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Blood & Bourbon

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Celia VI, Chapter VIII

Broken Homes

“She needs to die.”
Diana Flores

Saturday night, 19 March 2016, PM

GM: Time doesn’t wait for the lovers. They check the clock to find they’ve spent over an hour in bed together. Roderick says they need to get going. Celia takes a quick shower (by herself). Roderick helps dress her when she’s out, tells her to become a cat again, and tells her to fit inside his briefcase this time. “I shouldn’t be seen carrying my cat everywhere.” He hails a Ryde from her phone and drops her off outside of Mid-City in cat form.

“The driver will take you where you need to go. You have several texts and voicemails. I love you. Good luck with tonight.”

Celia: Celia tells him that she loves him as well and waits until he’s out of sight to check her phone.

GM: There’s a text from Dani, asking how she is and when they can hang out again.

There’s another text from her mom, asking if she wants to stop by for dessert.

There’s a voicemail from Ron, asking her to swing by sometime to talk about her audition.

There’s a voicemail from a professional-sounding woman who says she works for a company called Delta Medical Systems and that Celia Flores has been listed as a job reference for a one Emily Rosure. Celia can give Delta a ring back anytime at her convenience.

Apparently, Delta actually follows up on its references.

Celia: Weird.

Celia handles the texts while she’s in the back of the Ryde.

Dani gets a quick response and an invitation for a sleepover this evening, if she’s free.

Her mother gets an approximate time Celia can stop by.

She sends a text to Emily about the Delta place to make sure she actually applied and that this isn’t some weird “fishing for information” sort of thing. Or a stalker.

She checks the time to see how long she has before she’s expected at the Evergreen.

GM: Dani responds back equally quickly that she’d be thrilled to.

Her mom’s answering text sounds just as happy to see her.

Emily does not immediately respond.

Celia: She’s probably busy having sex with her boyfriend.

GM: She has a moderate window of time.

Celia: Moderate enough to meet with her real dad and the Baron’s girl? She does the math on the expected conversations.

GM: If she’s quick about both.

Celia: She still doesn’t know what she’s going to do about Deja’s contact this evening. And she needs to finish setting up things for Randy’s death.

Savoy won’t care if she’s late. But she’d missed last week. And she told Pete she’d see him before the party.

She has too many friends, she decides. Way too many friends.

Celia waits until the car drops her off to call Ron and find out if she can swing by Monday or Tuesday, or if it’s more pressing than that.

She leaves a voicemail if she can’t get ahold of him directly.

GM: Ron doesn’t immediately respond either.

Maybe he’s having sex too.

Celia: Probably.

She would be, if she were him.

All those ladies all over his dick.

She leaves a voicemail, anyway, asking about Monday or Tuesday, and mentions maybe tomorrow if it’s pressing, and he can call or text to let her know but she might not be available the rest of the evening.

She’s not quite sure what to do about Randy. She doesn’t necessarily need an excuse to go after Edith; she can just tell Reggie to pick her up and he probably will. The girls will make good experiments for her to try the reverse aging process, and Reggie will have fun with Cinderella until she cuts her throat to slake her thirst. Roderick will understand why she is going to take out Edith, won’t he? What she’s done to those girls is monstrous. Who ghouls a child? And to keep the thin-blood there, letting her savage the ghouls, kill all those innocents…

She could let him help her. Grab Edith together. But who knows what he’d think of her if she told him the real reason. Say she’s giving Edith to the hunters, maybe. There’s an idea. It worked with his brother, hadn’t it?

What about Randy, though. What is she going to tell his brothers? “The sheriff killed him” is true, but it puts the blame at Jade’s feet for not preventing it. For not retaliating. For pissing him off in the first place.

They’ll want her to do something. They’ll want someone to blame. They’ll want a body.

Celia huffs a sigh. It’s a problem for another night, isn’t it. No one even knows he’s missing yet.

She can stop by her mom’s, at least. For dessert. Then go meet the Baron’s girl. Then the party.

GM: For all the dilemmas and moral (or at least practical) quandaries surrounding so many other people Celia is close to, her mother’s house is always welcoming. The cats, Lucy, and Emily are all gone. Diana greets her at the door with a tight hug. She looks genuinely happy to see Celia. The Toreador may wonder if her mother now has another reason to be thankful that Celia feeds off her: it lets the woman see her daughter every night.

“How are you tonight, sweetie?” she smiles.

Celia: It’s not like Celia was ignoring her mother prior to this arrangement. She just… didn’t make her a priority. But she returns the hug, holding her close to feel the beat of her heart against her chest, to absorb some of the warmth that Roderick no longer has.

How is she? Awful. Truly, truly awful.

“I’m okay,” she says instead. “How are you, though?”

GM: “I’m okay, too,” her mom answers with another smile as she leads Celia inside. “I didn’t feel very good after last night. So I slept in and ordered room service with Lucy and Emily. We snuggled in bed together and let someone else do the cookin’. It was a very nice morning!”

“I guess Friday night was the best night for us to do that, no work or church to be up for on a Saturday.”

Celia: She can’t help but wonder if her mother is lying, too. If she’s hiding the truth about what Lucy did to her.

“That does sound nice,” Celia says with a smile. It dims after a moment. “I got into a fight with Stephen.”

GM: That would make two Flores masking their hurts.

“Oh, no,” her mother exclaims as she sits down on the living room couch. She pulls up her feet onto the cushion and wraps an arm around Celia’s shoulder. “What happened, sweetie?”

Celia: He told me I’m stupid and put me into a microwave and turned into Daddy and now wants to control every aspect of my life.

“We had a disagreement about some of my friends. We said some harsh things.” He said some harsh things, anyway. “He’s being kind of controlling.” Kind of. Yeah. That’s the word.

GM: Her mom nods.

She knows all about controlling men, at least.

“You think you could reach a compromise, now that you’ve both had some time to cool off?”

Celia: No. He’s made it very clear he wants to control her forever.

“Maybe,” Celia says. “We’re going to spend the next few nights apart. But he wants to come to dinner tomorrow. But we’re still working on his identity and… actually I don’t know if I’m supposed to tell you that.”

Whatever, he’ll correct her for it later.

GM: “Oh, I’d be thrilled to have him over, sweetie!” her mom beams. “Maybe that’s what the two of you need. I’m just sorry he won’t be able to enjoy dinner, so…” She trails off. “Would he appreciate it if I let him, ah, drink from me, you think? And would you be okay with that?”

Celia: “We always appreciate blood,” Celia says with a smile. “I… I guess I don’t mind sharing… I’ll have a hit before I come over…”

Sharing her mother. Letting Roderick drink from her. She wouldn’t have minded once, but this new Roderick… she’s not sure if she loves that idea.

Maybe it’ll put him in a better mood. Maybe it’ll count as one of those five hits he wants. Maybe she can get a different reward, like him not being mad if she does end up on Savoy’s lap with his lips at her throat.

“You have school the next day, don’t you? I don’t know that we could both have you, but I’ll ask. He’d probably appreciate it.”

GM: “I do,” her mom nods. “But, I bounce back pretty fast, like we’ve found. I might be a little slower at work, but nothin’ I can’t handle. It’s worth it to me if I can make your beau feel welcome. Especially if he can’t enjoy dinner!”

Celia: “I’ll talk to him. Thanks, Mom.”

GM: Her mom smiles and nods. “Is it okay with you if we do that after dinner, too? My feeding you, that is. And Stephen. I just… want to be at 100%, for when your father is over.”

Celia: “Of course, Mom.”

“Do you remember what happened last night? Are you okay?”

GM: “Ah… I do, sweetie. I didn’t feel too good, after you dropped me off, but snuggles and breakfast in bed was a good cure for that.”

Her mom lets her arm fall away and looks down at her knees.

“I’m sorry I was such a… scaredy cat. I know you don’t like it when I’m cryin’. And scared.”

Celia: “Mom, stop. Feel your feelings. It’s okay. I don’t expect you to face everything head on like some sort of gladiator. That’s not who you are. I love who you are. I love you like this. I don’t need you to change for me.”

“I’m not going to… to demand you suddenly act like someone else or tell you that you aren’t good enough the way you are.”

GM: “I just… I just wish I was stronger, for you. That I’d been stronger for you. When you were growin’ up. Emily’s called me a doormat a few times, and she’s… she’s right.”

Celia: “I’m happy with how things turned out. I love who I am now. I love what I am. You’re more than strong enough. You don’t have to beat your fists on your chest and wear war paint to be strong. Loving me the way I am, accepting who you are, being there for our family now… that’s what matters, Mom. You can’t change the past. You have to stop beating yourself up about what already happened and move forward instead of backwards.”

“You’re not weak. Anyone who says so is a jackass and I’ll rip their throat out.”

GM: Her mom looks up and offers a wan smile. “I am weak, sweetie. I think we both know that. That’s what… she made me to be.”

She hugs Celia. “But it means so much, that you’re happy, that you’re okay with who I am. And you’re right, we can’t change the past. All I can do now is be the best mom I can to you and your brothers and sisters.”

She winks. “Lucy’s been hintin’ she’s going to make me another ‘mom of the year’ award, so I’ll take that as a good sign.”

Celia: Celia laughs.

“She’s got good taste, that kid. Do you want to… talk about the other one?”

GM: The mirth on her mom’s face dims somewhat. “Ah… okay, sweetie, what about?”

Celia: “You were tipsy last night. It looked like she was hurting you. I didn’t want to push her on you, and I wanted to be sure that’s what you want.”

GM: “Oh. Yes. I was tipsy. I felt… my lord, Celia, that was the strangest feeling. I’ll be happy not to do that again.”

Celia: “So you don’t want to rejoin her.”

GM: “Oh. N… no. I just don’t want to get tipsy again.”

“I don’t think it sets a good example, for Lucy or Emily.”

“Emily especially.”

Celia: “Oh.”

GM: “She’s been drinking a lot less since we adopted her, I know we’ve discussed. I don’t think she enjoys being the only person in the house who drinks, so she just doesn’t, as much. Only really does it with Robby now.”

Celia: “Mm. Yeah. You’re right. You don’t need to do it again if you don’t want to.”

GM: “Sorry, sweetie? Drink again?”

“I’m definitely not drinking again. I really didn’t like how it made me feel.”

Celia: “Right. That’s what I mean.”

GM: “I’m just not a drinker, but you know that.”

Celia: “Guess it’s a good thing I didn’t drink from you, since it would have transferred to me. That’s the only way we can get high or drunk anymore.”

GM: “Oh. All the more reason, then!” her mom exclaims with an alarmed look.

“And you don’t need to worry about getting high, sweetie, ever. You know I don’t do drugs.”

Celia: “Of course, Momma. I’m not worried about it with you. Just the club scene. That one, uh, dinner with Randy…”

GM: “Ah, yes. Emily said you were high.”

Celia: “We didn’t realize the girl was, uh, on ecstasy.”

GM: “Oh.”

“Well, that explains a good deal.”

“You’ll be careful, won’t you?” she asks, holding Celia’s hands. “You lived, thank goodness, but… just be careful, okay?”

Celia: “Of course. I will be.”

GM: “Good,” her mom smiles. She lets go of Celia’s hands but gives them a pat. “And while we’re on the subject, is there anything I could do more of, or maybe less of, so that drinking from me is… ah, what’s the word… better for you?”

Celia: Celia shakes her head.

“You taste wonderful, Mom. Like love. Like a warm hug.”

GM: “Oh, that’s just so sweet of you, Celia,” her mom says with a heartfelt look. “Good, wonderful, that’s just how I’d… this feels funny to say… I’d, ah, like to taste?”

Celia: “Dani told me I taste like makeup,” Celia says with a wry smile.

GM: Her mom laughs.

“Well! That would be appropriate, I suppose. I guess, in fact, now that you mention…”

Her eye wanders towards Celia’s wrist.

Then back up.

But she doesn’t say anything.

“Say, sweetie, you brought up… Lucy,” she remarks instead.

Celia: She doesn’t need to. Celia watches the movement of her eyes. She almost opens her mouth, but her mother beats her to it.

“Yes. Now that you’re sober I wanted to ask what you’d like to do.”

GM: Her mom looks unsure for a moment.

“Yes, ah… I want to do it, sweetie,” she finally nods.

“It felt… it felt hard, but… right.”

Celia: “Then we’ll do it.” Celia reaches for her mother’s hand. “You’ll… still love me, right? She won’t change you that much that you won’t?”

GM: “Always!” her mom exclaims immediately, throwing her arms around Celia instead.

“You are the brightest joy in my life, sweetie. You are the most important person in my life. You are my baby. Nothing is ever going to change how much I love you.”

Celia: Celia clings to the woman like the child she once was, seeking and finding comfort in her embrace. After everything that’s happened… she’s glad for this ray of brightness in her Requiem.

“I love you, Mom.”

GM: Sensing her child’s need for comfort, Celia’s mother holds her tight against her breast and slowly rocks her back and forth, stroking her hair.

“I love you too, Celia. I will always love you. I know your life is hard. I want to help you, and make you happy, and keep you safe, however I can. Anything you need, anything you want to tell me, I will be there for you.”

Celia: Celia blinks back the blood that threatens to seep from her eyes. But only for a moment. Only for a moment before someone other than Celia, someone who doesn’t mind giving up control, clambers onto her mother’s lap and lets them fall.

“He wants to get rid of us.” The voice isn’t quite Celia’s. It’s younger. Softer.

GM: “Who?” her mom asks, still hugging Celia close. “Who wants to get rid of us, sweetie?”

Celia: “Roderick,” she sniffs. “He said we’re crazy. He said insane. He said he’s going to find a doctor and that we’re not real and he got mad when she said I love him. I don’t love him anymore. He’s mean. He put Luna in a cage.”

GM: “Oh, we’re not crazy, Celia!” her mom exclaims, giving her a tighter squeeze. “We have our issues, yes, but guess what, so does everybody else. Him too. And what does he mean, we’re not…”

She pauses for a moment, then pulls away. She’s still hugging Celia, and gives a reassuring squeeze as if to say she’s not letting go, but meets her daughter’s gaze.

“Am I talking to Celia, still?”

Celia: “No,” the girl says, “I’m Leilani. Leila. Joshy calls me Lani but that’s too close to Lana and she’s not me and I only met him once besides so he doesn’t get to give me nicknames.”

“Luna is the kitty,” she adds helpfully.

GM: “Oh,” says Diana.

She’s quiet for a moment. Leilani can see the fear in her eyes before she asks, her voice small,

“Am I… still your mom?”

She remembers Jade.

Celia: “You’re my mommy.”

GM: Diana gives a sniff and throws her arms back around Leilani, hugging her extremely tight.

“Okay. Okay. Thank god. Okay.”

Celia: “You’re warm,” Leila says, snuggling closer.

GM: Her mom gives a relieved, half-sniffed laugh.

“Yes, sweetie, I am warm. Would you like me to get a blankie, so we can be warmer?”

Celia: Leila shakes her head.

“No. I hafta meet someone later and Celia’s gonna be mad if we’re late. But she won’t talk about Roderick being a meanie but you said we could tell you anything and I don’t wanna go away. And he said I can’t see the masked man anymore but I like the masked man, he sees us. All of us. And he said we could dance at the party tonight. And Roderick isn’t gonna be there anyway so how will he know?”

“And the cop said he’s a… a bad word.”

GM: “That’s a lot to think about, Leila,” says her mommy, rubbing her back.

“Well, as far as dancing, is that all it’s gonna be, just dancing? No… kissing, no more? If so, I’d say it’s okay for you to dance! That’s what people do at parties. Dancing and parties go together like PB&J.”

Her mommy pulls back enough so that Leila can see her smile.

“Dancing is a wonderful thing, sweetie. I dance with lord knows how many people every day at work. Dance is happiness. Dance is joy. Dance is how you smile with your whole body. Now your beau should get your first dance, if he were there, and your last one too, if you really want to remind him that he’s your #1. But he’s not! It’s okay to dance with other people, it’s beyond silly only to dance with your beau. It’s not kissing, it’s smiling! Smiling with your whole body, like I said. Smiling to lots of people makes them happy. Dancing with lots of people makes y’all happy.”

“So go dance at that party. I’m a dance expert, remember, and I’m sayin’ you’re officially cleared to go dance,” her mom declares with a wink.

Celia: Leila nods along while her mother talks.

“He can’t go because he doesn’t have the right face. An’ Celia didn’t offer to give him the right face,” Leila confides in a whisper, “because she doesn’t want him there tonight. An’ she’s gonna spend the night with Dani instead of him because he’s a meanie and he said it’s punishment but she was relieved but _you can’t tell him.”_

She wipes at her eyes.

“He said the masked man is gonna make me crazier and their whole clan is crazy and we’re crazy but I talked to masked man about it and he said that people just don’t understand but that their clan will be my family but I have a family and how come he doesn’t love all of us?” Leila looks at Diana with wide eyes. “Why doesn’t he get it? He keeps saying he’s smart but he’s a dummy about this.”

GM: “I won’t tell him, sweetie. I won’t tell him a thing,” Diana nods.

“Ah, who is the masked man? What makes their family… crazy?”

Celia: “They’re fishies.” Leila puckers her lips like a fish. “It’s their clan curse. They’re crazy. Except the one lady with the bun but I think her crazy is she’s mean. But then grandpa said something about being a stiff so maybe she’s not really crazy but I dunno I didn’t ask, she thinks we’re dumb and spoiled.”

“The masked man is in charge of the Masquerade. They see everything. And clean up messes. He says he knows masks. One of his librarians gave us some books, but Celia hasn’t read them to me yet. I think she was gonna ask Rod but he’s a jerkface.”

“But he said we should tell you about us but then also said he’s gonna get rid of us so I dunno it didn’t make sense. I think he doesn’t know what he’s talking about and just likes the sound of his own voice.”

“Don’t tell him I said that, though. It’s secret.”

GM: “I see,” Leila’s mommy says thoughtfully. “Well, Leila, that’s very useful for me to know. The bun lady sounds like she’s the craziest of them all, to me! You aren’t dumb and spoiled. You’re smart and nice. Very nice.”

She nods again. “Roderick sounds more than a little full of himself, if you ask me. But we’ll keep that just between us. Nobody who’s not Leila, Celia, or their mommy gets to know.” She draws an invisible zipper over her mouth in emphasis.

“Hey,” she then exclaims with a wide smile as she takes Leila’s hands, “you wanna do something fun, Leila?”

Celia: Leila nods eagerly.

GM: “How about…” her mommy starts in a low voice, like it’s a secret surprise just between them, “…we let Luna out to play? I bet being in a cage wasn’t much fun for her. There’ll be no cages here! Just lots of loves and pets and belly rubs!”

Celia: Leila considers the request.

“Are you gonna put her in the microwave?”

GM: “Oh my lord, no!” Diana laughs. “That is a very bad idea! Only thing that goes in the microwave is food.”

Celia: “I knew he was a dumdum,” Leila mutters. Then she’s gone, disappearing as if she had never existed, and a gray cat meows at Diana.

GM: “Hewwo, Luna!” Diana exclaims in her kitty voice. She doesn’t waste a second. Practiced hands start to scratch the cat along the sides of her chin and pet down her back.

“Hewwo, Luna! Hewwo hewwo!”

Celia: The cat is more than happy to let this woman scratch, rub, and pet her. She purrs, body vibrating against the gentle hands, and arches her back into the touch. It’s a nice change from the heat and the water.

GM: “Oh, yes, that is a purr! Confirmed, we have a purr goin’!” Diana exclaims, smiling widely. She showers the cat with loves. Scratches behind the ears. Scratches under the chin. Scratches alongside the neck. Pets down the back. She hits all the pleasure points. She closes her eyes and rubs her cheek along the cat’s head, but doesn’t let up for a second with the scratches.

“Who’s a good widdle kitty, huh? Who’s the best widdle kitty in the whole wide world?”

“Youuu are! Youuu are!”

Celia: Luna is more than happy to accept the loves from Diana. She meows at the question of who’s a good kitty as if to say, “I am,” and purrs again when Diana answers in the affirmative. She is a good kitty. She’s the best kitty. She rolls onto her back to present her belly, pawing at Diana’s hands.

GM: Diana is more than happy to give the best kitty lots of loves along her belly too. Her hands move up and down, alternating between pets and scratches, clearly basking in the feeling of the cat’s furry underside against her palms.

“And you’re not even scwatching me! No, you’re not! You are SUCH a good kitty, Luna! The best kitty in the whole wide world!” Diana exclaims.

She gives the cat more loves for a while, clearly enjoying herself just as much as Luna. Eventually, though, Diana’s scratching the kitty’s ears when she leans in and whispers,

“Okay, Luna. I had a very nice time, with the best kitty in the whole wide world. You think Celia wants to come back out, now?”

Celia: The cat meows a final time, rubbing her face along Diana’s cheek. Then she’s gone, and Celia has once more appeared before her mother, her expression somewhere between apprehension and appreciation.

She clears her throat unnecessarily, then lifts her shoulders in a helpless sort of shrug.

“So that’s, um… so you met Leila.”

GM: Her mom nods.

“I was wondering if ‘switching between’ Luna, so to speak, would let you come back out.”

“You know, serve as a bit of a reboot.”

She smiles. “Plus I really did love getting to pet a kitty.”

Celia: “You didn’t, ah, didn’t like Leila? She’s pretty harmless. A bit mouthy. But sweet.”

“He thinks I have DID. But I’ve looked it up before. That’s not how it works.”

GM: Her mom nods. “I thought so too. Sweet and harmless, like you say. I was just worried that it might be hard to get you back.”

“So, glad we were able to do that.”

Celia: Celia nods.

GM: “Is turning into Luna the only thing that does it?”

Celia: “No. I can… there’s some modicum of control there. It’s not like the textbook definition. They’re just… pieces of me, I think, that have grown into their own thing, but I’m not unaware while they’re out. They fill in the gaps.”

Celia looks down at her hands, then back up at her mother.

“I’m not crazy, Mom.”

GM: Her mom hugs her.

“I don’t care how many personalities you have inside you. I love you just as much.”

Celia: Celia hugs her tightly.

“Thanks, Mom. That really means a lot to me. People don’t always… we fear what we don’t know sometimes, and they’re just… they’re just me, but different.”

GM: She nods.

“So if this isn’t DID, what do you think this is?”

“I took some psych classes in college, though I’ll admit that was a while ago.”

Celia: “Oh Lord, I have no idea. Masking. Regression, with Leila. Roleplay. I don’t know. It just doesn’t fit the definition of DID. There’s no fugue state.”

“Acting, maybe.”

Ron always said she’d be good at it.

GM: “Is this what Jade was?” her mom asks.

Celia: That’s a delicate question.

“I don’t know,” Celia says with a sigh. “Jade just started as a name when I died. Now she’s… that. I started referring to her as a different person to keep my lives separate and she just… grew.”

GM: Her mom nods. “How do you think Leila came to be, then?”

Celia: “I think she’s… I think she’s been there since Dad… you know. Changed. And she’s what could have been. What should have been. She’s been around more since I met a fairy.”

GM: “…a fairy?” her mom asks, eyebrows raised.

Celia: “What, you thought vampires were the only supernaturals in the world?”

GM: “Well, ah, I suppose I did, now that you mention it.”

“Are fairies… good?”

Celia: “They’re… interesting.”

That’s one way to put it.

“I don’t think that they’re inherently good or bad. They’re people, like us, so it’s all a spectrum. There are good people and bad people. Good vampires and bad vampires. We lean bad, but I think that’s because we literally feed on humans and live forever and get jaded. Demons are bad. Ghosts are pretty much whatever they were like in life, I think, but I haven’t met all that many. Loops are…” Celia considers. “Furry.”

GM: “Loops?” her mom asks.

“But okay, that’s… that’s actually somewhat comforting to hear, sweetie. That they’re basically people. Good and bad.”

Celia: “Werewolves.”

“Loup garou. Someone thought you pronounced the P and it kind of stuck.”

GM: “Oh, that’s French. Literally, ‘werewolves.’”

“Do they feed on humans, too?”

Celia: “No. Not like we do. They don’t drink blood. I mean they’re… they don’t really like vampires.”

GM: “Ah, okay,” her mom nods. “Anyway, sweetie, we got distracted. We were talking about you.”

“You and your other, ah, selves.”

Celia: “What, you don’t want to meet my werewolf boyfriend?”

GM: “Oh? You have a werewolf boyfriend?” her mom asks, eyebrows raised again.

“I thought you had a boyfriend already, with Stephen…?”

Celia: “Each of the multiples gets their own boyfriend, Ma. It’s the twenty first century.” She grins. It fades after a moment.

“You want to talk about them, though? The others?”

GM: Diana seems to consider whether Celia is kidding, then nods.

“Are there any besides Leilani and Jade?”

“And Luna, if she counts…?”

Celia: “I… I’m not sure. I think so, but she’s not fully out yet. I just feel someone… else. I have other identities, other masks, but they’re not quite the same. I don’t know if that makes sense.”

GM: “Well, not the same, how?”

“Who are they?”

Celia: “Just different people. I use them to blend into society, go places I can’t as Celia or Jade. Some are more clear than others. I don’t really know how to explain it. Like I’m there, but I’m committed to the role. But it’s a commitment so deep that it’s not a role anymore. But I’m still… present. Just like watching over their shoulder, maybe?”

“Like I can autopilot, but still correct course if needed. Like uh… like I put in the coordinates on the map already and they just follow the path I set.”

GM: “Okay, that makes some sense,” her mom nods. “With Leilani, what does it usually take, for her to… I guess, go dormant?”

“Luna seemed to do it, I’m just wondering if that’s all.”

Celia: “She’s easily distracted. Josua just told her it was bedtime and that did the trick. Or just say you want to talk to Celia, maybe.”

“I haven’t done a lot of experimenting with her because no one really knows.”

“So I’m sorry to say I don’t have a concrete answer.”

GM: “It’s okay. I just want to be sure you stay safe, sweetie,” her mom answers. “Safe and happy. I guess, do Leilani and the other… personalities you can ‘course correct’, interfere with that? Are you okay with them?”

Celia: “They don’t cause problems for me. I like them. They keep me safe.”

GM: “Okay,” her mom nods. “They are a little funny to wrap my head around, but next to being a vampire… well, I guess it’s small potatoes. If there isn’t a problem, with the ones besides Jade, I guess there isn’t a problem.”

Celia: “You don’t think I should see a doctor?”

GM: “I might do some research into DID anyway, just to understand them better.”

Her mom pauses. “What about… Jade?”

Celia: “What about her?”

GM: “She’s evil, Celia,” her mother says quietly.

“Just… pure evil.”

Celia: “She’s not welcome here. She knows that.”

GM: “I know. But I’ve still… I’ve thought about that scene a lot, Celia.”

“I’ve had… dreams about it.”

Celia: “I’m sorry, Mom. I… I don’t know what else to say. I’m sorry.”

GM: Her mom holds her hand. “I know you are. You did… you did walk back from it, sweetie. Before it could poison, twist, our relationship, into something…. horrible.”

Celia: “It sounds like that wasn’t enough.”

GM: “You mean it, when you say you love me,” her mom answers. “Believe me, Celia. Believe me… every night, since then, when I’ve said my prayers, I’ve thanked God on my knees that he gave you the strength to… to overcome her.”

“I’ve thought a lot, about what our relationship, about what my life, would look like if you hadn’t.”

“I don’t think I’m going to drop ‘thank you for giving my daughter strength when she needed it most’ from my prayers anytime soon.”

“I know we dodged a… a hell of a bullet.”

Celia: “We did,” Celia says quietly. “I don’t know what would have happened to us, but it wouldn’t have been ‘us’ anymore.”

GM: “No, it wouldn’t. Or Lucy.”

“I thought about how… about your father, when he was cruel to me, hurt the children too. What that did to you and the others, for your mother to be living in fear.”

“And I just thought… how would that have affected Lucy. If her mom was living in fear.”

“I thought about that a lot.”

“And Emily. I think she’d have noticed something was wrong. She’s got a good… bullpoo detector.”

Celia: “She is. It would have destroyed the family.”

GM: “It would’ve poisoned us, Celia. Even if no one noticed, for a while. It would’ve poisoned Lucy. Jade would have hurt Lucy.

Her mom’s hands clench at those words.

Celia: “Do you… do you not want me to come around anymore?”

GM: Her mom looks up in alarm.

“Oh, no, sweetie! I want you to stay in this family, more than anything!

Celia: “I can’t do anything about Jade. She’s part of me. She’s not going to come out around you again. I won’t let that happen.”

GM: “But she’s still there,” says her mom.

“Doing the makeup for those… those victims… was that her, too?”

Celia: Celia nods.

GM: “I thought so.”

“She needs to die.”

Celia: Celia rises to her feet.

“Right. Well. Something to think about.”

GM: Her mom looks at her in confusion.

“Celia, don’t tell me you want her.”

Celia: “She’s part of me. Killing her kills me. There’s no cutting her out. And even if I did find a way to surgically extract her, I’m still Jade to the entire city of licks.”

GM: “Is Jade a person you want to be?”

Celia: “Jade is a person I need to be to fit in with the rest of the assholes that I associate with.”

“We’re not good people, Mom. We’re a society of raging dicks. The strong bully the weak. We take what we want. And if we can’t hold onto what’s ours, we lose it.”

GM: “Those were the most hurtful words someone ever said to me,” says her mom. “That I wasn’t your mom anymore. That I was your slave.”

“More hurtful than anything your father ever said. Because I had, because I have, nothing but love for you.” Her mom’s voice sounds like it’s starting to tear up.

Celia: “I said I was sorry.”

GM: “You don’t, you don’t need to apologize, sweetie. I forgave you. The slate’s clean.”

Celia: “You’re still talking about it. It’s clearly not clean.”

“You want to kill part of me.”

“The part that made a deal for power to save you from Dad.”

“The part that haggled with a monster to put you back together again.”

“The part that tore herself open to save you when you were thrown off the roof.”

“The part that looked a demon in the eyes and told him that his prize pawn had better leave you alone or I would slaughter him.

GM: Her mom opens her mouth, emotions swimming in her eyes, then finally closes it.

She looks at her feet.

Celia: “She killed herself for you. And she’d do it again. She fucked up. She’s sorry. I’m sorry. We both make mistakes. What she did to you was a mistake that will never happen again. But she is not going anywhere. She’s me. I’m her.”

GM: Diana looks back up at her daughter’s words. There’s some color in her cheeks, but her eyes look moist too. She sniffs and runs a hand across them, then stands up to take Celia’s hand.

“Can… can we please not fight, sweetie. I don’t want to fight you. I want this home, our home, to be a welcoming space for you.”

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry I brought it up again. I’m sorry I didn’t understand.”

Celia: She doesn’t have a home anymore. Jade broke this one, and Roderick destroyed the other.

But she hugs her mother because that’s what she’s supposed to do. And she runs a hand down her back because that’s what she’s supposed to do.

And the words break her heart. The apology. Like hers to Roderick.

It’s like looking into a fucking mirror, and Celia hates what she sees.

“Can we table this discussion, Mom? I need to… talk to someone else about this who knows more than I do.”

She wants her sire. He’s the only one she wants anymore with the way Roderick has been treating her. But she can’t talk to him about this. About any of it. They don’t have that sort of relationship.

“I’m sorry. I don’t want you to be scared of me. Of her. She’s not evil. She’s just…”

“She’s just her.”

“She was following some really bad advice. And when she’s afraid she gets angry and mean because we’re not allowed to be scared. She shows teeth.”

Celia lifts her hand to tuck a stray hair behind her mother’s ear.

“She loves you too. She’s just… terrible at communicating. If you knew what the rest of them are like you’d see the difference.”

GM: Celia’s mom hugs her close and sniffs against her shoulder, oblivious to the dark and despairing thoughts coursing through her daughter’s head. She guides Celia back onto the couch and listens intently.

“Well, I was… I was going to ask, sweetie.”

“How she could love me and then do… what she did.”

“I guess that makes… more sense.”

“She’s really not that bad?”

Celia: “She’s really not that bad. I promise. She’s done some questionable things, but she loves you. And Emily. And Lucy. She’s just… she’s like a… a kicked puppy, right, that grows into a mean dog because all it knows is the feel of a boot on its ribs, and it doesn’t know better. She thought what she was doing was right because that’s how she’s always done it. But she learned. You helped her learn.”

“Maybe she can… write you a letter. And explain.”

GM: “I just… I don’t understand, Celia,” her mom admits. “I said sorry to her. After I asked for something I shouldn’t have. I took it all back. I said I didn’t want it anymore. I thought that was enough, I thought that would fix things. But she kept saying I needed to call her master, that I wasn’t her mom, and that… that’s what she hit me for…”

Celia: “She’s confused, Mom. She didn’t have a mom. She just appeared when I was lost in the dark and took my hand and guided me out. Her first experience was an impossible test, a cruel test, and watching your rape and torture. That’s what she woke up to. That’s what she saw.”

“People don’t love Jade. They fuck her. They flirt with her. They use her.”

“She doesn’t have a family. She doesn’t have friends. Not like Celia does.”

GM: “So is that what she needs? Do I just need to show her love…?” her mom asks slowly.

Celia: “I… maybe?”

The more she thinks about it the more sense it makes. Show the stray cat enough love and it’ll eventually let you pet it.

GM: “Jesus says to turn the other cheek,” Diana nods.

“If I can forgive your father, after all, why not Jade too?”

Celia: “I don’t deserve a mother as good as you. You’re just… you’re just incredible, Mom.”

GM: Her mom smiles and squeezes Celia’s hand in hers.

“I’m sorry I hurt her, too. Maybe there was a better way.”

Celia: “Maybe. Maybe when you’re both ready you can start fresh.”

GM: “You mentioned writing a letter. I think that sounds like a good start.”

Celia: Celia nods.

“I’ll let her know.”

GM: “Okay. I think she should write it someplace… someplace not here. Lucy is here. I don’t think we are ready for that.” Her mother’s voice sounds hopeful but wary.

Celia: “I’ll have her write it elsewhere and I’ll deliver it for her.”

GM: “Okay,” her mom nods. “That sounds… safe.”

Celia: “No direct contact. Not until you ask for it. Promise.”

Celia squeezes her mother’s hand.

GM: Her mom nods. “I guess the biggest thing I’m wondering is… why. Why did she hurt me because I called her sweetie. Why did she want me to call her master so badly. Why did she say I wasn’t her mom.”

“Because I’d stopped asking about… you-know-what. I’d stopped. I’d said sorry. I thought that would be enough. So why did she… did she not let up?”

Celia: “I… I don’t know, Mom. I can have her explain it, maybe, but I think it’s… about control. Knowing she’s in control. Knowing you accept that she’s in control.”

“Bad advice from someone else, mostly, I think.”

“But hey… do you want to trade, Mom? Like you said? I can take two and give you one, and you should be fine for tomorrow..?”

GM: Her mother’s eyes shine.

“Yes… yes, sweetie! I’d love that so much!

Celia: “Come on, then, let’s grab a cup.”

GM: Celia’s mother all but leaps from her seat. She grasps her leg for a moment with a pained inhalation, but doesn’t slow. She just makes for the kitchen.

Celia: They need to get that fixed. Soon. If she can’t get ahold of her teacher then she’ll reach out to E. Or Xola. One of them should be able to help, dangerous though the latter is. Pete might go with her again now that Diana knows about everything. Maybe this summer, during her break, so it’s not an abrupt change at school…

GM: Diana throws open the cupboard and grabs the first cup she can get her hands on, a Disney princess-themed plastic one. She doesn’t even limp and favor her good leg for the walk back. She just gets back to Celia, as fast as she can without running. The only sign of pain is the way her face repeatedly twists.

“Here we go, sweetie, here’s a cup…”

Celia: Celia lets her mother hold onto the cup for her for a moment. She says she’s going to drink first, just to take the edge off, and leans in to bring her mother into her arms. Like a hug. Only this time her mouth opens, fangs extending so she can sink them into her vessel’s neck, piercing her flesh to bring forth the flow of blood into her waiting maw.

She drinks.

She drinks the freely offered blood, the source of love and life (or unlife) that her mother parts with so readily, the flavor of it dancing across her tongue. Like a warm hug, she’d said earlier, and it’s true. It tastes like comfort. Like affection. Like a mother’s knowing smile. Like a meal made with her in mind, and she enjoys every second of it. She basks in the divine nectar.

Celia licks the wound closed when she’s had her fill. Two hits for her. Then the points of her fangs dig into her wrist and she bleeds into the plastic princess cup, waits for it to cool long enough to avoid a bond, and finally offers it to her mother.

GM: Her mother tastes like all of those things and more.

She tastes like love.

Celia has yet to drink from another breather vessel that compares.

True to Celia’s expectation, drinking so deeply from her mother takes some of the woman’s nerves off. This is deeper than they’ve done before. Diana moans softly beneath her daughter’s kiss. Her eyelids droop and Celia can feel the slowing of her heartbeat. She looks thoroughly tuckered out by the time the Toreador pulls away, and sleepily accepts the cup without her prior animation. She drinks slowly at first, but her eyes widen with the taste. Color returns to her cheeks. She closes her eyes again, taking a long, slow draught, and Celia can see the smile spreading across her face. There’s a blush to her cheeks when she sets the cup down and looks at her daughter with shining eyes.

“Oh, sweetie, that felt… heavenly…”

She runs her finger along the cup’s inside, then licks it off.

Celia: “Slowly, Momma,” Celia says as she lifts the cup to her lips, pleased that she’s taking her time with this feeding. “Savor it. Good…” Celia rubs a hand up and down her back while she feeds, nuzzling against her once it’s gone. Like she does with Alana, she realizes, only this isn’t sexual, just intimate. The sharing of blood.

“How do you feel?” Celia asks when she’s done.

GM: Her mom wraps an arm around her and cuddles up against her.

“Oh… I feel you inside me, Celia… spreadin’ all through me… you are sweet, very sweet, and kind of like makeup…”

Celia: Celia giggles at the description.

“You’re sweet too, Mama. Like love. Just… like you’ll always love me. Comfort and security and warmth. Nothing else has ever tasted as good.”

GM: “Good,” Diana murmurs, nuzzling against her. “I’m glad I taste so good. That’s how I want to taste, for you. I want you to feel warm and safe and loved when you’re home.”

Celia: “I do, Mom. You’ve always taken good care of me. I’m glad I can share this side of myself with you.” Celia touches a hand to her cheek. “I love you, Momma.”

GM: Her mom leans against her.

“I love you too, sweetie. With all my heart. I’m so glad you can share yourself, all of yourself, with me.”

Celia: “It definitely makes everything easier,” Celia says with a wry smile.

GM: “Or, yourselves, I suppose,” her mother says with a chuckle.

Celia: “Oh. Speaking of. I want to move forward with fixing your leg. I don’t know if or when the colleague I mentioned will be back in the city, but there are others I can speak to, and I can reach out to my old teacher as well. I’d like to do it this summer, so you don’t look suddenly better overnight at school. Is that okay?”

“We can say that the physical activity with fencing has helped, maybe. Or have you ‘see a physical therapist’ or something. Emily might be hard to fool, but we’ll make it believable.”

GM: “Yes… I was goin’ to bring her up,” her mom says thoughtfully.

“She is a doctor, and she knows my ‘case’ really well, at this point.”

“She doesn’t believe all that much in alternative medicine, either. I think Dr. Crawford’s really rubbin’ off on her.”

Celia: “It’s not for everyone. Hard to believe in something you don’t witness for yourself, even if it’s been around for thousands of years.”

“I bet she doesn’t believe in vampires, either.”

GM: “I don’t think she does,” her mom says wryly. “It just seems to get under her skin a lot more, this last year of med school. What she calls ‘quackery.’ I think one of your girls at Flawless was talking about energy crystals a few months ago and, my lord, I love Emily dearly, but she would not close her mouth!”

Celia: “Mm, she’s rather opinionated.”

“She applied for a new job, though. So I don’t know how much longer she’ll even be at Flawless.”

GM: “Oh, she did?” her mom asks. “She didn’t mention that to me.”

Celia: “Delta Medical… something. Systems?”

“I dunno, they called for a reference. Left a voicemail.”

“I texted her about it but I assume she’s busy with Robby.”

GM: “She is,” Diana nods, then taps her chin. “Delta. Hmm. Have I heard of them somewhere…?”

“I think she might have mentioned them once, but I didn’t know she was applying for a job.”

“Does she need to finish med school, before she can…?”

Celia: “I’m not sure. We, uh, got into a little bit of an argument last night and I think she was kind of upset, but I doubt that’s what this is about. Usually takes longer to apply and hear from a company. But if she’s just doing clerical work or something she might not need the degree. A lot of people work in medicine without a degree, all sorts of other positions they can fill. Even some research based things.”

“Could also be an internship or assistant position.”

GM: “Oh. Are you two still mad at each other? Could I help?” her mom asks.

Celia: “I don’t think so. It was just about Stephen. Whether or not she slept with him. I… don’t know why it bothers me so much.”

GM: “Oh,” says her mom. “Well, I can understand wantin’ to feel like your beau loves only you. That is a little weird to think of him bein’ intimate with your sister.”

Celia: “Yeah. Also like… who introduces their ex to their new friend as a potential boyfriend?”

GM: “I mean, okay, I can accept you might not’ve been Stephen’s first, even if things would’ve been better that way, but that’s…. messy, I guess, to also be with Emily? I don’t quite like it.”

“Well, then again, maybe nothin’ happened. Dani said they only went on, what, one date?”

Celia: “It’s not even about being his first, he was twenty-two when we met. So I didn’t assume he was a virgin or anything. And he showed me a good time, and it was great. You know? No awkward vibes. But… just the thought of them together… everything I’ve ever said to her about him…” Celia trails off. “Two dates. But I guess I’m just being… silly. It shouldn’t matter, right? We’re both dead now.”

“I’ve been with other people, too.”

GM: “Hmph, well, I suppose that is what it is,” her mother says at all the mentions of outside-marriage sex.

“I guess there’s nothin’ much to be done for it either way, though. I mean, Stephen clearly loves you, hasn’t been in Emily’s life for years… you two can either stay mad at each other or not, you know? There’s nothin’ to do about it at this point.”

“If anythin’ even happened past two dates.”

“Maybe it’d be better just to let sleeping dogs lie.”

Celia: “That’s the plan. Pretty sure he’d tell me if I asked, but I don’t really want to know.”

GM: “That sounds like a good plan,” her mom nods. “As far as Emily, that is tricky, though. About my leg.”

“Maybe I could take a vacation or something, away from her? Or she could go on one with Robby? Just some time apart, so she doesn’t notice an immediate shift?”

Celia: “I was thinking something similar. Vacation for one of you.”

“I, uh, might be going to LA soon, maybe you could visit..?”

GM: “Oh, you’re going to LA?” her mom smiles. “Vacation there, too?”

She wiggles her eyebrows.

“Are you bringin’ your beau?”

Celia: “Ha. I mentioned it to him but he hasn’t said anything yet. I’d like to, since he runs with the kind of people that run LA, but he’s got a lot going on here.”

GM: “Hm. Well, if he doesn’t, I could go with you? I don’t want to be a third wheel between two lovebirds,” she declares with another smile, “but if things don’t work out there, we could say I saw a specialist or something in L.A.?”

Celia: “That’ll work. I’ll probably be there a while if things work out. Movie deal. Maybe. I have to follow up.”

“Plus, you’ll need to be nearby so we can trade, or you’ll end up going through withdrawal.”

GM: “Oh,” her mom says with some alarm. “I guess if it’s like a drug…”

“You could always… give me an advance, if you’re goin’ to be gone for a while? If that’s how it works?”

She shakes her head.

“Maybe you’re right, though. Maybe it’s better that I come. How long would this be for? You said you’re doin’ a movie deal, sweetie?” she smiles.

Celia: “I could leave some,” Celia says thoughtfully. “Or have someone else take care of it while I’m gone. I just know it’s… we talked about it being addictive, and I don’t want you to be tempted to take it early or because you had a bad day or something. It’s not that I don’t trust you, Mom, I just have heard that some of them can OD, and it’s not easy for me to travel. If Stephen doesn’t come, maybe he wouldn’t mind. Or Pe—er, my other friend.”

Who else does she trust with her mom? No one.

“I’m not sure how long it takes to shoot, or even if I have a part. I have to talk to the guy. And his friend. But I’ve got a leg up since I know people. There’s auditions, all sorts of things. Maybe a month, maybe two or three. I’ll probably fly out to do some auditions, come back and wait to hear from them, then go back out once I hear if I got anything.”

GM: “Oh. I don’t know I could manage two or three months, sweetie,” says her mom. “Summer break at McGehee is about two months. And I want to spend a good chunk of that with Lucy!”

She thinks.

“Or maybe we could take her, too? Med school’s break is about eight weeks, so that’s the longest Emily can take care of her, anyway. And I figure this summer is goin’ to be even busier with her residency starting.”

Celia: Celia shakes her head.

“I didn’t intend for you to be there the whole time. And of course we could take Lucy. Hell, Emily could even come if she wants.”

“For a bit. After your, uh, ‘surgery.’”

GM: “Hm, I love the thought of havin’ Emily along, but I’m just worried how much she’d suspect. Me goin’ to L.A. and back for the summer seems like it’d be easier to swallow.”

“If she isn’t there to see any of it.”

Celia: “Probably. Plus I’ll be… not me.”

GM: “Oh. You mean… Jade?” her mother asks warily.

Celia: “Not necessarily. I’ll look like her, but I’m still me. It’s just that movies generally shoot during the day, so ’Lana will be Celia.”

“I could use a different identity out there, though. No reason to be Jade if no one knows me anyway.”

GM: Her mom nods. “Yes, I’d prefer that, sweetie. I know we talked about the letter. Just… makin’ plans to be alone with her, in another city, for months, doesn’t feel safe to me.”

“Especially with… Lucy.”

Celia: “She wouldn’t hurt Lucy,” Celia says quietly, “but I’ll make sure she doesn’t stay around. No reason for Jade to go to LA, anyway. I’m going to try to divorce her from Celia to see how things go with Dad and running and everything.”

GM: “She almost did hurt Lucy, sweetie, through me,” her mom reminds her seriously. “But, okay, that sounds good. Baby steps with her. Goin’ to L.A. with you and Lucy sounds like a wonderful summer.”

Celia: Celia beams at her mom. “Perfect. I’ll start getting plans together.”

GM: “Great!” her mom smiles back. She lets Celia know the dates when school ends and resumes at McGehee. The latter is somewhat earlier for teachers.

Celia: Worst case scenario her mom comes back before her. But it should be a fun summer if things work out.

She’s looking forward to a vacation from New Orleans.


Diana Scene

Overall, enjoyed the scene with Diana. Glad she’s okay after the events of last night. Cuddling and room service sounds fun. It’s nice to be able to talk to Diana about vampire problems and boy problems, even if she’s not being totally honest about what he’s doing to her. Celia is trying to be like “yeah I can share,” when Diana asks about feeding him but like Diana is HERS and I feel like she shouldn’t share or want to share. She wouldn’t offer her mother to anyone else, but she’s so lost with what to do with Roderick (or at least I was at the time) that she’s grasping at straws for how to put him in a good mood. Maybe it’ll work, and maybe he’ll be mad. Who the fuck knows with him anymore. Kind of want to take out the line about her smiling when she tells him about Diana (from prior log) because it gives her emotion when she’s supposed to be wooden, but maybe that humanizes her a little bit.

Regardless, she has no intention of sharing her Herd or Domain if he’s not giving her something in return. Dating isn’t good enough, sorry bro. Not with the relationship as it is.

LOL I just flipped open my notebook to my “Roderick” page and one of the things I’d wanted to talk to him about prior to playing these scenes are what he got from Savoy and if he wants to share her Domain or if he’ll get his own. Hard pass on sharing now.

Gonna move forward with rejoining Lucy and Diana.


So. Leila came out here. I was thinking about her and how come she appears to be both wise and childish and mature and naive. I think Leila isn’t a specific “person,” so to speak, but a concept. She’s Celia’s innocence. Around Diana, she’s a child. Around Josua, she’s a virgin. Around Roderick, she’s a romantic. Around Dahlia Rose, she’s a Disney princess. So she’s way more fluid than “Jade” because she’s not a person, just an idea. If that makes sense? Kind of like how Celia masks, it’s Leila. Masking but not masking because that’s just who she is. Here she’s childish because she’s with Diana and it was her mother’s comfort that brought her out, and so she’s acting like she’s younger and speaking in a completely different way. “I don’t love him anymore,” she decides, with all the intensity of a child declaring they don’t like broccoli. “He’s mean. He put Luna in a cage. Joshy doesn’t get to give me nicknames.” Etc.

Feel bad that seeing another alter scared Diana, but I was glad she played along at least. And when Rod gets mad at her for hanging out with Harley she’s just gonna say her momma told her to. He can’t be mad at her momma. Maybe he’ll say Diana is stupid and she can rip his throat out. Love the way she described dancing.

“He can’t go because he doesn’t have the right face. An’ Celia didn’t offer to give him the right face,” Leila confides in a whisper, “because she doesn’t want him there tonight. An’ she’s gonna spend the night with Dani instead of him because he’s a meanie and he said it’s punishment but she was relieved but you can’t tell him.” All true! Celia was going to bring Rod to the party tonight but he was a douche so she didn’t bother offering. Fuck ‘im.

“They’re fishies.” Lol.

Honestly I love Leila. She’s super fun. The entire exchange with Diana was amusing. Same thing with Luna. Luna is more than happy to be snuggled by Diana. Diana def knows how to show a cat a good time.

Diana Scene (Cont’d)

Really not sure how much feedback I have for this, the light hearted scene was very much needed after Roderick’s bullshit. I don’t think there was any part of it that I didn’t enjoy. Celia got to vent, they had a good conversation about multiples, she has a way to move forward with her mother and Jade, they made plans for LA. Some light humor. Was fun explaining the other supernaturals, vague though I made it. Also enjoyed writing about Leila’s appearance and how she came to be. Probably always around but less willing to come out because of how tough Celia’s life / Requiem was. Meeting the fairy made her believe in magic again. Being around Josua, who she trusted not to hurt her, let her come out. Being around Harlequin, who she trusted to understand, let her come out. Being around Diana, who she trusted to love her, let her come out. There aren’t a lot of people that bring her out or situations where she can flourish, so it makes sense that she’s kept pretty tightly under wraps most times. Shame that Rod doesn’t want to meet them.

As an aside, looking forward to talking to Harlequin at the party. Let the crazy shine and stuff.

Diana’s comment here about Jade being evil and wanting to kill her and Jade hurting her more than Maxen ever had really hit me hard, man. That’s one of my biggest concerns with combining Lucy and Diana, that Lucy is going to try to kill Jade. Celia tries to explain Jade’s origin to her mother but she doesn’t really seem to get it. Jade is mean because she has to be. Celia was too soft to be a vampire. Jade was literally born from rape and corruption, spiraled hard enough to get Donovan to Embrace her, is used by literally everyone, has to be a cunt or lose what she has, etc. Jade does what she needs to do. No one loves Jade. Maybe she wouldn’t be as bad if they did. Maybe that’s what makes her so angry, and maybe that’s why Someone Else is finally coming out: Jade/Celia realizes that they can’t be on a hairpin trigger like Jade, that they need to be more cool / calm / collected. Someone Else is a Celia that doesn’t believe in love anymore. Someone Else is a Celia that doesn’t need anyone else. Someone Else is Donovan’s childe. Looking forward to seeing how she develops when [redacted].

Celia finally just offers blood to change the subject. Ha. I mean also I wanted to get to the other meeting but ended up not having time anyway. No big. This is kinda sex. Whoops. She’ll have Rod correct her for it later. They are definitely cuddling here. Like beyond what’s normal with a mom/daughter. Oh well.

LA plan to “fix her leg” sounds do-able. Honestly not sure who would have been able to feed the ghouls while she’s gone. Alana gonna be with her, but the idea of flying back and forth every two weeks was not appealing. Reg probably coming too. Just have to figure out Rusty I guess. Pete prob would have fed Diana if Celia had cut a deal with him, and he’s really the only one she trusts enough to ask. Notice how Celia avoids telling her mom that he’s a vampire even though she 100% wants to. Not sure how she’s going to sway the whole “I’m not connected to Celia” thing if Jade disappears at the same as Celia. Ah well.

Delta Medical Systems actually sounds really cool. Definitely something I could see Celia wanting to get further into that from what you told me about them.

Looking forward to LA. :)

Celia VI, Chapter VIII
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