Love Changes Everything

Sometimes There’s No Other Alternative…

Winter, Year 5
Caleb is 145, Daniel is 39, Cristina is 26, Simon is 26, Willow is 1

Caleb balanced the third bottle on top of the first two and watched as they wobbled slightly. His hand was steadier now than it had been when it started but he was getting the hang of the trick.
He was bored. He hated it when Simon was at work; he got nervous knowing his husband was a doctor and a young vampire at that. The urges were hard to control, especially when you’re new and he was terrified that one day, Simon would lose control and drink from a patient.

He chose to distract himself by playing with Willow. The little tot had recently had her first birthday and was staggering around the house. Cristina found the little one kept getting under her feet so, since it was a nice day, Caleb took her out to play on her new slide in the garden.

He also took her out into the lane to ride her new bike. Willow didn’t look very sure as she wobbled unsteadily on the bike but she quickly got the hang of it.

As it happened, Cristina was on a date with Daniel at the new nightclub, Muse. She was finding herself getting irritated with Daniel a lot, although she knew that nothing he was doing was particularly irritating. She just wasn’t feeling much for him any more. She didn’t like the thought of hurting him but she also couldn’t force how she felt.
Dancing with him in the club and joining him at the bar were all well and good and she couldn’t deny they had fun together but sadly, that wasn’t enough.

Back at home, Simon and Caleb had got Willow off to bed and were having a drink at their own bar.
“You were worrying again, weren’t you?” Simon said as he drained his glass. “While I was at work.”
Caleb looked guilty. “You could still lose it, you know. Surrounding by patients; control’s a tricky thing.”
Simon nodded thoughtfully. “I know. But this is my calling, Caleb. I knew this would be a complication when you turned me. Don’t you think I have a chance of keeping control around the patients?”
“With practice, I suppose,” Caleb replied but he looked doubtful. “It’s not that I don’t trust you, Si. It’s the urges I don’t trust.”
“I know.” Simon sighed. They talked about this at least once a week. “What else can I do? We need the money. Cristina’s not working right now, you’re not either. We have Willow to support; I can’t go giving up a well-paid job now.”
“I know, I’m sorry.” Caleb bit his lip lightly. “Maybe I’m being too nervous again.”
“No,” Simon shook his head. “You worry because you care. That’s not such a bad thing, Caleb.” He smiled. “We’ll work something out.”

Simon went down to the kitchen to wash up the glasses and found Cristina down there, dressed for bed. “You’re back early,” he said with surprise.
Cristina flung herself into Simon’s arms. “Si, I’m going to break up with Daniel.”
“I’m so sorry!” Simon hugged his friend tight. “What happened?”
“Nothing.” Cristina sighed. “Nothing’s happened; we had a lovely time and everything. He’s a great guy. I’m just not feeling it anymore.”
Simon nodded. He understood completely. “So when are you going to tell him? Are you seeing him tomorrow?”
Cristina looked slightly guilty. “Erm, he’s staying here tonight. So you could say that yeah.”
Raising his eyebrows, Simon nodded but said nothing.

Cristina woke up early the next morning, intent on telling Daniel how she felt. She didn’t expect him to serenade her so early.
Not for the first time, she felt conflicted. Daniel really was sweet; passionate and sometimes a bit overbearing but basically very sweet. However, he still had no idea she was a Spellcaster; she’d never told him and he’d never asked about the spellcaster paraphernalia in her room. She couldn’t keep living a lie and, in her heart, she knew it wasn’t fair to Daniel, either.

“Daniel, I need to talk to you.” Cristina sat him down on the sofa on the landing.
“What’s the matter?” He asked, looking concerned. “Are you feeling okay?”
“I-yes, I’m fine.” Cristina swallowed hard. “Look, Dan. I’ll get straight to the point. I don’t think we should see each other any more.”
Daniel stared at her. “What? You mean-“
Nodding, Cristina took a deep breath. “I do. I’m sorry, Dan. But it’s not right with us. It’s not been right for ages. Not since I found out I was pregnant. This isn’t the life I wanted. You’ll still be able to see Willow; I’ll never stop that. But it’s over for us.”
Daniel went through a kaleidoscope of emotions in a few short time.

Simon had escaped the house to go for a run. He was surprisingly sad about Cristina and Daniel; he liked the actor more than he’d expected to. Daniel could be a little harsh but he basically seemed a decent sort; he certainly doted over Willow.
His thoughts turned to his job. Caleb was right; the temptation to drink at work was always there and some days were more difficult to control. He loved his work but he definitely needed to work something out.

On his next shift, he tried out a new method. Instead of thinking too hard about the surgery he was performing, he tried to shift the focus to Caleb. He knew he was a lucky man to have found someone like Caleb and to have him in his life. He thought that if he focused on the good in his life, he’d be able to ignore the bad.

Of course, thinking so much about Caleb had its downside and Simon found himself craving his husband more than he thought possible.
He was going to have to try harder to find something to help distract him from his bloodlust while he was at work.

Having handled the situation with Daniel to the best of her ability, Cristina could focus on what she felt was far more important; her prowess as a Spellcaster. Her training had taken a huge backseat since she’d had Willow and it was high time she plunged herself back into it.

From duels to potions, Cristina threw herself in with gusto. She was determined to start mastering her craft and a year out to have Willow hadn’t done her abilities any good. Camden hadn’t been overly impressed.

Cristina spotted Emilia in Casters Alley. She wasn’t fond of Emilia; Cristina didn’t feel she was a sincere spellcaster and was only intending to marry into the Charm family to gain access to their magic.
Suddenly, she had an idea. She’d been playing with spells and cast a simple charm which pushed Emilia towards the next Sim she saw. Some unsuspecting Sim suddenly became the recipient of a passionate embrace.
Chuckling, Cristina snapped a picture to show Darryl another time. She had an idea.

She gave another spell a try. If she could get Emilia to feel despair, she could find a way of proving the woman didn’t belong there.
Sadly, the spell backfired and Cristina started to feel those waves of sadness herself. Resigned to her temporary fate, she turned on her heel and left.

She returned to Casters Keep and immediately descended to her basement study. She pulled out several tomes she’d gathered, blew the dust off and settled down to start reading. She wanted to up her game and, eventually, she wanted to blast that smarmy Emilia right out of the Magic Realm.

Caleb found Cristina’s determination a bit alarming. When she was overcharged, who knew what she could do?
Things weren’t going to be the same at Casters Keep.

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