandered into the hallway to see Caleb, slumped against the wall looking like he’d had a long night.

“Caleb?” She took in his haunted expression. “Are you OK? What happened? Where are the girls?”

“Did you tend to April?”

“April?” she asked, a coldness taking over. “Why? What have you done?”

“What do you think?” he said quietly, sinking to the floor. “She’s in my room.”

Lilith glared at him. “Different,” she spat as she headed upstairs. “And you wonder why I don’t trust you?!”

April was sitting in the dark, staring blankly at the wall as Lilith entered. Lilith switched on the light and sat beside her on the bed. She looked mostly OK, physically; there was only limited damage that a vampire could sustain, after all. But that vacant, docile expression was a concern. From the little Lilith knew of April, calm was not one of her traits.

Lilith sighed. The touchy-feely side of this was always the bit she struggled with. And now that she had lost her ability to change memories, she’d have to do it the old-fashioned way.


“How are you feeling, April?”

April rolled her head to look at Lilith, as if she was noticing her for the first time. “I’m fine. Is Caleb back yet?”

“You’re fine?”

“Yes. A bit bored.”

“Bored?” As Lilith thought about what the heck to say next, the room fell silent.

That’s when it hit her. She couldn’t hear any of April’s thoughts. Not one. She tried to probe but got heavy resistance. Familiar resistance. Almost… walls.

April smiled. “I’d really like to watch TV now.”

Lilith was hardly about to deny her that. “Go ahead.”

“Can you bring it up to me? Caleb told me to stay here,” April said, coolly. “So I must.”

“Right. I’ll go fetch that for you then.”

April nodded. “Thanks.”

Lilith closed the door behind her and stood on the landing trying to compose herself.

The blind, senseless infatuation between them. His sudden care for someone besides himself. Why hadn’t she seen it before? She managed to get down the stairs without screaming; an urge that became ten times stronger when she laid eyes on her pitiful excuse for a brother.

“Get up,” she ordered.

He knew better than to argue with that tone. Lilith watched as he scrambled to his feet.

“When you turned April, what exactly did that entail?”

He stared at her. “I already told you.”

“What you told me was a load of bullshit. What did you actually do, Caleb?”

Three hundred and twenty-one years of numbness and focus meant that very few things caused Lilith to shift form but this was certainly one of them. She tried to restrain the static that threatened to rip through her defences.

“I’m out of here,” he said, pushing past her towards the door.

“No, you’re not.” Lilith grabbed his arm, got a firm grip. She hadn’t had a hold on him for years; a sure sign that she was slipping form, that something was very, very wrong.

“Show me how you turned her. Let me in.”


She twisted his arm up his back until the bone threatened to snap and shoved him against the wall. “This is not a request.”

He winced as the pain registered. He’d forgotten how strong she was; how she used to take down men twice her size with no effort. The static was emanating from her, penetrating his skull, hitting those god damn walls.

Caleb rested his head against the wall, spewing apologies that Lilith had no more patience for.

“Let me in,” she hissed into his ear, feeling him tremble. “You’re going to show me how you bound her before I rip your fucking head off.”

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28 thoughts on “Chapter 1.48 – Self-Destruct

  1. “There were bonds to break in this endeavour, but he couldn’t just erase the memories of her family. Well, he could, but he wanted her to feel like it was her choice. It would take time, but they had it.”
    Nope. Nope. Nopenopenopenopenope. That’s all I’m going to say about that. Well no that’s not all I’m going to say about that. Isolating people and breaking their bonds with friends and family is a well-known tactic of abusers. Turn them into a shell of themselves and then shape them as they see fit. Nopenopenopenopenope.

    Ouch. And that ends Will. He was a total dick to absolutely everyone and I absolute despise the guy, but death by being ripped apart by Seth is still a horrible way to go. I wonder if being mesmerized means that he didn’t feel it. =S

    Oh my gods. Is that what Caleb did to her? O.O Is that why she hasn’t moved from that bed? She hasn’t been able to? Because he told her not to? Dear lord. My head is exploding. And absolutely horrified. I genuinely can’t even find the words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Abuser? Seth? Nah, he’s just a loveable rogue, Yimi. 😐

      We’ll say that he didn’t feel it. I’m gonna missing writing all his sleazy dialogue. Not.

      It would appear he did, yes.

      Anyone who still thinks AE vampires are soft, please raise your hand?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Right, ok, I’m finally reading this properly, adequately chill with my glass of wine. Still mad at you for stressing me out and expect my spleen bouquet promptly, thanks.

    I mean, if I didn’t already like Seth, I would now, purely for killing Will. Hopefully there is no way for Will to get out of this and he is Sandy Mosll level of dead now. Will not be missed. But what’s interesting is that Will apparently knew that Caleb is a vampire? Or was that a random insult? Or did that information somehow pass on to him through his vampire hunter family, and he in fact was “graciously” allowing the Vatores to live in Forgotten Hollow. Hm. Also, will his relatives try to avenge his death? Hm.

    Still loving Seth. I don’t know, he just has a refreshing level of self-awareness that no other characters in AE do. Sue me. And you know, who else is gonna get me that spleen bouquet?

    I see we’re getting a glimpse of Lilith’s dark form. Wonder if we’ll pick up where we left off in the next one and get to see it in its full glory, or if we get a flashback of April’s turning in the next one.

    Now, I guess I’ve had more time to think about the whole April being bound to Caleb thing since your oopsie spoiler earlier today then if it was my initial reaction 😛 But knowing what we do about Caleb now, it makes perfect sense that he wouldn’t have been able to stop himself and just drained her dry when he turned her. Thing is, though, does he even know how the whole bound thing works? I doubt Lilith would have given him a lecture on the whole patriarchal vampire society from centuries ago, since she wanted to leave that all behind, so why owuld he know there was anything different about the way he turned April?

    Also, April blocking Lilith, does this mean it’s Caleb blocking Lilith on April’s behalf, or does April “inherit” Caleb’s abilities that way, now that it’s fully kicked in? Is she able to use them in her own fashion, possibly even against Caleb, or would the whole bound thing prevent that? Or is it just mirroring his ability and that’s it? So many questions.

    Finally, this whole special and different thing – we know from Lilith that Caleb hasn’t turned any of the previous ones, but has Caleb “felt” this strongly about other people in the past, the way he does with April, I wonder? Of course we’ve been told everything before April was meaningless, but is that really the case? I mean, if Lilith and Seth did a cleanup afterwards, even Caleb himself wouldn’t know…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll send Interflora over right away with a Seth Special.

      I can confirm that Will is a Sandy Moss level of dead. I did have it in a blatant screenshot but it felt a bit grim, even for AE. Will did make a few interesting comments in this chapters, didn’t he? Hmm.

      Seth is certainly self-aware, I’ll give him that.

      Lilith’s elusive dark form makes another tiny appearance. You’ll see it all at some point, I’m sure.

      What spoiler? Dammit Seth! You’re getting sloppy in your old age! 😂 Interesting, maybe we’ll find out soon.

      So many questions that will soon have so many answers! Well, not super soon. Soonish

      Interesting point. I guess with Seth and Lilith in the picture, everything is always in doubt.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh man, just when I thought Caleb and April’s relationship couldn’t get more toxic, then we learn that he bound her to him and has some weird type of vampiric control over her. Yeah, no wonder Lilith is pissed. Maybe the best thing she could have done was to put Caleb down instead of thinking she can control him. Along with Seth, who is a mind-raping serial killer. I’m sure Lilith has a dark history as well. Yeah, this is what the girls have to look forward to, slowly becoming monsters and losing their humanity and either clinging to it or just embracing it. Lilith pretends like she’s everyone’s savior when she just controls and manipulates people and probably is in huge amounts of denial about her own dark past. Caleb just runs away and sulks. Seth, at least he’s honest with himself and knows he’s a monster and embraces it.

    I actually don’t want Will to die just yet (can’t believe I’m saying this). I have a really weird theory about him, and I think he might actually know something that is important to one of the characters. But then, I’m probably completely wrong and maybe he should just get eaten by Caleb and Seth.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You picked a heck of a run of chapters to read back-to-back, lonecat. I prescribe a nice brain wash and a long lie down.

      Yeah… when I said he was a disaster, I really meant it. Ripping his head off would probably be the kindest thing for him now. You are correct; the longer the girls are vampires, the less human they will become. How they handle it will remain to be seen.

      I hate to break it to you, but Will is well and truly dead. If you’re thinking there’s an unanswered question or two with him, you may be right. If only someone was, I dunno, in his head when he died or something? 🤭

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I might need a bit of a nap. That was quite the ride, but I was addicted and couldn’t stop reading. 🙂

        Ooooo, I can’t wait for the next chapter! Will Seth read Will’s mind and we find out his secret? If there is a secret? I’m cool with him dying then, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. “Lilith pretends like she’s everyone’s savior when she just controls and manipulates people and probably is in huge amounts of denial about her own dark past.” Thank you. My thoughts exactly. [must resist another Lilith rant]

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Haha! I’d be interested in hearing a Lilith rant or any other character rant, as long as Snuffy is cool with it. Maybe a tea party topic, rant about Lilith? Lol.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Tbh I’m glad to see Will go. I guess I should be more morally upright but the man’s so repulsive. For all of Seth’s manipulative killing ways, he at least had some sort of conscience before he turned into what he is now. I haven’t seen any redeeming quality in Will since his character got introduced.

    Will knows Caleb as the vampy boy? Now I’m wondering who else knows.
    With how powerful the Wangshaft family is and how they were there during the first purge, Im wondering if the town or at least this family knew all this time and had an agreement with Lilith to keep Caleb under control. Tbey called their prison a “Tower”. That seems like they’re dead set on ancient ways and beliefs. 😅 oh dear..

    The power imbalance between Seth’s rshp with Faith, similarly Caleb and April is so skewed. They’re all dependent on the conscience and intent of Seth and Caleb, with Faith and April at both their mercy as they choose. Is the vampiric bond for life?

    I knew it. Seth sees Caleb as kin. At least Caleb still has morals. I give him (and lilith) credit for that.

    Yay Lilith’s dark form! That “alternate medicine/therapy” thing she has going on made me lol. Sounds like leech treatment and blood cupping or whatever those are called. I mean, its just an alternate blood sucking treatment haha 😆.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was also wondering if brown haired girl was related to Will, but Seth leafed through his brain and found nothing and they dont have the same eye color and… she seems like a nice person. Nice ppl and Will just don’t correlate 😆

      Liked by 1 person

    2. For all Seth’s manipulative killing ways he still has a conscience? 😉

      We may not have seen the last of the Wangshafts.

      Yep, the power is all out of whack. For all the efforts to remedy the gender imbalance in the vampire world, it’s still a man’s world. Well, for two of our three girls anyway… Yes, binding is permanent. A wife is for life. For better, for worse.

      Murderous vampires gotta look out for each other.

      Just a peek of Lilith’s dark form for you. It’s very dark. Yes, blood sucking but with some sort of consent. I don’t think it’s a therapy I’d choose. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah I meant Seth had a conscience before, until he discarded it and accepted himself for what he has become. Will seems like a constant yuck all his life.

        It’s too small a peek. Im crossing my fingers for a full page of Lilith’s dark form next chapter 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Friday is absolutely overwhelming when it comes to stories and I have not had time to read them until today.

    There are some things I do not quite understand.

    Is it Dale who gets all his teeth knocked out of Caleb?

    I can not quite understand that Caleb should have bound April when he transformed her?
    Until now, she has definitely seemed like she was ruled by her own desires. Was the bound something that happened during Caleb’s assault?
    Maybe it’s because I do not quite understand what the word bound means.
    Maybe it’s Lilith’s thoughts that confuse me.

    I would like to think that there is a germ of humanity living in Caleb, so is it only the fear of Lilith’s anger that makes Caleb resist his urge to drink blood?
    I think we might get an answer to that when Lilith shows her dark side.

    Seth has decided to manipulate Faith into the path of darkness, so that she herself wants to erase her memories of her family.
    He has something to offer her in exchange.
    I do not like that trade. In my eyes, it makes him appear like a sexy, charming psychopath.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Caleb punched Dale for bragging about his bedroom fun with April (which of course we know didn’t actually happen. At least not the way Dale probably explained it.) The teeth being knocked out thing is a figure of speech, but I’d imagine being punched in the face by an angry vampire would certainly cause some dental damage.

      Binding is still somewhat mystified. More about the the how and why of being ‘bound’ are discussed in the next chapters. If it’s still lost in translation after chapter 50, I will clarify for you. 🙂

      It’s not only fear of Lilith that keeps Caleb in check now, although that certainly helps!

      ‘Sexy, charming psychopath’ is an apt description of Seth. Shame that Faith is choosing to ignore the ‘psychopath’ part.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Apparently I’m not a member of the collective, because I didn’t join the collective groan at the prospect of more Will, on the contrary. But if Seth kills him, I’m gonna be sadly mad or even madly sad. You already reduced the tartan trio to mere tartan duo. You can’t do this to me and to poor Dale. As you can tell I’m very invested in these characters. So much that I talk about them instead of other important things that happened. 😏

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t set out to make any character liked or disliked, but you’re definitely in the minority with your love of the tartan twins.

      Seth kills him. Some of the deaths in AE are very hard for me to write, but… not Will’s. Although this might be the only kind option there was for Mr. Wangshaft. 😏

      Then there was one…


  7. lololo I love that Will alone is a trigger warning by now 😂

    Hmm, so Seth talked Caleb into hunting, and then erased Caleb’s memory if he was too fightened?
    Ugh 😒

    ohhhhhhh boy that ending was Evil :O

    Liked by 1 person

  8. *smirks* Oh, Snuffy, you mischief-maker, you. Trying to encourage me to skip to book two. Trying to make me miss Will´s goodbye. Heck, no. XD Now whatever made you think this wouldn´t fix my mood, had it needed that in the first place?

    Huh. Dale didn´t seem quite as obnoxious as Will, though. I wonder what he said to make Caleb take a swing at him. And if he was fabricating things or if his memory got warped… or if April had been lying, again.

    The bit with Seth thinking about Faith and breaking bonds is very interesting and a little strange. Now I read that and my first reaction was indeed /Ouch!/ But then I looked again and started thinking. He only mentions family, not her friends. That made me remember how we talked about Faith and Joy and all the hard choices there and I was like… hold that thought a sec… am I being fooled here? And if so, is it to think worse or better of him than I should?

    Either way that shot of Seth showing up right as Will threw that “whatcha gonna do” was just priceless enough to make me really laugh out loud. Well, sunshine, you can be nasty to the Vatore boy, but there´s bigger sharks in that pond. p: No, sorry. Can´t find it in myself to feel at all bad for Will.

    And Lilith starts questioning everything after one bad night. Hmm… well. There´s more where that came from, girl.

    Her checkup on April really makes me wonder about things I probably shouldn´t be considering. Like how much of Caleb´s problem lies in the fact he only ever dated humans and the general lack of vampire women.

    Then there´s a mention of a bond, April acting all weird and Lilith loosing her mind. Bond. As in, that thing they planned to do between her and Vlad? The way it was between Silas and his wife? That what Caleb´s done? I guess it would explain a lot, wouldn´t it. And for all Lilith does have a good grasp on vampire lore, I do wonder if there´s things even she is missing about it. This could potentially not be as much of a disaster as she thinks it is, especially if it is what made Caleb feel things at long last.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Will’s demise is probably the best part of book one, you’re right, what was I thinking. 😆

      Making stuff up to look the part in front of Will in that awful way that some guys do. April definitely did not sleep with Dale. Neither of them were really attracted to the other, for some reason…

      Would I fool you? Would Seth?

      Hehe, I still remember shooting that all different ways, but Seth simply standing there with his confident little smile like ‘keeping talking, jackass’ just did it for me, so I’m glad you approve. 😁

      Whatever could you mean by ‘more to come’? Will’s dead now, Melinda will forgive Lilith and everything will be fine!

      A lot of this probably could have been avoided if Lilith just created Caleb a nice playmate, right? I’m sure the ins and outs of binding will be discussed and you can make your mind up on whether you think it is a disaster or a salvation for Mr. Vatore.


      1. *laughs* I wouldn´t go that far. But he´ll hardly be missed much. Not even by his own wife, apparently. XD

        Oh, plain empty boasting. And Caleb was probably not following… wellp. Okay, I do feel sorry for Dale, a little bit. I mean, he´d totally deserve a punch, but there´s a punch and then there´s a /punch./

        Heheh, you would so do that. Both of you. 😀 I´m just not sure which one of you would try to sway me in which direction. ;D

        Yep, that was just pure class. :´D

        I mean “more to come immediately.” As in Faith and Seth ignoring her is nothing compared to the bombshell of her little brother getting vamp-married, of course.

        *shrugs* Definitely not. I don´t think the situation could have been changed, being what it was… just that it´s sort of unlucky. Maybe. Maybe it wouldn´t have helped even if the vamp society was completely different. Can´t really tell, at this point.

        Either way, from what we know, the main concern is April, here. Still, Lilith is likely imagining her father, jumping to conclusions and believing the worst case scenario. It is very likely still a disaster, but perhaps not /that/ huge?

        Liked by 1 person

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