Yelling. So much of it that I had headaches for days following Tyler’s failed proposal. And not all of it was from him. My friends yelled, his family yelled, even my father had a go at making me cry until I simply refused to go outside anymore.
I don’t regret my decision to refuse his proposal. But I do regret having to stay and deal with the consequences. The vampires in town claimed I was trying to start an uprising. My fellow mortal sims claimed I acted the way I did because my father had spoiled me. They blamed him for my actions. The stares and insults I could handle, but not that. My father had give up so much to raise my sister and me. To hear the things people were calling him now... it hurt.
Was it in any wonder I withdrew from the world around me? Burdens are for shoulders strong enough to carry them. I was not strong. I’ve never claimed to be, and I never will.
In my city there are two distinct classes. The first: the high class vampires, most of whom were related to Edwin Stone, Tyler’s father, the vampire King. The second: the low class mortals from whom the vampires fed. Some, like myself, were lucky enough to be picked at birth to become mates and until we were of age to marry we would be safe from the disappearances that were all too common.
That however didn’t mean we were given the money to live more than a stone’s throw from the poverty line. The bar my father ran was a gift from a vampire he’d befriended long before Janice and I had been born. Besides that we owned only the small beach behind it and the furniture inside of it. My computer had been a gift from one of Tyler’s brothers when I won a storytelling competition at school. Ever since I would write when I was scared or nervous. It calmed me down and gave me a new world in which to immerse myself and hide from the realities of life.
That said, I wasn’t the only one in pain from all this. Tyler was hit hard by my negative response and the shame of it kept him in tears almost constantly after. When he wasn’t glaring at me in anger or yelling he was in my twin sister’s arms crying. The sight of it alone could have made me apologize and ask for a second chance, but I knew how else my sister was cheering him up when they thought I was occupied.
The first time I caught them was the very same night I’d turned him down. Just an innocent kiss they’d claimed but all I could see was red. The betrayal felt like a slap to the face and I told them as much. When it became obvious that I wasn’t going to forgive and forget they stopped hiding their affections for each other from me. Tyler told me that we’d marry wether I wanted to or not, but he’d give me time to make the proper decision myself. And as soon as that was done he’d take my sister as his second wife. I was absolutely livid and the entire situation only served to push me even further into my own little world.
Tyler was just lucky Janice pulled him from the room before I staked him then and there. I was certainly angry enough to, consequences be damned.
I could hear them no matter where in the house I tried to hide. I found Father practicing his dart throwing in the bar and on a whim, decided to grab my jacket. “I’m going out.”
He shot a look at me before turning back to his board. “It’s getting dark. Vampires will be out.”
“What does it matter?”
“They’re mad.” He tried to explain. “You’re still protected but they might still attack you.”
“Then let them attack.” I dared. “What’s it matter anyway? If I’m gone then Janice and Tyler can be happy and you can go out again.”
Alright so I didn’t actually say that last part but I thought it. If I’d dared to speak it aloud it might have broken my father’s heart then and there. I was cruel, but not that cruel.
The job down to the beach isn’t a log one, but its a rarely traveled one. Our beach is secluded and private. Besides the parties father threw for Janice and I on our birthdays, it was never touched. Imagine my surprise when I turned the corner around the giant boulder and saw the pale skinned man standing with his back to me, next to my fishing pond.
I felt a flush of impatience, and then anger. This was MY family’s beach! I didn’t want to deal with some damn squatter, especially when I still felt like the smallest thing would push me over the edge into an emotional breakdown.
“Excuse me!” I called out, walking towards him. “This is private property! You can’t be-”
He turned when I was barely arm’s length away from him. It took barely a moment to recognize him, although I had seen him in person only once before and only a few times in the newspaper. “M-Mr. Campbell. I didn’t realize-”
He puts up a hand to stop me. “Don’t worry. I know this is private property, but to be honest I am very interested in speaking to Jessie Jacobs right now.” A pause. “You are her, correct?”
I tilt my chin to the side a bit so the mark becomes visible over my jacket. “I am.”
He smiles. “Good. I’m here to tell you that you’re in big trouble young lady.”
“... I am?”
“Oh yes, miss Jacobs. Mr. Stone is a close associate of mine and this entire situation has him very unruffled. He’s even considering leaving his roost to pay you a visit and let you see the error of your ways. He wants the wedding to happen before the week is up.”
I felt my heart drop into my stomach. A visit from Tyler’s father always meant death. Who would he take? My father? My sister? I couldn’t live with either. “I’m not trying to start any trouble. I swear. We’ll have the wedding as soon as we can if it’ll please him. Just tell him to leave my family alone.”
“You mistake my meaning miss Jacobs. My advice to you is to leave town as soon as possible. Forgetting the wedding and forget those closest to you. You are far too... flighty for the life of a vampire’s wife.”
I must have had a stupid look on my face because he chuckled. His laughter just made me angry. “I will NOT abandon my family. They need me.”
“They really don’t.” He says, laughing again. “Head home and you’ll see why.”
“Oh I will head home you square-faced jerk.” Again, didn’t actually say that last line.
I’d suspected something like this, but it still felt like a stab to my gut when I realized it. Hiding in the room she and I shared, dressed in the loosest clothing she owned, and my boyfriend’s arms wrapped around her. I didn’t need any clarification for why she was crying but I got it anyway.
“We’ll be alright, Janice.” Tyler’s voice. Neither of them had noticed me in the doorway yet. “I’ll find a way to keep you safe. You and our baby.”
Forget being stabbed. It felt like someone had just replaced my blood with ice and my bones with lead. I wasn’t sure if I’d throw up or faint.
Janice chocked back a sob. “But what about Jessie? If she knew...”
“She won’t find out.” He promised. “I’ll... I’ll do something. I don’t know what. Worse comes to worse we can just leave. Raise our baby on the run if we need to.”
I saw red. And lots of it. “You piece of scum!”
Tyler jumped back as I stormed into the room, pushing my sister out of the way so I’d have a clear path at him. “Do you have ANY idea what the punishment for wedlock is? DEATH. And not yours, my sister’s!”
“Jessie it’s not like I meant to-”
“No you NEVER mean to!” I yelled back. “None of you stupid vampires ever do! Well you know what, I’m tired of just being a little play thing to you and your family! We’re done, it’s over. I’m leaving and that’s it.”
I didn’t need to look at Janice to sense her panic. “But if you go then we’ll all be killed!”
I let her worry for a moment, just enjoying her fear. “Oh please, Janice. Even though I feel like stabbing you right now you’re still my twin sister. I’m not about to let you die. Mr. Stone wants a wedding, and there will be a wedding.”
“But I don’t have the birthmark.” She whines. “Mr. Stone says you’re supposed to have Tyler’s first child, not me. Wedding or no he’ll kill me before the baby is born!”
My face pulled into a smile. “And Jessie will give birth to Tyler’s first child, right after they marry.”
Tyler and Janice just looked at me, but I ignored their stares. My plan wasn’t perfect, but it would work. And then I could be free to come and go as I please, not as a fugitive but as Janice Jacobs. “Come on you two. We’ve got to go to the tattoo parlour before morning. Giving you some wings will take a long time, Janice.”