The Accidental Vampire

The Accidental Vampire is the story of Ada Reid, who, after a one night stand with a handsome stranger, finds herself a vampire. She must now navigate her new nocturnal lifestyle while fending off the advances of her vampiric comrades, making friends with her unusual neighbors, and tracking down the man who did this to her in the hopes that he might be able to reverse it. It’s a plot based story using the Sims 4 game and the new Vampires expansion pack and takes some liberties with the game mechanics, storytelling aspects, and vampire lore. It deals with adult themes and contains language unsuitable for children.

Currently dead.

Chapter list here.

Cast list here. (Contains spoilers)


An Announcement

As I put together the next few chapters of my stories, I still find myself hitting a wall with The Accidental Vampire. There’s lots of reasons I don’t want to abandon this, but the reasons I do outweigh those. This, alongside Dabney Diaries, was the first thing I did as a simlit story. Vampires had just come out, and I decided to jump into simlit. After doing this for over a year, I just feel like I’ve figured out what I’m doing. Unlike my legacy challenge, where every few chapters I get to do something new, this one remains, and at this point it feels amateurish. If I did come back to this, I think I would start over from the very beginning.

I think the worst part of writing this, though, is that it’s not very fun. The more plot heavy stories just aren’t fun to play a video game with. Sometimes, getting them to follow a preset story feels more a chore than anything else. I prefer my “let them do whatever” method of my legacy and achievements blog.

I’m going to let Accidental Vampire remain here for the time being, but I don’t think I’ll touch it for a long, long time. If you are desperate for vampire media, I do have a personal writing blog in which I definitely love to write about vampires, and vampires and aliens and ghosts will for sure show up in my other simlit stories. Ada and Lorna and their friends will likely show up other places (and I’m never done with vampires), but I think I have to declare this story, officially, dead.

Chapter Nineteen: Fantasy

The door to the apartment of the Reid sisters slammed, and a dark figure stood before them.

Zella waved her arms in excitement. “I saw a vampire!”

Lorna looked up from her spot on the couch, letting out a soft sigh. Ada smiled into the book she was reading.

“You see one every day,” she said.

“No, a new one!” She gave an excited hop towards them. “Was that him? The guy?”

“Zella,” Lorna said, “if it were, do you consider that a happy occasion?”

“Maybe.” She turned to Ada. “Was it him? He was dreamy. Did you talk to him? Is he cool?”

Ada raised a hand. “It’s already been a long night and I can only answer one question at a time.”

“What did you talk about?” Zella asked.

“Boring stuff.” Ada brushed her hair back. “He’s never met anyone famous and doesn’t know what’s going on now much less what happened in history. Did you call him dreamy?”

She waved a hand. “Some of us have been fantasizing about their vampire boyfriend since sixth grade.”

Lorna made a noise as Zella plopped down beside her. She’d woken early for work to find Ada making her way back inside, and her anger was still fresh. Ada’d given her a brief run down, and she could see her biting the inside of her cheek to keep from saying too much. It wouldn’t last long the way Zella was going.

“I will say,” Zella continued, “as far as ‘guys I’d like to turn me into a vampire’ goes, he’s near the top of the list.”

“He’s alright.” Ada rested her head on the back of the chair. Exhaustion as a vampire stayed with her too long, and sleep couldn’t chase it away. “I doubt he’ll be hanging around the vampire club, but I’ll probably see him again.”

“You have to, right? That big scary vampire told him to? Not bad.”

“Oh, my god!” Lorna shouted, throwing her hands up. “This isn’t vampire prom! Your dumb little romance books aren’t a guide for dealing with the supernatural! This guy effectively killed you, and you went for coffee with him!”

Ada shook her head. “We both made a mistake that night. And he didn’t kill me, he just… altered my life state.”

“He’s a vampire! Who doesn’t seem to have any qualms about drinking blood! That doesn’t bother anyone but me?”

Zella rolled her eyes. “Ada was drinking blood not that long ago, and you didn’t throw her in vampire jail.”

“Because no one was helping her then!” Lorna thumped a fist against her thigh. “No one’s helping you now. No one’s finding a cure, or telling us how to fix this. They’re just making sure you don’t make a mess.”

“Maybe that’s what I need,” Ada mumbled.

Lorna huffed and stood, grumbling about having to get ready for work. Ada gestured for Zella to follow her out the door. She was desperate for some shut eye–whatever that really meant to vampires, she still wasn’t sure–and the sun through the windows was making it worse. She’d have to invest in some heavier curtains soon.

“Lorna’s still riled up about this,” she said as they walked out in the hallway. “I’m not mad enough, so she’s mad on my behalf.”

“Your sister always seems riled up about something,” Zella said with a sigh.

“She’s protective. Lorna’s used to cleaning up my mistakes, and I guess she’s upset there’s nothing for her to do.”

Zella waved a hand. “So was he dreamy? Cool? What did you talk about?”

Ada laughed. “Maybe he’s those things. And we really just chatted. He mostly seems… I don’t know. Guarded. I guess that makes sense.”

“He doesn’t know anything about the book, does he?”

She hadn’t even thought to ask. “I don’t know. I don’t think so. Maybe next time I see him. But if that big scary guy doesn’t, then–then it may be a lost cause.”

Zella’s expression softened, and she reached a hand onto her shoulder. “We’ll keep looking, I promise.”

“Thanks.” Ada smiled at her. “For everything.”

Zella held her hand there a moment longer, and then she released her, returning to her apartment, leaving Ada alone.


A/N: We’re back folks! There’s a lot of stuff that’s still going on post-move, the biggest of which is me and a friend starting a pop up LGBT library here in Houston!  On top of trying to work on other writing projects and getting back into the groove of updating things regularly, it’s just been stuttering along with this story. I should have enough of these banked now that I can update them Wednesday regularly again. I have a fancy new schedule for all of my blogs (and one more blog, because who doesn’t love more projects!). Feel free to check them out here!

Chapter Eighteen: Meet and Greet

The knock on the door stirred Ada from her resting place on her couch. She’d spent the last twenty-four hours groaning over the realization that no one was actually out to help her. Everyone she’d met since turning into a vampire had only been playing her into their petty politics. And now the person who’d put all this on her was standing in her hallway.

Ada looked over Byron again, trying to remember anything about their conversation the night she’d been turned. What had drawn her to him? She could picture in her head clearly nights he spent sliding into bar seats beside unsuspecting women, flashing that pretty smile, and getting his fill.

She forced herself to suck in a breath. All day she’d stormed around the apartment, wishing she could do anything with her anger. Byron had planted himself in front of her like a good old fashioned punching bag.

“This is all a huge mess,” were the first words out of his mouth.

Ada’s lip twisted. “That’s an understatement. Six weeks ago I didn’t need an umbrella to avoid burning up in the sun.”

“Six weeks ago I was still off everyone’s radar.” He jammed his fingers in his pockets. “This is fucking fantastic. Do you have any idea how scary the master is?”

“Is this your apology?” She crossed her arms at him. “I’m unimpressed.”

“This was an accident,” he insisted. “No one’s at fault. If the twins could chill out for five seconds, this might’ve even blown over. You haven’t killed anyone, have you?”

“I went on a biting spree when I first turned. I attacked my own sister!”

“Bummer,” he said. “But as far as I can tell, you’re good. Stay chill, stay out of trouble. We’re both good.”

Red hot anger boiled up again in Ada’s throat, but she hesitated as she saw Lorna walking towards them. A similar expression painted her face.

Lorna looked over Byron as she approached, hackles already up. She’d always had little patience for the sort of people Ada liked to bring back home, and if they outstayed their welcome more than that initial night, she was usually the one to toss them out on the doorstep. Ada took a step back. Whatever she could say to Byron wasn’t going to touch on Lorna’s outrage.

Byron stopped talking as she stood beside him, her chin raised up, her eyes narrowed. Ada expected him to get defensive, but he leaned back instead.

“Is this the guy?” Lorna asked as she turned to her sister.

“Byron Thornley,” Ada said, holding out her hands like an announcer, “meet my sister Lorna. We’re all one big vampire family now.”

“What’s he doing here?”

He raised his hands. “I’m here to be cool. Vampire 101.”

“That’s fantastic.” An upset grin stretched across Lorna’s face. “A month overdue. Here we are floundering by ourselves while you’re, what? Picking up more party snacks?”

“You don’t know what the fuck I get up to,” he growled through gritted teeth. “That’s the whole damn point. You don’t know what these people’ll do when you step out of line. I’m sorry you got picked up in the crossfire of their shitty rivalry.”

Lorna whirled on him, finger raised.

“You’re apologizing for the wrong fucking thing!” she shouted. “Do you have any idea what you’ve done? My sister is one of the living dead, and you’re acting like if we’d just sat back no one would be here right now! Like our little problem would be solved!”

“I didn’t–” he started, but Lorna wasn’t letting down. All the rage bubbling up in her had boiled over.

“You didn’t know, you didn’t mean to.” She spat out a mocking tone. “You’re a vampire. If you can’t control yourself, maybe you should’ve stayed home. Now we have to deal with the consequences of your shitty actions so a shitty ‘master vampire’ doesn’t murder my sister with a bad sunburn.”

“Lorna,” Ada said, trying not to smile at her sister’s outrage. “It was an accident. He didn’t even know until yesterday.”

“People fix mistakes,” she snapped. “At least adults do. What’s he done so far?”

“Nothing so far, since you won’t even let me speak,” Byron said.

Lorna turned on him again, but Ada reached a hand out to her sister.

“Let me talk to him for a minute,” she said. “And then you can rage all over.”

Lorna’s edges sharpened. “I don’t want him in this house after this. All of this is his fault. He ruined your life.”

“And we’ll fix it.” Ada gave her a look. “I’m handling this right now.”

She sucked in a breath as if to say something and then snapped her jaw shut. Squeezing her sister’s arm, she gave Byron one last dirty look before snapping back on her heels and storming off. Ada pulled Byron to the door. His whole body was tense, his jaw set, his fingers curling.

“Let’s go somewhere else,” Ada said. “I want to talk, it’s just been a rough couple of–couple of weeks.”

It seemed to work. He looked at her, an easy smile taking over his expression.

“I had just the place in mind.”




The coffeeshop on the square was empty near midnight. The barista took no notice of the pair as they settled into the back of the shop. Late night party goers and tired university students trudged past the open windows, and Byron leaned back in his chair as Ada considered a coffee order. The anger had gone out of her, and exhaustion replaced it. She missed food, made worse by the selection of eclairs, and while Zella had helped her tamp down her blood cravings, it still itched in the back of her throat. She glanced at Byron, wondering if he felt the same way.

“I’m starting over,” Byron said, and he seemed easier in the new atmosphere. It helped not having Lorna looming over him like a thunderstorm. “I’m sorry I turned you into a vampire. It’s still an accident, but it’s not a fun time.”

“Well, thanks.” She decided against a coffee. Liquids she could handle, but something about them seemed to lack flavor. The only thing that gave her full satisfaction was the juice of the plasma fruit Zella had been growing, or the other thing. “I’m sorry you’re dragged back into this. It seems like you want to be left alone.”

“Yeah, well.” He shrugged. “The old man knows how to ruin a life. But I’m here to help, so let’s do that. What do you want to know?”

What did she want to know? She studied him, the strong cut of his cheekbone, the point of his ear, the color of his eyes. How long were you dead before you started to lose humanity? Before the thing beneath the mask started to leak through? How many years were spent trying not to drain the person in your arms before you knew you could kiss without killing? How did you survive in a world of predators, where your friends are also your competition? How did you stay away from the watchful eye of the Master Vampire? How did you keep from screwing up?

Big questions, she decided. Time to start small.

“How’d you become a vampire?” she asked.

Byron, she was quickly learning, kept up an apathetic attitude in nearly all situations, solving problems with a smile and a shrug. It meant she had to watch for the tightening of the lip, and the way his eyes darted away to know what he was really feeling, and even then she wasn’t sure.

“You know,” he said, waving a hand. “Boy meets girl, boy seduces girl, girl turns out to be a centuries old bloodsucker who takes her boyfriends to the grave. The usual.”

“Lilith said they were born,” she said.

He wrinkled his nose. “They come from an old family, I think. It’s super weird. I never bothered learning bloodlines. They’re only trouble.”

“Don’t remind me,” she said. “Sometimes that’s all they talk about. ‘Oh I was sired by Lady Bloodstone who was sired by Master Batbottom so I’m the best.’ What’s with that?”

He smiled. “I think after the first hundred years it gets pretty boring. They have to start making up Game of Thrones style plays or they’ll all have to admit they’re a bunch of losers staring at a crypt for eternity.”

“Why even have a vampire king?” she asked. “It’s so dumb. Like they can’t just agree to be cool?”

“Careful on that train. That there’s treason. It’s why Caleb and Lilith have their little club. They’re high ranking enough they can kind of do what they want, but if word gets out they’re having a coup, goodness.”

“It’s so silly.” She sighed. “Sometimes I feel like we’re a bunch of kids playing dress up.”

He laughed. “Drama kids acting out Shakespeare. I stay away from those games.”

She smiled for the first time. “So you’ve been like this for over a century?”

He nodded. “Just about. It actually hasn’t been that boring. I was born before telephones were a thing, and now I have one that fits in my pocket.”

“Have you seen any historical events?”

“You mean I was I there when JFK got shot? Or when Amelia Earhart took off?” He shook his head. “Nope.”

She put her chin in her hand. “Sounds kind of lame.”

“It can be, sometimes.” His eyes were distant. “There’s plenty of ways to pass the time, though.”

She nodded. A hundred questions burned at the tip of her tongue, but she kept it light. The Vatores had explained how their politics and their rules worked, but they hadn’t st her down and told her what the next hundred years of her unlife were going to be like. That’s all Byron had been working on. He lived his afterlife to its fullest, choosing not to be upset about the whole thing, shaking off the harsher parts of reality like water from an umbrella.

Eventually the windows began to lighten, and the pair stood, making their way to the street. Ada stood uncertainly beneath the lamp post. She felt relief, a bit like how she felt around Zella. She didn’t have to watch her words, or pretend she wasn’t craving blood, or listen to the ramblings of radicals in a sea of conservatives. She could just be.

“I hate to say it,” Byron said, “but this was kind of fun.”

“You can’t ditch me this time,” she warned.

He smiled. “I think Lilith would drag me back by the ear. Next time there should be alcohol involved.”

Ada smiled at him. “Next time.”

How to Win at Sims 4

Hey, guys! I still don’t have a schedule planned for updating this blog. At the moment, I’m working chapter by chapter, though I am trying to get enough screenshots where I can edit and post a batch at a time. The truth is, doing the very plot oriented stories like this one take up a good chunk of my time and brain space, and it’s a little less magical than actually playing the game when you’re trying to pose them just right. To give myself a little bit of a break, and to put some of the joy back into actually playing the game The Sims, I started another blog (I know) where I’m attempting to get every single achievement in the Sims 4. There’s a good chunk of them that will involve aliens, ghosts, hermits, and, yes, vampires, but it gives me a little more freedom on playing the game. Which is not to say I’m not adding a story. It’s just a little more loosey goosey. I’m starting with one family and expanding from there, so if you want to follow me twice a week with the Rainards, you can find it here.

I am going through some major life changes and will be moving again pretty soon, but I’m hopeful I can hash out some chapters and get them posted during that time. Thanks again for reading and sticking with me while I figure out what I’m doing! Your support and comments mean everything to me! As always, feel free to click the more tab to see what else I’m working on, and I will hopefully get the next chapter posted soon!

Chapter Seventeen: Life of Byron

Quick warning for the chapter! There is depictions of vampire deaths lovingly screenshotted, and a slight depiction of non-consent in being turned.


Byron could admit to himself when he first called upon Lady Catherine it had been for selfish reasons. The Driscoll estate had stood empty for years until its long lost heir had swept back in to reclaim it, and he had been first in line to greet the enigma of a woman that was Lady Catherine. Calling her strange did not do her justice. She was beautiful , soft-spoken, but forceful in personality. He’d come with every intention of wooing her, and felt wooed instead.

The last few weeks had been spent in her embrace. The empty house normally felt cold and empty, but their nights spent stretched across her bed, fingers entwined, skin pressed against skin, he felt life had been breathed in it again. Usually he tired of his conquests as soon as he’d gotten what he came for, but there was something about Lady Catherine that kept him there.

She pulled away from him, gazing at him with her strange yellow eyes. They entranced him. She entranced him.

“My love,” she murmured in her gentle voice. It sent shivers through his skin. “I’m afraid I’ve not been completely honest with you.”

“Honesty has little place in the bedroom,” he said.

Her lips quirked up in her gentle smile. “I think this may be important. I’ve grown quite fond of you in our short time together.”

“And I you.” He ran his hand down the silk fabric that covered her thigh. Her skin was cool to touch. She was like water, soft and gentle, and he wished to dive into her.

“I have cared for other men before,” she admitted, brushing back a strand of dark hair from his face. “And I keep the things I care for. I am about to reveal something about myself and offer a treasured thing.”

He nervously pulled away. “I don’t catch your meaning.”

“Please, my love.” She kissed his cheek as he stood. “Allow me to show you.”

She stepped away from him, hiding her face. He leaned forward and watched as she let out a desperate shiver that shook her whole form. Her fingers twitched and rose up to cover her face, and after a moment she composed herself. She turned.

The face that greeted him was unlike any he’d ever seen. Scars cracked the skin across her cheek, and her eyes seemed to melt away. The strange yellow was replaced by a bright and startling blue. She opened her mouth, revealing a row of strange fangs. He started up.

“It’s much to take in,” she said, the low purr to her voice still enticing. Her fingers stretched out, caressing his cheek and bringing him closer to her. “I’ve represented myself unfairly, I know. I was the heir to the Driscoll family many years ago, until I died and was resurrected again. Since then I’ve fed on blood and the company of others. But never alone. I’ve never liked being alone.”

“I don’t understand,” Byron said, but her hands slid across his skin. His mind clouded with desire.

“I offer you two things, my love,” she said. “Myself, as I am. Forever. The pair of us as eternal lovers. The bliss we’ve felt for the past few weeks, satisfying each other, until the end of time.”

“And the other thing?” His voice shook. Even as she stared him down with her monstrous expression, he could not fight his desire. His arm reached around her waist, kneading the skin beneath her robe.

“Immortality.” She breathed out the word. “Life everlasting. Sustained by the blood of others, at the cost of sunshine and warm days, but filled with strength and long nights and time enough for anything. Young and beautiful, as we are now. Never for fear of what’s to come.”

He longed to embrace her. His head was dizzy. Her words drummed into his heartbeat as the glint of her teeth caught his eye.

“Tell me you love me,” she whispered.

“I–” He never had before. He spent nights in the beds of many women, all in various stages of enamored. Some appreciated the passion of a single night, while others begged him to stay. This was the first time he felt he couldn’t pull away. “I do. I love you.”

“Tell me you’ll spend eternity with me.” Her fingers threaded into his hair, and she gave a gentle pull.

“I will,” he said.

A grin stretched across her face, and she forced his head back, exposing his neck. Her teeth bared.

“My love,” she murmured, and that was all he remembered before she sank her teeth in.

He wanted to say there was pleasure, or there was pain, but his head felt drunk and clouded. She embraced him, and he squeezed her tight as his blood rushed forward. Her grip was needy and desperate and did not give him room to move. He was trapped beneath her.

She pulled away and brought her wrist to her lips, piercing the tender flesh there. She offered it to him, pinpricks of blood rising to the surface.

“You must drink, love,” she said breathlessly. “To be with me forever, we must share communion.”

Every inch of him hesitated as he took her delicate wrist in her hand. The pale flesh burned against the color red that bled against her skin. A part of him told him no, this was insane, he barely even knew the woman he’d resigned to pledge his life to. The drunken feeling was worsened by the blood loss, and her piercing eyes stared him down until he could not refuse. Immortality was only a moment away.

She cried out as he took the flesh against his lips and drank from the rivers that poured from her skin. And when he pulled away, she grabbed him close, kissing her bloodied lips to his, dragging him to the bed as he gasped at the strange taste on his tongue. It mixed with the coppery lipstick she now wore. She stretched her bloodied hand across his shirt, pulling at it to undress him. An eternity together, that’s what she promised. Who was he to refuse?



Sunlight stretched across the Victorian estate that sat miles away from anyone living. The twisted empty trees offered no shade at all, no reprieve from the encroaching rays of light, and Lady Catherine cried out as the sun brushed against her skin. Embers burned from her pale white skin. It did not take long for it to char as she burst into flames.

Fear overtook her. She screamed, howled, beat her fists against her blackened skin.

She reached one final hand out to anyone that would help her, her eyes pleading as the fire consumed her entirely.

With one final exhale, she collapsed against the ground.

Not a one of the onlookers moved. The morning sun threatened the panes of glass, but they remained safely inside. Straud nodded at the piles of ash the fresh breeze began to scatter across the yard, satisfied.

“Another bad apple put to rest,” he said, clapping his hands together. “Refreshments?”

Most of the gathered turned away, but Mizuki looked to Straud.

“Was this necessary?” she asked in a quiet voice.

Straud’s lip curled at the suggestion. “Catherine Driscoll has left a string of dead and a multitude of changed lovers that I am having to clean up. What else would you have me do?”

“You ‘clear the ranks’ every time you get a whiff of dissent, Vladislaud. You decimate our numbers to keep order. You kill to control.”

His eyes narrowed. “I suppose you’re right. But I have to question what your punishment would be for the Lady Catherine.”

Her fingers curled together as he brushed past her, leaving the party to its means. With a shake of her head, she stormed away.

It was less a wake than a parlor game to the other guests. Life and death meant little to the undead, even those that feared the sun’s rays. Lady Catherine was gone, but they were not.

It spiked an anger in Lilith as she glanced over the other guests. Laughing. Joking. Drinking red wine or its approximate. She turned to her brother.

“Imagine if we could have done something,” she said. “Reformed her. If she didn’t need to drink the blood of the living…”

Caleb placed a hand on her arm. “What would you say to Straud?”

“I don’t know.” She let out a breath. “It’s unfair, though. How have we given him absolute power over us?”

“He’s strongest, facing him one on one.” He nodded to where Lady Catherine’s latest beau remained alone. “Luckily we will have numbers.”

Byron had gone to the window, where he watched the crumbled remains of the woman who had turned him. His chest was tight, his throat dry, and he could not express exactly what he felt. What was it, to be relieved and mournful at the same time? His thoughts were interrupted as the pair approached him.

“Byron, right?” Caleb offered him a smile in greeting. “We’re sorry for your loss.”

He glanced over the Vatore siblings. He didn’t know many names, but theirs had been passed around those who rejected things like dilapidated mansions and empty crypts. He spent his evenings in bars, flirting and chatting until someone was willing to take his hand and be led into the night. Their names were often whispered, with the suggestion that trouble followed. His eyes drew to the door that the Grand Master had retreated behind, and to the other guests at the party. This was a room filled with predators.

“Not a loss at all,” he said, adopting a smile. “The charges brought against Lady Catherine were all true. Now mankind is safe from her terror.”

“‘Mankind’ is the proper word for it.” Lilith crossed her arms. “You’re, what, her seventh lover she turned? I’m amazed Straud didn’t act sooner.”

“Lilith,” her brother said in a low voice.

“Caleb.” She glanced at Byron. “You didn’t like her methods.”

“Killing’s so gauche, isn’t it?” He grinned at her. They were both attractive, but he liked the fire stoked in her eyes. “Buy them a drink, I say. Give them a kiss and a nip, and no one is worse off for it.”

“We avoid any blood,” she said proudly. “At all.”

Ah, Byron realized quickly. One of those types.

“We don’t think any of us should kill,” Caleb said. “There’s never been any reason to. But we don’t believe we should have to hunt either. Straud would rather us be animals than the civilized folks we once were.”

Byron’s smile dimmed. “You should say it a little less like you’re selling something.”

“We are blessed to live in a time of scientific advancement,” Lilith said. “We’re not evangelizing, we’re stating facts. There’s no need to drink blood at all.”

“You’ll have to excuse me for not seeing the difference,” he said. “Am I right in thinking you came here to watch a vampire be torn apart by the sun so that you could see your new type of thinking? ‘What if vampires didn’t kill?’ It’s novel, I’ll tell you that.”

He was delighted to see Lilith curl her hands into fists and her eyes narrow. “We’ve all had an eternity to better ourselves, but people like Straud don’t want that. He thinks if we submit to our base instincts, he has all the more reason to keep our nature a secret, and all the more power over us.”

“Conspiracy as well.” He passed his smile to Caleb. “You’ll now ask me to join your club, I imagine.”

“Not a club,” he said. “But we are hoping to gather some like-minded people–”

“I am uninterested.” Byron gave them each a nod. “If you want me to buy you a drink sometime, please, come find me, but politics are not my forte, and I’d rather not be the next one facing the sun.”

He strode away from them before they could offer a response. There were too many people here, all of them staring at him, and he pushed open the doors to another room. Before him, a tall grey cloaked figure poured drinks. Straud stood straight as he entered, giving him a disapproving look.

“Master Thornley,” he said, his genteel voice brimming with class and upbringing. “You fared well through my presentation.”

“Illuminating, sir.” Byron glanced for an escape, but there was no leaving the conversation until Straud allowed it.

“I was worried Lady Catherine’s influence might rub off on you. But you’ve no intention of following in her footsteps.”

“I’d like to be very far away from her footsteps, actually,” he said. “As far as I can manage.”

“Good.” The Grand Master moved closer to him, his grey face like stone.

“I mean this, Master Thornley,” Straud said, words dropping like leaden shoes. “Not a word of misconduct from you. I have separated the chaff from the wheat, but do not think I won’t burn the fields to find you again if I must. We live quiet lives, or we do not live at all.”

Byron backed away, raising his hands in a gesture of good will. “I understand completely. You won’t hear a thing from me again.”

“Good,” Straud said. “Then I suggest you make your plans.”

Byron could not have fled any faster. Disappearing, at least, was what he was good at. And with luck, he’d never fast the Master again.



Byron raised a fist to the door. He was never very good at keeping promises, but he suspected this one was life or death.


The door pulled back, and for a moment he considered fleeing to the hills, getting far away from this part of the world, and hoping the Master could never unearth him.

Yeah, right.


He stepped inside.

Interlude: Laemmle High

While I am still taking a break from my projects, the second part my 1950s monster mash, Laemmle High, is uploaded today and can be read at my writing blog Black Cat Fiction. I’m not much of an artist, and I’ve only occasionally tried to actually create the characters I picture in my head, but I have gotten into simlit, so the least I can do is introduce you to the main characters of Laemmle High.


Chapter Sixteen: The Grand Master


Ada looked up at the tall manor the four of them approached. The steepled tower jutted into the night sky, tall points creating spikes against the darkness. Shadows fell across it in a hundred odd angles, and bats fluttered away into the thin, scraggly trees that surrounded the estate. Night fell early in Forgotten Hollow, and a thin fog covered the marshy grass. Caleb and Lilith walked in front of her confidently, but she could see the slight shiver in their stance, the nervous glances they gave each other, and the silence they carried with them was uncertain. Belinda opened the wide doors for them to step through, but she did not follow.

Ada tried to concentrate on this, instead of looking to the man beside her. Byron Thornley looked, well, exactly like the kind of dude she’d invite back to her place and then never see again. Handsome, yes, aggressively charismatic, possibly, and with a wardrobe that said, I care way too much about what other people think of me and need to prove I don’t. She wished she could remember anything about the night, like what he said to her, or why he went with her of all people, but his expression was more terrified than anyone else’s. She had a suspicion this wouldn’t be strike one for him.

They stood in the empty foyer. If the four of them had breath to hold, they would have, and Ada grew antsy from waiting.


“So what is the deal here?” she whispered, unsure of proper protocol while waiting on the king vampire.

Caleb held out a hand. “We’ll do all the talking.”

“But, like, is there a vampire court or something? How does he decide we’re guilty?”

“Vlad just decides.” He let out a breath. “He thinks he’s judge, jury, and executioner.”

“I’ve earned all those titles,” said a voice, and Ada jumped up when she saw the tall, grey man who’d silently entered the room.


Vladislaus Straud could not have been more of vampire if he’d tried. The grey coat pressed against his scarecrow frame, the thin genteel features faded away into pale, pale skin. He did not make the most imposing figure, but there was something in his presence, a feeling of unease that radiated off him. Ada thought of all the other vampires she’d met who remained, more or less, human until that other side of them came out. She wondered how long you had to be a vampire before you started to look like this.

“I’m afraid there’s an unrecognized vampire running around,” he said as he glided towards them. His nostrils flared as he looked at her. “She smells fresh.”

“Turned a little over a month ago,” Caleb admitted. “Ada’s not the problem here.”

“She’s a child.” Straud looked her up and down. “It’s any wonder she hasn’t slaughtered yet.”


“Hi!” Ada said. “I haven’t done anything wrong. Haven’t slaughtered a soul yet. I swear.”

Caleb put a hand on her. “What she means is, Ada didn’t ask for this. This is all one big, weird accident.”

A single eyebrow raised. “How exactly does one accidentally become a vampire?”

Ada gave a nervous smile. “If I could remember, I’d tell you.”

“Ah.” Straud’s eyes turned to Byron. “I see Master Thornley has returned to us.”


“I’m also pretty sure this is not my fault,” Byron said. “Yeah, I went back to her place, but all I’m guilty of is the bite and run. I didn’t even drain her all the way.”

Lilith had her arms crossed in front of her. “You didn’t use your powers to get her to invite you back?”

A look of annoyance passed over his face. “I used my normal human man powers of being ridiculously attractive.”

She scoffed, and Straud held a hand to his temple.


“We’ll see if it’s even worth keeping the girl alive,” he said. “Miss Ada, was it? Come with me.”

Ada gave an alarmed look to Caleb, but he could only raise his shoulders. Straud stalked into the parlor, and, giving one last desperate look to anyone who might throw her a lifesaver, she followed. Each step felt like walking towards the gallows. He gestured towards a large sofa for her to sit on, and she did as he paced around the room. After a minute of thinking to himself, he looked at her, grey eyes narrowed.

“I’m afraid I may have to kill you,” he said in the most congenial of tones.

Ada raised a hand. “I’d like to request that you don’t.”

To her surprise, he sat beside her.


“It’s my own fault, really.” His voice had a strike of annoyance. “You would not believe the coups I have had to put down, or the violent uprisings that a few power hungry vampires every few fifty years think they need to go through. Some three hundred years ago, was it? A group decided they were going to turn everyone in the world. A rash of fresh dead had to be put down. Now anyone who wants to be turned must be… reviewed.”

“Surprisingly bureaucratic,” she said. “But I’m not violent, and Byron didn’t turn me into a vampire to enact an uprising.”

“No, he wouldn’t have it in him.”

“It was one night, and now we’re both getting screwed for it.” She clasped her hands together. “I don’t even want this. My friend and I have been searching for a way to reverse it.”

“The mysterious Compendium.” Straud shook his head. “I half think it’s an invented fairy tale. Every vampire, at least once, tries to cure themselves of immortality. You either learn to deal with it, or you do not.”

Her mouth clamped shut. She’d thought if anyone knew where that fourth volume was, it would be the Grand Master.

“I suppose you’ve kept your family alive so far.” He looked at her again. “But you must understand, secrecy is essential to our kind. It’d be inconvenient if the police began investigating every vampire related death, and I’m sure the religious groups would go into a frenzy over this. We operate best underground.”

“So you can get away with whatever,” Ada murmured.

His lips quirked up. “Perhaps. I may still have to kill Master Thornley. His incompetence has led him before me time and time again.”

“Oh.” She chewed on her lip. “He didn’t mean to, though. I don’t think either of us are at fault for this one.”

His gaze was penetrating, not just the dark steely gaze shared by vampires that made her feel dizzy, but as though he were reading her thoughts. She looked away. Her gaze turned to the odds and ends of the house, strange scrolls and tapestries like the ones she’d seen at the oddity shop.

“You really don’t know where it is?” she asked. “The Compendium?”

“No,” he said. “Though my partner has made a fine show of searching for it.”

That made her glance up. “Partner?”

“Ah, and he arrives.” Straud nodded towards a dark shadow that had entered the room that glided towards the lamplight.

“I apologize,” the shadow said, voice like a coffin opening. “I heard we had guests.”


Ada recognized the voice immediately, and as he came into the light, she saw the grey visage of the shopkeep, the long robe descended down his body. Straud smiled and stood to greet him. Anger sent a red hot spike down Ada’s spine.

“Did you know already?” she asked, voice trembling. “Who I was?”


The pair looked at her. Neither seemed concerned about her growing rage.

“Mortimer keeps an eye out for me,” Straud said. “I find less and less of an excuse to leave the manor these days.”

“So you could’ve done this anytime.” Ada’s hands curled into fists. “You could’ve dragged me out here and shoved me into the sun whenever you wanted but you waited until Belinda started gossiping because why?”

“It’s important to let the little ones have their games.” He shrugged, as though that was how the world worked. “And we weren’t sure who the culprit was.”

“I suspected it was Byron,” Mortimer said. “It seems his sort of mistake.”

Ada jumped up. “You knew?”

“Suspected,” he repeated.


“You knew this whole time!” she shouted. “I could’ve used the help! Would’ve been nice to not drain every person I met! Would’ve been nice to have anyone in this whole place to talk to! But, no, you want to have your little games.”

“My dear,” Straud started, but she turned on him.

“And you get to sit in your high tower and look at all the peons! What was even the point of this little charade? To assert some kind of dominance? To prove you serve a purpose? You–you made me into a pawn, and you were going to punish the both of us for it! Whatever!” She shoved her way through them. “If you want to kill me you can get off your ass and find me. I’m leaving.”

She heard no protest from them, and she stalked out the door, shoulders hunched, brow knit together in anger. Caleb called out to her in the foyer, but she didn’t answer, only pushed open the double doors and stormed out.


“What the fuck was that about?” Byron asked.

“Shut up, you idiot,” Lilith snapped. “You’re the whole reason we’re here.”

“I’d like to reiterate that I didn’t do anything wrong.”

“We both know that’s a lie,” Caleb muttered.


Black smoke appeared behind him, and Byron cringed. The Grand Master stood before him, anger bleeding into his features.


“You’ve never done anything right, Thornley,” Straud snapped. “The maiden has plead for the pair of you, against all better judgement. Today is not the day I roast you alive, but if you step foot in my home again, you will not leave it. Take care of this. The last thing we need is some unaffiliated dead running around.”

“But–” Byron started to protest.

“Come on, Byron,” Caleb said. “The sun’ll be up soon.”


The three of them walked from the estate and into the early morning mist. They stood in silence for a brief period, none of them exactly sure what to say.

“Well,” Byron said after a while. “What now?”



Chapter Fifteen: Surprises

Ada now spent as many nights out with her new gang of vampires as they’d let her. Lorna disapproved, but what didn’t she disapprove of? Ada was grateful she was distracted by her new boyfriend.


Caleb and Lilith didn’t seem to mind much. It helped her case, she realized, if she was part of the central gang of vampires. She hadn’t expected so many politics, and rules, but at least she was gleaning. Caleb played a more neutral party, but Lilith had all the gossip, and she was unafraid to share it.


“It’s all kinds of messed up,” Lilith was saying as they sat down in the dark mausoleum bar. “I mean, she turned Simon and they were married for like three hundred years. Now she’s running off with some twenty year old freshly turned nobody. It’s absolute scandal. He’s so mad about it.”

“How do you even do relationships like that?” Ada asked. “I’ve never liked someone for more than five minutes.”

“God, do not get me started on that.” She rolled her eyes. “My last relationship ended magnificently.”

Ada fiddled with her drink. “Have you ever turned anyone into a vampire?”

“No,” she said slowly. “I mean, I’ve thought about it. We come from a family. Caleb hates the idea though.”


“There’s, like, vampire lines. It’s super complicated.” She moved her fingers in parallel lines through the air. “Some of us get born, it’s weird. The Vatore line started hundreds and hundreds of years ago, and it ends with me and my bro.”

Ada’s brow knit together. “I don’t know how to feel about that.”

“Don’t.” Lilith shook her head. “We don’t deal with it anymore.”


“What’re you talking about?” Caleb asked as he sat beside them.

“Angelica going absolutely bonkers,” Lilith said without missing a beat. “Ada has three hundred years of drama to catch up on.”

“It was bound to happen,” he said, ducking his head down. “The two of them tried to poison each other ten years into being married. I bet it won’t even take a decade for them to get back together.”

“This happens a lot, huh?” Ada asked, resting her chin in her hands.

“Way too much. You get bored sometimes.”

Lilith scoffed into her drink. “You get bored some times. Some of us value relationships.”


“Speaking of,” Caleb said. “Don’t look now. It’s you know who.”

Lilith’s lips became a thin line as her eyes glanced up at the person who’d just walked into the bar. Her eyes narrowed at her brother.

“You are so unbothered,” she said in a low voice.

“Who is it?” Ada asked.

“Lilith’s ex,” Caleb said. “She hates him.”

“Because he cheated on me with my brother,” she snapped. “I thought he wouldn’t show his face again after that.”

“She practically destroyed him,” Caleb said in a mock whisper.


“Hold on,” Ada said. “What happened?”

“It wasn’t on purpose or anything,” Caleb said. “I didn’t know they were dating.”

“Byron Thornley doesn’t care about anyone but himself.” Lilith sat back in her seat. “Look at him. I bet he’s pretending he doesn’t even see me.”

Ada glanced at the man who’d come in.


A sense of unease washed over her. The newcomer tipped back his drink, and she caught the line of his strong jaw and well shaped cheek bones. The red jacket was a familiar shade that made her eyes water. The same deja vu from when she met Salim rattled around in her head. As Lilith continued to complain, he glanced their way, and the light caught his eyes, making them, for a moment, look yellow. The memory of that night rushed back.




The voices of the arguing siblings filtered in her ears from a thousand miles away. Her whole body had gone cold, and if her heart still beat, it would’ve stopped.


“You could’ve asked!” Lilith shouted.

“You’re always the one who’s got to have secrets,” Caleb said, rolling his eyes.

“Sometimes you are the absolute worst.”

He turned to Ada, some jab prepared, but his face fell when he saw her expression. “Ada? You okay?”

“That’s him,” she murmured through her fingers. “He’s the vampire who turned me.”

Both of the siblings’ expressions carefully arranged themselves as they both tried not to look at the man at the bar. A look exchanged between them. Ada swallowed.

“You’re absolutely sure?” Lilith asked.

Ada nodded, hands still clasped to her mouth.

She looked at her brother. “I get to tell him.”

“No you don’t.” Caleb glanced again behind them. “You’re going to turn it into another screaming match.”

“If you-know-who found out–”

“He’d probably kill all of us.” Caleb moved to stand. “I’m gonna talk to him.”


Ada looked at him. “What are you going to say?”

He sucked in a breath to steel himself. “He has to know the truth.”

Lilith leaned forward. “This is going to be good.”


Ada couldn’t hear what the pair of them were saying, nor could she see Byron’s expression with his back turned to her. Whatever it was, it convinced Byron to follow him to the back of the room. Disappointment colored Lilith’s face, and she stood up. Ada remained where she sat. She wanted to follow, to meet the man who’d done this to her, to figure out why, but fear rooted her to her spot. There was no good explanation from him. She didn’t even know if she wanted to know him. All she’d ever wanted out of him was a one night stand, and now…

Her eyes gazed at them, and she watched the argument take place.

Byron looked at the pair of siblings as they approached him. Caleb hadn’t meant to spook him, but absolute delight was all over Lilith’s face. Byron had screwed up badly, and he didn’t even know it yet.


“Look,” he said as Lilith approached. “I’ve said everything I can to you.”

“This isn’t about us,” Lilith practically sang.

“Alright.” He gave her a look. “I’ll believe that when I see it.”

“It’s not,” Caleb assured him. “Do you recognize that girl we were sitting with?”

“The redhead?” He shrugged. “Plutos was telling me you’ve been dragging her around. She your new pet project?”

“Are you sure you haven’t seen her before?” Lilith pressed. “At a bar maybe? The Shrieking Llama?”

His brow furrowed. “Maybe? I go there sometimes.”

She rolled her eyes. “You’re such an idiot.”

“Seriously, Byron.” Caleb narrowed his eyes at him. “You didn’t meet anyone at a bar a month ago? Didn’t go back to her place? Didn’t bite her a little too aggressively?”

“It’s not a vampire bar,” he said.

“She wasn’t a vampire then.”

His eyes widened, his face fell.


“Oh shit.”

“Oh shit is right, dummy.” Lilith brought a hand to her mouth. “You honestly didn’t remember?”

“I-I don’t know!” Panic was taking over him.

“How do you not remember turning her?” Caleb asked. “You ruined her life.”

“That was all her!” Byron snapped. “I bit her a little, you know, and she was into it. She bit me so hard it bruised. I didn’t think it broke the skin.”


Lilith started laughing, and she couldn’t stop. “You absolute dolt! You’re the only person I know who’d break vampire covenant because he got too frisky in bed.”

“This is really serious.” Caleb glared at his sister. “What do you think’s going to happen if Straud finds out?”

“You wouldn’t tell him,” Byron pleaded. “I didn’t do anything. It’s not my fault.”

“It absolutely is,” Lilith said. “But luckily, we’re the ones who’re figuring this out.”

Caleb gave a smile. “We’re not going to throw you to the wolves.”


“You don’t have to,” a voice said behind them, and all three froze. Belinda emerged from the shadows, smiling. “Byron is going to come politely with me.”

“Go to hell, Belinda,” Lilith snapped. “Stop trying to get brownie points with the master.”

Her dark eyes narrowed. “You aren’t the law in this land, Vatore.”

“And you aren’t the sheriff.” She boxed her shoulders against her. “What’re you going to do about it?”

“Hold on, Lil.” Caleb put a hand on his sister’s shoulder. “What does Straud already know?”

Belinda smirked. “Your little charade with the newbie is see through, you know that right? She’s green as she is warm blooded. Try harder next time if you’re going to pull something under the Grand Master’s nose.”

“I suppose he loves your little gossip sesh,” Lilith said through gritted teeth. “What is it, tea every Sunday? Do you call him up on the phone every night?”

“He respects me,” she growled.

“I bet.” Lilith looked at her brother. “We aren’t really going to go with her, are we?”

“Actually…” He glanced at Byron. “Might be better to sort this one out. Okay, Belinda, take us away.”


Her lips curled up in a satisfied smile. “Then let’s go see the Grand Master.”

Chapter Fourteen: Phases

Zella rattled the small parcel delivered to her apartment happily as she pushed open her front door. Every attempt to find the mysterious fourth volume of the Encyclopedia had led to frustration and dead ends, but she’d at least managed to find these strange seeds. Now to see if they actually grew.


She pushed over the rich soil as she planted the seeds. Plasma fruit. They were an absurdity, but what these days wasn’t? A few blurry photos of the blooms was all she had to go on, and she prayed they were as fruitful as promised.

She’d ran into Ada in the hallway and tried explaining the find to her, but her enthusiasm had started to flag. Zella didn’t mind that their dead ends had led to new venues. The oddity shop, the strange plants she was finding, the new information on ancient texts, but to Ada it was all bottling into the same answer: there was no such thing as a cure for vampires. There were bandaids. The fruit could replace her need to drink, and apparently she could do the same thing by catching frogs. Her friendships had softened the blow, but Zella wondered how much comfort it was knowing these new relationships would last an eternity.

Zella tried her hardest. She hunted through her books.


She went out with Ada whenever she could.


She kept her up to date on her progress.


But as more time passed, the further away any real answer seemed. Things fell back into patterns.


Old worries.


New interests.


New relationships.


Finding distractions.


Finding focus.





Zella was surprised to see how large the plasma fruit tree grew, especially in her small apartment. She’d gotten wolfsbane as well, but the flytrap was proving more difficult. Recipes were listed in the Encyclopedia, and though they weren’t the one she was looking for, it felt useful to try anything. And when it was time, she invited Ada over to see her work.


“It took a while,” Zella said.

“It still grew fast.” Ada looked in awe at the tree. “You got those seeds a month ago.”


“It’ll be great once it gets ready to harvest.” Zella smiled at her work. “I know it’s not a lot…”

“It’s something.” The smile eased off Ada’s face. “More than I’ve been doing.”

Zella’s hand moved to hers. “We’re both looking for the last volume. We’ll get there.”

“Yeah.” She sighed. “I hope.”

“I promise. I’m not giving up.”

“Thanks.” Ada pulled her closer. “I mean it.”


Zella hadn’t given up, but she’d run low on options. There was one place she was willing to return.


The oddities shop wasn’t so much a collection as a collage. Skulls and books, quills and statues, arranged in an esoteric order she was still trying to decipher. Items had been removed and reorganized since their last visit.


The books were different too, but with no sign of what she was looking for. All her deep diving on the web had only turned up the truth: the Compendium was nearly impossible to find and possibly only existed in the hands of people alive at the time of publishing. Zella knew first hand there were still some people around that might fit that category.

The shopkeeper eyed her as she approached, his vampiric visage obvious. Just looking at him scraped needles across her skin, but she stood tall and approached him.


“You’ve darkened my doorway again,” he said.

She offered up a friendly smile. “I’ve been looking for that fourth volume you told me about. No luck.”

“It’s likely you’ll live your whole life without seeing it.”

“Sure, sure,” she murmured. “But we both know some people who live lives much longer than that.”


“If I knew where it was,” he said, raising up his shoulders, “it’d be in my collection. And I wouldn’t be likely to share it with you.”

“But you must know people,” Zella urged. “Potential sellers who would’ve been able to get a copy of it. You don’t collect all this weird stuff without figuring out who can get their hands on it.”

“And you think I’d share that information with you?”


She sighed. Mortimer had been openly hostile to her before, but she needed this. More than anything she wanted to get her hands on the Compendium, and it wasn’t just to complete her collection. Ada had relied on her. Ada had come to her for help, assuming she knew about this kind of thing. Zella had assumed she knew about it too, before realizing how deep this rabbit hole went. How could she match knowledge with ancient vampires? How could she compete with Ada’s new club? When all of this was over–if any of this was ever over–Zella would still be in her lonely apartment with only her books for comfort. Her new vampire friend would phase out of her life, or, more likely, Zella would phase out of hers.

“Is there anything I can do?” she asked in a small voice, suddenly aware of the emptiness in her life Ada had been filling up.

Mortimer examined her with his bright red eyes. He was more gargoyle than man, almost a bad Halloween costume of some wraith. She clutched her arms to her sides.

“Be patient,” he said. “The answers we seek are not always so obvious.”


Zella trekked home, feeling worse for her visit. All she wanted to do was help her friend, and she’d failed at that. Curling her fingers, she headed home to tend to her plants. There wasn’t anything else she could do.