Author Note: This chapter contains adult content, including sexual scenarios and references to child abuse, child neglect, child sexual abuse, and violence. If these are triggers for you, please exercise discretion when reading.
One month earlier…
“This was your big emergency?”
Billy Caspian couldn’t help but stare at Glory Ann Northrop propped provocatively against the door frame of her small house in Lucky Palms. The black sheer fabric of her teddy traced a path from her upper abdomen to below her belly button to the edge of her black lacy underwear. The black lacy thigh highs accentuated her already long legs, and the big silver button in the center of her bra was almost teasing him with the way it dangled back and forth every time she moved. She gave him an oh-so-innocent look as she batted her eyelashes, and raised a hand delicately to her chest. Her bright red lips formed a pout.
“Really, Billy? I asked you over here for an emergency,” she said, her pitch a little too high to be genuine. “And I meant it.”
She narrowed her eyes before breaking into a teasing smile, and tugging at his collar, unbuttoning another button on his shirt, exposing his coarse chest hair. Billy reluctantly walked further into the house and waited as she bumped the door closed with her rear end for effect. He quickly took a few steps into her sparsely furnished living room, avoiding making eye contact. His girlfriend was home in an alcohol-induced sleep, and he was here… in his ex-girlfriend’s house… with one of them barely clothed.
“Oh, my! You have knots…” she began kneading his muscles.
Billy couldn’t deny the massage felt good, but that’s not why he came over to Glory Ann’s home at two-thirty in the morning.
“Seriously, Glory Ann,” he shrugged away. “I’m not sure we should be doing this.”
“But you’re tight and tense,” she replied. “I know… it’s the girl…she seems like trouble.”
You’re trouble, he inwardly smirked, but decided to keep this thought to himself.
“Let’s not talk about Kass,” he said.
“Yes, let’s not,” Glory Ann said dramatically. “She was so boring compared to your usual fare, you know.”
“There’s a lizard in here,” she squeaked.
“A lizard?” he said incredulously.
“Yes, and you know how I hate rodents.”
He turned, tossing her an annoyed glare. “You mean reptiles?”
“Yes, whatever,” she turned her back to him. “I hate them both.” She stuck her nose in the air.
“So a lizard is loose in here…” he said more to himself than her as he walked around her living room, wondering where the little thing was hiding.
“I think it’s in the bedroom,” she pointed toward the back room, acting nervous as she slid around behind him, and put her hands on his shoulder.
Billy grimaced as they walked toward the bedroom. Glory Ann slid next to him as he stopped inside the room, her chest pressing into his rib cage as she clung to his arm.
“I hope it’s not… poisonous,” she said quietly.
“Glory Ann, could you put on a robe or something?” he requested, pulling away from her side for the umpteenth time.
“Why?” she batted her eyelashes at him as she put her hands on her hips. “Am I making you nervous?”
“Just put some clothes on,” he grimaced.
“What? Billy Caspian is nervous? About this?” she traced a finger up and down her side in a slow, seductive manner.
“Is it the girlfriend?” Glory Ann leaned too close to his face for comfort. He could feel her breath on his cheek. “Doesn’t she dress like this for you?”
He grunted. “She dresses like she’s dresses.”
“Very vague,” Glory Ann pouted. “I bet not. I bet you’re not getting what you used to when you were with me.”
Billy whipped around and glared. “Is that what this is? A ruse, Glory Ann?”
“No, not at all,” she remarked. “I was getting ready for bed. I always dress like this.”
“Do you always dress like that…” he eyed her up and down. “…for company?” he asked, almost derisively. “Because I didn’t bring Simos.”
Glory Ann’s expression darkened. She knew full well his comment was a subtle jab at her profession. A small smile played at Billy’s lips as he looked behind the dresser. Good, I got to her a little.
“Alright,” she said coldly, retrieving a robe from her dresser. Once the tie was loosely wrapped around her waist, she added, “Do you honestly disapprove, Billy? You’ve utilized my services before.”
He growled, refusing to look in her direction.
“Midnight booty calls ring a bell?”
“Is that what this is?” he asked, sharply.
Glory Ann gave him a coy smile, putting her hands on her hips. “You tell me.”
Her gaze was daring. His body was reacting against his will. He knew this was the time when his hormones ran wild and free through his bloodstream. He ran a hand through his sloppy hair and tried to refrain from giving any sign that he was interested, but she was perceptive.
Smirking, she leaned against the wall, putting her hands on her hips, crossing her ankles. He narrowed his eyes wondering how she could do something rather subdued and slutty at the same time.
“Does she know?”
“Does she know what?” he grunted, looking under the bed.
Glory Ann was a beautiful woman. They were alone in her bedroom. He knew the kinds of things she could do in bed. He struggled to keep his lips from parting. He struggled to keep his mind clear. He struggled to keep his hormones in check. He could feel the beast inside, pawing and clawing at the dark walls of his innermost being, demanding to be released. He was fighting a losing battle, and he knew it. The effects of the patch must have been diminishing. Sweat beaded down his back, carpeting his hairs like the morning dew coats the lawn. Although it was not unusual for Billy to perspire in the Palms heat, he knew his internal temperature was rising.
Damn it! Right on time! Why did it have to be Glory Ann?
He grunted, this time louder than before. He ran his hand through his hair once more, a nervous habit. His hand returned to his side covered in sheen, all moisture from his head. Normally, he would avoid this situation altogether by replacing the patches at the appropriate time. Normally, he would be alone if this happened. Or normally, he would be with someone to ease the transition and provide for his uncontrollable desires.
His thoughts became clouded as he felt his senses heighten. All the colors of the room seemed to grow brighter, hurting his eyes. Red. Green. Yellow. Blue. He internally chanted, trying to recall the various naming exercises he used to avoid arousal. One-one-thousand. Two-one-thousand. Three-one-thousand…did I leave Kass a note? He frowned and nearly stumbled forward as he attempted to leave the room.
Glory Ann turned off the lights as if anticipating his needs. Her arm brushed his sweat-soaked side, and he shuddered in strange delight. He lifted his hand to his forehead, feeling dizzy. She laid her hand across his back.
“Billy?” she inquired. “Is it starting?”
He grumbled audibly, and pulled away, running his hands from forehead to chin in frustration. What if she…wakes… up and wonders where I am? Why did I… why did I…what brought me here? His mind grew less and less focused as he felt his body experiencing the strange sensations of withdrawals and stimulation. He turned to face the wall, placing his hand near the light switch as he tried to block out the sharp scent of sweet berries, drawing him back to his days with the Contessa…
…afternoons spent alone at first were filled with the wishes of the Contessa. His mother… Billy’s hand formed a fist, squeezing tightly around a fistful of nothing… yet in his mind, there were berries. Thousands of them. Hundreds of thousands. Wild black raspberries, plump and ready for plucking from their leafy green hideaways. Forced to all fours like a dog, Billy climbed through the thicket, through the vines, selecting the prettiest and juiciest of berries. Anything for the Contessa. He would stay all afternoon if he needed. If he tried to stand, he would be knocked down again with a skirt and a knee. The horrors of that skirt. It might as well have been a guillotine, hiding a tall, tanned, upright frame with all the weight a full-figured female could carry.
When he emerged, his palms were scraped, his knees were torn and bloody, stained by grass and dirt and leaves, and his clothes a mess. Billy whimpered. He could still feel the sting of the thorny vines whipping the backs of his calves, his hamstrings, his hindquarters. The Contessa would be pleased with the fruits of his labor until she realized just how dirty he was, how unpresentable he was. The Contessa wouldn’t tolerate dirt. Her demands would fluctuate, and her desires were contradictory. His filthy humiliation was the price to pay for berries, but his scrawny frame must be clean, pure, unspoiled for his Contessa. He could not enter her cave without wiping his feet.
Billy cried out. He hated the darkness. The Contessa liked the darkness. She never allowed him to see her face when they were together… alone… in the darkness.He smelled patchouli. He could almost see their nauseating pale pink flowers, their blossoms bouncing freely in the high winds of spring. Illinoisim was known for its winds. The blossoms danced tauntingly up and down, rubbing their intolerable aroma into his skin. The Contessa liked patchouli. She would rub the fragrance over his erect stem in the dark… alone… He would shudder, but never cry. Tears were only rewarded with pain.
He felt arms around him as Glory Ann helped him to the bed, and laid him on his side. Surprisingly, she curled into him in a comforting manner, rather than seductive, and looked up into his glassy eyes. He could feel the forces of nature overcoming him and he hated every moment. Her deep blue eyes beckoned him like a soothing ocean through a mile of fog, and he longed to reach the other side, safe on the shore. He felt his body quaking as he howled in discomfort. Glory Ann disappeared from his view. She reappeared at his back, speaking in soft tones to him to warn him of her presence. He flinched when she touched his back. He wished she would clean her horrid, horrid scent, just remove it from the room. He had no idea how badly he was shaking until her arms encompassed him, calming his convulsions.
Billy continued his keening, rocking back and forth, dragging her arms along with him. Every scent was a sharp edged precipice, threatening to yank him from sanity into senselessness. Lemons. The Contessa took three in her tea. He was forced to hand squeeze them. Billy flailed, and Glory Ann prevented his fall from the bed. I forced Kass to drink vodka lemonade slushies, Billy recalled miserably. What’s wrong with me?
“Kass,” he whimpered her name.
She was a mess of glorious red hair and smatterings of freckles. Beautiful. Young. Naive. Everything the Contessa was not.
Glory Ann had lemons. She had sliced lemons. He could smell it. On a maple cutting board earlier in the day. In her kitchen. Plunked casually… carelessly in a glass of water. Billy propped himself up on the bed, sniffing the air frantically. He located the glass, empty, on the nightstand. Lemon essence remained.
He smelled something metallic… green…sweet…and yet spicy. Neroli oil. Billy turned and gripped Glory Ann’s hair with a tight fist. She cried out, startled by the sudden reaction, and then softened to a enticing smile. She leaned forward, her breath tickling his ear as she whispered.
“I remember you liked it rough sometimes.”
He released another growl, each guttural sound escaping his belly, deeper than the last, as he wrenched Glory Ann’s body toward his own. He felt his heart pounding against his will, threatening to fly right out of his chest. He brushed his nose along her cheeks, her neck, her collar bone, inhaling her perfume. She gasped in delight, reaching her arms above her head as if inviting him, daring him to explore further… lower… with his nose… or otherwise.
He jerked, nearly hitting his skull against the headboard. His eyes squeezed shut as he remembered the darkness. In the darkness he tipped a bottle… an expensive bottle… the glass fell from its place and shattered into a million pieces and he felt pain, as if every piece pierced his soul. The Contessa was furious. The headboard, the frame, the floorboards all smelled of neroli oil for a month. Perhaps longer. Bitter orange. She punished him. She purchased what seemed as though every one on the planet. Marinade. Bitter orange marinade used for chicken or fish splashed across his skin like the piece of meat he was. He smelled like the glass he broke. His mother wondered why. He told her he was experimenting in the kitchen and spilled. She believed him.
Billy balled his fist and howled, slamming his hand into the bed over and over and over again. Meat marinade and manhood. He was too humiliated to tell her otherwise. Why didn’t she question him? Why didn’t she want to know? He figured maybe she did know and she didn’t care. She never wore a patch. Her symptoms were far less intense than his. She always indulged her every impulse, and stomached the consequences with crystals. Thank the Maker he never touched the stuff or he probably would’ve been dead.
Some days he wished he was dead. The memories didn’t merely flood back; they engulfed everything. He could almost taste the Contessa. She tasted like sea salt and corroding iron and rotting fruit, pounds and pounds of rotting fruit. To this day, he masked everything with heavy spices. He could feel her hands, like an unwanted hostile conqueror coming to plunder the lands. Her teeth stained with his blood after a feeding. He always felt dizzy. A few times, she forced him to bite her flesh, to taste her own metallic dark red fluid pumping through her veins. She claimed it was the best high. He hated what she made him. He hated what her blood made him. He hated how he had been changed, turned against his will in the darkness… alone…
Inheriting his father’s nature was enough. He had only been half before the Contessa, despite his mother’s heritage. The coming of a full moon always terrified him. The Contessa would hold him to her bosom and comfort him as his hair grew, his sweat poured, and his heart pounded. His father was never there to help him through the turning. His father’s father had not been there for his turning. He was alone with two crones who traded their souls to be beautiful again. Two women who did not share his father’s nature nor his own. Maybe that’s why she turned him. So he wouldn’t be alone. She almost said as much. Seven years of darkness so he wouldn’t be alone, but he was always… always… alone.
Billy awoke to a dimly lit room. Glory Ann had left a small nightlight plugged into a wall outlet for his comfort, and quite possibly his safety. He was appreciative. Swinging his legs off the bed, he groggily rubbed his face, wondering all that transpired. At least he was still fully clothed this time. That means nothing too crazy happened… I hope…
Billy took a hesitant step or two before gaining his balance. His body felt sticky, his clothes stained with dried perspiration. He grimaced, realizing he would probably need to shower before returning home.
Kass! Billy’s mind began racing. How would he explain his absence? He hoped she had remained asleep. The alcohol probably helped. He grunted, realizing she would probably be angry with him. Earlier in the night, he had been in fine manipulative fashion, enough to make the Contessa proud. He shivered at the thought of the fiery figment still burned into his brain. He could never escape.
He hoped she wouldn’t be too angry. He had rather enjoyed painting her voluptuous curves, her hourglass figure was quite stunning in the starlight. Still, he could’ve been kinder, gentler, sweeter. He balled his fists. I don’t know how, he internally wailed. Did he regret tonight’s events? No. But he could have prepared her more for them. If I had told her about my nature… his expression darkened. No, no one could know about his nature.
Glory Ann had merely discovered because of his on-again, off-again carnal relationship with her, the nights when he shook the bed like the height of an orchestral crescendo, the nights when the nightmares came, ebbing and flowing over the hours as normally as the tides came to and from the shore. She had only asked once, and filled in many of the blanks because she had been subjected to a Contessa of her own when she was a young teen. He was unwillingly bound to her because she knew his secret, a secret he didn’t dare share with Kassiopeia. Yet he knew hers also, and that made Glory Ann bound to him also. He hated how tender and passionate her touch had felt earlier, how she could manipulate him into arriving, and then “rescue” him when the episodes came.
Billy wandered down the dim hallway to the living room. Glory Ann sat on the couch, reading a trashy magazine. He leaned against the wall, feeling nauseous.
“There’s fresh towels in the bathroom if you so desire,” she said, without looking up.
He nodded, even though she couldn’t see, and adjusted his position in his seat.
She made eye contact, a coy smile playing at her lips. “I could join you… if you like.”
“Not tonight,” he sighed.
She didn’t ask how he was. She didn’t have to. She probably knew. He grimaced thinking about how much she knew and how much he hated how she knew.
“Do you have to get back to… the girlfriend?” she asked, sarcastically.
“I don’t know,” he dropped his head in his hands, heaving a sigh.
“Oh? Are you two breaking up? You seemed so perfect for each other.”
“Stop it, Glory Ann, I know what you’re doing,” he snapped upright.
“What?” she asked, jumping up to face him.
“You’re trying to compare Kass to you and Kass is nothing like you,” he said.
“Right, she’s a saint, I’m sure. That outfit she was wearing tonight… I bet she’s a real firecracker underneath all those layers of modest material,” Glory Ann rolled her eyes.
“Shut it, Glory Ann…” he growled, and then his tone softened. “She’s better than us.”
“I’m sure,” Glory Ann said flippantly. “Does she know? About the dual nature? About the other stuff?”
“No,” he shook his head. “And it’ll stay that way. Or I swear, you’ll be buried in a shallow grave off the I-two-one-five and when they find you, they’ll think you were torn apart by a wild dog,” he threatened.
Her eyes widened, but she didn’t react otherwise. He figured in her profession she was accustomed to similar threats.
“Well, I probably was,” she snipped.
Billy walked over to the window, awkward silence following his footsteps. He could sense the looming darkness on the other side of the wall, and the ache filled his heart and lungs once more. He hated feeling alone… even if Glory Ann was in the room… even if Kass was in his life… for now…
“You should tell her.”
He jumped, startled by the sound of Glory Ann’s voice behind him. He turned to face her.
“But if you’re serious about her, you should, at least about your nature.”
“Have you tried to bite her yet?”
“Why do you care?”
He wanted to smack her inane smile from her face.
“Because,” she shrugged. “The biting part is good.”
He growled, balling his fists.
“Okay, okay,” she laughed, putting up her hands. “You don’t bite. The patch must be working.”
“It does the job.”
“But isn’t sex better than the suppressants?”
Billy wished he could let himself flirt back. He wished he could grab Glory Ann kiss every bit of exposed skin and then some. He wished he could cave and give into his carnal desires, his canine instinct, and his hypnotic powers. But he couldn’t. He wouldn’t. This full moon would pass.
He stood and walked to the door, intent on leaving. Glory Ann followed, her scent stronger now, as if she had reapplied her fragrance. Before he could stop himself, Billy yanked her into his arms, his fingers gripping her derriere and his thumb stroking, and he lowered himself to within a half inch of her lips, exhaling. She closed her eyes, fully expecting a kiss, he was certain, but he waited, his other hand tearing down her soft flesh, drawing beads of blood, popping up across her skin like goosepimples. His senses whirled as he thought about the taste, but he ignored the calling of his cravings. He inhaled and then spoke in a tone barely above a whisper.
Her eyes fluttered open, and she groaned in anticipation.
“But not with you,” he pecked her nose with a kiss and let the woman drop to the floor.
She cried out in anger, waving her arms wildly. He turned to leave.
“Billy Caspian, I had hoped you would choose me over her, but I guess I’m nothing more than a tramp to you!” she snapped, the hurt laced in her tone, though she tried her best to mask her true emotions. Through gritted teeth, she continued, “I want my stuff back.”
“No problem, dear,” he replied teasingly as he sauntered through the door. “Come by around two.”
“I will,” she stomped her foot and screeched after him, “Bastard!”
Billy smiled to himself, amused by her reaction as he walked to his car. Sliding behind the wheel, he adjusted the mirror before turning over the vehicle and driving away. The sky was beginning to lighten, a twinge of reddish-pink glow appearing over the hillsides above the Palms valley. He grabbed a pair of sunglasses clipped to his sunshade. He could tolerate the daylight thanks to his duality, but still, the light irritated his eyes. Stuck between hating the darkness and withering in the light, eh?
Deciding he needed to pick up more “patches” for his condition, Billy turned into the Sun Health Hospital parking lot. He was through the worst of it, but purchasing more would help him avoid another episode like last night. Perhaps he could even double up next time, he surmised. After failing to find a parking spot, Billy double parked, figuring he would only need to be in the pharmacy for a few minutes.
As soon as he stepped up to the entrance of the hospital, Billy saw stars, blinking rapidly as if falling from the night sky inside his eyelids. He wobbled and gasped, bending to grab his knees. Once he regained his balance, he opened his eyes again. He grimaced when he saw the familiar fuming face.
“Say aren’t you that kid?” he wiped his brow. “Ethan?”
“Ethan Tanner,” the teenager said hotly. “And don’t you forget it!”
“What was that for?”
“You are a jerk! A terrible jerk! A horrible jerk! A bastard. A horrible bastard. A jerk!” Ethan sputtered. “And I hate you. You’re despicable. You make me sick.” He spit in Billy’s face.
If he wasn’t hurting from the punch to the face, Billy would find the boy’s tirade amusing. He wiped his eyes.
“You’ve treated Kass so badly. She’s a beautiful, decent, wonderful woman and she doesn’t deserve a jackass like you jerking her chain and messing around with other women,” he sneered.
Billy arched a brow, and immediately regretted the action, wincing from the pain of a freshly forming black eye.
“Whaddya know kid?”
“I’m not a kid!”
“Yes you are. You’re what? Fourteen.”
“Sixteen, and more of a man than you,” Ethan stretched to his full height.
“Sure,” Billy laughed.
“Stop it! You are a jackass!” Ethan exclaimed hotly, his face turning bright red.
Something told Billy he should stop. “Look kid, you should just leave me and Kass alone.”
“No, not until you break up with her,” Ethan snapped, digging his nails in Billy’s flesh. “Or I’ll break everything in you.”
“Sure,” Billy repeated, sarcastically.
This was met with a punch to the gut. He tried to avoid doubling over and giving Ethan the satisfaction.
“I saw you.”
“Saw… me… what?” Billy wheezed.
“At that hooker’s home last night.”
“You followed me?”
“You bet your ass I did.”
Billy’s mouth twitched, suppressing another laugh. Why would someone bet their ass? he wondered bemused.
“So what of it?” Billy said.
Ethan looked about ready to sucker-punch him again. “I can guess what you two were doing all night. And Kass is sleeping away all unawares in your houseboat.”
Billy frowned. Ethan knew where he had been, and he knew where Kass was. Something about that made him feel incredibly uncomfortable.
“You’ve been stalking us?” he narrowed his eyes.
“No,” Ethan hiked his chin. “I’ve been protecting Kass.”
“That’s called stalking,” Billy replied.
“Call it what you want. She needs protection from the likes of you,” Ethan reached for Billy’s wrist and dug his fingers into his arm. “And last night… she was outside… exposed to the elements… and you just let her… you pig!”
Billy frowned again. This teenager had seen him outside with Kass? He wondered just how much Ethan had seen, and hoped for Kass’ sake, he didn’t see much. She had been the one though to insist he “paint” her outside.
“Look, Ethan is it? I’m going to go inside and I suggest you walk away before you hurt yourself.”
“I hurt myself?” Ethan exclaimed. “You go inside before I hurt you more.”
“Or I call the five-oh and they haul your ass off to jail,” Billy threatened.
“What for aggravated assault?” Ethan bit back. “I could get you for indecent exposure and sleeping with a prostitute.”
“No, you wouldn’t,” Billy towered over the teen. “Because then you’d be hurting Kass.”
“Don’t you dare say her name, you jackass! You don’t deserve her!” Ethan thundered.
“Oh and you do?” Billy laughed.
“Did I say you could laugh? Did I say you could laugh?” Ethan lunged at him. “Of course, I deserve her. More than you. I’m way better than you… and I wouldn’t bare her for the world to see. I’d keep her all for myself.”
So that settles it. He did see us. Billy sighed internally.
“Riiight… okay, little man… grow up a bit first and then maybe you’d stand a chance,” he replied, ruffling Ethan’s hair as he walked past.
“You’ll pay for this,” Ethan yelled after him. “And you’ll see. Kass will choose me!”
Billy shook his head as he disappeared through the double glass doors.
Something about his conversation with Ethan made Billy hesitant to return to his houseboat. After the night he had, he wasn’t sure he was ready for a confrontation with Kass that included somehow explaining how they drunkenly stumbled through the park last night, and how she became a half-nude model for his painting, and how a teenage boy happened to catch them. Billy stashed the canvas in his trunk on drop cloths, allowing the painting to dry before pulling the picture out. Perhaps if Kass saw the finished product, she would be pleased as he thought he did a half-decent job despite the alcohol buzz and the bubbling hormones of his impending breakdown. He already stashed the twelve hundred Simoleons in her purse even though she didn’t actually do the original job, mostly because he felt guilty.
Billy spent the morning driving around Lucky Palms, stopping briefly for a doughnut and coffee from the concessions at the park to replenish his energy. He went by the laundromat to wash his sweat-stained shirt. He didn’t really care about the “must go” destinations in the winter, though the supposedly mysterious supernatural healing powers of the waters in Hidden Springs intrigued him as he flipped through numerous travel magazines, waiting for his shirt to dry. The breaking news story on the television caught his eye about missing celebrity, Bella Goth, suddenly resurfacing in Strangetown, New Mexsimco after a ten year absence.
The little tart was probably unfaithful, Billy grimaced seeing the picture of the family flash on the screen, and the age of Mortimer Goth, the ‘husband.’ And now she’s claiming amnesia and alien abduction as a poor cover story. The news station went onto report the family had been reunited and would be spending the holidays south of the border. Retrieving his shirt from the washer, he left the laundromat and continued to drive around, formulating how he would explain what happened to Kass.
When he finally did arrive at the docks, he noticed Glory Ann had already arrived, dressed in royal purple from head to toe… well, pieces of her body were covered – low plunging top, mini skirt, heels. She was talking with Kass, who wasn’t much more covered in her high-waisted shorts, bikini top, and half-buttoned white blouse.
As Billy drew close, he heard Glory Ann tell his girlfriend where he had been the night before. A flash of anger surged through his veins momentarily, and then he calmed himself. Maybe this is for the best. He could break things off with Kass easily now if she thought he cheated on her. She was too good for him, and she probably did deserve better.
Billy reached for his phone and sighed. The inevitable was coming. Kass would break up with him after hearing from Glory Ann. He would beat her to the punch. He would fix things before they went south. He would head out of town, back to Riverview or maybe even to Hidden Springs, like the magazine suggested. Maybe the magical “healing” waters would help cleanse his body from the side effects of the hematopagousemia*. A smile played at his lips. Yeah, Hidden Springs. He had never been to Simnadia. It would be good to get out of the country and away for awhile. Kass would understand. Or she wouldn’t care. He frowned again. After last night, she probably wouldn’t care if I rotted on Tartarus.
He typed in Kass’ number.
Hey Red, I got a commission that pays a year’s salary in Simnadia. Just found out this morning and the client wants me right away. I booked a flight. I left twelve hundred Simos in your purse for last night. I’ll call you.
It was a lie. It was all a lie. Well, the money for her gig last night wasn’t, but everything else was. It was better than the truth that he was ditching her, hightailing it, like he always did when thigns got complicated.
He signed it “Love Billy” but quickly erased it. I don’t love her, do I? He ran a hand through his sweaty hair. Love. It complicated things. Sure, he cared about her. He liked her. She was beautiful and sexy, and oh how he would’ve loved to have been with her last night, but he couldn’t scare her. He couldn’t do that to her. She would’ve been turned off and run like hell if she knew the things he struggled with – the past that he kept locked in the basement of his heart and soul. Just Billy. That’s better.
He pushed send.
Author Note: Hey readers, I’ve been wanting to do a Billy chapter for a long while. This has been sitting in my queue but I wanted to get the right screenshots and tweak some of the wording first. This chapter takes place before and during Lucky Palms, Episode 20, Betrayal.
Yes, Billy and his tragic past. I always knew he had been abused sexually, and I knew exactly who did it too. I planned that from the beginning. Billy has borderline personality disorder as a result. Perhaps that explains a lot about his character. It doesn’t excuse his behavior, but he makes more sense in that light.
I’m a firm believer in everyone’s story needs to be heard and told in my Simworld and I’m trying my hardest, when I can, to give perspective to some of my less likable characters. If you didn’t know before, you know now, Billy has latent vampire genes, but that’s not all… more coming on that in the future. This isn’t the last of Billy. I actually sent his Sim to Hidden Springs and he started working for the Winterley family. I might write another chapter with him later. We’ll see.
If you wanted to know about hematophagousemia, or Hema-F, its treatment, and patches, you can read about it here on my other blog. *Thanks to a reader pointing it out, hematosis is not the correct term for what I was trying to describe and so the name was changed.
Oh and I wanted another confrontation between Billy and Ethan and this chapter, though already really long, was the perfect place to drop said interaction. That’s all I’m going to say on the matter.
Okay, so another really long explanatory chapter for your reading pleasure.