Chapter 2.52 – Backdraught

Backdraught: a phenomenon in which a fire that has consumed all available oxygen suddenly explodes when more oxygen is made available, typically because a door or window has been opened.


Warning: disturbing image, lots of skin/NSFW/ may make your brain explode

Seth had hesitated when Faith had begged him to help her to forget. He had already had to tamper with her recall of the previous night’s events, thanks to her spotting her younger sister on the way to the bloody arcade. He was considering simply clearing the whole twenty-four hours since they’d left the cottage from her memory and starting again.

He had to reassure her, but doing so within the boundaries of truth was impossible. He had designed this scenario to hurt. He needed to know how far she would allow him to push her.

He had his answer and he rued himself for it. He had been too damn impatient to sample this tantalising new offering she presented. He had become obsessed, again. Now he risked losing everything.

Again.

Kindness was not his forte and his slick words could not reach her. Swift mental meddling was surely an easier option to regain her peace of mind than hours of concerted physical effort, but restraint was required when Faith was this trapped in herself.

Although, in frankness, he wasn’t sure that he could have reworked her memories, had he tried. Seth would not admit it, but these last few days had been draining from all aspects.

He was on the brink of a breakthrough – he could feel it in his nerves – but Faith was hard work. The rapid escalation of their relationship, the sudden return to socialising after a century of near solitude and the steep learning curve of what in the hell young, modern women expected had been nothing short of exhausting for the master vampire.

The platitudinous pursuit she’d insisted on, a practice he was well-versed in and one that time had never really changed the dynamics of, had actually been as much as a reset button for him as it was for her. Seth rarely ever stopped analysing, he was constantly strategising, always thinking, but he had, briefly, switched off.

Now he was pondering why that was.

Sex was mundane; perhaps it was nothing more complicated than that. He reasoned that he must have had quite his fill, in the wild youth that he couldn’t remember, to be so skilled with his manipulations of the female body and yet so surfeited with the act itself.

He rarely found himself in scenarios that required undress, and seldom desired them, something else he’d had in common with a certain vicious vixen, but when he did, his own physical pleasure was never the goal. His body was merely a tool to garner willingness; a viewpoint most of his previous lovers were more than happy about, and something that, tonight, Faith had finally been content to simply allow.

With her mind and mouth mute and her exhausted body clinging to his own, he idly trailed his fingertip over her healed skin.

She sighed. Mindless, as she’d desired. Mission accomplished.

Now, on to the next chore: disposing of the human girl. He couldn’t say he was looking forward to that.

He didn’t expect Faith to actually want to talk about what she’d done, of course, but he did at least expect that she’d wait until she wasn’t within spitting distance of a corpse before disrobing. Now he faced dredging a cold human who’d been dead for a few hours; it was not one of his favourite tasks.

He would have to subdue Faith first; the last thing he needed was for her to go ballistic when he hacked her leftovers apart. Seth did not have the energy for any more drama.

“Look at me,” he ordered, waiting until her light grey eyes rolled up to lock onto his.

He had anticipated that this ocular connection would allow him to better read her and it did, loud and clear.

What he hadn’t anticipated was the jolt to his heart that accompanied her abashed expression and unfiltered thoughts. In this most unromantic of scenarios, while he was focusing on the next job and planning his night’s hunt, she was truly basking in the afterglow. The wealth of her misplaced affection was so great that, for a moment, he could feel it within himself.

He paused in stunned silence, as he tried to figure out how she was manipulating his emotions. She parted her lips to whisper a sentiment that she likely only meant in the heat of the moment.

Good lord. That broke the spell.

He wasn’t sure what would expend more energy; lying and facing a cognitive caning, or having to talk Faith down from the ceiling if he gave her the truth, so he simply pressed his lips to hers. An answer and a convenient way to compel her subtly into slumber.

Disaster averted, and once more devoid of any kind of forced sentiment towards her, Seth untangled himself from Faith’s fallen form and rose to dress. His gaze wandered back to her periodically as he mused.

She was already becoming so pliable, so trusting; he’d have what he wanted within no time. Soon he’d be nothing but a memory reel of regrets to her; a harsh lesson learned.

The others would take her back. She would survive.

He wouldn’t miss her. Her constant need to shed her skin, her contrary nature and her teenaged attention span were pushing him to insanity.

He did like her spit, her wit. Their aggressive to-and-fro that kept him on alert.

Her casual little threats of violence. They were cute.

And he’d certainly miss how damn attractive and alive she’d made this detestable old reprobate feel.

Hmm. Perhaps, if he played it right, he could keep her.

After all, she didn’t understand this retaliation ability of hers. He could build that up, siphon it off, leave her with her allure – he still didn’t want that – and have her company. In time perhaps, if he got used to her, she got used to him, it’d be a shame to snuff that.

“Do you seriously think you’re worthy of love, Seth? That anyone could possibly ever love you?!”

No.

No he did not.



Sage had shut up shop and was putting the finishing touches to her arrangement after what had been a long and tiring day.  

Wyatt had made good progress with his potion and, much to her chagrin, would likely create something viable. He was delighted in his naivety, but Sage knew better. The erythrocyte elixir he was making would certainly help to ensure that neither he nor Broof ran out of blood to feed their new guest, but no amount of elixir would speed up blood production fast enough to feed a horde of vampires. 

And as for a cure? There was always that one ingredient she could never find. Or, rather, after what had happened to her mother, she was unmotivated to find.

Perhaps she could be persuaded. If April was her granddaughter, that is.

Time would tell.

The shop bell sounded behind her. Sage’s first reaction was alarm; she was sure that she’d locked that door. Perhaps she really was losing her faculties.

“I must have forgotten to lock that, but we’re closed!” she sang, turning on her heel.

“As if you’d ever forget something, Sage,” Lilith said, her voice still that glacial, emotionless cool after all this time. “Wasn’t that the whole problem?” She scanned the florist and the corner of her unlined mouth lifted into a smile. “You look… old.”

“I am old,” Sage returned Lilith’s soft expression, gathering herself. “Here to collect Caleb, I presume? Forgot his boundaries, did he?”

“I did tell you that keeping the boy shackled was the better option,” Lilith rolled her eyes. “Just go and get him and we’ll be out of your crispy hair.”

“Oh, Lilith. What’s the rush?” Sage clicked her tongue. “Stay! Tell me all about your new sister-in-law! April, is it? Was it a beautiful ceremony?”

Lilith’s face was a picture but, as always when presented with any kind of challenge, she defaulted to defence. “I don’t know what he’s told you—“

“Very little,” Sage sang, “but enough. I know that your numbers have multiplied, at least. But that is by-the-by. What I find more intriguing is that young Caleb is missing a great deal of his previous talents. He doesn’t even know he ever had them. He doesn’t know a lot really, does he?”

Lilith chewed her lip, but remained stubbornly silent.

Sage advanced on the vampire, scoping her energy. “Interesting. I thought that you had something to do with it,” she tapped her temple, “but… my oh my. You’ve been sapped as much as he has. Gracious. Tell me, Lilith, can you even hear what I’m thinking?”

Lilith hesitated, licked her fangs. “No, I can’t. It’s because we no longer hunt; that has had a catastrophic effect on our powers—”

“And on your ability to weave a tall tale!” Sage chirped. “So, what has happened? Or should that be… who has happened?”

Sage could see it in the way Lilith’s eyelid twitched, the tight line of her lips. Her old friend was terrible at deceiving her. She always had been.

“Stop protecting him or I cannot keep protecting you,” Sage said gravely. “The others know that there is a vampire on the loose; I’ll have to give them something.”

Finally, Lilith sighed. “I don’t know where he is, Sage. I can only presume that he’s—”

“Dead, yes. So you always maintain,” Sage murmured.

Lilith looked at the floor, stubborn as always. “Caleb needs to get back to April, so if you need to present a befanged head—“

“Take yours?” Sage tapped her chin, thinking. “I may just have to. But apparently, I have been bought a little time. So, shall we catch up over a lovely cup of tea before we discuss the finer details? Or,” she sniffed the air, “is a gin and tonic more to your temptation, dear?”



Night had fallen and Faith had joined Seth at the campfire he had lit. She had stubbornly refused to wear the dead girl’s outfit, choosing instead the ‘Lilith’ method of looking a gift horse in the mouth.

“Hankering for marshmallows?” she asked as she settled on the bench beside him.

“Not quite,” he replied, somewhat relieved when she didn’t push him for a more detailed answer. He subtly nudged the smouldering remains of Megan’s personal artefacts deeper into the embers with his boot and watched as the flames engulfed them.

Faith was also staring at the fire but, since she had awoken, she had been completely unreadable. Seth had no idea what was formulating in that pretty head, although, judging by her face, it looked like a question.

“Seth,” she began uneasily. “Can I ask you something?”

Well, technically she just had. Damn her. She would pick this moment, when he was lacking the mental capacity to endure a lie, to ask him something arduous. She had, so far, studiously avoided any mention of her kill, so maybe it was that.

He braced himself. “Go on,” he said through gritted teeth, hoping that evasiveness would see him right and that devil bitch wouldn’t have to make an appearance.

“Do vampire children grow up?” Faith asked.

Seth blinked at her. What an inane question. “Yes,” he replied. “However, know that growing and maturing are very different things. If you wish to turn your sister, you would do well to wait, lest she end up like the Vatores.”

“How do you know that I—? Wait, you mean… holy shit,” she shook her head, “Yep, definitely not gonna turn Joy yet. Don’t want her being a backwards idiot her whole life, like Fringey or a control freak, like Fun Vacuum.”

“Good to hear it,” he muttered.

Faith opened and closed her mouth a few times. Seth rolled his eyes; this small action almost tipping from his seat. His head was thumping. The second the flames died down he would walk, because misting was way beyond him, to the village for sustenance. Devil help him; he’d probably need three just regain his base functions.

Faith was still hesitating, dancing around her next question. She really was going to be his downfall. He groaned, hoping this was another vapid enquiry.

“Spit it out, Fledgling.”

She pouted. “I know you told Blondie that you don’t remember, and you got pissy about it, but,” she said, “do you remember who turned you?”

He wondered why she wanted to know that, right now, what she was hoping to get out of his answer, so he could best phrase it.

“No, I don’t remember. Although, I can assure you I was not a child when it happened. And, interestingly, I gather from recent events that my sire may have been a woman.”

“A woman,” Faith repeated in that overly cool tone she used when she was trying not to show her jealousy. “So why did she turn you? Was she your girlfriend?”

He should have known that allowing her to ask questions would open the damn floodgates. Now she thought she had permission to ask him a hundred.

He rubbed his aching temples. Willing the fire to burn faster, he barely noticed his answer.

“No,” he replied. “Kitty was nobody’s girlfriend. She didn’t belong to anyone; that was her whole purpose, her whole style.”

“Kitty?” Faith scoffed. “So you do remember.”

“I… wait, what?” Seth sputtered, wondering where his answer had come from and what had prompted it. “I… apparently I do?”

“You fucking bastard,” Faith hissed. “You’re still hung up on her, aren’t you? Wait, is she still around? Is that where you keep disappearing to; home to Kitty? Next you’ll be telling me you have a mansion and a load of kids. I’d better not be your bit on the side, Seth.”

He laughed. “Faith; putting up with you is more than enough for me. I assure you, she is long gone—” he started, but Kitty interrupted.

Lies!

The word splintered his brain into a hundred pieces.

He shook and gripped the bench, fighting for control. As the fog began to lift and his quivering mind calmed, he saw Faith staring at him.

“What the fuck— who was she?” she gasped.

“You… you saw her?” he managed, still reeling.

“Yeah, I saw her,” Faith whispered. “Is that Kitty?”

Seth reached out to Faith. “It must be. Stop. Stop talking. Her name, all this; it’s new information. I need to think.”

Something was swimming back through the tar inside his head. Where there had been only black, there was now illumination by two glowing, green orbs. There was the creak of a chair beneath him, the sensation of needles at his throat, of cold, damp air on his skin.

Within the depths of him erupted a seductive purr that had taunted him in his waking hours of solitude, that had haunted his sleep, that had owned him, controlled him and ultimately dragged him under.

Faith lips were moving, but all Seth could hear was the roar of a hundred fires igniting at once; the backdraught as door after door exploded open. Thousands of fresh pieces littered his fragmented memory, falling into the cracks, filling in the blanks.

It had been a single act. One snap that had dubbed him an outcast for three hundred damn years.

Faces swam back with associated names, with backstories and with intermingled lives. Each snippet he recalled reminded him of ten others, crossing and tangling until they had woven together in his mind into a tapestry that he knew but yet felt completely alien.

In this crowd, everyone he once knew was jostling for space to be acknowledged first, but one voice rang out above the others. Her melodic timbre teased him, soothed him and gave him life. She laced her fingers with his. She felt like coming home.

With all sense of reality lost, Seth had to kiss her.

He ignored the sirens, the warnings that he was pushing himself too far, too fast. He was so close; her name was on the tip of his tongue as it danced with hers in a long-forgotten rhythm.

A hard slap to the face broke his reverie, sending him spiralling into the abyss. He pressed his hand to his stinging cheek, the hazy summer’s night dissolving before him, depositing him back in the overgrown garden of the dilapidated cabin.

“Her name is Angeline,” Faith snarled, swatting his hand away as he reached towards her in his confusion. “Start talking.”

19 thoughts on “Chapter 2.52 – Backdraught

  1. Omg. Ok there is so much to unpack here. And so much of my own emotions to unpack from this chapter. And this is not the right time to do any of that. I should stop sneak reading at the wrong time. 🤣 I’LL BE BACKKKK.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Woo I got something right. Oh boy, Joy was at the arcade? Oof. Ok, so Seth now knows how far he can push her. If he does clear the last 24 hours from her mind, that means her next kill will yet again be her first kill. And that could go on ad infinitum. Grim.

    “He could build that up, siphon it off, leave her with her allure – he still didn’t want that” Sooo Seth is attempting to sort of replicate the effects of binding someone, by the sounds of it. Take all her best powers, leave her with the ones he considers shit. Very society vampire of him. Though I doubt he’d enjoy being called that.

    Oooh. So Sage and Lilith are well acquainted and have been swapping “parenting” tips. Lovely. Oh god I just hate Sage. Moving on. Actually, one wild and unsupported theory – could it be that Caleb and April’s powers have diminished not because they no longer hunt, but because Seth, in his own words, siphoned them? Although… Lilith could still read minds at the begining of the story, and now I’m trying to remember when exactly it was that she fully lost them and who might have her power. But aptly, the memory evades me, lol.

    Bob is called Kitty! And Sage’s grandma was Seth’s brown haired lady… so…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You get loads of things right! Yes, they spotted Joy on the way to the arcade. Haha, I think had he had the ability to reset her, he would’ve tried a different method next time that might not have broken her brain. He’s a little full-on sometimes. Just a touch.

      Yes, he is. All the gain, no ball-and-chain. He would resent being called that, yes. He’d likely argue that his method enables him to collect what he wants with minimal damage, rather than the lottery the Society Vamps took with their… everything. If he was being super slick, he might even argue that he’s doing Faith a favour, as this power of hers tends to self-sabotage. But he’ll say none of this, because everything has gone a tiny bit to fuck.

      Parenting tips! I’ll add ‘Sage and Lilith’s guide to practical parenting’ to my list of spin-off books. I wonder how many years of material I can get out of this cast… anyway, back on topic. Is that theory so wild and unsupported? I’d say it was on the money. Lilith can still read minds, but not Sage’s. To avoid any confusion I’ll tell you that Sage has a number of abilities that enable her to be a fantastic vampire hunter and a level of resistance to vampiric powers is one of them. But of course, she has her weaknesses. One of them being ‘Plumbob hates her’. 😆

      Yay! Kitty! By all means keep calling her Bob, though, because that’s not inaccurate… Yes, Angeline is Sage’s mum. So… ?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really want to know what happened between Faith and her younger sister. Spotting her younger sister isn’t so bad. But did her sister spot her too? Did she spot Seth, what happened between them? How involved was Seth in the whole meeting (apart from being so involved that he fried her memories. Will her sis be a witness to something? o.o It’s strange because Faith only just developed this want of converting Joy to a vamp when before she was okay to leave her be. Ahh I wanna know what happened 😀

    I actually don’t get the platitudinous paragraph. Does it mean that Seth is never switched on during sex and this time he was with Faith? A reset button? So he felt as much comfort as Faith did? It relaxed his mind? It merely stilled his thoughts? So much for using people and being a sociopath when he actually feels something about it? I could be completely off. I’m trying to make sense of the paragraph. xD

    Did Faith say she love him? xD Ah wow and Seth interpret it to the point that it sounded like it meant nothing? Now I’m wondering what exactly she said.

    How does Seth’s siphon ability work? He’s not interested in a bind. Does that mean this ability is something he cultivated through becoming a Master Vampire? Did he do that to Lilith?

    I didn’t expect Lilith and Sage to be friends at all. A master vamp slayer whom Lilith brings vamp heads to? Is Sage’s title bogus? But then she seemed hell bent on getting rid of Caleb in her pov chapter.

    Woah. Lilith muddled with Caleb’s brain? Or is it because he’s forced to take plasma? Wouldn’t that mean he’d start gaining those talents back since he’s not taking plasma packs any more? Didn’t notice anything different there though. I’m not sure how I feel about Caleb getting his powers back too. He’s escaped his sis, thinks his wife hates him, he doesn’t really have anyone or anything at this point and that’s a dangerous place for him and the rest of the peeps around him to be.
    And yet for everything that Lilith is mad at Caleb for, she never gave up on Caleb. Daw. Well technically she did try to kill him in S1 but you know. It’s nice to see her here trying to protect Caleb. And she did hesitate. Regardless of how rage filled she was. Call me bias, but I have to give her credit for that. Her friendship with Sage seems just as healthy as Mel, April Faith. XD

    Faith suddenly gaining insight to Seth’s head. Is this part of her ability that Seth wanted from himself? If Faith is doing it to him does that mean she can be like Lilith? Or did she and Seth bind so she got sights to his head now? I hope not. My mind is going everywhere with Faith’s memories getting altered.

    Oooh! Do we get Seth’s backstory next? How exciting! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome back! That was quick. I can’t figure out if you actually want me to answer your questions or not so I’ll err on the side of caution and won’t, but if you do, lemme know because I will. Joy didn’t see Faith, I’ll tell you that.

      Yeah, Seth’s brain is a confusing place to write from, I can only imagine what reading it is like. The dude ain’t well; there’s a few things going on which I won’t bog you down with. In short: sex is something he does to win favour and he’s good at it. The satisfaction/drive is not physical. Does this make sense? Probably not. 😆 What was different this time to last times, is that Faith was not trying to get a physical response from him, she was entrusting to him, just going with the flow. Less stressful all round.

      Oof, yes she said she loves him. We’ve all been there right, love declarations after a particularly satisfying experience? No? Just me?

      How does siphoning work? Seth gets a length of rubber tubing, sticks it in his victim’s ear, applies a bit of suction then feeds it into his brain. But vampirically.

      ‘Friends’ is one interpretation of their relationship. I think you’re gonna love the Lilith and Sage flashback chapter(s) in book three. 😄

      Will Caleb get his powers back or remain wimpy? Who knows? (His songs. They know)

      We’ve all tried to kill someone we love at some point, right? (Just me again?) Wait… are you calling all my AE relationships toxic? 🥺

      By the end of the chapter, he’s so exhausted, overwhelmed and mind-fucked that he’s just projecting thoughts randomly.

      You do! Well, part of it. He’s 355 – that amount of years isn’t fitting in two chapters, so you get one day and a bonus bit instead.

      Like

  4. Heck, this is a lot to take in at once! 😬
    I had to translate the text several times, but I still do not quite understand what Seth’s motive is …. or maybe I do?
    You probably will not like to hear, it reminds me of Morgyn in BC.
    Every spark of an emotion in Seth appears as a demon. A demon that arouses a longing to know more.
    He has long since forgotten why it was necessary to erase these memories.
    I felt much better when I judged Seth to be a cold-blooded psychopath. I do not want to feel sorry for him, but it looks like his evil is his fragile shield against his demons. Like Don Quixote, he fights wind turbines.
    Somehow, Faith holds a key. Seth tries to manipulate her into becoming a tool he can control. Faith’s emotional reactions and questions are often unpredictable and his efforts to maintain control drain him of energy.
    The problem is that he may have fallen in love with her. He will soon have to slaughter the whole community to regain some of his lost strength.
    Maybe I misunderstood it all? However, it is certain that their relationship is disturbing my serenity.

    It seems that Sage and Lilith know each other very well.
    I must learn to control my pessimism for Lilith is not killed in this chapter. Unnecessary worries.
    Sage has always protected Lilith. However, it must be a century since they last met when Lilith did not know Sage owned the flower shop.
    A lot is revealed in the few flashbacks. Sage’s mother had an affair with Seth and she knows about the plasma tree.
    What plan can Sages and Lilith knit together over the teacups? I guess I have to wait and see.

    A cascade of unanswered new questions arises.
    Why do Lilith and Caleb lose their ability to read minds?
    Who is it Lilith is trying to hide?
    Is anyone dead?
    Who killed Sage’s mother? It’s obvious to think of Seth, but something tells me it’s too easy.
    When did Sage’s parents die? Did Lilith and Sage become friends in the past because they were both orphans?

    I can continue my questions for the rest of the day, so now for something I have a solution to ….
    I can see that you are also affected by the annoying mirror glitz. I have discovered that if you take the pictures while the walls are half down then it does not occur. It works fine as long as the mirror sits on an outer wall.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a lot. I wanted to make you lovely lot feel just as overwhelmed as Seth was and I thought you’d appreciate having a huge bag of pieces for your puzzle to play with in the gap between seasons. 😄

      You say you don’t understand but actually, you’re completely correct about… well, actually, everything. On the contrary, I’m totally flattered having one of my characters compared to Plumbob’s because hers are brilliant! Like Morgyn, Seth feels himself detestable and unlovable. Like Morgyn, he continues to burn his own house down. He has long forgotten an awful lot of his original reason and motivation.
      I do not want to feel sorry for him” I have read many, many research papers about psychopaths in my time and I have to say that I feel sorry for them all. What is a life without love? I think we as (non-psychopathic/empathetic) people always want to find that bit that helps us mark them different, the ‘reason that they’re evil’, what broke them, and it’s pointless. The very thing that distinguishes us from them is the very thing they prey on; sympathy. That said, whether Seth fits the definition of psychopath is debatable, as you identify, he is feeling something for Faith, whether he can acknowledge it or not. The next two ‘chapters’ are flashbacks. Maybe they’ll help make up your mind as to the state of his. 😉

      Lilith is not killed! Small mercies! Correct, it’s been a long time since they saw each other. Hehe, the chat over a gin and tonic is going to be awesome. And Lilith won’t die then either, promise. 😆

      Ooh, so many questions. I have a continuation of Lilith’s flashback chapter from book one in the pipeline which should answer most of them. “Is anyone dead?” interesting. I wonder what prompted this rather astute observation. 😉

      OMG that mirror glitch is so annoying. I usually edit the images to have proper reflections but work has been full-on lately and I’m short on time. I’ll definitely remember that trick for next time! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh gods, so he really did mess with her memory. I was wondering why Faith had such large holes in what she remembered – so that’s what happened. I wonder what happened with Joy. Did Faith only see her, or did she see Faith, too? Was there an interaction or was it just Faith spotting her and becoming so distracted that she was useless to Seth?

    So he did bring Megan in on purpose, and say what he did on purpose. Seth, you absolute rotten bastard. He’s completely destroying her bit by bit. And it sounds like he’s let himself go this much before. With Lilith? Maybe. I wonder how many there were in between Lilith and Faith, and how many there were before Lilith.

    Seth not caring for the act of sex itself makes a strange amount of sense, though I can’t put my finger on why. Like a puzzle piece that I didn’t know I had suddenly changing colour and becoming more clear. Oh gods, did Faith tell him she loves him? All while he is still all cold, detached, calculative manipulations. They are so incredibly messed up together.

    Very interesting snippet about Seth siphoning off Faith’s abilities. It sounds like what Caleb is doing to April through their bind, but Faith and Seth aren’t bound to each other. Does he have an ability that allows him to take the powers of other vampires? Is that why he is so much more powerful than the Vatores, even though they’ve been around for ages too?

    Part of me was horrified by the picture of Seth dragging Megan behind him by the hair, knife in hand, and part of me was thinking he’s going to need something bigger than that knife if he wants to do it properly. My gods.

    That one ingredient that she was unmotivated to find. Holy cow, look at those reveals. Not only does Sage know how to make that cure, but green-eyed woman that Sage has been dreaming of is her mother. Did green-eyes and Seth have a child before Seth turned into a vampire? Sage? Because that hair colour in the flashback look suspiciously like Seth’s.

    And Lilith just walks in all casually, smile on her face, like it’s the most common thing in the world 😂 sometimes I just love Lilith. Maybe it really is a common thing, actually – oh my, so they not only know each other but know each other really well, from the sound of it. We know that Lilith has been searching for the cure in the past, and now we know that Sage not only knows (maybe) where the ingredient is that they need, but doesn’t actually want to find it. I wonder if Lilith knows that. “Wasn’t that the whole problem?” Maybe she does.

    Oh my, so Caleb and Lilith have been… siphoned, as Seth put it? As well. I wonder if it was Seth that took their powers, and that’s why he’s so strong now. Could Caleb mist? Did Seth get his mindreading abilities from Lilith? Does Sage actually know Seth? Their conversation definitely hints towards it. Also, massive points to Lilith for immediately offering herself up to save Caleb… but the logical result of that is an unshackled toddler-mind Caleb running around with April without anyone to keep him in check. That is going to end in disaster one way or another. Not a very good idea.
    I’ve been bought a little time. Holy cow, that was what Beth said through the phone the other chapter, isn’t it? Is she a witch too? Is that why she’s planted herself with the Wangrods, to be a spy for the witches? Gah, so many answers but so many more new questions in return! 😂

    I haven’t even reached the last scene yet and this is already turning into a novel. Let’s hope that wordpress doesn’t gobble up the tail end of my comment.

    Aaaand Faith is instantly jealous again. She just can’t help herself, can she? Oh my, Seth actually answered something he didn’t even know himself. Maybe he should zone out and let her ask questions more often, because it’s triggering something, at least. Also, I’m going to keep calling her Bob, because memory green eyes catwoman scares me and Bob is the most non-scary thing I can think of right now. Sorry, Bob. You’re Bob in my head forever. Oh geeze Faith, immediately jumping to conclusions and getting angry over them. While she’s the one that keeps flirting with every man that enters her field of vision, too *facepalm*

    Oh gods, that was one more push than he could handle. And Faith saw her too. I wonder if that was Seth projecting, or Faith being able to read his thoughts somehow. Probably the former. Oh no, we’ve reached the ominous title of the chapter. Seth’s mind is exploding. And we finally know green-eyed woman’s name. Angeline. Man, Seth’s facial expression in the last picture is almost funny, like his brain literally got fried, but the context makes it all kinds of worrying. This is going to be one heck of a reveal isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He did mess with her memory. Nothing is ever truly erased though, maybe it’ll come back to bite him like everything else.

      Rotten bastard. Why is that so funny to me? Probably because none of this is funny. 😫 He may have done this before, yes.

      Like a puzzle piece that I didn’t know I had suddenly changing colour and becoming more clear.” Woo! That’s a great way to put it too. I know you insist on rereading again and if you do, you’ll probably find a few more pieces have become clearer. Yes, she told him words to that effect. Messed up is one way of putting it.

      Does he have an ability that allows him to take the powers of other vampires?” He does.

      You twisted creature. I did that shot a few ways, with various implements and decided that got the message across, even if it’s not terribly accurate.

      Ooh, the things that can be revealed with the right combination of characters. Yes, Angeline is Sage’s mother. Ha, yes Lilith has many fewer reservations when she’s in a state of inebriation. More of what this pair do and don’t know will be revealed in the infancy of book three, so not long! I can’t wait. 😆

      Ooh, so many questions. Sage certainly knows of another vampire, whether she believes Lilith’s explanation of his whereabouts or who he might be is questionable.

      That is what Beth said. Is she a spy for the witches? Interesting observation. Why would they need a spy?

      Faith is jealous again. Seth is her first, for lack of a better word, boyfriend, she has no great template to use, he’s hardly reassuring her and he rewards her jealousy with attention. It’s all so very unhealthy. “Maybe he should zone out and let her ask questions more often, because it’s triggering something” Maybe he should. Like I said before, Bob is not a totally inaccurate name for Kitty, so if you wanna call her Bob, call her Bob. 😄

      How a small drop can cause the cup to run over. It’ll be a heck of something, for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My, oh my. So we´ve seen Joy, that must have been upsetting indeed.

    *nods* So Seth /is/ attached. Of course there was that suspicion since that time when he just couldn´t wait to see her again, but since then he´d had reasons to grow more sour. Apparently not, but still willing to play all-or-nothing.
    Huh… I /have/ thought Seth´s been kind of taking a break from everything since… well Lilith, but to have fallen out of touch with society at large… oh. Add to that he´s too proud to let it show and is trying to fake it till he makes it. That /has/ got to be a lot.

    … *narrows eyes* This is weird. I smell foul play and heavy conditioning. 😡

    Whoa, whoa, whoa wait just a sec. :O Seth can take powers away from another vamp? …that´s… that´s not a vampire power, in origin, is it. More and more suspicions…

    *grimaces at Lilith again* Bitch.

    And now, /now/ I´m freaking raging. What the heck do you mean “unmotivated to find,” you creeping load of poison ivy? So somebody killed your mom, okay I get it, that´s terrible. But condemning a whole /species/ because of that? What the… especially since if you went and found that fruit, there might have been vampires who would have taken the cure willingly, you know? So you wouldn´t have had to hunt them and they wouldn´t have /been a danger/ while you were doing it. And she looks so freaking /smug/. And she knew what Lilith was doing, what she was trying to do, and still she wouldn´t help? She could have freaking cured the Vatores. She could have prevented this whole thing. Alright, I think my brain just did explode. Gah! Right so maybe /now/ I do have a new least favorite character, the absolute cowplant. …maybe tied with Medusa because if what I suspect her of is true… *growls* that would sure make me want to go dark form, too. But this?!? Sage, you utter… *unintelligible grumbling*

    Okay, with that off my chest. I suspect Lilith unlocked that door, that´s like one of the most basic vamp powers after all. And “the whole problem” being Sage never forgets things… yeah. Because Sage is resistant to vampy powers so nobody could rewind /her/ memory. And that is a problem, naturally.
    …but I´m still a bit confused. So Sage would have killed Caleb on sight, because she knows what he´s like, then? But would leave Lil alone because she knows Lil is trying to be good and actually rather successful at it?

    Okay, okay. Things aren´t matching up. Obviously Sage suspects someone, possibly Seth, of sapping Lil´s and Caleb´s powers which we now know may have been. But Lilith did seem convinced she was loosing hers due to regaining some sort of humanity and conscience… maybe it´s both for her and the former for Caleb, since the boy didn´t ever have much humanity in the first place? And wait, what was that about Caleb not knowing he had those powers? Did Sage chat with him more than we know? Can she somehow read minds, too? Aaah, so many questions.

    …or are we talking about someone else entirely? Because if Sage wants a vampire head and Lilith was willing to give herself over and there is a third /him/ she is protecting… would she really die to protect Seth of all people? I somehow doubt it. Unless, of course, she doesn´t realize how drained he is and believes he´d accumulated enough power to stand up to Sage. Because it would totally be a Lilith thing to do, to try and protect the vamp hunter from going on a hunt that would be too much for her.
    And yep, Sage and Beth, working together. This makes me sad. Why? Because it looks like Beth is an enemy after all. Maybe not quite as bad as I´d feared, but still bad enough. Uh-oh…
    And lastly, I guess Sage had expected Lilith, then. That was why she was so sure someone would show up, isn´t it.

    …and the rest… well, that sure escalated quickly. Once you wear the memory blocks down enough, they sure snap all at once, huh? Owie… Interestingly, I have only one question about all this so far. What does she mean now, lies? What does she mean, she isn´t gone? Is it just because she´s sitting in Seth´s head? Or is she really still alive. Huh. The options sure start popping up the more I think about it. Maybe /this/ is what… yeeeew. I sure hope Seth hadn´t been /bound/ to her. Because if this is what happens when you kill a vamp that´s been bound… yewwwwww. And Kitty? They seriously called her Kitty? I don´t know if I can do that. I like kitties too much for that. T.T

    Like

    1. It appears that yes, he is attached and that he even quite likes Faith’s feistiness. There has been nothing since Lilith; she really took her toll on him and his opinion of himself, yeah. I’m not sure which bit caused the suspicion of foul play, but you know by now that if it stinks, it’s probably rotten.

      He can take the powers of others, yes. Not a vampire power? Huh. I’m sure he said he was a vampire, one sec… Ch 2.37 “I suppose the best definition would be ‘vampire’, Charlie.” Yeah, see? No ambiguity there. Nope. None. 😉

      Ah, Sage makes another friend, lol. “And she knew what Lilith was doing, what she was trying to do, and still she wouldn´t help?” It certainly appears that way, yes. I wonder what you think ‘Medusa’ did…
      Sage knew who Caleb was the second he walked in her store, but him not knowing who she was, and not being quite the vampire she used to know, intrigued her. Whether she would have actually killed him or whether she was keeping up her façade in front of her fellow witches is debatable.

      There’s a certain caveat to Seth being able to ‘siphon’ that we’ve slightly touched on in the first scene here and back when Lilith and Chuck were on the bench at the park, that will help to match up the bits that currently don’t. Perhaps there aren’t enough pieces just yet, but there will be. “would she really die to protect Seth of all people?” She’d probably quite enjoy seeing his head on a pole. Maybe she’s not protecting anyone, maybe she’s just done.

      Yes, Sage and Beth are somehow in cahoots. And yep, Sage expected Lilith, not April, to come looking for Caleb. Her whole existence does revolve around her brother, after all.

      All the memory Seth recalled is linked in some way, so one domino fell and the rest fell with it, yes. Is Kitty gone? We’ll find out, I’m sure; that’s probably a question Seth will be needing an answer to, promptly. What does happen to a vampire that escapes their bind, indeed. It must have happened at some point; Sage certainly seemed to know that not taking out a bound pair simultaneously would have consequences.

      Kitty is such a cute name for this, um, character. Her full name is Kathryn, but stick with Medusa if you like, or devil bitch, or Bob, that’s a popular option, too.

      Like

      1. *grimace* The fact that Lilith´s bitchiness had an impact was a no brainer for a long time, now.

        …”I´m not sure which bit caused the suspicion of foul play…” Ugh. How do I…? Look. If Seth and Lilith agree on something, if they have one thing in common, it is apparently a rubbish sire. We know exactly what sort of rotten bastard Silas was. I´m getting a feeling our “dear” Kathryn here may have been worse, somehow.

        E-heheh. Even that quote. “Best” definition. As in, what he is is almost impossible to define and “vampire” is the one that fits best even though not quite. At least, that´s the kind of impression that wording leaves on me.

        Yes. Sage had absolutely made another “friend.” Because while the suspicions I have of Kathryn being a particularly twisted sort of selfish bitch are serious indeed, the sheer /magnitude/ of Sage´s selfish bitchiness is just mindblowing. On that note, I suddenly wonder if smiling while angry was something Lils learned from Sage, now. And yet, she seems to… somehow, what? Be more of an ally than the rest of the witches? Ugh, she makes my head hurt. Well, if she´ll cover for us, that´s good I guess, but I´m with Lils for once. The sooner they are “out of her crispy hair” the better. 😡

        I don´t believe for a second Lilith would just give up and leave Caleb wandering the world without supervision. That would be the least Lilith thing to do, ever.

        Yeah. I bet Seth will need to know what happened. And why Lilith erased everything. Surely she wouldn´t have done that if… Kathryn was still an active threat, would she? Unless of course Seth having forgotten makes her not a threat. Sage seems to know something, yes. Even Seth, with most memories still missing, seemed to know something. “Bad business, binding.” Ack. Just what is it about Kathryn that makes me go into headless chicken mode instantly?

        Like

        1. Aww, we’ll find out exactly what Kathryn was like very soon. I’m sure you’ll love her!*

          Ooh, you do have some interesting theories. 😁🤐

          *This may be a lie.

          Like

          1. …*wry grin* The worst part is I might have, had I met her first. Found out exactly what it was that made HER so much of a monster. Maybe, just Maybe, she could have convinced me of her view of things. Not anymore, I don´t think. I can be /stubborn/.

            Sage is a whole other sack of plant fertilizer. Kathryn might be terrifying and I might hope she´s about as dead as Vlad if not more, but at least she´s still Kin. Sage is a hunter who didn´t have to be a hunter and that just makes her an enemy no matter what exception she plans to make for her own blood. If the Vatore doofuses weren´t /right there/ I´d say I hope she gets discovered and the Coven deals with her themselves.

            ((Also, just to clarify. This does not count as “flipping my lid.” That would be if my motivation to read on was weakening. I´m raging, and my motivation to continue is only growing stronger because of it. ;D))

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Maybe she will still win you over. That goes for both Kathryn and Sage. Nobody with cause ever thinks they’re the bad guy.

              The next chapter might quell that rage a smidgeon. The first part, anyway.

              Like

              1. I know. But it´s difficult to win over someone who is already sold on an opposing cause, y´see? ;D That goes especially for Sage.

                Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: