It was night time, the neighborhood silent as sims settled down for the night. Melanie was still at work with just under an hour left in her shift and Stelle was just settling down under the covers with the book she had been trying to finish for nearly a month now. Just as she opened to her bookmark, she heard a very subtle creak coming from the hallway. If her bedroom wasn’t right beside the front door, she may not have even heard it, but she most certainly did. Her eyes darted to the clock. It wasn’t yet time for her daughter to return home. Had something happened?
Book still in hand, she threw the covers off of her and rushed out into the hall only to gasp at the sight. It most definitely was NOT her daughter – it was a strange man she had never before seen! He was creeping into the house like a villain in some action movie and when he realized she was standing in the doorway, his eyes resembled saucers. Stelle’s surprise quickly turned to anger as she put her hand on her hip, waving her book angrily at the man.
“Who do you think you are, breaking into someone’s house like this? Have you no sense, boy?! Why I oughta -“
Vladislaus had lived through many different lifetimes and faced off against many terrifying creatures throughout his years but, in that moment, this sim elder was the most terrifying thing he had ever come face-to-face with. His lips parted, but no words formed, his mind scrambling to right itself. Why did he not just to feed on this old woman instead? He wanted to, just to shut up her yelling, but his body would not obey. It was as if he were under a spell. Was she a spellcaster? No, she smelled not of magic, but of normal flesh.
She stepped aside, pointing the book at the bedroom door. What she said left him shocked and confused.
“Get in this room right now!”
“You heard me, youngin! In! Scoot!”
She smacked him on the back with the book and his body moved of its own accord, stepping into the small bedroom. She followed him in, closing the door and ordering him to sit on the side of the bed since the room had no chairs. She settled down next to him and he eyed the book clutched in her hand, her knuckles turning white from the effort.
“Now you listen here and you listen closely: breaking into someone’s house is not only rude but it’s a quick way to land yourself into a world of crime.”
“I’m not finished! You have your whole life ahead of you, you know?”
“I don’t -“
“Shush, child. I don’t know what kind of situation you’re in to do such a foolish thing, but I can assure you, this is not the way to solve it.”
Stelle reached into her bedside table, finally setting the book down, much to Vlad’s relief. She pulled out her purse, rifling through it for a moment before pulling out twenty simoleons and holding it out to him with a smile, though her eyes were still swirling with annoyance.
“It’s not much, but it will help. Now you go home and think about what you did.”
“I… yes, ma’am.”
Vlad cautiously took the money from her hand before standing up, aware that she was following him as he exited the house. He gave her one last look, noticing her kind smile, before turning and leaving the Sears household.
Stelle frowned as she stared at the book in her hands. She had been stuck on the same page for nearly an hour now, reading and re-reading the page but not taking in any of the words. Where was Melanie? It was nearly sunrise and her daughter still hadn’t returned home. She had called her several times, but it just rang until it went to voicemail. She had a feeling that her daughter had picked up a second shift without telling her, but that worried her more. She was pregnant, after all, ready to pop at any moment and there she was, working two shifts in a row.
She shook her head, shutting the book with a sigh. There was no more sleep to be had for her, so she decided to start her day. The first thing on her agenda was to decorate the house for the upcoming Harvestfest.
An hour later, Stelle heard the sound of the carpool stopping in front of the house, a door opening and closing along with a couple muffled voices. She dropped the decorations she had been trying to decide on and rushed outside, hand on her hip. When Melanie turned around, her mood immediately plummeted.
“You worked a double shift. What is going through that head of yours, Melanie? You’re pregnant, for goodness sake!”
“Do we have to do this now, mom? I just got home and I’m exhausted.”
“If you hadn’t worked a double shift, you wouldn’t be so tired! You could have at least called to let me know!”
“I was busy, I didn’t have time to call.”
“Honestly, Melanie! What are you going to do when the baby comes? You can’t just -“
“God, mom, just get off my back!”
With a huff of anger, the woman stomped into the house, slamming the door behind her.