Chapter 2.45 – Neck Booze

There was no electricity in this house so once the battery died, it was over. Melinda had been calling Chuck from Lilith’s phone on and off for most of the night, redialling after every drop, hampered as she was by the poor signal.

Lilith had busied herself, while she awaited Caleb’s return, by seeing to the prisoner. She had tried to wind the clock back on Danny’s memory, but couldn’t get further than a few hours. Fatigued, she’d accepted that she’d have to release the boy into the wild when they fled and hope that his memory was patchy enough to not incriminate her.

She wandered the house looking for April, trying to avoid the plethora of items that reminded her of wasted efforts and empty promises, and found the girl in Caleb’s room, staring out absently over the lake.

Lilith was quite accustomed to being unable to hear the stream of thoughts from her fellow vampires, but April unsettled her.

There had been a time when Lilith had been able to hear both Caleb’s perceptual thinking and Seth’s over-analytical musings, so she knew how their minds worked even if she could no longer read them. There was not a note to be heard from the girl since the completion of the binding and, with hindsight, Lilith had to wonder exactly how much of what she had been able to hear prior to that was actually April.

The spoiled, rich, manipulative brat that had she believed April to be was not who was now standing before her.

Gone was the stubborn, stroppy, selfish girl. This April was softly-spoken, suggestible and irritatingly sprightly. It had Lilith wondering, not for the first time, exactly how much Caleb had actually changed in these recent weeks and how deep those changes were.

She knew how binding worked; she always likened it to being one entity with two shells. Unforced, the bound pair would settle to be almost identical; undefined, impossible to determine where one ended and the other began.

But of course, most of the society vampires with their egocentrism and devotion to the cause did not take a bind, and all her drawbacks, for company or in the pursuit of a tepid middle ground.

Lilith’s own parents were a perfect example. Her mother, Charlotte, had once been a feisty human; a swindler with a temper as sharp as her wit. A million miles from how Lilith remembered her, as the helpless husk, robbed her her spirit and forced into a life of servitude by her own husband.

Silas, who had been heavily ridiculed and dubbed the ‘mortal-loving milksop’ before his binding, became a force to be reckoned with following his treatment of Charlotte.

Remembering this always made Lilith feel five degrees colder, never more so than now. If April was presenting this level of softness and the likes of empathy and introspection, which were not traits Caleb had ever organically had, but ones he had always claimed he’d wanted, he was clearly not taking the ‘neutral’ option.

Where was he? And, worse, what the hell was he doing to tip the scale?

“The sun is up,” April said quietly, stirring Lilith from her thoughts. “Maybe he’s not coming back.”

Lilith could not acknowledge this possibility. She took a seat on the bed and waved April over. The girl took one long final glance out of the window before joining her.

“How are you feeling?” Lilith asked, more as a gauge than a genuine concern. “How is the sickness?”

“Better,” April mumbled, fumbling with her skirt, something she clearly did often judging by the state of the stitching and the looseness of the button she was toying with. “I feel much less nausea today, but my head sure hurts a lot.” She gently chewed her lip and looked at the floor, before glancing back up to Lilith, shyly. “If he’s dead,” she whispered, “will that undo his commands?”

Lilith had been waiting until Caleb’s return before she started explaining the full horror and the intricacies of the vampire ‘marriage’ the pair had unwittingly found themselves in. She still hadn’t ruled out removing her brother’s head in order to rectify the situation, so April’s question floored her.

She blinked, keeping her icy composure. “Commands?”

“Yes,” April confirmed. “He makes me do things I don’t want to and I can’t say no. Melinda said that he told her that he’d turned me the wrong way and he now controls me. Does he?”

Lilith could have lied and given the blue-eyed, blonde-haired girl some sweetened hope to keep her optimistic and fighting, but it suddenly struck her; reassurance wasn’t what April was asking for. Her question, asked with a overly casual, ‘hey-ho’ air, told Lilith more than any unconscious stream of April’s thought could.

This girl was used to mistreatment; so accustomed to being supressed and side-lined that confirmation it was happening again would be a non-event; an additional pin through her already tattered butterfly wings.

Lilith understood that. She had lived that.

“Yes, he does control you,” Lilith said, watching carefully as April nodded, her reaction as expected; nothing. “What sort of commands has he given you, April?”

Lilith hoped for something tangible, something they could test to check if Caleb was still kicking. But as it was her brother they were discussing, and he was evidently slipping back to how he used to be, Lilith had an inkling what kind of demands April had received.

“He told me that I wasn’t allowed to kiss anyone else. He tells me to be quiet and to come upstairs,” April answered, finally fiddling her skirt button free of its weathered thread. “Oh dear, now I have to learn to sew.”

“Do you want to kiss anyone else?” Lilith asked, pondering the implications of testing this command.

April pouted and turned away; her voice so quiet that a human wouldn’t have heard her, “Sometimes I want to kiss Melinda. I know I shouldn’t.”

Lilith thought for a moment before she carefully asked, “Do you ever want to kiss Caleb?”

“Sometimes,” came the hushed response, her final word barely there, “Less.”

“I see,” Lilith uttered. “April, do you simply want to kiss everyone? Do you want to kiss me?”

“Goodness, no!” April squirmed and Lilith nodded, relieved that she didn’t have to test that particular command.

Clearly Caleb had only given April petty, self-serving instruction and there was nothing to test his hold on the girl. Lilith was about to give up when April cleared her throat. “He gave me one big, scary command, Lilith; he told me I wasn’t to leave this house without him.”

It was an awful thing to prevent her doing and yet, knowing her brother had housebound his bind brightened Lilith like a bulb. This was testable.

“Can you disobey?” she asked. “If I asked you to, say, go out to the well, right now – could you? Can you try?”

April tilted her head, perplexed, but quickly cottoned on to what Lilith was suggesting. She rose to her feet but that was as far as she got before being drawn back to the bed like a magnet. “No, I can’t.”

“Why not?” Lilith challenged. “You’re nowhere near the front door. Walk to the front door.”

“I can’t!” April whispered excitedly. She turned to Lilith, beaming. “He’s not dead!”

“No,” Lilith replied. “Appears he’s not.”

April sat back on the bed, clearly deep in thought. “Lilith,” she began. “What happens if he’s alive, but he just doesn’t come back? Will I be stuck in this house forever?”

It was a good question and Lilith did not know the answer. To her knowledge, a sire had never, willingly, left his bind permanently. Not while he had a head, anyway. Whether they saw them as a genuine partner, an investment or purely a dumping ground, the sire was always compelled to return, eventually.

“He will come back,” Lilith assured her. “He’s probably on his way right now.”

“How are you doing?” Wyatt asked.

His buddy responded with a groan and Wyatt nodded. “Yeah. Me too. For someone so young, you really know how to party,” he said. “I’ve never seen anyone drink Roxie under the table before; she could barely say goodbye. Where did you learn to neck booze like that?”

Thor shrugged but offered no further response. It seemed that they were back to the one-sided conversation scenario. Wyatt tried again, hoping that the gleeful, interesting side of Thor was not simply a result of the intoxicants. “Wanna come back to mine? It’s only a few streets away. We can chill in my room, play some games. I can whip up something to sort that head out, too.”

“I’d better get back home,” Thor muttered. “Another time, maybe.”

“Where is home?” Wyatt asked, eking out the conversation. “Do you, like, live with your folks? Hey, did you let them know where you were?”

Thor smiled and shook his head. “I live with my wife and her friends. But we’ll have our own place soon.”

“Wha?” Wyatt breathed. “You actually have a wife? I thought that was the tea talking.”

“No, she’s real,” Thor said. “I’m not so sure that the elk was, though.”

Wyatt was a laid-back guy, but the casual way Thor was talking about his life partner, paired with his actions the previous night, rubbed Wyatt the wrong way. “Do you guys have, like, an open relationship or something? You both see other people?” he asked, hoping this was the case.

“No,” Thor replied.

“So… you’ve just outright cheated on your wife with Roxie?” Wyatt asked, still hoping he was misunderstanding something. If Thor would have just looked horrified or guilty, started justifying himself or shown any emotion akin to remorse for Wyatt to hitch his compassion on, his blood might not have been boiling.

“Cold,” Wyatt muttered after a lengthy silence. “Why do I get the feeling it’s not the first time you’ve done that to her?”

Wyatt clenched his fist, feeling the excessive heat in his palm as his emotions started to get the better of him. “Dude, what is that face?” he asked, through gritted teeth. “Are you bragging? Because if you are, I’m so not impressed. If you wanna sleep around, whatever, but don’t do it while you’re in a relationship. That’s such a crappy thing to do, dude. Seriously crappy.”

For a moment, Wyatt thought his words had resonated. Thor ran his hand through hair and looked pained. “You don’t understand,” he muttered. Was he slurring? “She and I… we…”

“You and her… what?” Wyatt asked, his patience wearing thin as Thor fell silent again, remaining upright for a single heartbeat before his knees gave way beneath him.

“Thor!” Wyatt called, alarm overtaking anger as the younger guy’s legs slid akimbo. Wyatt somehow managing to wedge himself under Thor’s dead weight in time to prevent his face hitting the road. “Dude! Can you hear me?”

Woah, this guy must be all muscle; his body felt taut and firm like a rock and he weighed a ton. Wyatt tried not to focus on the sudden desire he had to rip Thor’s shirt off and instead planned what the heck he was going do now.

Ralf was rarely at work before nine, especially on a Saturday, but last night, once again, sleep evaded him. He’d driven to the station as the sun rose, determined to find something to occupy his mind. He had a coffee and settled down to check his inbox, noting that the Glimmerbrook Grand CCTV was still pending.

He still didn’t think staring at a night’s worth of footage of a hotel reception was going to yield anything, but it would be one thing off his list. He hit play.

He’d seen this part previously, the receptionist perched on the reception desk, talking to the air. She was obviously just some lunatic trying to garner attention. After five minutes of conversation and, bizarrely, flirting with herself, she headed up the stairs and disappeared into the honeymoon suite.

Ralf let the video roll, each of the four reception cameras showing in turn providing a full view of the empty foyer. He yawned at glanced at his television.

He was itching to put it on and watch something other than grainy footage. With all the drama of the last few days, he’d forgotten just how boring policing in this town usually was. Maybe if he skipped on through a few minutes he might see the receptionist come back and wander into the bar to complete her fictional attack scenario, then he could write this off as the flight of fantasy it clearly was.

He hit fast-forward, watching the same empty reception from all four angles, but faster as the minutes whizzed by.

Nothing. What a waste of…

Ralf blinked and rubbed his eyes but there was no denying what he was seeing. The receptionist, who appeared to be floppy and unconscious, was floating down the stairs as if being carried by an invisible man.

He paused, rewound, zoomed in, repeated until his brain had no option left but to acknowledge what he was seeing.

“What you watching, Widdlefinkle?” Beth asked, causing Ralf to nigh on jump out of his skin.

The brazen woman stood before him, in his personal office, uninvited and dressed far too casually to be taken seriously as an officer of the law, holding a cup of his coffee. He hadn’t heard her enter, let alone register her pour herself a drink.

How long had she been standing there?

“Are you OK?” Beth asked. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

Had he?

Had Jessica’s bizarre hunch been correct? Ralf glanced at the screen then back at Beth’s suspicious face. He hastily forwarded the email to his personal account and deleted the original before shutting down his computer. She was his deputy; he should be able to share this footage with her without hesitation. They would review, discuss and investigate. In a perfect world.

This was not a perfect world. Ralf had been in this game long enough to know a non-pursuable case when he saw it. Either he was going insane and was therefore becoming a liability himself, or this genuinely was something fishy and he’d be ordered to cover it up as the Wangshafts made it disappear. All while Jessica rotted in the Tower; her mind warped and her reputation ruined when she might actually be right.

He trusted Beth Wangshaft about as far as he could throw her. Ralf knew that everything he said to Beth would be fed back to Wilbur and therefore he should handle her exactly as he handled him.

With a five foot pole.

“I’m going to get a sausage butty from the café. Would you like anything?”

Beth’s left eyebrow twitched but otherwise her face remained in that stoic stillness Wilbur lauded her for. “No thanks, I’ve eaten.”

“Okie dokie,” Ralf replied, a term he’d never used in a voice that didn’t sound like his own. He began to whistle, something he never did, and he walked out of the door in what he hoped was a casual manner.

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14 thoughts on “Chapter 2.45 – Neck Booze

  1. Ooh, it’s been a while since I’ve done a Lilith rant. Gee Lilith, way to project there with what exactly Caleb is attempting to do with his binding, especially since she gave him little to no information about it. Of course she jumps to the conclusion that he “dumped” any of his empathy and introspection on April because he wants to get rid of them and become like his father that he never really knew. She always jumps to conclusions that confirm her biases, and thinks everybody should just know better even when she doesn’t relay lessons she herself has learned in painful ways. Ugh. Lilith.

    Well yeah, of course Caleb gave April petty, self-serving commands, because the guy can’t think more than 5 minutes into the future. It’s like she hasn’t met Caleb. I wonder if Lilith could technically carry April out of the house – would April try to fight her? Would she be able to get her out? And if so, what would happen once April left the house?

    Oh, necking booze, that’s where the title came from. I somehow thought it alluded to drinking booze from the neck, which could totally be a thing, since you know, vampires. Aww, bless Wyatt, trying to make sense of Caleb’s utter lack of remorse while Caleb just stands there mildly confused like a doofus. Lol. Oh damn, down he went. Is that all the booze and drugs mixing with the effects of the sun? though sun doesn’t really affect caleb much anymore. Hmm..

    Ralf, long time no see! Oh, it’s the footage from the hotel. Yep, lady looks possessed, but without the full picture, that’s not much to go on. Time to find out how much Ralf actually knows about vampires. Aaand I guess that will now be two people having seen the footage. Beth is a wildcard still, Wilbur clearly trusts her, but I’m not sure how much love she really has for the Wangshaft family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It has been a while since you had a Lilith rant and hasn’t she just given you so much to rant about here? Lilith does have a habit of, as Seth previously said, ‘tarring everyone with the same brush’ but wanting change yet also thinking people can’t change and keeping her cards too close to her chest that even she can’t see them are Lilith’s biggest flaws, so I can certainly understand why she gets to you.

      “I wonder if Lilith could technically carry April out of the house” funnily enough, carrying poses are next on my create list, so maybe you’ll find out soon enough.

      I thought after all we learned about the elixir that is ramped up, hormonal blood last chapter, ‘neck booze’ was both a good continuum and funny aside as we temporarily left Murdertown. Haha, yeah the levels of compassion between these two couldn’t be more different. Good job it wasn’t Wyatt who collapsed; Caleb would definitely have just left him on the tarmac.

      Ralf still lives! I don’t know if you think Beth is a big enough asshole to make you like him this time, or not. Wild card? Nah, just a slightly scruffy new mum in Wilbur’s pocket. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “She wandered the house looking for April, trying to avoid the plethora of items that reminded her of wasted efforts and empty promises”
    I wonder whose wasted efforts and empty promises Lilith is referring to here. Her own? Caleb’s? Seth’s? Multiple people have lived there over the years, so which ghosts of the past is she seeing here?

    Having Silas steal all of Charlotte’s wit and temper to turn from a “weakling” into the guy that we saw in previous flashbacks is so disturbing. Like she was a tasty juice box that he drained all the nice bits out of and just left the container.
    Lilith is… rather quick to jump to conclusions on what Caleb’s intentions are, isn’t she? He didn’t even realize he had bound her, because Lilith never told him (or at least, not that he can remember). Not that I’m excusing any of his choices – his commands absolutely have been petty and selfish and self-serving – but was Caleb even old enough to really understand his “parents’” way of life back then? Lilith has terrible knowledge and memories of binding and she’s right to be horrified. But it feels like she’s linking Caleb to Silas where maybe she shouldn’t. He was just a toddler back then. It seems a bit as if she’s drawing part of her anger from a different source than Caleb’s mess-ups.

    Oh, April. At least she has some clarity now, but to have her not even surprised by being turned into a literal marionette is heartbreaking. Part of me wants to go back and read every chapter before Caleb attacked and killed her, just to try and gauge her personality and compare it to how she is now. Does April feel her own personality change when Caleb swaps traits with her, I wonder? I can’t imagine what it feels like to slowly notice your personality change and be powerless to stop it.

    You tell him, Wyatt! And please don’t get killed by the hungover toddler-brained vampire in the process, thankyouverymuch. Oh dang, there Caleb goes. Looks like the bubbles and homebrewed tea finally caught up with him. That’s not good. I’m weirdly glad that it’s Caleb that went crashing to the floor and not Wyatt. But now what? 😶

    Oooh right, he carried her downstairs when she was passed out! Oops. Try giving that footage to the GliTS, Ralf. They’ll go absolutely bonkers, I’m sure. And now I wonder how tech savy Ralf is, and how tech savy his new deputee is. She seems way too interested in the PC he just abandoned. Hmm…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lilith should probably join the GliTS; she is always seeing ghosts.

      Ooh, that juice box reference is chilling, but essentially, yes. He needed to prove his ‘worth’ to the society so he found the feistiest woman he could to bind. When I first came up with the binding, I wanted to create a structure whereby men rely on the women in their lives, but drain and give nothing back, often claiming the woman’s input as their own or using her skills for their own benefit, which was a reflection of how my world was at the time. Outright sexism at its finest. FYI, my favourite scenario was then playing out a storyline that seemed hopeless but ultimately flipped everything on its head. Just saying. Probably not relevant to AE. 😉

      Lilith is quite ‘all or nothing’ in how she thinks and often has these black and white moments and instances of generalisation. She’s been through a lot and is intelligent, but she, like Caleb, is also surviving with a permanently immature brain, being only 15 (and, like April, very sheltered) when she was turned.

      Now what indeed. Call an ambulance? Take him back to Sage? Either way, Wyatt’s probably gonna get himself in trouble here as he’s unlikely to just dump him and run off though, even though Thor was being ‘crappy’.

      Hahaha! I died multiple times over posing Squishelda without Caleb carrying her in various places around the hotel. “Try giving that footage to the GliTS, Ralf. They’ll go absolutely bonkers, I’m sure.” maybe that is his plan.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We get to reveal new details about vampire marriages and bindings.
    Lilith knows more than she wants to reveal. She has lived through it herself !?
    With whom and how has she been released again?
    Seth? He’s not dead.
    Is Lilith free at all?
    I have too many questions 🤔

    April is totally paralyzed.
    Is it just because of Caleb? He’s a pathetic dick.
    First, Wyatt is full of admiration for Thor being able to drink Roxie under the table. (He should just know 🙄)
    But even Wyatt’s irresponsible morals prove to have a limit.
    I’m a little in doubt whether it’s Wyatt’s endless questioning and moral nausea that is causing Caleb’s final collapse on the streets, but I have a clear sense that it is inextricably linked to April’s inability to get up.
    What a terrible fate.

    Ralf has dutifully reviewed an endlessly long boring surveillance video.
    Suddenly he sees something that makes his facial expression change from boredom to high alert.
    He realizes that maybe Jessica is not insane at all.
    Unfortunately, Beth becomes aware of Ralf’s changing mood.
    Did he delete the video from the hard drive when he sent it to his private mail account?
    Something tells me that Ralf is impeccably bad at hiding his tracks 🤨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re back! Yay. 😍
      I feel I should clarify here; Lilith could understand being perpetually mistreated, not necessarily being bound. Your question about Lilith’s freedom is still valid though. 😉

      “He’s a pathetic dick.” This made me laugh so much. When I eventually get around to creating character pages, that will be Caleb’s tagline. Good spot; Caleb going down when April was trying to get up may indeed be linked. Is it fate or is there hope? It is always darkest before dawn.

      No, Ralf did not do anything other than forward the email. I guess it remains to be seen how good he is at covering his tracks… and who might be following them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That one paragraph that speaks of the cause is a bit confusing for me. What is the cause? I think I get the overall gist of it though. Lilith thinking of her parents makes me wonder if Silas loved Charlotte. Then again if you loved someone for the qualities they portray, and then realise they no longer hold those same qualities. It can be… mind-bending.

    Can you ‘tip the scale’ so to speak and offer up learned traits in vampiric marriage? O: That’s insane. Which means it’s pretty dynamic, because once they learnt something, picked up a trait, they can transfer it to their partner?

    Okay. Lilith says she had lived that. It makes me wonder that even though Lilith was fortunate enough that she didn’t become wife to Straud? Did she ever become vampiric bride to someone else? Or does she mean mistreatment by Seth? He’s so far the only romantic lover that did not die so casually in one of her flashbacks before o:

    It’s so creepy how Caleb’s offhand remarks become commands for April and he might not even know it. I feel like whacking Caleb in the head when April beamed happily cuz he’s still alive. -.- Caleb needs to undo this fiasco he caused instead of sleeping around. And Caleb was about to give a reason for his adultery? Sigh. I mean he doesn’t have empathy. And if he dumped all his learned traits on April then he’s really just a walking sociopath right? More so than Seth now. It’s like the duo is both trying to get first spot and keep doing a see-saw dance with each other.
    Flirting with herself xD Ralf studing the cam is hilarious lol. I love his expressions. Is sausage butty a UK term lol?

    Oof. Beth’s face at the end is so sinister. I’m just riding along with the story now. I hope Beth doesn’t have super hacker skills or something. Why are you with the Wangshafts Beth?! And if she’s a smart cookie why is she with Will in the first place?? >.>

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The cause was motivation for the Society vampires to work together within their hierarchy and traditions, their way being the right way etc. etc. Of course, Rogues also had a cause, but their structure was more fragmented. This’ll be touched on later in some fun flashbacks. Did Silas love Charlotte? Interesting. He held affection for her, wanted to protect her, but you’re right; what did he leave to love of her?

      Any traits are fair game in binding. I let sims swap learned traits, hidden traits… got traits.equip_trait and traits.remove_trait burned into my memory.

      Ah, my wording has confused someone else. Lilith was never a vampire bride to anyone, not in this sense anyway. She is referring to mistreatment, general. Seth is a part of that, yes, but it’s not always romantic mistreatment that burns; it certainly wasn’t for April.

      Yeah, it’s creepy. Imagine if your fate was in the hands of Caleb. He actually thinks he’s doing a good thing for April, trying to retain the ‘bad traits’ for himself but you’re right; he’s becoming a walking sociopath (again) and eventually will he forget he was doing it for April at all? Still, everyone knows about the binding now, so they can all work together to ensure a positive outcome for everyone! Depending on what Wyatt does with unconscious Caleb, of course.

      Butty is a British term (used up north) for a sandwich, but is also me sneaking in a private joke to one of my readers. Not so private now, never mind. 😆

      Just ride along and hope for the best. There’s nothing sinister or suspicious about Beth! Who wouldn’t want to marry Will? ❤🔥😘


  5. …Lilith actually means to let Danny go without… with an amateurishly botched up memory? Yeah… because that isn´t gonna land him in the Tower. /Seriously,/ woman.

    And here we are again with the binding, getting another confirmation that yes, the dead one can be robbed of any desirable traits. And yet… it cost Silas his handsome head in the end, didn´t it? Maybe it wouldn´t have, had Charlotte been actually strong herself. Maybe then the hunters wouldn´t have gotten either of them. A fool will always stay a fool, no matter what. :/

    To be fair, Caleb is /not/ taking the neutral option. And he may think it´s to “protect” April, which is nonsense of course, but none of that really matters. The point is, for all that Lilith usually is very biased, she isn´t exactly /wrong/ in her assumptions here.
    Anyway, I wonder if April´s head hurting is in any way linked to all the mental powers she´s been employing in one day. The thing with Melinda probably took its toll and then trying to reach Caleb… or maybe that´s just a feature of the bond?

    *snort* So to sum up the next part, Wy is being sweet, Caleb is not about to explain he´s keeping all the lust so that April won´t have to have any (I´m sure there has to be a better option for that, somewhere in there) and he does /not/ have enough strength left when April tests the limits of his commands. Well, whoops. And apparently, the allure does work on Wyatt. That´s got potential for lots of awkward.

    Ralf…? You didn´t answer her question, you doofus. She just wanted to know what you were watching. She still wants to know. And now, if she finds out, she´ll know you were trying to hide it from her. *throws hands in the air* Ugh, whatever, Widdlefinkle. You know what, sure. Get yourself in trouble, see if I care. You got Jess in trouble already, anyway, don´t think I don´t blame you for that. DX *crosses arms*

    Btw. Creative chapter title, Watcher. You´ve had me fooled, there. XD


    1. I guess Lilith could try and kill Danny instead, but she couldn’t even bring herself to kill Will. Maybe there will be another option for the poor basement boy.

      Silas probably should’ve accepted his wimpy, mortal-loving ways, left Charlotte to her fabulous life as a fraudster, and crawled into a fire somewhere in peace. Or joined the Rogues. Ah well.

      April’s and Caleb’s respective aches and weakness here may well be linked. Perhaps Caleb has a hangover and April can sense it, perhaps it was April testing his command, perhaps Wyatt did something. Either way, Caleb is currently being propped up by his confused new buddy and April is stuck in a cottage. But Roxie didn’t die, so there’s something positive. 😆 Yeah… Caleb really needs someone to explain what exactly he’s doing to poor April. If he survives wherever Wyatt will take him.

      Ralf is such a rubbish cop, having relied almost solely on the skill of his deputies for his whole career. I keep trying to get him to take a ‘policing 101’ course but he always says he’s busy.


      1. *shrugs* Yeah, that´s a no-go. Lilith couldn´t do it, Mel would let her even if she could… just no. Hopefully there /will/ be a different option than letting him go and risk both getting outed and him being locked up in a loony bin where possibly, vamps feed on you anyway. (Because let´s address the elephant in the room, we all have that suspicion at this point.)

        Awwwh, if he used to love mortals, though, wasn´t there a way for the two of them to actually share nice and half-way? I mean, come on. They both had different kinds of power to begin with, it wouldn´t be that bad of a trade… I mean, for Charlotte, how fabulous could life have really been? That time wasn´t exactly friendly to independent women, now was it?

        Yep. They´re both down and drained and utterly miserable. And Wyatt… well, if he takes him back to his vampire-hating mum… ack. But yes, huzzah! At least cutie Roxie didn´t die. 🙂

        Pffft… well. To be fair, it isn´t like he really needs much skill in actual policing, the way things go around his turf, but not getting people in trouble with the Wangshafts would be really useful. You´d think he´d learn how to do /that/ at this point. 😡


        1. Still suspecting that the Tower is full of vamps, interesting.

          There might have been a way to meet halfway if Silas wasn’t caving into the pressure and ridicule from his peers, yes. Their story was a fun one which might be featured in a spin-off story I’m writing about Ye Olde AE so I won’t tell you loads, but he had to make a choice and he made a horrible one. And Charlotte was really quite enjoying life; she owned the tavern and used to con people out of money. She had lots of male admirers. But I digress. 😁


          1. Oh, a landlady. Why yes… that actually doesn´t sound too bad. Awwwh. Well… it´s not much, but at least it did come back to bite the rotten bat, then. :/ And perhaps at least some smart ones get the memo, these nights. “Bad business,” indeed…

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